On CW

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On CW

wayne burdick
Administrator
I find that CW has many practical and engaging aspects that I just don’t get with computer-mediated modes like FT8. You’d think I’d be burned out on CW by now, over 45 years since I was first licensed, but no, I’m still doin’ it :)

Yes, FT8 (etc.) is a no-brainer when, despite poor conditions, your goal is to log as many contacts as possible with as many states or countries as possible. It’s so streamlined and efficient that the whole process is readily automated. (If you haven’t read enough opinions on that, see "The mother of all FT8 threads” on QRZ.com, for example.)

But back to CW. Here’s why it works for me. YMMV.

CW feels personal and visceral, like driving a sports car rather than taking a cab. As with a sports car, there are risks. You can get clobbered by larger vehicles (QRM). Witness road range (“UP 2!”). Fall into a pothole (QSB). Be forced to drive through rain or snow (QRN).

With CW, like other forms of human conversation, you can affect your own style. Make mistakes. Joke about it.

CW is a skill that bonds operators together across generations and nations. A language, more like pidgin than anything else, with abbreviations and historical constructs and imperialist oddities. A curious club anyone can join. (At age 60 and able to copy 50 WPM on a good day, I may qualify as a Nerd Mason of some modest order, worthless in any other domain but of value in a contest.)

With very simple equipment that anyone can build, such as a high-power single-transistor oscillator, you can transmit a CW signal. I had very little experience with electronics when I was 14 and built an oscillator that put out maybe 100 mW. Just twisted the leads of all those parts together and keyed the collector supply--a 9-volt battery. With this simple circuit on my desk, coupled to one guy wire of our TV antenna mast, I worked a station 150 miles away and was instantly hooked on building things. And on QRP. I’m sure the signal was key-clicky and had lots of harmonics. I’ve spent a lifetime making such things work better, but this is where it started.

Going even further down the techno food chain, you can “send” CW by whistling, flashing a lamp, tapping on someone’s leg under a table in civics class, or pounding a wrench on the inverted hull of an upside-down U.S. war vessel, as happened at Pearl Harbor. Last Saturday at an engineering club my son belongs to, a 9-year-old demonstrated an Arduino Uno flashing HELLO WORLD in Morse on an LED. The other kids were impressed, including my son, who promptly wrote a version that sends three independent Morse streams on three LEDs. A mini-pileup. His first program.

Finally, to do CW you don’t always need a computer, keyboard, mouse, monitor, or software. Such things are invaluable in our daily lives, but for me, shutting down everything but the radio is the high point of my day. The small display glows like a mystic portal into my personal oyster, the RF spectrum. Unless I crank up the power, there’s no fan noise. Tuning the knob slowly from the bottom end of the band segment to the top is a bit like fishing my favorite stream, Taylor Creek, which connects Fallen Leaf Lake to Lake Tahoe. Drag the line across the green, sunlit pool. See what hits. Big trout? DX. Small trout? Hey, it’s still a fish, and a QSO across town is still a QSO. Admire it, then throw it back in.

(BTW: You now know why the Elecraft K3, K3S, KX2, and KX3 all have built-in RTTY and PSK data modes that allow transmit via the keyer paddle and receive on the rig’s display. We decided to make these data modes conversational...like CW.)

Back to 40 meters....

73,

Wayne
N6KR



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Re: On CW

Michael Walker
Oh no.  

And we just got the TopBand guys calmed down.

To each his own.

