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71

because there are a large number of operators who had to learn it to get their licence because there is a large (but slowly diminishing) number of operators who learned it while serving in the armed forces because the transmitters and receivers can be extremely simple and inexpensive, not needing much more than a key and headphones along with the rig, ...


35

The advantage? Efficiency! You get to put all of that power of your rig into a very small bandwidth, whereas voice modes need to spread the power out much more (for example, SSB uses roughly 2.8kHz of bandwidth). Quote from: http://home.windstream.net/johnshan/cw_ss.html : Going a little bit further, assuming a SSB signal takes up 2000 Hz., and ...


28

The Koch method is supposed to be very good at building fast Morse code receiving skills. The basic idea is that you start out by setting up to receive code sent at your desired target speed, usually a rate of 20 wpm or more, possibly staggered to a slightly lower speed; I've seen 20 wpm staggered to 15 wpm being relatively common, although for a pure Koch ...


22

One of the reasons it's still in use is because of its inherent simplicity - no real signal processing is needed. Thus, CW transmitters and receivers are very simple and thus inexpensive.


21

One of the biggest advantages of CW is that users worldwide can contact each other without knowing English, or any specific language. Conversation is limited to the common Q codes, but these provide significant flexibility and ability to communicate making Morse Code a common language of sorts.


21

According to Shannon (in A Mathematical Theory of Communication - and who's going to argue with Shannon?) there are really only four symbols in Morse, not five: "dit" (defined as one unit time on followed by one unit time off) "dah" (three unit times on followed by one unit time off) "letter space" (two unit times off) (should follow a dit or dah symbol) "...


18

CW signals are not “transmitted on the upper sideband”, nor the lower one. A CW signal is approximately at a single frequency (with only the additional bandwidth required to allow the key-up and key-down transitions). However, the standard method of receiving a CW signal is identical in structure to a single-sideband receiver. The local oscillator (LO) of ...


18

My understanding is that in at least some telegraph systems, the principle of operation was as in this circuit (where the coils depicted are actually telegraph sounders): simulate this circuit – Schematic created using CircuitLab Thus, your key's shorting switch is, in radio terms, your transmit/receive switch: you close it in order to listen, and ...


17

Completely legal. In fact, it's common practice to identify repeaters (both in the amateur service and in public safety/commercial) with exactly this method. That said, you likely won't make many QSOs with it. There aren't many people who would be prepared to immediately respond if they started hearing FM morse on 146.52 (the typical hailing frequency for ...


15

20 wpm. §97-119: (b) The call sign must be transmitted with an emission authorized for the transmitting channel in one of the following ways: (1) By a CW emission. When keyed by an automatic device used only for identification, the speed must not exceed 20 words per minute;


12

It is not required any more for any US license, as of 2008. It has not been required for the technician license since 1991. It is still required in some areas, and some international amateur radio licenses, in particular the IARP license, which may be used by US amateurs to operate outside of the US in IARP countries. Bottom line is, however, that fewer and ...


11

Just listen and copy. Tune into areas of the band populated by higher level licensees and just start copying. Don't dwell on the letters you miss, just skip them, leave a blank and focus on the next one. Eventually you'll start picking up the words or phrases instead of just the letters.


11

In the simplest form, CW consists of a pure sine wave multiplied with a square wave that's either 0 or 1, corresponding to the keying of the carrier. As with a mixer, or amplitude modulation, multiplying two signals generates frequency components that are the sum and difference of each frequency component of the multiplicands. In our simple form above, ...


11

Many Morse abbreviations and conventions come from before the days of radio, and we are relative latecomers to the game compared to the telegraphy guys. For this question, I found an old reference here from a 1920 Morse Telegraphy manual where the ES abbreviation is shown in the old American code as being the code for the ampersand character &. It is ...


11

Since you're simulating the situation with non-transmitting equipment, you get the play the part of actual emergency agencies. You'd start by asking the SOS caller to identify themselves (call sign, ship name, etc.) and give their location and the nature of the emergency. Of course, unless your 5 year old knows a lot more Morse than just SOS, that's where ...


10

Because it's fun to send and receive messages by Morse code! It's something that can be done without any specialized equipment for sending and receiving. It's a shared historic experience. It's a challenge, and a skill that is fun to learn. It puts you into a special "club," setting you apart from those non-CW capable hams. But mostly, it's just fun.


