CW: How to Send Coordinates in Degrees with Minutes and Seconds?

Discussion in 'Working Different Modes' started by WI2D, Nov 7, 2010.

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  1. WI2D

    WI2D Ham Member QRZ Page

    Seasoned CW Operators,

    Strangely I am unable to find an answer to the question in the thread title.

    Here is how I would send coordinates with fractions of degrees:
    QTH 32R86 N 96R76 W

    Should it be
    QTH 32 DEG 51 MIN 4 SEC N 96 DEG 45 MIN 4 SEC W
    or there are standard symbols like apostrophe and quotation mark to designate minutes and seconds?

    Thank you and 73,
    Andrey - WI2D
  2. N0IU

    N0IU Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have to admit that in 18 years, I have never given out my geographic coordinates over CW. If someone asks, I will give them my maidenhead grid square locator, but even that is not a part of a "normal" CW QSO, for me anyway.

    For those extremely rare times when you might need it, I would just spell it out precisely since there are no CW codes (that I know of!) for degrees, etc.
  3. DL7GEM

    DL7GEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    IIRC, coastal radio stations on 500kHz used to send coordinated in warning messages as
    xx xx xx N/S yy yy yy E/W, e.g. 32 51 4 N 96 45 4 W
    I guess what is good enough for professionals should be OK for hams.

    For ham radio purposes I would consider giving the Maidenhead locator sufficient.

    73 de Marcus / DL7GEM
  4. G0GQK

    G0GQK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Andrey, I think your second suggestion is probably the best. As for doing it the way the proffessionals do it... how would we know, and would the person at the other end understand.? Have you considered the location system used by all radio amateurs who operate digital modes ? The locations are easy to find on a locator map, much easier

  5. AB1GA

    AB1GA Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've seen the following usage in written form, which would probably work well:

    123d 45m 06s n, 234d 56m 01s w

    The abbreviations are short, yet unambiguous, and avoid "unusual" Morse code characters.

  6. AL7N

    AL7N Ham Member QRZ Page

    Lat Long coordinates

    Since the advent of GPS. it has become common to state lat/long coordinates
    in degrees, and the minutes in decimal form as a whole number and hundredths of minutes.

    Example: North 65 degrees 50.04 minutes West 147 degrees 47.34 minutes

    Using CW Morse, it would be sent as

    N 65 50R04 W 147 47R34 or 65 50R04 N 147 47R34 W

    Whatever you do make SURE you don't get minutes & seconds confused
    with minutes & hundredths of minutes...

    'Tain't the same! In the example above, 65 degrees 50.04 minutes
    is a different position than 65 degrees 50 minutes 4 seconds.
  7. WI2D

    WI2D Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thank you, all, for you replies.

    Since there is no common practice for sending coordinates over CW exists, I think, it is best to avoid confusion by including degree, minute and second designators as a letter when not using degrees with fractions:
    QTH 32R86 N 96R76 W
    QTH 32D 51R06M N 96D 45R06M W
    QTH 32D 51M 4S N 96D 45M 4S W

    Andrey - WI2D
  8. NG7IL

    NG7IL XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Why not use the UTM coordinate system to send your coordinates? It is all numbers without punctuation, except for the Zone. The Zone is understood if you are sending to someone in the same zone. The Zone is a number and a letter. The accuracy is right down to the meter. Fewer digits gets you to an area, more digits pinpoint the spot you wish to share. You could even send appended numbers. All the GPSr's I have used have the coordinate system in it already. They will convert between formats automatically or there are several simple programs on the internet. Below are two links for info. One is a great tutorial on how to use it, the other describes what it is.
  9. AC0FP

    AC0FP Ham Member QRZ Page

    How about using decimal coordinates instead of degrees, minutes & seconds?

    Here is a converter program I use.


    fp :)
  10. AL7N

    AL7N Ham Member QRZ Page

    Coordinates by CW Morse


    Something like this?


    Never thought of that...It was an "eduction" digging around learning
    about UTM and finding the places to get the conversion from/to

    Last edited: Nov 13, 2010
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