Mike va3mw

> On Oct 30, 2017, at 10:37 PM, Wayne Burdick <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> I find that CW has many practical and engaging aspects that I just don’t get with computer-mediated modes like FT8. You’d think I’d be burned out on CW by now, over 45 years since I was first licensed, but no, I’m still doin’ it :)
>
> Yes, FT8 (etc.) is a no-brainer when, despite poor conditions, your goal is to log as many contacts as possible with as many states or countries as possible. It’s so streamlined and efficient that the whole process is readily automated. (If you haven’t read enough opinions on that, see "The mother of all FT8 threads” on QRZ.com, for example.)
>
> But back to CW. Here’s why it works for me. YMMV.
>
> CW feels personal and visceral, like driving a sports car rather than taking a cab. As with a sports car, there are risks. You can get clobbered by larger vehicles (QRM). Witness road range (“UP 2!”). Fall into a pothole (QSB). Be forced to drive through rain or snow (QRN).
>
> With CW, like other forms of human conversation, you can affect your own style. Make mistakes. Joke about it.
>
> CW is a skill that bonds operators together across generations and nations. A language, more like pidgin than anything else, with abbreviations and historical constructs and imperialist oddities. A curious club anyone can join. (At age 60 and able to copy 50 WPM on a good day, I may qualify as a Nerd Mason of some modest order, worthless in any other domain but of value in a contest.)
>
> With very simple equipment that anyone can build, such as a high-power single-transistor oscillator, you can transmit a CW signal. I had very little experience with electronics when I was 14 and built an oscillator that put out maybe 100 mW. Just twisted the leads of all those parts together and keyed the collector supply--a 9-volt battery. With this simple circuit on my desk, coupled to one guy wire of our TV antenna mast, I worked a station 150 miles away and was instantly hooked on building things. And on QRP. I’m sure the signal was key-clicky and had lots of harmonics. I’ve spent a lifetime making such things work better, but this is where it started.
>
> Going even further down the techno food chain, you can “send” CW by whistling, flashing a lamp, tapping on someone’s leg under a table in civics class, or pounding a wrench on the inverted hull of an upside-down U.S. war vessel, as happened at Pearl Harbor. Last Saturday at an engineering club my son belongs to, a 9-year-old demonstrated an Arduino Uno flashing HELLO WORLD in Morse on an LED. The other kids were impressed, including my son, who promptly wrote a version that sends three independent Morse streams on three LEDs. A mini-pileup. His first program.
>
> Finally, to do CW you don’t always need a computer, keyboard, mouse, monitor, or software. Such things are invaluable in our daily lives, but for me, shutting down everything but the radio is the high point of my day. The small display glows like a mystic portal into my personal oyster, the RF spectrum. Unless I crank up the power, there’s no fan noise. Tuning the knob slowly from the bottom end of the band segment to the top is a bit like fishing my favorite stream, Taylor Creek, which connects Fallen Leaf Lake to Lake Tahoe. Drag the line across the green, sunlit pool. See what hits. Big trout? DX. Small trout? Hey, it’s still a fish, and a QSO across town is still a QSO. Admire it, then throw it back in.
>
> (BTW: You now know why the Elecraft K3, K3S, KX2, and KX3 all have built-in RTTY and PSK data modes that allow transmit via the keyer paddle and receive on the rig’s display. We decided to make these data modes conversational...like CW.)
>
> Back to 40 meters....
>
> 73,
>
> Wayne
> N6KR
>
>
>
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Re: On CW

Jim Brown-10
On 10/30/2017 8:04 PM, Michael Walker wrote:
> To each his own.

I don't see this as an either/or. I've loved CW since 1955, and it's
still my favorite mode. I'm a founding member of CWOPS (#69). I work SSB
and RTTY to support my local contest club. I find WSJT-X modes another
way to make contacts that I can't make on CW -- extremely weak signals
under really lousy propagation conditions, meteor scatter, double- and
triple-hop E-skip on 6M, and so on. I'm working on QRP WAS on 160, and
am hoping that JT65, JT9, and FT8 will help me pick up the last two. All
but those two and WV were worked on CW.

73, Jim K9YC

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Re: On CW

Victor Rosenthal 4X6GP
In reply to this post by wayne burdick
Wayne,

Thanks for this and for everything else you've done for CW, and
especially for making good CW functionality an objective for all
Elecraft rigs.

For me, nothing in amateur radio can possibly beat the thrill of hearing
my own call in a weak and fluttery CW signal from the other side of the
world. It's the same feeling I got 61 years ago when a guy across town
answered my call for the first time.

Judging by the display on my P3, there is often more digital activity
than CW these days. I've tried it and I'm impressed, but I'm impressed
by what my smartphone can do, too.

My feeling is, "great, that is so cool, now back to REAL radio."

CW is special and I hope it will stay around for many more years,
despite the technical "superiority" of other modes.

73,
Victor, 4X6GP
Rehovot, Israel
Formerly K2VCO
http://www.qsl.net/k2vco/
CWops #5

On 31 Oct 2017 04:37, Wayne Burdick wrote:

