|THIS IS LEN:|
To gain interest among radio amateurs in regards to learning/using OOK CW, it would be better to stop the (false) insistence on so-called "tests" done for audience entertainment purposes. It would be much better to just espouse the joys of morsemanship for itself...and not because YOU want to "convert" everyone to whatever you personally love. <shrug>
73, Len AF6AY
THIS IS PLANKEYE:
Len, you suck the thinkin parts of folks away, and they post back to you out of emotion.
If you want to debate some of these issues.
I'M HERE LEN!!
Reply to a comment by : K6LHA
on 2010-01-05WB2WIK posted on 5 Jan 10:
"I can receive and sometimes send (used to be better when I was younger) about 60 wpm Morse. That's the same speed as RTTY."
RTTY was 60 WPM (internally governed) back in 1952. In the mid-1960s the majority were at 100 WPM (also internally governed). In 1953 it was not uncommon to time-multiplex four TTY circuits over one FSK RTTY; using the same bandwidth, the overall effective speed was 60 x 4 = 240 WPM. Used the same bandwidth then with 850 Hz Spread.
WB2WIK: "But in reality, although the "character rate" is 60 wpm, using common abbreviations it's a lot faster than 60 because most "words" don't need to have five letters."
In reality, the ITU has defined a "word" as five characters and a space. That came from the practice in the 1800s for wired telegraphy, specifically for international communications. A common word is the name Paris, which has five characters. That serves as an example for both character count and technically for the on-off rate essential to determine bandwidth occupancy.
Teleprinter characters all take the SAME length of time to transmit. PSK-31 is sort of that way but a modification.
WB2WIK: "Kn wt i mn? Usg abrvns spd rmps up es achvs mch hier ovral effcy."
Tsk, "abrvns" take six characters. :-)
If all you are doing is conversing with a native-English-speaker, then you can get away with that. Now try it with a foreign language speaker and see how it goes, especially with one who is NOT conversant with English. To a non-English person it would appear as gibberish, just NOISE.
It is very common to have EACH 'foreign' language speaker think THEIR language is 'universal.' It is fallacious (and rather egotistic) to think that International Morse Code is "the universal language." The CCITT (predecessor to the ITU) picked the English-based morse-vail code as a STANDARD, not for its "universality" but rather for its use in international telegram communications over a century ago.
On-off keying of a communications circuit is over 164 years old, done mostly for commercial and government communications uses where accuracy of communications is an absolute must. What you will not see is many references to the civil court cases in the USA where a communications service made a mistake and sent faulty data in a telegram. That was prarticularly true when commercial users had code books, such as Bentley's Commercial Codes (published over more than two decades), to protect their information from competitors. Early radio picked up on the mature but technically-primitive method of keying a radio on and off because it was the only practical means to effect communications on those primitive radio transmitters. That was NOT because on-off keying was "superior" OR "quicker," just the only known (then) way of making communications by early radio.
WB2WIK: "You can use similar abbreviations with RTTY if the other op happens to understand them, but there aren't any such thing for voice operations."
IN REALITY, every single radio service in the USA has ITS OWN abbreviations, jargon, phrases...for voice or data or any other mode allowed. It isn't for "speed" so much as to effect clear communications. For example, flying students at VNY (ICAO 3-letter identifier for Van Nuys Airport in the center of San Fernando Valley of L.A.) doing "touch-and-go" landing practice would be asked to "report the brewery" on entering downwind leg. "Report the brewery?" For what? :-)
Back in the 1960s an Annheiser-Busch Brewery was located near VNY and just across the runways (16L and 16R) from the VNY tower (the old one). The Brewery was distinctly visible from the air. When a plane was alongside the brewery the pilot would call in that they were "at the brewery." The tower would acknowledge that, see the aircraft, gauge its relationship to other aircraft in the circuit and report "you are number two to land" (if there was a plane ahead) or "clear to one-six-left" if none were ahead (rarely did we get the longer runway - one-six-right - with little two-place Cessna 150s then). Definite flying jargon used. Pilots, ESPECIALLY student pilots, would have their hands and feet full trying to control an aircraft, didn't have a lot of time to play with radios. Since I was then quite used to operating radios with clear, concise, no-time-wasted speech, that let me concentrate on the primary task of keeping that little aircraft under control.
