eHam Forums => CW => Topic started by: KS4XN on May 28, 2003, 08:51:20 PM

Title: Mobile CW
Post by: KS4XN on May 28, 2003, 08:51:20 PM
Who's working CW mobile? Has to be strictly head copy so probably not for the faint of heart. Are you using full size paddles, or are there more compact versions. Or maybe jsut a straight key?

I'm running an icom mkiig with the head up front and the rig in the rear of my Nissan Pathfinder. The iambic paddles I plan to use have to be connected to the body of the radio so it'll have to be long. I think we need bluetooth paddles & keyer...hihi.

Still, I'm looking forward to trying it s l o w l y.

73 de John, ks4xn

Title: Mobile CW
Post by: WB2WIK on May 29, 2003, 11:58:57 AM
I've been working mobile CW on HF for 20+ years, and so have many others.  It's common to find other CW mobileers populating the bands during the "commute" hours, especially on 20-30-40 meters.

I use a Bencher paddle sitting in the console between the two front bucket seats, occupying the space normally used for a map or loose change.  It's heavy enough, and has rubber feet that provide a lot of friction, and doesn't move around while driving; however, just to keep it from being a deadly projectile if I hit the brakes hard or someone crashes into me, I use Velcro strips on the paddle bottom and the console surface to kind of glue the paddle in place.

To me, mobile CW is way easier than mobile phone work, because there's no mike cord to get tangled up in the steering wheel, etc.  It's also easier to copy weak signals on CW, since you don't have to deal with poor modulation, funny accents and so forth.  The only thing I miss while operating mobile CW is headphones!  I always use headphones at home -- hate speakers -- but cannot do so while mobiling; it's illegal, and probably not a good idea, anyway.  So, I use an amplified speaker (Radio Shack) that has a 5W amp built into it, screwed onto the dashboard just above my left-hand A/C vent, aimed directly at my face.  That makes copy quite easy, but I still miss the headphones!


Title: Mobile CW
Post by: VE3IVM on June 14, 2003, 12:53:40 PM
I use a PC mouse. I modified it so that only the buttons are being used, and crimped an RJ45 connector which goes into the 706's front panel (instead of mic). It is also possible to run a longer wire to the radio's back connector.

I would post a picture here but can't figure out how to attach one to the message.


Title: Mobile CW
Post by: KS4XN on June 16, 2003, 08:23:06 PM
Did you include resistors in your setup? or go direct from the mouse to the front panel?  Also, I'd like to see a pic...if you don't mind send it to my direct email addy:


Title: Mobile CW
Post by: KS4XN on June 17, 2003, 10:25:26 AM
Steve, thanks for the good info. I know I'm going to try it...I never "upgraded" my current bencher paddles because they do what i need to do (in the shack). I'll either look for another or maybe try one of the small jobbies like the palm and fit it, as u did, somewhere in or on the side of the center console.

I'm more concerned about how hard I have to concentrate, especially if i try to head copy...But I guess it's something you get better at and get used to.

My mobile rig, the mkiig, needs a filter. But I'll be on the air with mobile cw sooner or later. Hope to work you then. For now...73 de John, ks4xn

Title: Mobile CW
Post by: VE3IVM on June 18, 2003, 10:14:23 PM
Yes, you'll need a resistor. Value is not critical, 330...510 Ohm. One of the buttons shorts pin 2 of RJ45 to pin 7  directly, the other one through the resistor.

Mouse cord is long which is convenient when in the car, but to prevent RF build up (false keying) I put a  blocking capacitor (0.01ukF) in parallel to pins 2 and 7 but inside the mouse. It is also a good idea to put the cord through a ferrite bead before crimping RJ45 connector and leave the bead close to the RJ45, to prevent RF from getting into the remote head.

Mouse paddle still requires you to do some exercise  before you can use it almost error free (I actually tried several mice before I picked mine), but it may be preferable over a real paddle because of zero cost (well, if you'll find somebody who has RJ45 crimper), it is virtually unbreakable, it is light and has no sharp edges, so it won't make damage to your body in case of road troubles.


