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[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

Morse Code Operators Bid Adieu to Dying Language:

from vancouversun.com on November 8, 2011
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Morse Code Operators Bid Adieu to Dying Language:

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Morse Code Operators Bid Adieu to Dying Language:  
by KC9TNH on November 8, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
With due respect to those members of the "Greatest Generation" - simple unadulterated horsehockey on many levels.
 
Morse Code Operators Bid Adieu to Dying Language:  
by N0YG on November 8, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
What a BUNCH of CRAP. While CW may never again tell of the end of WWII, all one needs to do is tune to the CW portion of the band and you will find this LOST and DYING art is alive and well. There is much interest in CW today and there is also those who think it's a complete waste of time but that can be said about most things in life. CW is a fun alternative to SSB. That 14 or 8 year old that just learned CW would also disagree with the writen article. The only thing that is going to DIE for sure is US !
 
RE: Morse Code Operators Bid Adieu to Dying Language:  
by KY6R on November 8, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Sounds like the OM in the story hasn't been in touch with the ham community much. While the numbers of CW operators in the world since WWII might have declined, I have seen a growing number of new hams want to learn Morse Code - mainly to work DX in (IMHO) are the best DX parts of the bands. I also know of many QRP-ers who have been welcoming in new hams coming from the "maker" phenomenon.

These new Morse Code enthusiasts will keep CW alive and well for quite some time. Sure - it will be a niche, but a healthy one.
 
Morse Code Operators Bid Adieu to Dying Language:  
by K7NNG on November 8, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
OBVIOUSLY OUT OF TOUCH WITH REALITY.....CW IS GROWING, NOT DYING.
 
Morse Code Operators Bid Adieu to Dying Language:  
by WA4D on November 8, 2011 Mail this to a friend!

Far be it from me to support the position of some old coots but I think they're speaking about Morse in general and it's vital role during the War.

During WWII there were literally thousands of Morse operators (in all armies) now of course that is not true.

KY6R and NY7Q both allege that CW use is growing. That said, where are the metrics that support these claims? And one often hears new hams state, "Oh yes, I'm eager to learn CW". But that's where it ends for *most* in my experience.

Yes in the afterglow of the Nov SS / CW contest one would be forgiven for thinking CW use had exploded. But in the absence of verifiable testing we just don't know how many people use morse anymore.

I think George Campbell and his Canadian ham friends are remembering a time when the mode was vibrant and wide spread. When the mode was not optional. When "lives" depended on morse. And when they were young warriors.

Soon to be an "old coot"

Mike/ WA4D

 
Morse Code Operators Bid Adieu to Dying Language:  
by N8AD on November 8, 2011 Mail this to a friend!

Have you ever had a vibrant conversation using CW?

I bet that Hams of 50 years or more have had "one".

(Newer Hams probably never have nor will.)

In a "Content Free" environment, CW is great.

It takes so much longer to say nothing.

Thus, CW still serves a vital role!

Len / N8AD

PS: One more very important point for all hams...
"it's 61 degrees and sunny in Erie, Pa. right now"
 
Morse Code Operators Bid Adieu to Dying Language:  
by K2JF on November 8, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
If you tuned into the November CW sweepstakes this past weekend ain't no way CW is dead. Man - the bands were jammed with operators both days- wall to wall. CW is alive and well.
 
RE: Morse Code Operators Bid Adieu to Dying Language:  
by KY6R on November 8, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I've been a DX-er for the last 10 years (a ham since 1973 - and 13 years away from retirement - so on my way to also being an old coot).

I have witnessed the CW pileups getting bigger and bigger and more "ferocious" over the last 10 years.

I do not have any actual statistics, only experiential data by listening to split transmitting frequencies in many, many pileups.

Yes - the "content" in these pileups is "599 TU", but that's still CW . . . .
 
RE: Morse Code Operators Bid Adieu to Dying Language:  
by N5RWJ on November 8, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I think the way we send and receive cw, will change in the future. First keyboard and decoder, and then voice and decoder.
 
Morse Code Operators Bid Adieu to Dying Language:  
by WN2C on November 8, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I think I'll get out my key and dust off the brain and get rid of the cobwebs and go back to doing "Telegaph" work.
 
RE: Morse Code Operators Bid Adieu to Dying Language:  
by W5ESE on November 8, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I would say that the data on this is mixed.

On one hand, participation in Sweepstakes CW has
increased over the past few years.

On the other hand, the record level of participation
occured in 1958 (at 1677 logs).

It hasn't surpassed that level since.

Consider, too, that there were 1436 logs submitted
in Sweepstakes CW in 1939. That would be considered
very healthy participation level even today.
 
