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Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KK4YWN, Sep 14, 2017.

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  1. KK4YWN

    KK4YWN Ham Member QRZ Page

    i'm going to assume that the early telegraph system required the recieving key to be closed in order for the sending key to work.

    if the sender notices the sounder is silent, he knows there is a break. it could be a downed line, or it could be the reciever has opened the key, causing the break.

    with the introduction of wireless, there was no longer a break-line condition to observe, so telegraph guys spelled it out "brk", just as some fone users say 73 or hihi or even break

    correct me if i'm mistaken. thanks
  2. KK6NOH

    KK6NOH Ham Member QRZ Page

    hihi is laughter
  3. KY5U

    KY5U Subscriber QRZ Page

    The main telegraph line west was the nineteen line from St Joseph Mo to California. When an end to end message needed to be sent, the message was prefixed with bk 19, bk 19.
    K9ASE and WR2E like this.
  4. KK4YWN

    KK4YWN Ham Member QRZ Page

    i implied (but never directly said):

    bk wasn't needed on telegraph lines because an open key caused a break. if i needed to send a message but someone was sending, i could open my key causing the circuit to break. the sender would know this imediately and stop to listen.

    when the telegraphers moved to wireless they found they had to let other operators know when they wanted to break-in, and so they just said bk to let others know they wanted to send.

    i deduced this after looking at the 92 code. specifically, code 8 (Close your key, stop breaking.)

    i found a drawing of how the telegraph system was wired and realized that a break was an open key (or broken line) and the circuit was built so that both parties were aware of a break.

    therefore: break = break in the line = open key = i want to send.
    K9ASE likes this.
  5. W3WN

    W3WN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Do you know why?
    KY5U likes this.
  6. KK6NOH

    KK6NOH Ham Member QRZ Page

    just guessing.... but maybe because its easy to send. all it would be is dit dit dit dit dit dit dit dit dit dit dit dit
  7. WD4IGX

    WD4IGX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Using hi to "laugh" on CW is one thing. SAYING it as in "highhigh!" always struck me as utterly absurd. If it's funny, just LAUGH.
    WW0W likes this.
  8. WZ7U

    WZ7U Subscriber QRZ Page


    go ahead breaker... :D :rolleyes:

    sorry - couldn't resist. Otherwise an interesting thread where I might actually learn something.
  9. WZ7U

    WZ7U Subscriber QRZ Page

    Not really, but I wish you would tell. Do tell. I always thought it silly whether on CW or Phone (especially phone, like virtue signalling or something)
  10. W0AAT

    W0AAT XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    If I operate 2m SSB meteor scatter I use break to end a call. It takes less time when 1/10 second can count...

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