CW on the Blink

Discussion in 'Working Different Modes' started by AE5RU, Jul 19, 2010.

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  1. AE5RU

    AE5RU Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have wanted to get back into CW for a very long time however
    I am, according to my hearing specialist, tonally challenged, hearing impaired, aurally inept, lose of certain frequencies or ranges: wife, 500~900Hz and others.
    Many years ago, when I was about 10yld a neighbor friend and I set up a wire link if you will, between our houses with some old phone cable. We then constructed very crude keys and a light bulb so we could have a qso at night and before school. We taught our selves code. (We found the all the letters on a card in a box of cracker jax).

    And now, if you are still with me my question. Has anyone here used a light for CW copy if so what proficiency might one expect to achieve?

    I held off upgrading for the simple reason I didn’t want to get my ticket on a medical.
    I stayed at Tech from 1993 until this year.
    This year I decided, damn the Naysayers. I’m upgrading, now here I am at extra, wishing I could join in CW.
    Any thoughts, slams, flames all welcome.

    73’s Steve
  2. K7JBQ

    K7JBQ Moderator Volunteer Moderator QRZ Page


    If you can hear 400 Hz, you should have no problem.

    The only "Morse by light" I ever did was when I was at Scout camp back in 1959 when I got a call from home that my Novice ticket had arrived.

    That night, I sat on a hill overlooking the ocean and "called" CQ with my flashlight pointed at a few fishing boats anchored offshore.

    One of them answered, and I had my first "QSO."

    The speed wasn't very fast, but the copy was Q5.;)

  3. KI6J

    KI6J Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've been practicing with this

    I'm good to about 25wpm copying tone CW, maybe about half that with light. I still find myself inserting a "tone" in my mind when I read light, and I'm sure it slows me down.

    Heliograph and Aldis operators have been doing it for over a century, I'm sure you can too.

  4. AE5RU

    AE5RU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks Stu, that's just what I have been looking for.
    I'd be happy with 10 wpm. with my southern drawl 10 would be about right hi hi.
  5. K8ERV

    K8ERV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Nicely covered in "The Victorian Internet" (early telegraph) that I'm reading right now. Very interesting. ISBN 0 425 17169 1

    TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
  6. G0GQK

    G0GQK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Dare I suggest that you download software like FLDigi and you can see the words appearing on your PC and if there are any blanks and lots of EEEEEE, you can fill in the gaps yourself

  7. AE5RU

    AE5RU Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have several "decoding" programs some good and some not so much. my goal is to use actual brain cells to decode and resend CW.
    Thanks for the suggestion tho.

  8. K7KBN

    K7KBN Ham Member QRZ Page

    12-13 WPM on flashing light is an excellent speed. Most Navy Signalmen/Quartermasters max out right about that point. Some can go as high as 15 WPM under good visibility conditions. There are undoubtedly some who can go faster, but I don't know for sure.

    I was a Radioman - and I could keep up with all the Signalmen on the Kitty Hawk back in the mid-1960s. Of course, there are no more "Signalmen". Or "Radiomen".

    Sigh. :confused:
  9. N3PDT

    N3PDT XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Steve, if it's just the frequency giving you problems hearing, many rigs allow you to adjust the freq to below 500hz which should be audible for you. I'm in awe of those that can copy CW light flashes. They don't connect with my brain well. At least not yet.
  10. K8MA

    K8MA Guest

    Perhaps This Will Work.


    Years ago a product was marketed that wrapped around your neck and hung down onto your collar bone(s?), it was a broadcast radio receiver, the "Bone Fone".

    It used acoustic conduction through your skeleton, allowed you to hear the program without blaring it out into the surrounding area, it was surprisingly effective, I wonder if this technique might overcome some of your hearing issues?

    It is easy to try with a small speaker applied to your collar bone, maybe one side works better than the other, or perhaps both sides is best.

    I am not a medical person but I know of several people who have had very good results with cochlear implants.

    Hope you come up with a solution, 73-Jack.
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