> I find that CW has many practical and engaging aspects that I just
> don’t get with computer-mediated modes like FT8. You’d think I’d be
> burned out on CW by now, over 45 years since I was first licensed,
> but no, I’m still doin’ it :)
>
> Yes, FT8 (etc.) is a no-brainer when, despite poor conditions, your
> goal is to log as many contacts as possible with as many states or
> countries as possible. It’s so streamlined and efficient that the
> whole process is readily automated. (If you haven’t read enough
> opinions on that, see "The mother of all FT8 threads” on QRZ.com, for
> example.)
>
> But back to CW. Here’s why it works for me. YMMV.
>
> CW feels personal and visceral, like driving a sports car rather than
> taking a cab. As with a sports car, there are risks. You can get
> clobbered by larger vehicles (QRM). Witness road range (“UP 2!”).
> Fall into a pothole (QSB). Be forced to drive through rain or snow
> (QRN).
>
> With CW, like other forms of human conversation, you can affect your
> own style. Make mistakes. Joke about it.
>
> CW is a skill that bonds operators together across generations and
> nations. A language, more like pidgin than anything else, with
> abbreviations and historical constructs and imperialist oddities. A
> curious club anyone can join. (At age 60 and able to copy 50 WPM on a
> good day, I may qualify as a Nerd Mason of some modest order,
> worthless in any other domain but of value in a contest.)
>
> With very simple equipment that anyone can build, such as a
> high-power single-transistor oscillator, you can transmit a CW
> signal. I had very little experience with electronics when I was 14
> and built an oscillator that put out maybe 100 mW. Just twisted the
> leads of all those parts together and keyed the collector supply--a
> 9-volt battery. With this simple circuit on my desk, coupled to one
> guy wire of our TV antenna mast, I worked a station 150 miles away
> and was instantly hooked on building things. And on QRP. I’m sure the
> signal was key-clicky and had lots of harmonics. I’ve spent a
> lifetime making such things work better, but this is where it
> started.
>
> Going even further down the techno food chain, you can “send” CW by
> whistling, flashing a lamp, tapping on someone’s leg under a table in
> civics class, or pounding a wrench on the inverted hull of an
> upside-down U.S. war vessel, as happened at Pearl Harbor. Last
> Saturday at an engineering club my son belongs to, a 9-year-old
> demonstrated an Arduino Uno flashing HELLO WORLD in Morse on an LED.
> The other kids were impressed, including my son, who promptly wrote a
> version that sends three independent Morse streams on three LEDs. A
> mini-pileup. His first program.
>
> Finally, to do CW you don’t always need a computer, keyboard, mouse,
> monitor, or software. Such things are invaluable in our daily lives,
> but for me, shutting down everything but the radio is the high point
> of my day. The small display glows like a mystic portal into my
> personal oyster, the RF spectrum. Unless I crank up the power,
> there’s no fan noise. Tuning the knob slowly from the bottom end of
> the band segment to the top is a bit like fishing my favorite stream,
> Taylor Creek, which connects Fallen Leaf Lake to Lake Tahoe. Drag the
> line across the green, sunlit pool. See what hits. Big trout? DX.
> Small trout? Hey, it’s still a fish, and a QSO across town is still a
> QSO. Admire it, then throw it back in.
>
> (BTW: You now know why the Elecraft K3, K3S, KX2, and KX3 all have
> built-in RTTY and PSK data modes that allow transmit via the keyer
> paddle and receive on the rig’s display. We decided to make these
> data modes conversational...like CW.)
>
> Back to 40 meters....
>
> 73,
>
> Wayne N6KR
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Re: [Elecraft_K3] On CW

ve9xx
In reply to this post by wayne burdick
Wayne,

Long time listener, first time caller...

Your words describing your journey and your passion have pulled me into the
iPad with this mornings’ coffee...  Why?   Well, to begin with, we are of
approximately the same vintage, and had a similar starting experience to
this journey and passion..  my start at 13 was a 6AG7 / 6L6 with a single
FT243 (7008 kHz)  that I cobbled together in the cellar.

With a 300 ohm tv twin lead folded dipole nailed to the eve of our house at
the dizzy height of 14 feet, I made hundreds of contacts on  40 cw.  Damn,
it was fun...   so fun in fact, that I decided to get my license.   Yes,
you read it correct, and this is my public coming out of pirating when I
was 13, 42 years ago.   My sincere apologies to all those down the eastern
seaboard who didn’t get their C31BL card.   I picked Andorra cause it
seemed feasible where I was in the far north east of North America and
because it generated pileups with my pipsqueak signal....

Other than this passion, our paths diverged, and I still enjoy a career of
bringing innovation and learning technologies to large and small companies
around the world....

CW is, and always has been a huge passion, and though I’m certainly no
stranger to a microphone, your description of this club we belong to and
it’s unique window to it’s unique (and familiar to us) world, resonated.

I have other passions and interests, and in each of them there always seems
to be a writer that strikes a chord with me...   in cars and motorcycles,
it’s Peter Egan, in aviation it’s Lane Wallace or Richard Collins...

Your writing riveted me to the iPad and it felt like I was reading Ade
Weiss or Bob Locher, my two favorite amateur radio writers.   That’s pretty
good company to keep Wayne!

Please keep the passion strong, the innovation coming and please, please
continue to use the pen (and paddles) to share the gut felt visceral
excitement that cw and amateur radio are.

Thanks for making my morning.

