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Author Topic: My Morse Learning Campaign  (Read 364039 times)
AC2EU
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« Reply #360 on: April 30, 2015, 04:23:01 PM »

i started in December i have a key but its not plugged in i use  code read and software to send 65 countries worked on cw heaps of qso's infact today i was calling cq on 15m and who answered me but vk9nt seriously.
just dive in and have some fun other wise jt65 might be your thing.
cheers
good luck
de vk3meg

The best thing i did re learning code was to read the art and skill of telegraphy by William G. Pierpont NØHFF a great read. and yes i'm learning the code by doing even had dx exchanges @ 35 wpm .

The machine is doing  the exchange, NOT you! Bet you won't want to drag all that hardware to the top of a mountain!
By using a machine, you have missed the point of the stark simplicity and power of the mode.
Besides, the software has trouble reading half the fists out there, but somehow I am able to make sense of them when the computer is lost.
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KB1WSY
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« Reply #361 on: May 04, 2015, 03:41:03 PM »

The best thing i did re learning code was to read the art and skill of telegraphy by William G. Pierpont NØHFF a great read. and yes i'm learning the code by doing even had dx exchanges @ 35 wpm .

I have that book, and love it, but find it more like an "inspirational text" than a practical code-learning guide for beginners.

We're all different. In my case I just wanted a simple path to learning the code -- and found it in Koch, but it would probably have worked just as well with another method. The main issues are Motivation and Time.

For what it's worth, I'm just completing the 38-character level on Koch with the G4FON software, which means the only ones I don't "know" yet are the letter "X" and the numeral "6." This is at 17/20 (20wpm character speed, 17wpm spacing between characters).

Looks like I'll be "on the air" sometime this summer. Work pressures are intense ... but life is not just Work.

73 de Martin, KB1WSY
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N2EY
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« Reply #362 on: May 05, 2015, 12:54:09 PM »

Martin,

Good to see you are still at it!

Don't know if I ever mentioned MorseRing to you. It's a smartphone app that makes your phone send Morse Code ringtones. If the number is in your address book it sends the name; if not, it sends the number.

So when someone calls me from home, it sends "HOME" in Morse as the ringtone.

I know who is calling without ever looking at the phone.

Speed and tone are adjustable.

Hope to work you on the air soon!

73 de Jim, N2EY
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SOFAR
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« Reply #363 on: May 05, 2015, 02:29:02 PM »

Only read the first and last page .... In my opinion practicing 5 mins an hour is a slow drawn out torture, it would be more productive to practice 20 straight minutes a day and be done with it. .... Also, getting on the air as soon as possible is the way to go, we are not perfecting for a red carpet debut. Learn by doing.
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M0LEP
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« Reply #364 on: May 05, 2015, 03:09:44 PM »

In my opinion practicing 5 mins an hour is a slow drawn out torture
For you, maybe. For me, 20 minutes straight was at least ten wasted minutes. Several short sessions trumped one longer one every time.

Also, getting on the air as soon as possible is the way to go
Possibly Koch's biggest drawback; until you've reached the end of the course you don't know enough to get on the air...
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VK3MEG
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« Reply #365 on: May 11, 2015, 06:29:42 AM »

Quote
Possibly Koch's biggest drawback; until you've reached the end of the course you don't know enough to get on the air.

one of the problems  of the koch method I'm still learning the letters but its coming quicker all the time also full words etc. i glance less and less at the decoder now and i will use a key when i can send a good fist.

Quote
The machine is doing  the exchange, NOT you! Bet you won't want to drag all that hardware to the top of a mountain!
By using a machine, you have missed the point of the stark simplicity and power of the mode.
Besides, the software has trouble reading half the fists out there, but somehow I am able to make sense of them when the computer is lost.

yes i'm getting more and more of them.
I fully understand the simiplicity of the code and its not lost on me its what attrect me to it. but my journey is different. if i didnt use the keyboard i wouldn't have quite a few countries many with cw only op's. I only run 100w   75 countries on cw i'll dxcc on cw by the end of the year. and i'm not just working strong station i'm pulling plenty out to of the mud and you dont do that reading a decoder.
every ones view of the hobby is different thats why its so great i use cw in so many way now with my experimentation on the higher bands as well. when an ssb signal cant get through cw gets through adn i'm equipped to use it.
cheers and good luck with the morse code journey i'm enjoying mine.