A case in point is filing or amending a flight plan from an aircraft. A great deal of voice abbreviations are used by both pilot and controller, the controller generally requiring a "read-back" for accuracy. Pilots learn to abbreviate the abbreviations and to understand them, even without having full comprehension of English (the ICAO standard language for civil airways). That is especially true in this L.A. locality in the midst of some restricted flying areas plus mountains plus airways that can branch off in the next sectors.
Listening to PD frequencies will demonstrate a number of PD-specific jargon used in speech such as common municipal codes (legal kind) ID for various reasons to "roll on a call." [a radio roll call is very rare, seldom done] The 10-codes used so much in condemnation of others by long-time amateurs appears to have started with state police and other remote-from-urban center police forces. Phrases used aren't familiar to lay people, NOT to make them 'secret' but to effect efficient communications among law officers. Fire departments are the same, so are ambulance services, taxi services, even motion picture radio services (many here in Los Angeles), any other radio service one cares to mention.
WB2WIK: "As such, 60 wpm Morse is about equivalent to 120 wpm voice for rag chewing operation. Most people speak at 125 wpm. Not much difference."
Keep working on that example, Katz. Who knows, you might even work up "CW rag-chewing" to 240 WPM or Higher! :-)
WB2WIK: "The biggest difference in overall efficiency how many signals occupy a given slice of spectrum, and S/N which is greatly improved by the narrower bandwidth required for CW."
Claude Elwood Shannon's classic 1947 Laws apply even to OOK CW. That faster one sends OOK CW, the more bandwidth it will occupy. It is the law. To be "efficient" one needs an optimum setting within a transmitter for the transition times from off-to-on and from on-to-off. Even the ARRL agrees with that! Why can't everyone else agree? :-)
A common misconception with radio amateurs is that "CW doesn't use any bandwidth since it is just on and off." Not in REALITY. EVERY OOK CW transmitter has sidebands, double sidebands at that! A simple exercise with some elementary Fourier Analysis will prove that to verify what can be observed on a GOOD spectrum analyzer. Trying to limit an OOK CW bandwidth too much and one gets (what some say) as a "mushy" sound. Allowing too much bandwidth will make "clicks" and other artifacts audible.
Agreed that common amateur radio OOK CW bandwidth is relatively narrow - compared to other forms of allocated communication modes. The "spread" (frequency difference between Mark and Space) of a TTY used with simple FSK is broader in bandwidth although it is decreased from 850 Hz of 1950s to a quarter of that in this new millennium. MODEMs are interesting since they SEEM to "violate Shannon's Laws" in data rate. Take the common internal modem supplied with PCs, used on POTS dial-up circuits. That Plain Old Telephone Service subscriber equipment is rather limited to just under 3 KHz bandwidth. It was designed for anything wider. The common modem of today can send and receive digital data up to 50 KHz. How does it do that?
A modern modem for a telco line uses BOTH amplitude and phase modulation of an audio carrier, with the aid of separating the 8-bit byte data into bit groups. ICs and the fact that all TTY/ASCII characters had equal length in time make that possible. The end result is that ACTUAL input and output rates are about 20 times the rate possible with simple, singular modulation schemes. Does it violate Shannon's Laws regarding bandwidth/errors/noise? NO. A telco doesn't care as long as the bandwidth is within 3 KHz, neither does the T-1 line between telco exchanges, nor the long-lines carrier. That 20-times-faster I/O makes it possible to send/receive HUGE files, images, whatever that would take too long under the simple Bell 300 WPM system used as late as the beginning 1970s.
I've got no complaint about any radio amateur using OOK CW for their own fun. But quit trying to rationalize, boast, beat chests about it being so "efficient" and "fast." It is neither. That is reality.
Reply to a comment by : WB2WIK
on 2010-01-05I can receive and sometimes send (used to be better when I was younger) about 60 wpm Morse. That's the same speed as RTTY.
But in reality, although the "character rate" is 60 wpm, using common abbreviations it's a lot faster than 60 because most "words" don't need to have five letters.