Don Whitty
VE9XX

On Tue, Oct 31, 2017 at 1:17 AM Martin Kratoska [hidden email]
[Elecraft_K3] <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
>
> words that should be carved into stone
>
> 73,
> Martin, OK1RR
>
> Dne 31.10.2017 v 03:37 Wayne Burdick [hidden email] [Elecraft_K3]
> napsal(a):
>
>
> > I find that CW has many practical and engaging aspects that I just don’t
> get with computer-mediated modes like FT8. You’d think I’d be burned out on
> CW by now, over 45 years since I was first licensed, but no, I’m still
> doin’ it :)
> >
> > Yes, FT8 (etc.) is a no-brainer when, despite poor conditions, your goal
> is to log as many contacts as possible with as many states or countries as
> possible. It’s so streamlined and efficient that the whole process is
> readily automated. (If you haven’t read enough opinions on that, see "The
> mother of all FT8 threads” on QRZ.com, for example.)
> >
> > But back to CW. Here’s why it works for me. YMMV.
> >
> > CW feels personal and visceral, like driving a sports car rather than
> taking a cab. As with a sports car, there are risks. You can get clobbered
> by larger vehicles (QRM). Witness road range (“UP 2!”). Fall into a pothole
> (QSB). Be forced to drive through rain or snow (QRN).
> >
> > With CW, like other forms of human conversation, you can affect your own
> style. Make mistakes. Joke about it.
> >
> > CW is a skill that bonds operators together across generations and
> nations. A language, more like pidgin than anything else, with
> abbreviations and historical constructs and imperialist oddities. A curious
> club anyone can join. (At age 60 and able to copy 50 WPM on a good day, I
> may qualify as a Nerd Mason of some modest order, worthless in any other
> domain but of value in a contest.)
> >
> > With very simple equipment that anyone can build, such as a high-power
> single-transistor oscillator, you can transmit a CW signal. I had very
> little experience with electronics when I was 14 and built an oscillator
> that put out maybe 100 mW. Just twisted the leads of all those parts
> together and keyed the collector supply--a 9-volt battery. With this simple
> circuit on my desk, coupled to one guy wire of our TV antenna mast, I
> worked a station 150 miles away and was instantly hooked on building
> things. And on QRP. I’m sure the signal was key-clicky and had lots of
> harmonics. I’ve spent a lifetime making such things work better, but this
> is where it started.
> >
> > Going even further down the techno food chain, you can “send” CW by
> whistling, flashing a lamp, tapping on someone’s leg under a table in
> civics class, or pounding a wrench on the inverted hull of an upside-down
> U.S. war vessel, as happened at Pearl Harbor. Last Saturday at an
> engineering club my son belongs to, a 9-year-old demonstrated an Arduino
> Uno flashing HELLO WORLD in Morse on an LED. The other kids were impressed,
> including my son, who promptly wrote a version that sends three independent
> Morse streams on three LEDs. A mini-pileup. His first program.
> >
> > Finally, to do CW you don’t always need a computer, keyboard, mouse,
> monitor, or software. Such things are invaluable in our daily lives, but
> for me, shutting down everything but the radio is the high point of my day.
> The small display glows like a mystic portal into my personal oyster, the
> RF spectrum. Unless I crank up the power, there’s no fan noise. Tuning the
> knob slowly from the bottom end of the band segment to the top is a bit
> like fishing my favorite stream, Taylor Creek, which connects Fallen Leaf
> Lake to Lake Tahoe. Drag the line across the green, sunlit pool. See what
> hits. Big trout? DX. Small trout? Hey, it’s still a fish, and a QSO across
> town is still a QSO. Admire it, then throw it back in.
> >
> > (BTW: You now know why the Elecraft K3, K3S, KX2, and KX3 all have
> built-in RTTY and PSK data modes that allow transmit via the keyer paddle
> and receive on the rig’s display. We decided to make these data modes
> conversational...like CW.)
> >
> > Back to 40 meters....
> >
> > 73,
> >
> > Wayne
> > N6KR
> >
> >
> >
> >
>
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Re: On CW

EUGENE GABRY
In reply to this post by wayne burdick
Great read and very well said, Wayne :) You brought back a memory of my sophomore year in high school back in the late 60's, still about 8 years away from getting my ham ticket. I was one of those "nerds" who was taking an electronics shop class. Our instructor was a ham operator. Aside from teaching us theory and circuit building projects, he taught us morse code. While other kids were learning Spanish and French, I and a handful of other nerds were learning this other"subversive" language that could be tapped out on our desk tops with a pencil during class. A few of us drove one English teacher crazy with our "code tapping"! Oh, eventually she got wise to what was going on. On test or quiz days, any one of us caught tapping our pencils on the desk, automatically failed!


Thanks for the story :)


73 Gene

N9TF

> On October 30, 2017 at 9:37 PM Wayne Burdick wrote:
>     .
>     Going even further down the techno food chain, you can “send” CW by whistling, flashing a lamp, tapping on someone’s leg under a table in civics class, or pounding a wrench on the inverted hull of an upside-down U.S. war vessel, as happened at Pearl Harbor.
>
>     73,
>
>     Wayne
>     N6KR
>
>
>
>
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Re: On CW

Bill Clarke
CW has personality - therefore CW QSOs have personality. Digital not so
much - press F3, F6, then to say 73s etc. press F9. Not much of a QSO to
me.

Whether SSB, CW, RTTY, or whatever - it is all about rag chew to me. I
cannot get excited about coming into the shack in the morning and
looking at the computer screen to see who the computer QSOd with over
night.

I miss the hours long RTTY gab fests on 40 meters many years ago. Sure
we had our tapes, but we would keyboard all afternoon sometimes. Just
cannot find that now. The art of gabbing has gone the way of the Tweet.

Just my take - that is what makes Ham radio so great. So many facets to
keep us active.

Bill W2BLC

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Re: On CW

Jim Sr Sturges
Wayne,

Thanks for helping all us GOF’s remember why, while using such poetic
language.