Title: Mobile CW
Post by: W4YA on June 26, 2003, 07:16:11 PM
Years ago you could work W6AM with his KW CW mobile cruising down I-5.  Only he didn't use paddles.  He had a keyboard bolted to his steering wheel.

Now, that's advanced CW mobiling!!!

Title: Mobile CW
Post by: K3ESE on June 27, 2003, 05:04:38 PM
   I just began CW mobile after Dayton this year, using a Te-Ne-Ke strapped to my leg, a K1 and a Hamstick. Great fun!!!

Title: Mobile CW
Post by: KA5S on July 15, 2003, 12:54:16 PM
Oh yeah.

I started playing with mobile CW back in 1970, with a Lafayette semiauto key bungee'd to the top of my National 500. On turns, the key would sometimes send a string of dots all by itself.  

Copy in your head, yes. When I began, I had not gotten used to doing that, but learned I could remember copy long enough to make sense of it if I _pretended_ to write it down (in the air) and sounded it out while I did so. For some reason, other drivers, seeing me waving my finger around and talking to myself, gave me *lots* of space. (grin)

In a compact car, I can usually put paddles under the brake lever between the seats. That way, resting the palm on the lever, I make fewer errors while sending - and the key doesn't slide around.  

In a VW camper I tried mounting a J-38 on the side of the driver's seat pedestal. Usable, but not comfortable. A keyer was easier.  A REALLY small paddle can work fastened to a floor shift lever. I've experimented with that; Velcro(tm) is not quite sturdy enough.  Thing is, the key or paddles must never interfere with driving, and should be located so that when driving, you don't key the rig unless you really mean to. But each type of vehicle will call for a different key installation.


Title: Mobile CW
Post by: W9NEC on July 17, 2003, 01:00:21 AM
I worked CW mobile in an old 78 Chevy wagon with a bench seat. My TenTec Omni sat on the hump and my Bencher paddle sat on the seat beside me. I enjoyed it a lot. While working CW, I've driven through heavy Chicago traffic and on long trips. I once worked a contest mobile while driving from Chicago to Baltimore, but without logging it, and I've worked other contests in the car that I did log. I've worked DX going through a toll booth.


Title: Mobile CW
Post by: W7DO on August 29, 2003, 10:20:15 AM
I have a long commute back and forth to work, 50 miles, and find Mobile CW a great companion along the way. I use a IC706MK2 with a center mounted Outbacker on a Mazda Tribute SUV. I listen to 40 Meters mostly, FISTS at 7058 KHz. I use and like a set of miniture paddles by "Palm Radio" (Germany) available from Morse Express (www.mtechnologies). I mounted a Yaesu speaker behind my head, jammed between the seat back and head rest. I keep a small clip board and paper to write down info like FISTS numbers and times of QSO. A small paper mobile log may still be available from ARRL, that I update at the ends of the trips and finally key into a home PC. Finally, I use the  FL-232: 350 Hz/-6 dB (RTTY/CW narrow filter) when band gets busy. This setup seems to be okay for me and hope it helps those thinking about it. Mobile CW just seems to make you feel pretty good after a while. 73, Gary

Title: Mobile CW
Post by: K9DI on September 21, 2003, 05:46:15 AM
      Hi folks,
      Wayne K9DI es Leader Dog Patriot here.  I don't have to worry about operating while driving cause I don't have a driver's license.  The State of Illinois won't issue a driver's license to a blind person...imagine that...:)  When I was running CW mobile I used an IC706MkII (which I traded for a TS520, NO MENUS!!!) and strapped a Nye "ranger" key to my leg.  My biggest problem was head copy.  With the help of Ray G4FON's fine (FREE!!) program I'm making some progress in improving my head copy.  Now if I want to operate mobile I use my Elecraft K2, if I can get it to tune my hustler antennas...:(
Wayne K9DI