Kn wt i mn? Usg abrvns spd rmps up es achvs mch hier ovral effcy.
You can use similar abbreviations with RTTY if the other op happens to understand them, but there aren't any such thing for voice operations. As such, 60 wpm Morse is about equivalent to 120 wpm voice for rag chewing operation. Most people speak at 125 wpm. Not much difference.
The biggest difference in overall efficiency how many signals occupy a given slice of spectrum, and S/N which is greatly improved by the narrower bandwidth required for CW.
Reply to a comment by : N2EY
on 2010-01-05A few things I forgot to include in a previous post:
The story of what actually occurred, in detail, can be found at:
The two Morse Code ops were K7JA and K6CTW. Their exact words are quoted in the article.
The texter was world-champion Ben Cook:
Ben Cook was the world champion texter at the time of the broadcast, lost the title, then regained it and still holds it.
His current world record is 41.00 seconds for a 160 character text that is known beforehand. The text count includes spaces as characters. At the time of the 2005 broadcast, Cook's world record was 57 seconds.
160 characters in 57 seconds. = 168.42 characters/min. At 6 char per word, that's 28 wpm.
160 characters in 41 seconds. = 234.15 characters/min. At 6 char per word, that's 39 wpm.
But that's for a phrase that is known ahead of time.
In the Leno show competitions, the text to be sent was not known ahead of time, and was about 40-50 characters, changing the game somewhat.
(The use of 6 characters per word is to include the word spaces. Morse Code speed ratings typically assume 5 characters per word but do not count the word spaces).
Quoting from the article:
"What the viewing public didn't know was that [K7JA] and [K6CTW] had, in [K6CTW's] words, "smoked 'em every time" during three pre-program rehearsals. Even so, during the real thing, when [K6CTW] raised his hand to signal he'd copied the CW message successfully, Jason's jaw dropped.
"None of the players had any idea of the text they'd be sending."
"Yaesu FT-817 transceivers...using 432.200 MHz as an operating frequency"
"I already knew that 28-30 WPM would easily keep us in front of even the current world [text messaging] record holder"
I use both texting and Morse Code, even though I'm not world-class in either, just pretty good. Both systems have their uses. I have found Morse Code abbreviations and skills of great use in texting, too.
However I do find it amusing that Morse Code is so much faster. Of course what makes texting relatively slow is the multiple gyrations needed to select letters on the 12 button keypad.
A good ol' Vibroplex is so much easier.
Got 599 from an EA2 last night on 40 CW using the Type 7. Condx were pretty decent.
73 de Jim, N2EY
Reply to a comment by : N2EY
on 2010-01-04Couple of years ago, when Jay Leno was on late at night, he did this test of texting vs. Morse Code:
Some things to note:
- The young man doing the texting was the *world record holder* at the time, and is in the Guinness Book of World Records. (Look him up in wikipedia).
- The Morse Code ops were going less than 30 wpm, which is only about 40% of world-record speed.
- None of them are actors and there was no fakery of any kind.
- Anyone familiar with the text world-record speed would know that it does not approach the Morse world record speed, and that good Morse ops could easily defeat any texter. Jay Leno knew this too, but does not tip his hand.
- The Morse Code receiving op wrote the message down, the texters didn't.
- Neither Morse op seems to be in a hurry or under any pressure, yet they were done before the texter was finished sending.
- The Morse Code ops did not use any abbreviations; every letter of the message was sent, received and written down. They difference would have been even greater had they used common abbreviations (I jst svd a bnch of muny on mi car insrnce"
- Most of all, the audience and the lady Jay Leno picks are so sure that the texter will win, probably because their inexperience causes them to think Morse Code is "slow". The truth is quite the opposite.
73 de Jim, N2EY
Reply to a comment by : K6LHA
on 2010-01-04"QRZDXR2" (a definite invisible pseudonym) posted on January 3, 2010:
"Then again everyone knows that CW is not a valid reqirement any more, even though the US army and rest of our services are now going back to teach it. ( Pilots need to know code to have positve identification of the electronic nav aid. <grin> "
Wrong. Old information, no longer valid.