Morse Code Operators Bid Adieu to Dying Language:  
by KJ4GUU on November 8, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I fault the Vancouver Sun and the author Marta Gold for this terrible bit of reporting. There are factual statements that are just wrong and I don't think its a stretch to say the author used Mr. Campbells statements out of context.
 
Morse Code Operators Bid Adieu to Dying Language:  
by N4FBW on November 8, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
The demise of CW? Nope! As others have pointed out the CW ends of the bands were jumping with CW contests this weekend. I've always been a fan of CW ever since I got my ticket at 12 years of age. Thirty years later, I still very much enjoy CW.
 
Morse Code Operators Bid Adieu to Dying Language:  
by K1CJS on November 8, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
The explanation of this story is simple--these gentlemen are WWII radio operators and are looking at Morse from that angle. They're probably not even aware that morse code is still alive and well in the Amateur bands. They probably think that since country after country is dropping the morse testing requirement, that morse is dying off.

If they would stop and research a little, they would find out that more and more hams and young people are embracing the craft and learning morse. Heck, if they were aware of the virtual explosion of morse useage in Amateur radio, they would probably become ham operators themselves!
 
RE: Morse Code Operators Bid Adieu to Dying Language:  
by N3HAM on November 8, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Sort of agree with WA4D, it's role in the commerce and functioning of the world maybe dying if not dead and that may have been the point of the piece. Of course it's doing well with us, maybe hard to learn at first, but so easy to use. Old Coots tend to be somewhat bleak, we sometimes view the future through the prism of our impending mortality. I think Samuel Morse and Alfred Vail are still resting easy.
 
Morse Code Operators Bid Adieu to Dying Language:  
by WS4E on November 8, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I think its best if we just "let it go....".
 
Morse Code Operators Bid Adieu to Dying Language:  
by K0RGR on November 8, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Well, I was ready to jump on this, too, but after reading the article, I suspect there's a misunderstanding.

I wondered if they are talking about landline Morse - American Morse in particular? I suspect that the speaker was correct - when they go, they will take landline Morse with them. He was a teletype operator, which makes me wonder even more.

International Morse is certainly still alive and well, and even evolving. The '@' symbol was recently added to the alphabet.

Even if they are talking about commercial Morse operation over radio, that too is certainly fading away. Even though the basic character set is still in use, the procedures and prosigns aren't, and neither are a lot of the special punctuation that was commonly used.

I got my Extra by copying UPI news at 25 WPM every night for a long time. The stock market quotations were especially fun. Back then, they used fractions of a point in the prices, not decimals, so you needed to know the Morse symbols for 1/4, 1/2, etc.. Uncommon punctuation like :, ;, and " would throw you at first, too.

I wonder if anybody anywhere still uses those characters?

As for ham radio - I think the CW SS was pretty lively, but in truth, not what it used to be years ago. The 'CK' part of the exchange was interesting. 'CK' is the first year licensed. Most of the guys I worked had CK of 5X, 6X, and 7X. There were few from the 80's or 90's. But I did notice a sharp increase in operators from the '00' decade. I do believe this shows a renewed interest in CW in the last 10 years or so.

Meanwhile, splice the main spar ...
 
Morse Code Operators Bid Adieu to Dying Language:  
by NF6Q on November 8, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
What a depressing article! Thankfully, I think it's off base.

I'm only 38. I've only been a ham for a year and a half, and I've never had to take a Morse exam, but I've invested a lot of time and effort in learning Morse code anyway. Why? Because it's fun! The anecdotal evidence I hear when I scan the bands tell me that Morse is not dying. We even have an active local slow-speed ragchew net on 2m CW here, for those of us who still have trouble copying above 13 WPM or who can't put up an HF antenna.

So it had better not be dying! I'm doing my part by learning Morse, and I know a lot of "No Code" hams who are learning Morse as well.
 
RE: Morse Code Operators Bid Adieu to Dying Language:  
by N5RWJ on November 8, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I think in the future when in CW mode, most hams will just speck into thier radios ,the voice will be transmmited as cw,and decode into voice or type at the other end, other hams will continue with hand keys and key boards ?
 
RE: Morse Code Operators Bid Adieu to Dying Language:  
by K1CJS on November 9, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Without singling anybody out, and not intending to start a ruckus, the last comment made should be taken seriously with the way all too many people can't even spell properly these days. The finger can't be pointed squarely at them, however. They are just a product of the educational system that has been failing now for the past twenty or so years.
 
RE: Morse Code Operators Bid Adieu to Dying Language:  
by AI4WC on November 9, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
As an old, but "No Code" Extra, I sincerely hope and believe that CW is not "dying out." I listen to the CW portion of the bands and they sound in good shape to me. I admire the CW folks and wish I were one of them, and I have tried. In any case, I wish CW all the best and a long life! Keep up the good work!
 
