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Messages - swxx

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Morse Code / Re: Fewer Lids: one more reason I like the code
« on: August 23, 2017, 11:27:19 AM »
I virtually never heard anyone take the time to tap out cuss works and etc. ... on CW. 
It's a pity that the international and forgotten but never officially mentioned universal swear word [insert swear word in your own language here] isn't used in amateur radio. I use it but no one understands it. It was used extensively by ship radio officers, from some nations more than others. It is the original "!" in CW which later became the comma "," i.e. --..-- and usually sent as -- . . -- (MEEM) for emphasis. You can even send that slowly and forcefully pounding with the side of your fist on a straight key! And it sounds much better than English words hurled as insults, which I have heard used by frequency policemen-without-badges in DX pile ups.

Who has message relaying skills anymore? I don't even think the ARRL is doing anything in CW anymore but their daily practice sessions, which I applaud them for, even though it's clearly broadcasting. Is NTS still active? Is there a worldwide NTS?
Yes, well, no. There should be. But yes within the USA there is, they regrouped the serious ones after ARRL-NTS failed to kill them them off with politics when jealousies came to a head over an exercise with FEMA called Cascadia Rising. Very intereresting results from that exercise which FEMA wanted messages sent from East Coast to West Coast in encrypted groups, and CW came out on top even ahead of Pactor. It is called Radio Relay International. And they are welcoming of international liaisons. Something smaller called CWB is also there of late and the two cooperate. But there is a long way to go INTERNATIONALLY or globally.

Morse Code / Re: QUESTION: Why Do Men Love Morse Code?
« on: August 23, 2017, 11:07:01 AM »
Sorry about that, I just did a quick search for the actual joke with the same words as I remember it, and that site came up. On revisiting I saw pop ups that appeared when I tried to copy it, I turned off javascript (so hard to do have to go to about:config in FF these days, EVERYTHING goes backwards no longer forwards, we are definitely in regression across all fields now including technology)... so, here it is without that annoying site:

A language teacher was explaining to her class that in French, nouns unlike their English counterparts, are grammatically designated as masculine or feminine.
'"House" in French, is feminine - "la maison", while "pencil" in French is masculine - "le crayon."'
One puzzled student asked, "What gender is a computer?" The teacher thought it would be a good exercise to have the students decide what they thought the gender should be.
So she split the class into two groups appropriately enough, by gender and asked them to decide whether "computer" should be a masculine or a feminine noun.
The men's group decided that computer should definitely be of the feminine gender ("la computer"), because:
1. No one but their creator understands their internal logic.
2. The native language they use to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else.
3. Even the smallest mistakes are stored in long term memory for possible later review.
4. As soon as you make a commitment to one, you constantly find yourself spending more money on accessories for it.
The women's group, however, concluded that computers should be masculine "le computer") because:
1. In order to do anything with them, you have to turn them on.

2. They have a lot of data but still can't think for themselves.
3. They are supposed to help you solve problems, but half the time they ARE the problem.
4. As soon as you commit to one, you realize that if you had waited a little longer you could have gotten a better model!

General Discussion / Re: Praise For The 80m Band and NVIS.
« on: August 23, 2017, 11:00:47 AM »
It would be good if you can get around to a write up and photos of your vertical. I should of course do the same for mine, but they are not made nicely and may not look great in photos.

Morse Code / Re: QUESTION: Why Do Men Love Morse Code?
« on: August 23, 2017, 08:58:06 AM »
Hilarious! I heard of this long ago which is where I learned about this, but I've not before seen an actual photo that demonstrates it so well as the above!

Morse Code / Re: Q Codes, Z Codes and Battery Life
« on: August 23, 2017, 06:03:00 AM »

Well that's great! I could put up with the 2kHz CW tone I guess, that's just for outgoing? You can vary the pitch of incoming CW or is that on frequency also when pitch is at 2kHz? Maybe the logic there was if anyone heard you they might think they're having tinnitus. Or, in the battle field, perhaps that pitch gets above the noise of explosions and the shriek of missiles?!