73,

Jim N3SZ
On Tue, Oct 31, 2017 at 8:01 AM Bill <[hidden email]> wrote:

> CW has personality - therefore CW QSOs have personality. Digital not so
> much - press F3, F6, then to say 73s etc. press F9. Not much of a QSO to
> me.
>
> Whether SSB, CW, RTTY, or whatever - it is all about rag chew to me. I
> cannot get excited about coming into the shack in the morning and
> looking at the computer screen to see who the computer QSOd with over
> night.
>
> I miss the hours long RTTY gab fests on 40 meters many years ago. Sure
> we had our tapes, but we would keyboard all afternoon sometimes. Just
> cannot find that now. The art of gabbing has gone the way of the Tweet.
>
> Just my take - that is what makes Ham radio so great. So many facets to
> keep us active.
>
> Bill W2BLC
>
> ______________________________________________________________
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>
--
Jim Sturges, N3SZ
Amateur Radio operators do it with frequency.
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Re: On CW

engineercm
Wayne,

Thank you so much for articulating the magic about CW.  I think we're of
similar age but I haven't been at for 45 years--just the last 12 or so.
Some of my ham friends don't understand, and I haven't been able to
describe, why I prefer CW over other modes.  Manipulating the key to send
meaningful messages and learning to copy in my head are all skills I'm
continuing to build.  Your K1, K2, and K3 rigs--I have them all--are such a
joy to use on CW, and two of them I built.  Hearing my first call in CW on
the first CW contact was a joy I'll never forget.

The digital modes interest me only because of the difficulty (for me) in
integrating computer, radio, software, and antenna.  Pulling signals out of
the noise when they can't even be seen in the P3 is something I want to
conquer.  Not sure CW/digital is an either/or but a both/and.  Ham radio as
so many facets it's a shame to cast dispersions, as some do, on use of a
particular mode.

I guess the only thrill I'm missing after 160 countries on my handcrafted K2
using CW is putting you in my log.  Maybe someday...



--
Sent from: http://elecraft.365791.n2.nabble.com/
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Re: On CW

rkruse

On 10/31/2017 2:02 PM, engineercm wrote:
> Thank you so much for articulating the magic about CW.

As a teen I tried to learn Morse Code and never was able to get very
far.  With Morse as a condition for getting a license, I never thought
about getting a Ham License although I was very heavy into electronics
and got my First Class Radiotelephone License.  (To show my age, the
testing only had one transistor question; all the rest were tubes.)

When I discovered that Morse Code had been removed as a requirement
(2014 or so) I began studying for my tests and made Extra within a few
months.

I have  K3S that I am about to put on the air, on SSB to begin because
that is what I currently understand.

I have had CW recommended, but am unwilling to repeat the head banging
experience I went through 50+ years ago.

Now that I've given the history, my question to those of you who are
gung-ho on CW is; how did you begin the learning process?  Is there some
secret that I missed?

73

Ray
KK4WPB


--
Furthermore, I believe that islam must be destroyed.
If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.--Thomas Paine
III%   Molon labe.

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Re: On CW

Matt Murphy
I'm comparatively young (41) but I appreciate the musings about CW.  I
still remember the first CW QSO I observed at a demonstration at a Red
Cross building in Michigan when I was 11 years old.  I'd had a pair of
plastic FM walkie talkies as a young child that had the dots and dashes of
Morse embossed onto the front, but I had not expected the thrill that I
felt as an actual CW QSO was made before my eyes. I was licensed a few
months later.

Another memorable CW QSO for me was the first time I sat in front of a
friend's K3.  The audio sounded so clear and beautiful that I soon ordered
my own.

I think there is something very special about the art form of CW and the
kind of craftsmanship and passion that it inspires.  Thanks to Wayne and
everyone at Elecraft, the CWOps, etc, for keeping the magic alive.

73,
Matt NQ6N

On Tue, Oct 31, 2017 at 1:26 PM, <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> On 10/31/2017 2:02 PM, engineercm wrote:
>
>> Thank you so much for articulating the magic about CW.
>>
>
> As a teen I tried to learn Morse Code and never was able to get very far.
> With Morse as a condition for getting a license, I never thought about
> getting a Ham License although I was very heavy into electronics and got my
> First Class Radiotelephone License.  (To show my age, the testing only had
> one transistor question; all the rest were tubes.)
>
> When I discovered that Morse Code had been removed as a requirement (2014
> or so) I began studying for my tests and made Extra within a few months.
>
> I have  K3S that I am about to put on the air, on SSB to begin because
> that is what I currently understand.
>
> I have had CW recommended, but am unwilling to repeat the head banging
> experience I went through 50+ years ago.
>
> Now that I've given the history, my question to those of you who are
> gung-ho on CW is; how did you begin the learning process?  Is there some
> secret that I missed?
>
> 73
>
> Ray
> KK4WPB
>
>
> --
> Furthermore, I believe that islam must be destroyed.
> If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have
> peace.--Thomas Paine
> III%   Molon labe.
>
>
> ______________________________________________________________
> Elecraft mailing list
> Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
> Post: mailto:[hidden email]
>
> This list hosted by: http://www.qsl.net
> Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
> Message delivered to [hidden email]
>
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Re: On CW

Buck
In reply to this post by rkruse

The secret is in the way you approach it.  Method today is to learn the
sound of a letter.  A is not dot dash or dit dah.  It is not Ah Pull. It
is not ._    It is the sound of didah.  You repeat each letter until you
have it down and move to the next one. This is called the Koch method.