Morse Code Operators Bid Adieu to Dying Language:  
by NV1P on November 9, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
This article says no young people are learning code. Does 24 still count? While I may have gotten my licence without learning code I strongly feel it was a mistake to do so. I'm in the process of changing that. I'm up to 17 letters using the G4FON morse training program. I may be in the minority, but really, morse will never die, especially with the QRP and homebrew crowds.
 
Morse Code Operators Bid Adieu to Dying Language:  
by K7NJS on November 9, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Without CW, the art and science of Ham radio would be incomplete.
 
Morse Code Operators Bid Adieu to Dying Language:  
by NV9Z on November 10, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Morse Code is a dying language? Gosh, I must have missed the obituary. I really wish someone had told me that before I made all those CW contacts over the weekend. What hath God wrought? (For those of you who don't know, that was the very first message ever transmitted in Morse Code, by Mr. Samuel F.B. Morse himself, on May 24, 1844.)

 
RE: Morse Code Operators Bid Adieu to Dying Language:  
by K7NNG on November 10, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Well, listen to 14.014.00 any day, any time...
I am on CW daily for 2 to 4 hours, and I can tell you, coming from the early 50s radio, CW is growing and vibrant. I have been a CW op for more than 50 years...the author of this piece is out of date.
 
RE: Morse Code Operators Bid Adieu to Dying Language:  
by VE3LXL on November 10, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
> Have you ever had a vibrant conversation using CW?

Yes. As I recall we told each other what cities we live in, what our signal reports were, and what the weather was like. Oh, and I think he then told me he had to go because his wife was calling him for dinner.

Ah, the memories. A conversation I'll treasure all my life.

 
Morse Code Operators Bid Adieu to Dying Language:  
by K2JF on November 10, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
sure most of the contacts are short- signal report, WX, rig or whatever. But it's the nature of things. What do you want? - profound conversations on each contact? If one out of every 10 -15 contact are more meaningful - AND THEY ARE, then we're doing great. Every once in a while I really connect with someone and have a really rewarding and satisfying QSO. If you're not maybe it's you!! Ask questions of the other OP and get something going that way. Don't just sit there and complain about there not being meaty conversations.
 
Morse Code Operators Bid Adieu to Dying Language:  
by K5TTE on November 10, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Cw means:
Civility,politesse,brevity,self-editing during QSOs, and a generally happy outlook from it's practicing hams.
It doesn't appeal to the rude and uncivil because there's too much effort involved .
The advent of photography was once thought to herald the demise of portraits in oil.
CW means refinement.
 
RE: Morse Code Operators Bid Adieu to Dying Language:  
by STRAIGHTKEY on November 10, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
"It doesn't appeal to the rude and uncivil because there's too much effort involved"

On the air this is true. However, throughout the code test debates, some of the most rude, uncivil, and disgusting behavior came from radical CW operators in ham radio forums, supposedly defending CW from certain death.
 
Morse Code Operators Bid Adieu to Dying Language:  
by K9CTB on November 10, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Had to chime in. I really hate to see all the uppity-attitude hams that somehow have to take potshots at those kids who are growing up in the age where CW simply is no longer used. So you use CW on 20 or 30 KHz of spectrum. OK, fine. But the fact of the matter is that, without regard to signaling the end of WWII or all the other historical uses of CW, it is a communications mode that has truly been overcome by events. If you don't want CW to "die", then keep it alive on your 20 or 30 KHz and be happy with that. I'm quite sure that the FCC will not, in the foreseeable future, write CW out of the part 97 rules. I and many others would vehemently oppose that! That said, just let it go. Let the new generation grow up with those things they find familiar and stop decrying them because they "don't know the code". There are plenty of other things that they will learn which will probably dwarf what you and I learned "back in the day". Speaking for myself, I'm perfectly okay with that. Know what else? Many of the young kids I've had the honor of dealing with feel the same way about we and our CW! I'm asking kindly: Please join me in welcoming a new generation of radio operators. Wish them well in the challenges they meet and the discoveries they make. Don't allow us to be known as the sour faces of an era long passed.

73,
K9CTB
 
RE: Morse Code Operators Bid Adieu to Dying Language:  
by WA6MJE on November 11, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I have as much interest in CW as I have in JT-65. It is the variety that makes ham radio fun. There is someone interested in every segment. I fool around with satellite and there is always someone on the other end to contact. Then digital, then SSB for awhile, then CW, and now I am even giving EME a try. 55 years a ham now, and I just see that modes have been added, but none have been lost. When I whip out the Vibroplex and dust it off I can guarantee someone somewhere in the world is dusting theirs off and firing up the finals. It takes about a minute to find him/her. Not much has changed about CW in the 55 years I have been plugged into it. Except keyboards and computers maybe, but it is still CW at the end of the day that you can decode by ear.
 
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