In USA civil radio regulation territory, the only radio services allocating morse code are the amateur radio service and the maritime radio service. In maritime radio the use of OOK CW is required only on specific bodies of water such as the Great Lakes. Ports, harbors, inland waterways require VHF voice. [argue all you want with any harbormaster, but that is what is required]
Years ago the maritime community adopted SSB voice and TORs (Teleprinter Over Radio) for long-distance deep-water communications on HF. OOK CW skill is no longer required for the International Distress and Safety frequency of 500 KHz since the maritime community uses GMDSS (Global Marine Distress and Safety System) communicating on microwave with Inmarsats. The US Coast Guard ceased monitoring of 500 KHz back in 1999. The FCC does have several licenses explicitly for GMDSS operation, a system that does not require any radiotelegraphy skills. See Part 2, Title 47 C.F.R. for details.
Unless there has been some very special news in the Signal Corps "Communicator" magazine or in the AFCEA journal (Armed Forces Communications Electronics Association), tactical and strategic communications in the United States Army does NOT teach OOK CW at the Signal School in Fort Gordon, GA. There is only one school for morse code cognition and that is for Military Intercept operators at Fort Huachuca, AZ. M.I. Intercept operators do ONLY PASSIVE, receive-only operation for the purposes of intelligence gathering about others (not an NSA directed task). Fort Huachuca is also the center for all US government teaching of morse code. Commercial computer program training is used in classrooms. Other military branches have a few remote sites for that, all under the Army M.I. command structure.
As of 1984 the only manual radiotelegraphy equipment or radio equipment capable of being used with OOK CW were all old-inventory types, kept because they had not yet been declared obsolete and put up for surplus auctions. As of then, all shown in FM 24-24, a descriptive catalog of Signal equipments, the fabled "behind-the-lines" radios in current inventory used VHF-UHF sets with data or voice, scrambled or in-clear (selectable) terminals. One had the "chiclet" keyboard for data mode for compactness, well before the first appearance of civilian thin notebook computers. Present-day land forces radios use the SINCGARS family (frequency-hopping digital voice/data) for small-unit operations, higher-power mobile and fixed field SINCGARS-compatible for larger units. That applies to both USA and USMC field operations, includes the big-3 of infantry, artillery, and armor, all with air support as needed.
On civil airways, morse code cognition was NOT required for general aviation pilot licenses as far back as 1963. I passed my written exam and have the FAA reply indicating that. At that time all "sectional" and "enroute" aviation charts (Maps) had radionavigation information printed on them alongside their radionav ground station locations. On sectional charts the info box included the dot-dash pattern of the audio tone ID for VORs (Vhf Omnidirectional radio Range), the primary radionav aid on civil airways. The pre-WWII "A-N" beacons had become artifacts at the end of WWII; why they are still found (as some claim) nowadys is a mystery to me. Almost a half century ago, navigating by VOR and its simple direction indicator in the cockpit was THE standard taught in flight schools. The audio tone ID is still there in USA VORs and VORTACs but only because the clever design of VOR systems allows a simultaneous voice transmission by a nearby tower, all without disturbing the bearing information...and the ultra-simple ID keyer is so long-lasting (even as an artifact that could be removed without loss of function). When a tower transmission is used over a VOR or VORTAC, the ID goes silent since the ID is also in the controller's speech.
Reptitions of old, obsolete information does no good to spur interest in OOK CW radiotelegraphy. Concentration should be on the hobby use in amateur radio, for some to have fun with it if they so choose.
73, Len AF6AY (a real, bona fide amateur radio licensee since 7 Mar 07)
Reply to a comment by : QRZDXR2
on 2010-01-03yEP Yep... I would like to see the ARRL/FCC set aside a section of at least the 40 mtr band for low speed CW.. i.e newbies... as it was when they had the novice section.
It would be the playground for all new hams wanting to start out learning CW.
Also I think it a good idea to also have set freq's for the QRP and QRP DX CW ONLY. (AS ALSO SHOULD BE FOR THE RTTY/OTHERS. (you get real tired of some guy trying to use PSK right on top of a QRP CW DX... It could be a set frequency with a +/- 5kc.