The letters are sent at 20 wpm to reinforce they are one sound.  Code is
sent slower by expanding the space between letters.  This is called
Farnsworth method.

Here's a free trainer program  http://www.g4fon.net/

Buck, k4ia
Honor Roll
8BDXCC
EasyWayHamBooks.com

On 10/31/2017 2:26 PM, [hidden email] wrote:

>
> On 10/31/2017 2:02 PM, engineercm wrote:
>> Thank you so much for articulating the magic about CW.
>
> As a teen I tried to learn Morse Code and never was able to get very
> far.  With Morse as a condition for getting a license, I never thought
> about getting a Ham License although I was very heavy into electronics
> and got my First Class Radiotelephone License.  (To show my age, the
> testing only had one transistor question; all the rest were tubes.)
>
> When I discovered that Morse Code had been removed as a requirement
> (2014 or so) I began studying for my tests and made Extra within a few
> months.
>
> I have  K3S that I am about to put on the air, on SSB to begin because
> that is what I currently understand.
>
> I have had CW recommended, but am unwilling to repeat the head banging
> experience I went through 50+ years ago.
>
> Now that I've given the history, my question to those of you who are
> gung-ho on CW is; how did you begin the learning process?  Is there some
> secret that I missed?
>
> 73
>
> Ray
> KK4WPB
>
>
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Re: On CW

rkruse
Thanks.  I will look into it.

On 10/31/2017 2:44 PM, Buck wrote:

>
> The secret is in the way you approach it.  Method today is to learn
> the sound of a letter.  A is not dot dash or dit dah.  It is not Ah
> Pull. It is not ._    It is the sound of didah.  You repeat each
> letter until you have it down and move to the next one. This is called
> the Koch method.
>
> The letters are sent at 20 wpm to reinforce they are one sound. Code
> is sent slower by expanding the space between letters.  This is called
> Farnsworth method.
>
> Here's a free trainer program  http://www.g4fon.net/
>
> Buck, k4ia
> Honor Roll
> 8BDXCC
> EasyWayHamBooks.com
>
> On 10/31/2017 2:26 PM, [hidden email] wrote:
>>
>> On 10/31/2017 2:02 PM, engineercm wrote:
>>> Thank you so much for articulating the magic about CW.
>>
>> As a teen I tried to learn Morse Code and never was able to get very
>> far.  With Morse as a condition for getting a license, I never
>> thought about getting a Ham License although I was very heavy into
>> electronics and got my First Class Radiotelephone License.  (To show
>> my age, the testing only had one transistor question; all the rest
>> were tubes.)
>>
>> When I discovered that Morse Code had been removed as a requirement
>> (2014 or so) I began studying for my tests and made Extra within a
>> few months.
>>
>> I have  K3S that I am about to put on the air, on SSB to begin
>> because that is what I currently understand.
>>
>> I have had CW recommended, but am unwilling to repeat the head
>> banging experience I went through 50+ years ago.
>>
>> Now that I've given the history, my question to those of you who are
>> gung-ho on CW is; how did you begin the learning process? Is there
>> some secret that I missed?
>>
>> 73
>>
>> Ray
>> KK4WPB
>>
>>
> ______________________________________________________________
> Elecraft mailing list
> Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
> Post: mailto:[hidden email]
>
> This list hosted by: http://www.qsl.net
> Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
> Message delivered to [hidden email]

--
Furthermore, I believe that islam must be destroyed.
If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.--Thomas Paine
III%   Molon labe.

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Re: On CW

Alan Bloom
In reply to this post by rkruse
I learned Morse code the "wrong" way.  I had built a Knight-Kit Star
Roamer, a very simple tube-type shortwave receiver that was mainly for
AM reception but could "kind-of" receive CW.  In the back of the manual
they had the Morse code written out in dots and dashes.

So I memorized a couple of letters (E and T since they were the
simplest) and started listening.  Every once in awhile I could hear a
letter that sounded like a single dot or dash, so I was pretty sure
those were E and T.

Then I added a few more letters hoping to hear a complete word.  I think
the first complete word I copied was "THE".  Then I added more and more
characters (starting with the most common ones) until I had the complete
alphabet, numbers and symbols.

One advantage of this method is you never get caught on a speed
"plateau" because you are listening at full speed from the beginning.

