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Reviews Categories | Ham Software - Other than logging | CWGet Help

Reviews Summary for CWGet
CWGet Reviews: 15 Average rating: 4.1/5 MSRP: $35
Description: Morse Code Decoder
Product is in production.
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HAMESCHEESE Rating: 5/5 May 22, 2003 18:07 Send this review to a friend
Great product!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I love this product. It can hear better than I can and can copy better than a Tech +
WZ7I Rating: 5/5 Oct 26, 2002 12:12 Send this review to a friend
Great to "Zero Beat"  Time owned: more than 12 months
Even if I were the best CW operator on the air, CwGet would still stay running in a small window on my PC screen. I use it to “zero beat” my Ten Tec Paragon to the exact frequency of the other fellow’s CQ call before I respond. CwGet in its current versions has a little marker you can insert for your transceiver’s CW offset. Then you tune the other fellow’s signal to that marker and reach for your key. Simple as that.

And I agree, I have never seen a CW decoder as sophisticated as this. But then, I would never admit I used it as a reader!

If you like this software, I encourage you to register it and pay the very reasonable $35 fee. This is shareware. You can try it all you want but the deal is that if you decide to keep it and use it, you owe the author his fee. Let’s keep good guys developing good tools. Sergei, UA9OSV, is one of the good guys!
AC0X Rating: 5/5 Jan 6, 2002 21:15 Send this review to a friend
Decent CW decoding program  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
CW decoding programs ALL have a long way to go before they're as good as the human ear and brain. Poorly timed and variable speed hand sent code still trips up ALL of them. But among those that are out there, CWGet shines. Its decoding is better than other programs out there. Its simple to use, and it's cheap at $35. So if you want a decoder to help with your own copying, this is the program to get.
ON4VP Rating: 5/5 Dec 14, 2001 20:28 Send this review to a friend
Nice decoding, good support  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I've been using CWget for more than 9 months now. I have to admit I occasionally need it to help me decoding morse code. I get a little rusty, my fault I should be on the air more often in CW.
But than again, Cwget does a great job, the program keeps up very well when operators changes speed, even when the timing is awfull. You just need a little signal and the decoding is qiet accurate. Only when the station dissapears into the noise, the DSP decoding lacks a little.
A must have when you own a soundcard.
As a bonus the DXSOFT people offer a free CWType program that interacts with CWget. It uses a very simple interface (serial or parallel) to key your rig. Easy for contesting or sending large strings. Check it out !
5 stars for me and good value.

PS, I changed callsigns a few months ago and wrote an email explaining it to the auther. One day later I received a new reg-key to change the callsign setting. GREAT !
KD7KGX Rating: 4/5 Apr 29, 2001 03:29 Send this review to a friend
A very useful tool for the new CW operator!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
As a new general-class ham, I couldn't wait to get on the air. However, there was a problem that all new hams have: copying code at 20wpm is a lot harder than passing the 5wpm test, and practicing with automated drill programs is BORING. Enter CWGet, a Morse Code decoding software program that really works (most of the time).

You need a Pentium class Windows-based computer with Soundblaster-compatible sound card, and the appropriate patch cables. I bought a single-to-dual headphone adapter at Radio Shack along with a couple of male-to-male 1/8" stereo cables , plugged the adapter into my K2's headphone jack, ran one cable to the sound card's LINE IN jack and the other into the AUX IN jack on my amplified speaker system. That's all you need to do to get on the air.

Starting up CWGet, I tuned into a strong CW signal and then fiddled around with the volume controls on my radio, the sound card's control panel, and my speaker system for a minute or so. Amazingly, the text window started displaying legible text from the sound.

The CWGet user interface is divided into three panes. The top pane is a spectrograph of the audio coming into the sound card, where you can see any signals that are within the width of the current filter. You can either allow CWGet to automatically select the strongest signal in the bandpass or you can manually select a signal to monitor. A convenient statusbar display shows the frequency selected (in hertz) within the bandpass.

[Operating tip: the K2 (and other radios, too) has a 'spot' feature that sends an audio signal out that matches the CW offset frequency. I turn on 'spot', manually select that signal in the spectrograph, and then turn off 'spot'. To zero-beat a signal, all I have to do is tune the K2 until the desired signal is underneath the signal cursor. I've suggested to the authors that they offer a default 'spot' selection to make zero-beating easy for rigs that do not facilitate this.]

The middle pane displays the decoded text from the selected signal. Right-clicking the mouse brings up a menu that ties CWGet into other logging programs, etc., allowing the user to quickly select text and perform tasks (such as callsign lookups, QSO logging, etc.). However, the callsign/logging software must be compatible with CWGet. The menu also allows you to copy text into the Clipboard for pasting into other (non-compatible) packages. For instance, I can quickly copy a callsign into the HamCall CD-ROM database window and see just who I'm hearing. There is a 20k limit to text in the scrolling buffer... but that's a mighty long QSO.

The bottom pane is a 'signal oscilloscope' that displays the monitored signal. The user can either operate in an 'automatic threshold' mode where CWGet determines breaks for dots and dashes via the zero-crossing of the slope of the signal, or the user can use the mouse to manually select a signal level that triggers signal detection. I generally operate in the latter mode, adjusting my radio's filters, etc., to provide a clear differentiation between signals and noise and then setting the threshold level that provides the clearest detection to CWGet.

I've used the program now for a few months and its ability to copy/translate CW is dependent upon two factors: the clarity of the signal and the skill of the operator. The quality of decoding is not dependent upon bandwidth... I often run with a 2khz filter so I can use the spectrograph display as a 'spectrum scope' to see other signals. However, poor or inconsistent dot/dash timing will confuse CWGet. Operators using electronic keyers tend to be the most readable, while reading bug operators is strictly dependent upon the operator's skill level. Those operators who like to slur their dahs and vary their timing are not very readable. Hand key ops are the hardest to read, but they're usually the slowest so the user can copy manually.

An additional benefit of using CWGet is how it lets the user listen to a character and then read the character. I've found that I have little trouble copying at around 20wpm after using the program every time I'm on the air and reading along with it. On good signals or when I'm not tired from working all day I'll sit and decode in my head as practice, using the display as a confirmation. When I'm tired or the operator is ripping along at 25wpm and up, I relax and let CWGet do the job.

Negatives/peeves: the program occasionally refuses to recognize mouse clicks in the user interface (menu commands). I've also had CWGet freeze up. However, I have not had any problems killing and then restarting CWGet via the Task Manager under Win2k.

Suggestions for improvement: add a second window so that monitoring two operators in a conversation can be done without missing anything and without manual intervention. Also, add the 'spot' frequency default to save 10 seconds every time the program is started. Other than that, I wouldn't change much.

I think that CWGet, or similar programs, are an almost essential utility to today's operator. No program replaces learning to copy, but CWGet allows any ham to enjoy Morse rather than dread it, and your copying skills will improve due to your exposure to the code.

It's well worth the $35.
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