Ok I'll quit whin'n now. but, it would be nice to have some freq set aside for the use only of identified frequencies.
Then again everyone knows that CW is not a valid reqirement any more, even though the US army and rest of our services are now going back to teach it. ( Pilots need to know code to have positve identification of the electronic nav aid. <grin>
73's DX on...
Reply to a comment by : N2EY
on 2010-01-03Just found out about this one (TNX K0HB)
Lotsa info, links, downloads, and more.
73 de Jim, N2EY
Reply to a comment by : N2EY
on 2010-01-03The online environment sometimes emulates radio in that the signal (good discussion) is mixed with noise and spurs (trolling posts). The key is to identify the noise sources (trolls) and filter them out.
A classic troll-move is to post something that seems plausible but is inaccurate, misleading or just plain untrue. Those who know the facts then correct the mistake, the troll responds with more inaccuracies, arguments and insults, and the cycle continues. Usually the bait is subtle but obvious to those who know the facts.
However, the troll doesn't care about the truth at all. What the troll cares about is attention and the opportunity to insult and anger others. The responders DO care about the truth, and keep trying to set the record straight and concentrate on the facts. Which is exactly what the troll wants, and it keeps the game going.
The troll will use various logical fallacies to keep the responses coming. Common ones are the Appeal to Authority, Presuming the Conclusion, Opinion as Fact, Ad Hominem, Argument from Verbosity, misquoting, and various semantic games, but there are many others.
The solution in all cases is to simply ignore the trolls completely and not take the bait. Filter out the noise and concentrate on the signal.
You can tell when a troll is getting desperate when the inaccuracies turn to flat out lies that are easily disproved and the insults become personal and obvious.
A classic case of troll-desperation is when a troll falsely claims that someone else said or did a certain bad thing. Or that the troll did a certain good thing in the past. No proof is given, no links, no verifiable evidence, just the claims, which are of course false.
Someone will usually respond with some variation of "Prove it!" or "Post a link!", knowing that the troll cannot prove an event that never happened. The troll then ignores the response, mocks it, and/or makes more false claims, all of which keeps the game going. Remember, the troll doesn't care about the truth at all, only about the attention. The "Prove it!" response is attention, which is exactly what the troll wants.
The only way to win is not to play. Then the online environment becomes a pleasure. I've learned a lot here from non-trolls by concentrating on the signal and ignoring the noise.
73 de Jim, N2EY
Reply to a comment by : K6LHA
on 2010-01-03WK5X, personally offended, wrote on 3 January 2010:
"I wonder if AF6AY's mommy used to beat him with a straight key when he was a little boy."
My mother, God rest her soul, never beat me with anything. She died in early 2001 aged 93.
WK5X: "This thread began as one amateur expressing the enjoyment he derives from using the code. Others followed with their stories of learning and enjoying the code. No one, in any way, bashed anyone who chooses not to communicate via Morse Code."
Tsk, tsk, tsk, If my post "bashed" anyone then all they have is a wounded ego, isn't it?
Conveniently forgotten is thousands of CW-lovers BASHING those who did not care for the morse code test for a USA amateur radio license exam for YEARS in various amateur radio venues prior to December 2006. It is well documented.
I've said in 1998 as well as 2008 that those who enjoy OOK CW radiotelegraphy should continue to enjoy it. [that is also documented] I still feel that way in 2010. Where I draw my line is about all those who insist that OOK CW radiotelegraphy *IS* amateur radio and that all licensees in the USA amateur radio service "should" know it. A few have demanded it. Many have been strident about it.
The matter of code testing elimination from USA amateur radio service regulations was discussed in detail on Comments and Replies to Comments on NPRM 05-235. The official period of commentary ended on 14 Nov 05. [anyone can find a tally, week by week, of comments on an exhibit sent on 25 Nov 05 under docket 05-235] By December 19, 2006, the FCC issued Memorandum Report and Order 06-178 that announced all USA amateur radio code testing was eliminated, effective date to be announced in the Federal Register. That date was published as 23 Feb 07.