Alan N1AL



On 10/31/2017 11:26 AM, [hidden email] wrote:

>
> On 10/31/2017 2:02 PM, engineercm wrote:
>> Thank you so much for articulating the magic about CW.
>
> As a teen I tried to learn Morse Code and never was able to get very
> far.  With Morse as a condition for getting a license, I never thought
> about getting a Ham License although I was very heavy into electronics
> and got my First Class Radiotelephone License.  (To show my age, the
> testing only had one transistor question; all the rest were tubes.)
>
> When I discovered that Morse Code had been removed as a requirement
> (2014 or so) I began studying for my tests and made Extra within a few
> months.
>
> I have  K3S that I am about to put on the air, on SSB to begin because
> that is what I currently understand.
>
> I have had CW recommended, but am unwilling to repeat the head banging
> experience I went through 50+ years ago.
>
> Now that I've given the history, my question to those of you who are
> gung-ho on CW is; how did you begin the learning process?  Is there some
> secret that I missed?
>
> 73
>
> Ray
> KK4WPB
>
>
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Re: On CW

w5sum
When I was a Boy Scout and working on first class rank in 1965, you had to learn Morse, or Semaphore. Who wants to wave flags? So I memorized he code and passed first class. An assistant Scoutmaster who was a neighbor knew I was a broadcast station listener and showed up at he house one day with a cool looking old black receiver, a BC348 which he gave me
One day I was tuning around and found some really really slow code that I could sort of copy. I realized his wasn't commercial or military it was just guys talking! Mr sweet inform d they were Hams! I listened a LOT AND THE REST IS HISTORY!
I had a 15wpm sped before I even took my novice!

Ronnie W5SUN

Sent from my iPhone

> On Oct 31, 2017, at 1:54 PM, Alan <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> I learned Morse code the "wrong" way.  I had built a Knight-Kit Star Roamer, a very simple tube-type shortwave receiver that was mainly for AM reception but could "kind-of" receive CW.  In the back of the manual they had the Morse code written out in dots and dashes.
>
> So I memorized a couple of letters (E and T since they were the simplest) and started listening.  Every once in awhile I could hear a letter that sounded like a single dot or dash, so I was pretty sure those were E and T.
>
> Then I added a few more letters hoping to hear a complete word.  I think the first complete word I copied was "THE".  Then I added more and more characters (starting with the most common ones) until I had the complete alphabet, numbers and symbols.
>
> One advantage of this method is you never get caught on a speed "plateau" because you are listening at full speed from the beginning.
>
> Alan N1AL
>
>
>
>> On 10/31/2017 11:26 AM, [hidden email] wrote:
>>> On 10/31/2017 2:02 PM, engineercm wrote:
>>> Thank you so much for articulating the magic about CW.
>> As a teen I tried to learn Morse Code and never was able to get very far.  With Morse as a condition for getting a license, I never thought about getting a Ham License although I was very heavy into electronics and got my First Class Radiotelephone License.  (To show my age, the testing only had one transistor question; all the rest were tubes.)
>> When I discovered that Morse Code had been removed as a requirement (2014 or so) I began studying for my tests and made Extra within a few months.
>> I have  K3S that I am about to put on the air, on SSB to begin because that is what I currently understand.
>> I have had CW recommended, but am unwilling to repeat the head banging experience I went through 50+ years ago.
>> Now that I've given the history, my question to those of you who are gung-ho on CW is; how did you begin the learning process?  Is there some secret that I missed?
>> 73
>> Ray
>> KK4WPB
> ______________________________________________________________
> Elecraft mailing list
> Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
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> Post: mailto:[hidden email]
>
> This list hosted by: http://www.qsl.net
> Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
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Re: On CW

Clay Autery-2
In reply to this post by rkruse
CWOPS CW Academy...  Learn by hearing.  Don't EVER use a chart. If YOU
doo your part, you can be head copying 25 wpm in what I consider a very
short time.

I'm not there yet (just finished Level 1), but I'm headed thataway!


On 10/31/2017 1:26 PM, [hidden email] wrote:
> Now that I've given the history, my question to those of you who are
> gung-ho on CW is; how did you begin the learning process?  Is there
> some secret that I missed?
>
> 73
>
> Ray
> KK4WPB

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Re: On CW

Buddy Brannan
In reply to this post by Matt Murphy
Matt!

Yes, this exactly. I'm not that much older than you are (44), and got licensed at 14. In spite of my best efforts, I fell in love with cw. I think a lot of y'all have articulated the why in a way I never could. I approached it as a socially awkward nerdy kid who knew that morse code wasn't cool in any way, but it was a necessary evil. Then I learned it wrong. After I got straightened out on that, it was magic. I took to it like the proverbial duck to water.

Here's the funny thing. Wet up a ham radio demonstration. Play cw. Watch people come to see what it's all about. Do the same with voice. Watch people walk past. Digital, no clue how people react. But cw intrigues. Maybe it's because of the novelty. But it interests people. Oh sure, lots of the people it draws say I could lever learn that", and maybe that adds to the appeal? It's like this magic thing that not many people know. Like, hey, I'm the only guy on my block that knows this. But all I know for sure is that it's a whole lot of fun, and I hope that folks like you and me can help pass it on when all of those old farts® move on to that great big ol' radio ranch over yonder.

--
Buddy Brannan, KB5ELV - Erie, PA
Mobile (preferred): (814) 431-0962
Phone: (814) 860-3194
Email: [hidden email]
"We are all just walking each other home."