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KB1WSY
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« Reply #366 on: May 12, 2015, 06:08:30 AM »

Martin,

Good to see you are still at it!

Don't know if I ever mentioned MorseRing to you. It's a smartphone app that makes your phone send Morse Code ringtones. If the number is in your address book it sends the name; if not, it sends the number.

So when someone calls me from home, it sends "HOME" in Morse as the ringtone.

I know who is calling without ever looking at the phone.

Speed and tone are adjustable.

Hope to work you on the air soon!

73 de Jim, N2EY

Thanks Jim. I don't have a smartphone ... mainly because I dislike being "always connected, always available." The last of the dinosaurs.

Eventually, they will stop selling "dumb" cellphones altogether. My only concession to smartness is that my dumb phone has a physical keyboard, to make texting easier. But it has no apps, no Internet connection and no email. I don't even own a laptop computer and when I travel, still rely on Business Centers in hotels to check email every day or two. (BTW, hotel Business Centers are gradually reducing their facilities and charging quite a lot of money just for using a PC; eventually they will go the way of the "payphone" and largely disappear, I think.)

Recently, we have had serious illness in the extended family, as well as a mountain of work in my "day job," plus I have been spending way too much time building radios instead of moving toward Getting On the Air by putting up the antenna. No promises, but I'm hopeful this will change.

There seems to be only one advantage to my long-drawn-out Morse learning saga (three years now): when I get back to it after a long break, I find that I have "internalized" most of the code and it is easier each time. Also, when listening on the air I catch bits of phrases as one unit, which is the beginning of "head copy." But nothing will improve my Morse more than actually getting on the air....

I have a lovely new homebrew receiver to test (http://www.eham.net/ehamforum/smf/index.php/topic,103101.0.html) even if right now it's the ugliest and messiest thing in Tarnation. That little gray fingertip-sized object in the center of the photo is a "subminiature" pentode tube with a 1.2V filament. The set has two tubes, soon to be three. It's built in a "modular" experimental manner atop a series of small wooden "bricks." Where is Tarnation anyway? Is that the same place where you find Cleft Sicks, Handbaskets and Cahoots?



Only read the first and last page .... In my opinion practicing 5 mins an hour is a slow drawn out torture, it would be more productive to practice 20 straight minutes a day and be done with it. .... Also, getting on the air as soon as possible is the way to go, we are not perfecting for a red carpet debut. Learn by doing.

I'm somewhere in the middle, on that spectrum. When I have time for Morse (it tends to be a one-week period every three months or so!) I find that I can do two Koch drills of five minutes each, one after the other. But if I try to do a third one, performance deteriorates and fatigue sets in. So what I tend to do is 10 minutes on, 20 minutes off -- rinse and repeat. This tends to be when I am on a long plane flight, a long train journey, or holed up in a hotel room for a few hours and it is extremely productive. That is pretty much the extent of my "Morse learning" in the recent past -- but it works quite well. (I also monitor the 40m band daily, which is one way of avoiding "losing the Morse thread.") I would not recommend this extremely long-drawn-out Morse learning method to anyone else!

BTW, far from being "slow drawn out torture," I find Morse (using any learning method) to be a wonderful therapeutic "calmer" when life is too hectic. In that sense it's almost as powerful as music, to my ears. Building radios is nice too! I suspect that I will also enjoy long, rag-chewing CW QSOs -- I certainly enjoy monitoring them.

73 de Martin, KB1WSY
« Last Edit: May 12, 2015, 06:40:38 AM by KB1WSY » Logged
KB1WSY
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Posts: 1309




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« Reply #367 on: June 02, 2015, 03:30:30 AM »

I built a CW filter for my homebrew tube receiver

My latest effort in procrastination (i.e. still not getting on the air) was to build an LC audio filter for CW.

You can listen to a recording of the filter in action here: http://youtu.be/87vIi8_A6Wc.

This is a weak CW signal copied last night through heavy QRN. At the start of the 20-second clip, the filter is off. It is switched in at the 8-second mark of the clip.

Full disclosure: I deleted 4 seconds of audio immediately after the filter is switched in. That's because I was adjusting the RF and AF gain to allow for the different load/gain presented by the filter, and during that time the signal was inaudible. So if the CW content seems a bit disjointed, that's why. Deleting those 4 seconds made for a cleaner A/B comparison.