10

tl;dr: It's legal on any VHF or above frequency where phone modes are permitted. It is not allowed on HF or below, nor where phone modes are not allowed. What you have described is called "Modulated Continuous Wave" (MCW), as defined in the US amateur radio rules under 47 CFR §97.3(c)(4), and would have the emission designator F2A. (The usual CW used on HF ...


10

Try to find the allocated amateur radio band plans for your country. You will notice that there are reserved sections of the band plan that are for CW only. Usually they are in the first few kHz (i.e. lowest frequency) for the band you're interested in. For instance, in Australia the CW portions for common HF bands are: band ~freq CW portion 160m 1.8MHz ...


10

No. Stick with higher speeds. Not only will the slower speeds naturally come along with higher speeds (to some extent, you'll have to practice a bit later on), but learning at a slow speed tends to develop bad habits that are very difficult to break later, like "sounding out" the characters as dots and dashes rather than distinct sounds. Also, finding ...


10

Generally, QSL means "I acknowledge receipt". "QSL?" (with a question mark) means "please acknowledge". Sometimes when listening to QSOs you will hear someone say QSL VIA BURO or QSL DIRECT or similar, and those are instructions on how to send a QSL card. But QSL on its own just means "acknowledged". Finally, if someone says PSE QSL then that usually ...


10

That is Morse code, in Norwegian, being sent with a "bug" (Vibroplex type mechanical key). The two operators are LA6UH and LA7JS. Probably not something you want to figure out how to decode with a machine, but the ops' "fists" make them very recognizable to those who know them. LA6UH gives a clue in his bio, where he writes: I spent a couple of years of ...


10

Data from the Reverse Beacon Network provides an answer. RBN receivers and computers decode CW (and other "digital" modes) to identify stations calling CQ and posts information about signal strength and operating speed. I think it's reasonable to assume that QSOs are conducted at the same speed as the op sends "CQ." Click on "DX Spots" followed by "Download ...


10

In the International Code of Signals (an International system of maritime communication, including radiotelegraphy), AAA (over-bar) is designated for both full stop and for decimal point. (See flashing light procedure signaling, page 20.)


9

So, my personal theory is that "Koch was a good start". But in the modern days of computers, why haven't we improved much since that period of time. Huge advancements in education have also occurred since the time the Koch method was created. I decided to test my theory that with computer assisted learning we could improve our speed by having the computer ...


9

There are numerous resources on the web for learning and practicing Morse code, with most of them agreeing on some basic principles. One is to learn the code by sound, not by charts of dashes and dots or mnemonics. Another is to learn the characters themselves at a high rate of speed, even if they are separated by large spaces (Farnsworth method) or reduced ...


9

I love Morse code for these reasons: It's fun. There is something satisfying about pulling a really weak signal out from the noise just 10s of Hz away from another really strong semi-local signal, and making a decent contact with someone halfway around the planet with less than 100W. I can put headphones on and operate in the living room while the XYL is ...


9

I am a new ham, and I decided to learn it, and use it, strictly for the purpose of efficiency. CW operation is low bandwidth, and therefore requires very little power to get a signal out over long distances. You will not get the same results from voice transmissions or other larger bandwidth data modes (although JT-65A and PSK31 are relatively efficient data ...


9

Morse code requires an extremely small bandwidth (and is usable in a channel that has a relatively low S/N) for a mode that requires no digital processing hardware or computer/digital logic chips (instead requiring just the skill of a couple of human brains) to communicate. Some people value accomplishing things using personally learned skills rather than ...


9

I would echo the point mentioned by N8WRL: "Why do I operate CW? It is a blast!" I'm actually re-learning morse and realising I've been missing out on a lot of fun over the years. In terms of learning and training, it feels some way between learning a musical instrument and learning a new language. It is an excellent way to stimulate the brain - an ...


8

I got my technician license in 1992 to play with packet and TCP/IP on VHF/UHF. I got bitten by the HF bug listening to the CW subbands. I decided to learn CW on my laptop on business trips. I struggled to pass 5 WPM for my Tech-plus but I did and I got on 80m CW. A few months later I had WAS and It wasn't long after that I passed 20 WPM for my Extra. Why do ...


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