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DCW (Data CW) versus CW

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by VK5EEE, Aug 17, 2015.

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  1. VK5EEE

    VK5EEE Ham Member QRZ Page

    There needs to be a distinction because CW was never intended as a data mode in the way we understand a data mode today. It's the most ineffient data mode. But for the human ear, it's the most efficient mode. So let us define DCW. I say DCW is not the means of SENDING it, a keyboard when used WELL with correct procedures, break-in, not typing far ahead, can help those with arthritis for example. I say DCW is when CW is DECODED by a modem and/or computer, and not the human ear. That is clearly DCW. And, DCW, being a digital mode, should thus NOT be allowed in the exclusive CW-only portion of the band. How can those who are deaf with no volume watching patchy snippets due to QSB, close by signals, QRN etc, share with us when it is SO annoying when they cannot copy stuff we can easily copy by ear. They simply belong in the DATA part of the band and we can QSO them there if we wish, cross mode DCW-CW or DCW-DCW. For any station to be allowed to TX in the CW-exclusive part of the band, they should pass the CW test, by ear, at least 15WPM. Before anyone complains: it's not to get your HF ticket, you can use every other mode including DCW, but NOT our part of the band where you destroy our pleasure and waste our time. Learn CW if you want to be in the CW part of the band.
    AI6KX, KB0TT and W5BIB like this.
  2. N7ZAL

    N7ZAL Ham Member QRZ Page

    I tend to look at pure CW and Morse code as an art, where as anything using a machine is not.
    W5BIB likes this.
  3. KC9UDX

    KC9UDX Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Morse code was certainly intended to be "machine to machine" when it was invented.
  4. AG6QR

    AG6QR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I don't see how you can place restrictions on what portions of the bands one may use a given method of reception. All of the rules I know of merely restrict where and how you may transmit, not receive. Given the current regulatory environment, any attempt at restricting reception methods to certain segments of bands would have to be a voluntary agreement of "best practices", and not something the FCC would enforce. The FCC can't monitor what method someone is using to receive a signal. Some days it seems they can't even monitor transmitters.

    So are you suggesting that those who use automatic decoders shouldn't be allowed to eavesdrop on QSOs in the normal CW portions of the bands? Or that they're allowed to receive, but not transmit? Is the reverse beacon network allowed?

    I'll be honest. The reason I put in a lot of effort to learn how to decode CW by ear is because machine decoding doesn't work worth a darn with weaker signals in a band filled with QRN, QRM, and QSB. And for that reason, I agree that, if you want to experience CW in the CW portions of our bands, you really have to learn to hear CW. But that's sort of a natural rule that enforces itself, not requiring a manmade rule.
  5. 9V1VV

    9V1VV Ham Member QRZ Page

    I don't think decoders work well. I have one built into my K3 and it is absolutely hopeless in any sort of noise or QSB, even if the code is by a keyboard. Anyone trying to ragchew using a decoder is probably wasting their time, so maybe the argument does not apply. Decoders need to get a lot smarter before they can replace our ears. If they get that good then, yes, CW will be truly digital. Just my humble opinion.
    VK5EEE likes this.
  6. K7MEM

    K7MEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Here we go again. I would think after all these years people would get over the no-code changes.

    What section of the bands would you take away from the no-coders so that your elite group can operate? I mostly use CW myself, and I passed all of the Morse tests (13 and 20 WPM) at the time. I work anyone I can, in any of the CW portions of the band. As long as I can decode it, I'm good. I welcome all of the new coders giving CW a try. Sometimes I use a computer or memory keyer for repetitious words and pro-signs. Where does that leave me? Do I have to cross band? I also often leave the computer decoding while I am decoding in my head.

    Amateur Radio has changed a lot over the last 50 years that I have been licensed. You need to adapt to those changes. Remember that it's just a hobby and you should be enjoying it.
  7. N7ZAL

    N7ZAL Ham Member QRZ Page

    I was hoping this forum "Straight Keys" would not have to deal with mechanized CW. Why can't we just not worry about the no code crowd and stick to "regular" CW operation?

    Take the discussion to another forum? JMO
    N1EN and W5BIB like this.
  8. AA8TA

    AA8TA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    You guys who are purist can stick to the old Extra-class portions of the bands; generally the lowest 25 kHz. The rest of us unwashed masses can muddle along in the upper portions. How about that? Or, if somebody is rubbing you the wrong way, say "TU es 73" and move on. Lots of guys have done that to me; no big deal, no tears. I don't like the idea of somebody stalking around a frequency or band just waiting for me to screw up and then attack. If that's the game that's going to played, how are you going to get other people interested? Is there is a test that we have to take join the circle? I'm in ham radio to have some fun, which I have had a ton of.

    Early in my CW journey, I worked a guy in some special thing that I found out later was for a certain type of operator that I'll never be. How was I supposed to know? In fact, it's happened more than once. As it is, I often wonder where I should hang around so I don't tread on some sacred ground.
    DL3LK likes this.
  9. WA7DU

    WA7DU Ham Member QRZ Page

    That is stretching the truth. Morse planned an on-paper recording of the dits and dahs, which would then be "translated" to the intended character by human eyes. It was while working on the recording device that Alfred Vail realized he could understand the dit/dah sound patterns, thus rendering the recorder unnecessary. Even with Vail's "discovery," the on-paper recorder was a part of many early telegraph stations.

    Even before the paper recorder, Morse considered assigning common words in English a number, and then sending a code representing that number via the telegraph, with the number converted back to the assigned word at the receiving end.

    In any event, none of Morse's ideas involved purely machine-to-machine communications--a human was essential at both the sending end and the receiving end.
    VK5EEE likes this.
  10. N7ZAL

    N7ZAL Ham Member QRZ Page

    In doing genealogy research I found that one of my ancestors was Vail and I've been reading up on him and Morse.

    Very timely post. :)
    VK5EEE likes this.

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