> On Oct 31, 2017, at 2:38 PM, Matt NQ6N <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> I'm comparatively young (41) but I appreciate the musings about CW.  I
> still remember the first CW QSO I observed at a demonstration at a Red
> Cross building in Michigan when I was 11 years old.  I'd had a pair of
> plastic FM walkie talkies as a young child that had the dots and dashes of
> Morse embossed onto the front, but I had not expected the thrill that I
> felt as an actual CW QSO was made before my eyes. I was licensed a few
> months later.
>
> Another memorable CW QSO for me was the first time I sat in front of a
> friend's K3.  The audio sounded so clear and beautiful that I soon ordered
> my own.
>
> I think there is something very special about the art form of CW and the
> kind of craftsmanship and passion that it inspires.  Thanks to Wayne and
> everyone at Elecraft, the CWOps, etc, for keeping the magic alive.
>
> 73,
> Matt NQ6N
>
> On Tue, Oct 31, 2017 at 1:26 PM, <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>>
>> On 10/31/2017 2:02 PM, engineercm wrote:
>>
>>> Thank you so much for articulating the magic about CW.
>>>
>>
>> As a teen I tried to learn Morse Code and never was able to get very far.
>> With Morse as a condition for getting a license, I never thought about
>> getting a Ham License although I was very heavy into electronics and got my
>> First Class Radiotelephone License.  (To show my age, the testing only had
>> one transistor question; all the rest were tubes.)
>>
>> When I discovered that Morse Code had been removed as a requirement (2014
>> or so) I began studying for my tests and made Extra within a few months.
>>
>> I have  K3S that I am about to put on the air, on SSB to begin because
>> that is what I currently understand.
>>
>> I have had CW recommended, but am unwilling to repeat the head banging
>> experience I went through 50+ years ago.
>>
>> Now that I've given the history, my question to those of you who are
>> gung-ho on CW is; how did you begin the learning process?  Is there some
>> secret that I missed?
>>
>> 73
>>
>> Ray
>> KK4WPB
>>
>>
>> --
>> Furthermore, I believe that islam must be destroyed.
>> If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have
>> peace.--Thomas Paine
>> III%   Molon labe.
>>
>>
>> ______________________________________________________________
>> Elecraft mailing list
>> Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
>> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
>> Post: mailto:[hidden email]
>>
>> This list hosted by: http://www.qsl.net
>> Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
>> Message delivered to [hidden email]
>>
> ______________________________________________________________
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> Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
> Post: mailto:[hidden email]
>
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> Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
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Re: On CW

Gary Smith-2
In reply to this post by Victor Rosenthal 4X6GP
Wayne,

Add me to the chorus of CW and my thanks
to the efforts of you, Eric & Elecraft for
making such an excellent series of
transceivers and mating components. I
bought my Elecraft rig solely for the CW
aspect, I wanted to hear the faintest
signals I could possibly contact.
Additionally, I liked that the company
facilities are located in the states. I
certainly buy from overseas, my CW paddle
is a Begalli Sculpture, but I like that
your company is here.

I did not come to CW easily, I learned it
at 7 in the Cub Scouts and my father had
been a ham since 1937 and coached me but I
didn't get my ticket till I was 29. In
less than a year from my Novice ticket I
passed the Extra and have loved CW ever
since.

My first radio was a Kenwood 820S and it
wasn't as good with CW as the Drake TR7 so
I upgraded to that. The Corsair II was a
better CW rig than the TR7 so I went
TenTec. I liked the TT Omni 5 better than
the Corsair II for CW so went with that.
When I heard a K3 and read about the
options I went Elecraft and bought a kit.
Now I have the K3s. All the changes in
radios because of my love for CW above all
else in Ham Radio.

Thanks to all of you for your efforts. I
look forward to the next Elecraft
innovations.

73,

Gary
KA1J
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On CW

Edward A. Dauer
In reply to this post by wayne burdick
Beautifully said, Wayne.  

At risk of painting the lilly, as the Bard said, I could add only that from here, at the age of 73, it brings me back to there, at the age of 13.  Nothing else does.

Ted, KN1CBR
 

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Re: On CW

Gary Smith-2
In reply to this post by rkruse
I agree with the below completely. Another
excellent source is to tune into the
ARRL's Code Transmissions on the air. They
start at a fast speed and when finished,
move to the next lower speed and so on.
The advantage is you are trying to copy
perfect CW sent faster than you can
actually copy but you force yourself to
listen harder, so you end up hearing more.
When you get close to the speed you can
copy, your head is already thinking CW
better than usual and your comprehension
is much better.

http://www.arrl.org/code-transmissions

As it mentions in the link, the code is
from QST and if you have the article in
front of you, you can read it at the same
time. I didn't find doing that was greatly
helpful for me but another person might.
The perfect CW and the slowing of the
speed made the difference to me.

73,

Gary
KA1J



> Thanks.  I will look into it.
>
> On 10/31/2017 2:44 PM, Buck wrote:
> >
> > The secret is in the way you approach it.  Method today is to learn
> > the sound of a letter.  A is not dot dash or dit dah.  It is not
> > Ah Pull. It is not ._    It is the sound of didah.  You repeat
> > each letter until you have it down and move to the next one. This is
> > called the Koch method.
> >
> > The letters are sent at 20 wpm to reinforce they are one sound. Code
> > is sent slower by expanding the space between letters.  This is
> > called Farnsworth method.

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