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Author Topic: Japanese Inspired minimalism and Morse Code  (Read 2811 times)

RadioRay

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Japanese Inspired minimalism and Morse Code
« on: July 06, 2017, 02:10:41 AM »
When I was a boy (shortly after the Earth's crust cooled...) I had the great privilege of studying Judo and later Ju Jitsu under some very good instructors - true masters, before that term became en vogue and horribly over used.

Learning judo, as an American boy steeped in the idea that rage and bulging muscles were everything, I soon learned that quiet, focused power, applied exactly where and when required was far more effective and very efficient.  As a result of a few years of training, back then, I could fight multiple opponents and rarely tire - because THEY were burning a lot of unnecessary energy; not me. Now I am old, so opening a bag of coffee makes me tired, but I don't mind: I love good coffee. As I read more about the origins of Japanese martial arts, Judo in particular, I came across a quote that has stayed with me for life:

"Maximum effect, with minimal effort." - Jiguro Kano

To some people, that's an excuse for laziness : it is not.  To others, it is an 'attack' on their delicate egos, which are tied to things which they bought at great expence in an attempt to have internal peace, no matter how ineffective and/or in efficient those possessions are.  To back woods radio people, this makes perfect sense.  When away from the "FREE" electricity of city A.C. mains, you must be efficient in your use of power. For hams, this is largely seen in proper time/frequency selection and MODE.  It's a well documented FACT that Morse code (CW) is very much more energy efficient than voice, for conveying the same 'intelligence' ; 13-18dB more efficient, depending upon whos math you're using, but at the least, that's 20 times more power needed for SSB over CW. Translate that into batteries, chargers, heatsinks accessories and you'll see that Size, Weights & Power (SWAP) is huge compared to a QRP CW rig with the same relative capabilities , and much more expensive.

Simplicity: I was recently at a demonstration of emergency communication held in a pasture.  There were cafeteria tables, many laptop computers, some networked, A.C. power, cables all over the place and the list goes on.  When I left 24 hours later, the only successful comms as of that time was QRP handsent CW using my KX2 and a low dipole.  All CW skeds were achieved right on time, with very good results.  Naturally, as those laptops were also running NOT on internal batteries, but plugged-in to A.C. power, their RFI ensured that any comms were likely to be unsuccessful.  All that power, software, training experience and MONEY - very inefficient. These were intelligent, dedicated people , many of whom are experts in various professional fields. However, a single band QRP CW rig costing almost nothing, could do much more, for much less and fit into a pocket.

The lesson - do what works, and forget the colorful advertising that tells you that you must be dissatisfied with your life and buying their 'stuff' will make you content, successful and adored by the opposite sex: it's all nonsense.  Use whatever is as simple as possible (but not 'simpleR' than possible) and works reliably. for my experience, that is HF CW. If the 'necessary' accessories like computers, panadaptors, wifi routers, and more are required, then THEY must be added to your calculation s of SWAP.  That's a LOT of Size , Weight and Power to drain your recharging and to carry around, It multiplies the set-up and (trouble-shooting) time , tremendously.  I had two 'wires' coming out of my rig: coax to their antenna and my ear buds - to eliminate their constant yelling at each other.

Like judo: efficiency matters. During hobby times, it's basically stress free. During an emergency; it's essential.


de RadioRay  ..._  ._

I like watching Gil, Julian, Spanish QRP cw, Peter Parker with delightful videos on youtube. They go someplace, set-up a station in a few minutes and then are having fun operating and learning on the air. Enjoyment,  fresh air and into the LOW RFI outdoors: all good.




« Last Edit: July 06, 2017, 02:26:30 AM by RadioRay »
"When we cannot do the good we would, we must be ready to do the good we can."  ~ Matthew Henry

gil

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Re: Japanese Inspired minimalism and Morse Code
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2017, 04:09:23 AM »
Excellent Ray! :D

Quote
Learning judo, as an American boy steeped in the idea that rage and bulging muscles were everything, I soon learned that quiet, focused power, applied exactly where and when required was far more effective and very efficient.  As a result of a few years of training, back then, I could fight multiple opponents and rarely tire - because THEY were burning a lot of unnecessary energy;

It's funny how we arrive often arrive at the same conclusion via different routes. As a teenager, I practiced a few martial arts for which the abovementioned bulging muscles, tension and aggressiveness were emphasized. Fast forward a couple decades and I end-up in a small group of camo-pants wearing guys training under a former Spetsnaz. He tells us to relax and breathe, and be emotionally detached from the action. It's Systema... The Cossacks got it right...

Another example: Take a good'ol .45 Colt bullet, 285 grains of lead, and shoot it in a modern replica at 1000fps (ouch!). Now get a big Ruger revolver and try at 1400fps... Guess which bullet is going to penetrate farther? Yep, the slower one! And some people on online forums say the old .44-40 isn't enough to kill a deer ::) Same flawed reasoning... They must buy the latest "magnum," at $3/round. The darn deer isn't going to be any "deader."

While the physics are different, more force isn't always better.

I have wondered a few times if I needed an amp. The answer has always been no. I don't think I'll ever use more than 30W for SSB and 5W for CW, why? A good antenna is enough, and like Ray says, choose your battles. I am also thinking about getting better coax now...

Ray, do you think these people at the emcom event learned something? Or are they just too brainwashed to even see the elephant?

Right now I am experimenting with 2m SSB, which to my surprise also works quite well using only a few Watts! Radio will always amaze me.

I have learned a few things since 2012... Like not to use a short 3m whip on 40m, or to use verticals for 30m and up, and horizontals on 40 and below... It's a long list of learn-by-experience lessons. I have also carried by gear for weeks at a time, and OUNCES matter! Even a 2Ah SLA battery can be a no-no. Ultralight isn't always needed, but there is always a line.

As I always say, most emcom people never think that, just maybe, they'll have to carry their gear, on foot. It's one thing to arrive by car and park right next to your nice camping area, quite another to hike a mountain, even a small hill, SOTA style, with your heavy batteries and rigs. It's not practical training. Just like some martial arts where you're supposed to learn to defend yourself but you are prohibited from hitting the face of your opponent or even make real contact in some styles... What's going to happen when it really hits the fan?

Thanks again Ray, great post!

Gil.

Jon_Garfio

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Re: Japanese Inspired minimalism and Morse Code
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2017, 02:33:55 PM »
Excelent post, less is more.




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RadioRay

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Re: Japanese Inspired minimalism and Morse Code
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2017, 02:43:32 PM »
Gil asked: "Ray, do you think these people at the emcom event learned something? "

Good news - Yes!  the person in charge received my assessment very well and we discussed solutions, rather than the standard 'use a bigger hammer' solution often found in 'the community'.  He gets it, and has done remote operating when all electrons had to be manpacked into position ha ha.

>Ray


- Time for an espresso ...
"When we cannot do the good we would, we must be ready to do the good we can."  ~ Matthew Henry

caulktel

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Re: Japanese Inspired minimalism and Morse Code
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2017, 06:40:38 PM »
Ray,

That was very elegantly put, Thanks.

Joel
N6ALT