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Messages - Sparks

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 5
New To Radio / Re: QRP from a beginners view
« on: June 02, 2018, 02:34:37 AM »
A great forum to set up skeds with people is the Straight Key Century Club (SKCC). They have a webpage just for setting up skeds with other people who use a straight key. It's a great way to get your feet wet with CW. Since everyone is using a manual key, the speeds are slow and the people patient.

I looked into that a while ago. Think I read somewhere that they consider semiautomatic bugs (e.g. the original Vibroplex) to be manual keys. I am not able to relocate that rule now; is this correct?

Morse Code / Re: QRPp // HF Morse at LESS Than One Watt
« on: June 02, 2018, 12:09:24 AM »
To paraphrase Kopernicus:  'And yet, QRP works.'

I did study the history of astronomy, for a long period. Kopernicus was my great hero then and now. However, that famous quote is attributed to another great astronomer, a century or so later:

Morse Code / Re: 'Morse Code as a Language'
« on: May 30, 2018, 11:55:58 PM »
This playlist was put on YouTube last week, perhaps of use to some of those who are learning Morse Code?

Unfortunately, these videos are not on You Tube anymore. I couldn't find them elsewhere, either.

As a consolation, I forward some links found by googling 'Morse Code as a Language':   >   >

Morse Code / Re: The article that inspired me to learn code
« on: May 30, 2018, 01:16:16 AM »
Thanks for the links! I made PDFs and archived on my Mac.

That must have been an awesome site, a pity it has been discontinued.

Morse Code / Re: CW Morse Code for Dummies
« on: May 27, 2018, 12:25:30 PM »
Thanks Sparks. I clicked on it and it turns out that I was already following it!

Me too. Most likely, us "likers" and followers followed along automatically when they rebranded.

General Discussion / Re: Registration will lead to confiscation
« on: May 26, 2018, 11:49:35 PM »
I am perhaps too preoccupied with WWII in the Nordic countries. Norway was occupied by Nazi Germany from 1940 to 1945, and in 1941 the occupant decided to confiscate all radio receivers, almost half a million of them, from the general Norwegian population. Only the German occupants and their Norwegian Nazi collaborators were allowed to own radios. The main goal was to prevent Norwegians from listening to London where the King of Norway and his Government resided in exile. (They would later return triumphantly to Norway in 1945.)

Amateur radio was prohibited long before that, and all equipment was seized according to official registers of ham licensees, I was told by ham radio veterans many years ago.

Now this man had built himself a transceiver in 1939, but had postponed to sit for his ham license exam, so when the Germans arrived on April 9, 1940, he was safely under the surveillance radar:
See also:

I guess Gunvald Tomstad's story would have been a quite different one if he had been a registered ham.

I registered my ham license some fifty years ago. Then I had an interim period of forty years when I was not registered (did not pay yearly dues). A few years ago I contacted the relevant authority, and they gave me back my license and first C/S for life, for free. I can live with that.

I would like my wife and some of my friends to learn Morse code and become hams.

Then I would like to send and receive encrypted messages about everyday matters.

Instead of encrypting ourselves I would suggest using one of the codebooks in this list:

The Captain of my first merchant marine vessel as a Radio Officer almost daily sent coded messages to his wife in Scotland. One day when delivering a radiogram to his desk I noticed a code book lying there. I took note of its title but since I didn't have access to a copy I couldn't decipher his messages. (And frankly, I couldn't care less )

Morse Code / Re: CW Morse Code for Dummies
« on: May 26, 2018, 06:35:33 PM »
This is a Facebook page where interesting links are being added about every week:

They changed the name, it's now "CW 4 Dummies - Morse Code". New URL:

Learn MORSE CODE fun and easy way.
Learners, experts, tricks, materials, contacts ... radiotelegraphy
(Some of this information is collected in internet)

Morse Code / Re: The article that inspired me to learn code
« on: May 25, 2018, 10:45:09 PM »
The Case for Code - Part 1
The Case for Code - Part 2

Domain is for sale and articles gone. Hopefully, are they published somewhere else?

Morse Code / Re: Can Morse Code Still Save You?
« on: May 24, 2018, 01:15:51 AM »
Jack Binns was awakened by a tremendous crashing sound, screaming metal and a shudder that ran through the ship. As the wireless operator, Binns knew immediately what to do. Fortunately his long-wire antenna was still up and he had backup battery power. Jack started sending CQD on his spark-gap transmitter, ultimately saving four thousand lives from his ship, the Republic, and those of the Florida, the vessel that hit them in the fog. It was on January 23rd, 1909, and the first significant use of Morse code to save a great number of lives at sea.

Nice article, however this introduction is too short, in a way. As I know well from several years in the profession, a radio operator cannot just go ahead and send distress signals without the ship's Master ordering him to do so. That was probably a rule in 1909, too, as confirmed by a contemporary news article:

And "saving four thousand lives"?    1,500 lives saved.,_1905).  900 passengers transferred to the Baltic. (The Florida did not sink.)

Also, it seems the whole story was more complicated and perhaps a little different from the summary above:

See also:

Antennas / Re: Stealth antenna using your tv aerial feedline
« on: April 30, 2018, 07:58:40 AM »
(PS - make sure your aerial isnt plugged into any kind of distribution system (active or passive) in case you pick up some nasty voltage or static that fries your radio)

I would also worry about myself frying my neighbours' television sets or radios that may be connected to that distribution system, which was the case in the apartment building where I live, with a huge antenna on the roof.

(That's history now though, in my case, because radio, TV, and broadband Internet come into the apartment from an underground cable which, obviously, cannot serve as an emergency antenna.)

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