Morse Code / Q Codes, Z Codes and Battery Life
« on: August 23, 2017, 03:53:41 AM »
.thread went off topic. Cant delete.

General Discussion / Re: Praise For The 80m Band and NVIS.
« on: August 23, 2017, 03:38:15 AM »
SWXX, welcome to the board!
Thank you!

Few radio amateurs are good as this, unlike professional service radio operators: formal messages.

What do I mean here by formal message? I refer more to the formal FORMAT of a message.

Radio amateurs are often (but not all, perhaps most are not these days) good at chatting, about WX, ANT etc. all good stuff. Then others are not, they find it hard to exchange anything other than 5NN TU or 73. Same often for professionals who come to amateur radio.

But FORMAL FORMAT MESSAGES (QTC if you like or radio grams) have a very important role for radio preppers. It is all to do with reliability and efficiency of communicating a message and being able to have that message relayed ACCURATELY.

I will give a typical example. IN a net, one station can hear one but not another. So he asks for QSP. He wants to inform the third station that he is going to be unable to make the sked today and will be on tomorrow at 1600Z on 14049kHz. But what actually gets relayed? The station in the middle, listened, did not write down, and then sends the message as follows:

Sorry Bill, John says he could not make the net today but will be on 20 meters at 4pm tomorrow. YET that is completely wrong. So this is why a FORMAL FORMAT is required and a message needs to be WRITTEN (or typed) down. But it has other benefits too:

* Easy to check if something is missing, by counting the words and comparing it to the check number
* Easy to fill in missing letters or blanks by using the "WA", "WB", "AA", "AB", "BN" codes.

For a much detailed explanation of all this, please see -- relating to CW in particular but also applicable to SSB and digital modes:

Of course the benefits are many more: hard copy, filing, third parties, accuracy no matter how many times it is relayed, time and place of origin and clear destination, the importance or urgency of the message.

CW by the way has many benefits over SSB for sending FORMAL FORMAT MESSAGES (QTC or Radiograms). These include as much as 20dB better signal-to-noise ratio thus requiring much less power, e.g. as much as 1W CW to 100W SSB equation. Typically at least 10db but very often more than this. CW can also be copied, by an experienced and trained ear, as much as 12dB or more below noise.

Another advantage is SPEED. Who would have thought Morse Code is faster than voice or digital? Assuming three trained operators: a competent SSB Op, a competent digital OP, a competent CW Op. Digital often needs hand shaking and setting up and a message often has to be typed in and/or printed out before or after the event of sending. But particularly SSB can be very slow and unreliable:

in CW that is sent exactly like that, and if readability is good, requires no repeats.

But SSB will require spelling out:


(because the spaces are important to the word count, remember, any message must be sent or relayed EXACTLY as it was received INCLUDING what may appear to be errors or unimportant things).

The IARU even acknowledges this in the Emergency Telecommunications Guide which is VERY MUCH worth printing out by radio preppers it is up to date, comprehensive and covers a lot of things. This together with any other list of frequencies, codes, things that you cannot access from the Internet or computer so should be prepared in print -- even the message forms/format mentioned above.

Morse Code / Re: QUESTION: Why Do Men Love Morse Code?
« on: August 23, 2017, 03:14:28 AM »
I think women may have the answer to that: man are either ON or OFF they (or we) are that simple. CW (actually ICW Interrupted Continuous Wave) is either on or off, so it is simple, and we're comfortable with it. WOMEN on the other hand would need one that varies in frequency, a chirp would not be enough, it'd need to be more complicated than just dits and dahs.

Gil you must have good ears for SSB. I could not hear OH at ALL. The MW0DEW I could HEAR but not understand even ONE word! On CW that would have been easy. I can copy CW up to -13dB SNR, though with repeats. -10dB SNR no sweat at all. But SSB I have always been poor at, like all things is needs training I guess. Does that radio do CW too? Lovely radio... need to look out for that sort of gear.

