Daily Archives: March 8, 2011

Morse code

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[no run today ]

I usually wake up about 5 am and go into the office/radio room and turn on the ham radio
(an old kenwood TS-820 is in the #1 spot these days) and listen around on the 40 meter CW sub-band (7000 kHz — 7120 kHz) for some DX activity or whatever I find. This morning I was listening to a ZL (New Zealand) talking to a K6 (California). So I get a little bit of CW (morse code) almost every morning.

Morse code is odd when you think about it. It is a digital radio mode that relies on the human operator to generate and decode. In the past, most people who used it were required to do so because of their occupation. These days anyone using code is doing it for their own pleasure.

And it has quite a large learning curve. It took me months just to get all of the characters memorized, which is required if you want to decode anything at reasonable speed. That was many years ago and my proficiency has waxed and waned with usage.

With modern computer software you can hook a radio up to your computer and use a program to decode the CW signals. I have heard there are programs that can decode multiple signals at the same time and work well on faint signals too. And you can generate CW with another program that translates from keyboard into code. I don’t have any problem with people using those methods. More CW operators means more people for me to contact.

Here is a sample:  K8YC  (John) exchanging name and signal report with ZL1BVB (Mike) in Auckland

CW Sample

Filed under Ham Radio, Operating
Mar 8, 2011
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