If you wish to "counter-bash" me on my comments about NPRM 05-235, they are all there for public access at the FCC ECFS (Electronic Comment Filing System). Just use the new ECFS search and enter the docket number (05-235) and my name (Leonard H. Anderson) in the appropriate boxes, then click on the search button. All those documents will appear in a list and you are free to choose any or all for viewing. You can even download them or anyone else's for archival purposes as you wish; they are all in Adobe Acrobat PDF but the FCC provides a link for obtaining a FREE Acrobat reader.
But, I'm not going to argue the PAST documents that are on public view. That's already been done ad nauseum by others. That would have no purpose except to satisfy certain angry egos over the code test issue. The FCC has made its case in R&O 06-178 with detailed explanations of the how and why of decisions arrived. One thing made perfectly clear by the FCC was that International Morse Code operation by ANY radio amateur was free and OPTIONAL to any licensee wherever allocated. Morse code operation REMAINS the widest-allowed mode on all USA amateur bands with the exception of the five channels in the "60m band." Virtually NOTHING was "taken away" from USA amateur radio insofar as operation of OOK CW radiotelegraphy by FCC 06-178. OOK CW radiotelegraphy remains in-place as of 3 January 2003 just as it was the year before or the year after that.
There were three Petitions for Reconsideration made and published on docket 05-235, the latest being the "Mancuso Petition." All were denied by the FCC as not fitting their regulatory purpose. Those are also available on public view. ANYONE, licensed or not, is permitted to submit another Petition for Reconsideration on FCC 06-178. If your case is good (i.e., present your points clearly and effectively), the FCC will consider it and put it up for public comment. That is any citizen's OPTION. In United States government, "Option is not a failure" (to paraphrase NASA flight director Gene Kranz).
However, in the MINDS of many long-timers in USA amateur radio, there are NO OPTIONS. Everyone MUST
do as they say and enjoy what they say one should enjoy. I consider that wrong and dictatorial. Is
WK5X: "I wonder how much sleep this guy loses every night, afraid that someone, somewhere, might be
using and enjoying the code."
I feel that ANYONE who is licensed in a radio service should enjoy whatever OPTIONS they are given in that radio service's lawful regulations. USA amateur radio service gives many, many, many OPTIONS that can be freely exercised by every licensee. I think that is excellent, one more good reason to be an American.
I no more "lost sleep" over that allegation than I have over the insistence of certain amateur long-timers that I "should" do what they say or "not be a 'real' ham." I am a legally-licensed USA radio amateur and so declared by the United States government. I have also been a legally-licensed
Commercial operator since 1956 (54 years ago come March, now Lifetime), a casual electronics experimenter since 1947, a veteran of voluntary enlistment in the United States Army (1952-1960),
and a career electronics design engineer, retired only from regular hours. I can supply several other bona fides of radio-electronics experience but, from the attitude you presented, you probably just dismiss them as "non-applicable to amateur radio" even though the Laws of Physics are the same for all radio. :-)
As to what N2EY often asks (in a challenging way) "Did you ever TRY it?" :-) Yes, I have, more than once. I found it was not for me.
There is a curious "Love-Hate" relationship that many USA long-timers have about their radio hobby: One has to have an absolute love of "CW" or one must have an absolute hate of "CW." I do not see that nor embrace either. Since USA amateur radio yields its licensees many, many OPTIONS on modes and modulations, I am of the opinion that any licensee can use whatever they want at their own option. Or do you think that is just "too much" for us "dumb, ignorant, newcomers" who supposedly "traded cereal box tops for a radio license?" Hmmm?
One test session cost $14 in 2007, the amount of an ARRL VEC test fee...no "box tops" were accepted
(the VE team leader said so), but I digress. :-)
Happy New Year to all who wish to enjoy their radio hobby as they personally see fit,
Reply to a comment by : WK5X on 2010-01-03
I wonder if AF6AY's mommy used to beat him with a straight key when he was a little boy. This thread began as one amateur expressing the enjoyment he derives from using the code. Others followed with their stories of learning and enjoying the code. No one, in any way, bashed anyone who chooses not to communicate via Morse Code. I wonder how much sleep this guy loses every night, afraid that someone, somewhere, might be using and enjoying the code.