General Discussion / Re: Chinese hf radio
« on: August 22, 2017, 10:17:24 PM »
This post suggests that firmware update is available AND that the source code is published:

General Discussion / Re: Praise For The 80m Band and NVIS.
« on: August 22, 2017, 10:13:35 PM »
Great to be here and learn much from you all. Ray I recognise you :-) great to see you too. I also was reminded, looking elsewhere, thanks to you, about horizontal loop for 80m. Even low down, around the house, for those of us with small plots.

If not using a coax dipole but if you have a (manual) tuner with 1:1 balun, a doublet (double zepp) does not need to be as long as half wave length. One can get away with a lot shorter without too much loss of radiated power, e.g. 20% less length then isn't any problem. Also, or alternatively, as the radiation on dipoles is not off the ends of the antenna but the middle two thirds perhaps at half wavelength, bending the ends downward or in any direction is not a big problem, to make it fit. At the NVIS height that horizontal antennas pretty much probably have by default at 80m, direction of the wire is not a problem as it'd have little or no effect on azimuth pattern.

I made a small vertical for 80m, it is 4m long with about 96 turns base loading and on a squid pole up 4.5m at its base, with the very thin coax, even with one elevated radial, works fine, but less so for NVIS obviously, but for thousand km or more after dark is quite good.

More advanced nations than the declining west, such as Russia and China, have never let go of HF nor of CW nor of the knowledge. Indonesia too is an advanced nation using CW many times a day every day with broadcasts from its National Resilience Institute. Isn't that what others should be doing too? South Korea and Japan, perhaps the two most technologically advanced nations in the world, BOTH still use Morse Code for some of their FISHING fleets across the Pacific, so they have not given that up even at a non-military level! Perhaps comforting to know, may be that not only USA but also the other "mine is bigger than yours" threat of nuclear war, DPRK aka North Korea, do NOT use Morse Code neither in their military nor anywhere else it would seem, and this is the reason that they have no one to monitor any amateur radio CW expedition to that country. BUT the USA has many hams that know CW AND HF, even if the authorities don't.

General Discussion / Re: Crowd Funding The Perfect Survival Radio?
« on: August 22, 2017, 08:50:58 PM »

You know I've been thinking about the perfect survival radio for a while, first proposing a CW-only transceiver. Only fools never change their mind, so here is what I have come up with now:
  • Quad band, 20, 30, 40, 80m transceiver.
  • CW and DSB modes.
  • Keyer optional but real CW with full QSK.
  • 3kHz and 400Hz filters.
  • General coverage receiver.
  • 10W output.
  • Low current draw on receive.
  • Watertight case and connectors.
  • Battery in the case.
  • Built-in battery charger (3x 18650?).
  • Military handset or speaker-mic.
  • SWR indicator.
  • High SWR protection.

The choice of DSB is dictated by the need to interoperate with military radios which use USB only. I am thinking of a minimalist concept, less is better.

I wonder if a radio designer could be hired after a crowd funding campaign... What are your thoughts on this?

I think it is a great idea. Perhaps even made in China provided proper QC is done and it keeps costs down. But QUALITY is KEY as it has to be reliable. I'd add to the above:

* Balanced output and built in tuner -- PFR3 does this and I think that's great as doublets (double zepps) work well, even vertically
* In the tropics, I think 40m acts like 80m does in Europe. So having 15/20/30/40 would be good for such locations.

I'd also like to see an Auto Alarm built. I may make a separate thread on that in the forums. If that can be incorporated in a CW Surival Rig I think that would be very cool, but even if it is a plug in addition or option.

The lack of being able to find any one rig that meets the above specifications on your list is what has prevented me, along with impecuniousness have prevented me, to date, from doing what I consider a priority. I have pretty much everything else communication wise: well versed in Morse, able to copy signals -13dB SNR by ear, home brew antenna experience, keys, but what is lacking is the RIG.

All I have at present is one of those current-guzzling ones that needs a car battery, and that battery won't last for long.

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