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Author Topic: Refuse to learn CW - so which application?  (Read 5638 times)
N1KTJ
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« on: February 25, 2016, 06:45:35 AM »

REPOSTING from the CW section, per suggestion ---

Okay my brain is going to refuse to learn CW, and its going to fight me on this.  All I can do to tame my brain is to at least tell it that I can use CW applications instead. And have a rare beer.

Jokes aside, I can choose between MRP40 and CWskimmer.  Each have their own capabilities.  I use a SIGNALINK with my radio.  So which do you recommend?  And do you have any better solution I should consider?  Most applications being supported and developed are going to cost somewhere south of $100 so the price does not bother me. 

CWskimmer looks interesting because I can have CAT make adjustments on my radio.   But I do like the low noise characteristics of MRP40 as I have lots of noise in my third floor apartment .

P.S.  yes I will attempt to learn CW and cant help that.  So no comments about saying to "just learn it old man".  I will  promise on a stack of upgrade license manuals.
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VE3PP
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« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2016, 06:57:21 AM »

REPOSTING from the CW section, per suggestion ---

Okay my brain is going to refuse to learn CW, and its going to fight me on this.  All I can do to tame my brain is to at least tell it that I can use CW applications instead. And have a rare beer.

Jokes aside, I can choose between MRP40 and CWskimmer.  Each have their own capabilities.  I use a SIGNALINK with my radio.  So which do you recommend?  And do you have any better solution I should consider?  Most applications being supported and developed are going to cost somewhere south of $100 so the price does not bother me. 

CWskimmer looks interesting because I can have CAT make adjustments on my radio.   But I do like the low noise characteristics of MRP40 as I have lots of noise in my third floor apartment .

P.S.  yes I will attempt to learn CW and cant help that.  So no comments about saying to "just learn it old man".  I will  promise on a stack of upgrade license manuals.


Download and try any software that is free and copies CW. However remember this.

Software will copy code but it better be really well sent code. If sent by another computer it will copy it as long as there is no major QRN/QRM.

If it is code being sent by a sloppy fist, forget it. The software will just spew out random letters.

A good example of code that the software will copy is W1AW code practice.

A good example of what it won't copy is the code being sent by a guy using a bug!

Good luck.
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N1KTJ
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« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2016, 07:01:58 AM »

thanks about the suggestion on W1AW.  Can understand the sloppy code issue. 
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VE3PP
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« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2016, 06:32:04 AM »

thanks about the suggestion on W1AW.  Can understand the sloppy code issue. 

And there is a lot of sloppy code out there  Smiley

Many years ago I had the old Commodore C64 in the shack. I had a PK-64 modem connected to it. With that modem and software I could operate RTTY through the mic jack of my TS-520S, and true CW through the key jack.

Now the software would copy well sent CW but not poor CW. On RTTY it worked like a champ.

One night I was on 40 M tuning around for a CW station that I could copy (my speed level was pretty low then and worse now!)

I came across some CW that was fast. I could not even begin to pick it up. So I got the software booted up and checked to see if it could copy. Sure enough across the screen came the call of the guy sending CQ.

I got on the keyboard and went back to him. We had a nice chat and he explained to me that he was using a keyboard to send his code but copying in his head. When I asked what speed we were operating at he said 40 WPM. Yikes.  Shocked

He went on to explain to me that he and some of his buddies liked to operate fast CW, and they all used keyboards to send, and send up to 60 WPM. They all copied in their heads. But the reason they used the keyboards for sending was they knew it would be perfect code coming out of it and much easier to copy.

Made good sense to me at the time, and it still makes good sense to me. And the results showed, right on the monitor as the software copied every letter he sent.

I am not a CW op, I have not had a CW QSO in years. But I can copy DX calls and reports if it is well sent. I can copy my call when it is sent back to me. So I do work some DX on CW.

I will give high praise to those that operate the mode. It is an art, and it is not always easy for some of us to learn that art.


I struggled to learn it but I had to learn it in order to get my full HF ticket back in 1996. I passed, got on all the HF bands and left the mode behind.

I did finally come back and operate some CW, even joined FISTS at the time. But those days are long gone. However I still go down to the CW portion of the bands and try to find some well sent code. I sit here and try to copy it, and I can still copy it if it is well sent and not fast.

You may find that once you start to learn code better you may be able to copy it well enough on paper or in your head (the SK that taught the code class here always told us to copy the call, name and QTH on paper, then try to copy the rest in your head)

KUDOS to all the great CW ops out there!
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N1KTJ
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« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2016, 07:36:12 AM »

am finding that because of my NOISE level that is inherent in my apartment lifestyle, that I am in need of a CW software that can help me get through and hear as well as transmit out.  So am going the path of MRP40 right now as my next trial.  Anything that can handle noise better is a god send.  Plus it has a setting for SIGNALINK which is a kind of a jack knife universal  interface for all radios.  

Now learning about bad fist and too fast CW.  Convinces me more to go the route of better filter solution design.  

was looking at an older YOUTUBE video which kind of showed MRP40 doing much better than CWSKIMMER.  But then again maybe the two companies have improved greatly since that video.
 
« Last Edit: February 26, 2016, 07:39:37 AM by N1KCG » Logged
N3HEE
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« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2016, 09:07:14 AM »

VE3FMC - They use keyboards to send 40-60WPM primarily because it is not easy to send that fast without making lots of mistakes.  Especially if you have physical limitations.

N1KCG - You have it all backwards.  Once you allow your brain to use a software decoder it will refuse to decode Morse code on its own. 


N3HEE
CW Academy Adviser
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Joe
N3HEE
CW Academy Advisor (Level II)
KX4OM
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Posts: 364




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« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2016, 09:55:26 AM »

CW Decoder by WD6CNF is free. The latest version says Windows XP through 8.1, but I've used an earlier version on an old laptop with Windows 98. I've since moved to Fldigi on another (Linux) machine. I still send CW by straight key, though.

All of Grant's programs are on his website at http://hotamateurprograms.com

Ted, KX4OM
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KG7FIU
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Posts: 38




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« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2016, 10:42:42 PM »

Quote
I can choose between MRP40 and CWskimmer

Hmm.  Have you considered using both?

A while ago I was testing out some CW decoders and I found that each had some weaknesses.  Invariably each decoder would start spitting out garbage characters every once-in-a-while.  None was perfect.  No getting around that.    

Noticed that I got the best results when I had 2 or 3 different brands of decoders running simultaneously in separate windows on the screen.   Often when one decoder started "tanking" another would do a little better and display some meaningful content.   I was able to visually scan between the different windows onscreen and "make sense" of what should be the resulting data, assembling it from the different streams as appropriate...

Granted this approach is not an "elegant" software solution.  But it delivered better results than any single decoder could...

Just something to consider.   Good luck in your travels!  
« Last Edit: March 12, 2016, 10:45:24 PM by KG7FIU » Logged
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