Technical details: Because of the high input and output impedances presented by tube amp stages, the inductors are huge (they are filter chokes intended for power supplies) and the insertion loss is high, requiring considerable amplification to compensate. The circuit is a 1AD4 pentode "pre-amplifier," feeding a "pi" bandpass filter with fc of about 650Hz, followed by a second 1AD4 pentode for additional amplification. The goal is unity gain for the filter stage -- I'm still working on adjusting the gain.

The filter is designed for a 10KΩ source and output impedance, much higher than the 600Ω interstage impedance you might design for in a solid-state circuit. Nowadays LC filters are not so common for CW because it's easier/cheaper to build a solid-state active filter. That wasn't really an option in my case because I'm using "battery tubes" (directly heated) which made a phase-shifter or a modern SCAF design hard to do. I did build a simple "Twin-T" active filter with a single 1AD4 tube that didn't work too well; I may have another go at that circuit later, by trying a two-stage Twin-T.

If you want even more details, including a schematic, see my interminable thread on "Building a high-performance regenerative receiver" over in the Homebrew forum. That "breadboard experiment" has grown into a monster that takes up most of my small workbench.

73 de Martin, KB1WSY
« Last Edit: June 02, 2015, 04:18:53 AM by KB1WSY » Logged
PA0WV
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Posts: 418




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« Reply #368 on: June 12, 2015, 03:35:57 AM »

Martin,

Your test as demonstrated on youtube is not clear, because you copied a weak station till the switching moment and another station that replied to his bk on the switching after that. No call signs exchanged. Seems to me it is another station.

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KB1WSY
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« Reply #369 on: June 12, 2015, 04:57:28 AM »

Your test as demonstrated on youtube is not clear, because you copied a weak station till the switching moment and another station that replied to his bk on the switching after that. No call signs exchanged. Seems to me it is another station.

Wim,

You may be right -- I am not sure. I was preoccupied with adjusting the controls during those few seconds (and during that time the signal was not audible). The effect that you hear is real however; it would have been clearer if I'd turned the filter off again so you could hear the significant difference, out-in-out.

Upon further testing I am finding that the filter is useful, but only in a small set of circumstances. It is a very sharp filter, not a "flat-top" curve, and very noisy as you can probably hear in the video (a "rushing/ringing" sound). However I can attest that in some cases it makes the difference between a copyable signal, and one that's buried by QRN or QRM. There is rapid dropoff on either side of the center audio tone, making tuning quite tricky.

It's likely that I will do some additional experimentation with filters, in due course. This experiment was successful but I'm sure something much better could be built -- either passive or active. The big limitation of the current experiments is the use of directly heated tubes -- which rules out quite a few designs or makes them hard to build.

73 de Martin, KB1WSY
« Last Edit: June 12, 2015, 05:04:13 AM by KB1WSY » Logged
PA0WV
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Posts: 418




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« Reply #370 on: June 12, 2015, 06:09:37 AM »

OK Martin,

You can pretty easily use a controlled testsignal. I have one available for you
at http://pa0wv.home.xs4all.nl/TIMorsedecoder/timorse2.wav

When you download that file and play it in the repeat mode of your player, you have a wideband noise with a weak CW signal, hardly audible, with your filter you can take away most of the noise and demonstrate without time gaps the effect of your filter.

gd luck 73 PA0WV



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W4MPT
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« Reply #371 on: August 26, 2015, 09:21:51 PM »

Well?  Any progress?
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N4OI
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« Reply #372 on: August 27, 2015, 05:47:37 AM »

Well?  Any progress?

Back after a few months and don't want to read the thread -- cut to the chase -- has there been a QSO yet?

73  Grin
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VK3MEG
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« Reply #373 on: August 27, 2015, 05:52:18 AM »

at least i can report i have  akey and have been sending and have had qso's with the key and with out the decoder slow and painfully but done the rx is the hard part. sending is fun. lots of practice happening.
cheers
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KB1WSY
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« Reply #374 on: August 27, 2015, 05:31:06 PM »

Back after a few months and don't want to read the thread -- cut to the chase -- has there been a QSO yet?
73  Grin

No.

Well?  Any progress?

No. "Life" has intervened. Progress will eventually be made ... no idea when.

73 de Martin, KB1WSY
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