Do you use full break-in (QSK), semi-QSK, or no QSK?

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by VK5EEE, Mar 16, 2016.

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In CW CQ and QSO, do you mostly use full break in (QSK), semi-QSK or no break-in (TX only)

Poll closed Jun 16, 2016.
  1. I almost always use full QSK (I can hear between characters)

    58.2%
  2. I almost always use semi-QSK (I can hear between words)

    18.2%
  3. I don't use QSK, I can't hear between words, only after a longer pause or on switching to RX

    23.6%
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  1. M0PHE

    M0PHE Ham Member QRZ Page


    I was taught to use morse in a commercial setting. If you're in the middle of copying a 500 word telegram (especially if it's a company code 5 character code group type telegram) and you get a bit of QRM it's much easier with full QSK to break in and ask for a repeat rather than waiting till the end of the telegram. QSK is just natural to me. Using an amateur rig is even easier as you've only got one set of clacking relays rather than separate ones for tx, rx and aerial muting circuits.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2016
  2. VK5EEE

    VK5EEE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks M0PHE now I got you, wasn't sure how to read the previous one HI. Yes indeed, and even in many amateur QSO, QSK saves time. Typically in the 80's the East Europeans would send RST the other would send R, if not, RST got repeated up to 3 times, same for QTH and OP name. These days that tradition has ceased for some reason. Also in a QSO eg among regulars or QRQ or even any QSO, when there is QSB and some words go missing, why not tap the key and get an instant repeat, its better for both sides. Some of us do it but I think not many. Yet the poll shows a majority using QSK, but perhaps in spite of it, we're not using QSK procedures, just QSK without much benefit?
     
  3. DK7OB

    DK7OB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Now you mention this I remember. Back then not many commercial western amateur transceivers were QSK capable. My home brew rig from that time was, and I used it quite a lot with UA and LZ stations.

    Today, I hear it only in (high speed) rag chew QSOs, despite the fact most modern transceivers are now QSK capable.
     
    VK5EEE likes this.
  4. M0PHE

    M0PHE Ham Member QRZ Page


    Here's a bit of QSK working the dreaded Athens Radio/SVA :eek:

     
    VK5EEE likes this.
  5. M6GYU

    M6GYU Ham Member QRZ Page

    For what its worth, almost every time I heard a merchant naval RO miss something when receiving something they would simply press their key and give the first few letters of the word they last heard and the other RO would simply pick up that word and carry on sending. Very effecient. So routine was this that I can't remember hearing any other method. Perhaps the couple of ex MN ROs could clarify.

    In the RN and most of the other military outfits I've worked with mostly you'd wait until the guy had finished and then send, for example;-

    de GYUL ? (imi) WA (or wb,) proceed K. (as an example!)

    WA/WB being word after / word before.

    If you were receiving code and missed the 89th group then you simply ask:-
    de GKYU ? gr89 K - Nb. you didn't have to count the groups as you always wrote them in rows of five or ten groups on preprinted paper with pre-numbered rows.

    This was mainly due to not being able to guarantee the other guy had equipment which was capable of full QSK and you didn't always chance breaking in for risking loose even more of a message/signal. If you were on a large ship two or three operators could be using extremely close frequencies and the receivers on close frequencies would automatically attenuate preventing other ops from breaking in anyway. Also messages & signals were often sent to multiple ships at once and having everyone break in whenever they missed something would have meant total chaos.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2016
    VK5EEE likes this.
  6. M6GYU

    M6GYU Ham Member QRZ Page

    For what its worth, almost every time I heard a merchant naval RO miss something when receiving something they would simply press their key and give the first few letters of the word they last heard and the other RO would simply pick up that word and carry on sending. Very effecient. So routine was this that I can't remember hearing any other method. Perhaps the couple of ex MN ROs could clarify.

    In the RN and most of the other military outfits I've worked with mostly you'd wait until the guy had finished and then send, for example;-

    de GYUL ? (imi) WA (or wb,) proceed K. (as an example!)

    WA/WB being word after / word before. This was mainly due to not being able to guarantee the other guy had equipment which was capable of full QSK and you didn't always chance breaking in for risking loose even more of a message/signal. Also messages & signals were often sent to multiple ships at once and having everyone break in whenever they missed something would have meant total chaos.
     
  7. W9JEF

    W9JEF Ham Member QRZ Page

    I suppose if I handled traffic, QSK would be the way to go.
    To me, the hearing of receiver noise between characters
    is quite distracting. My radio, an early Icom IC-706(no Mk)
    can do it, but has an occasional glitch, so I gave up trying.

    I do pause, maybe after every sentence or so, to check the
    frequency for QRM. So my vote should be 2.5?
     
    VK5EEE likes this.
  8. M0PHE

    M0PHE Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm an ex MN RO and that's the way I always did it. Just a couple of ditdits and the start of the previous word. You were supposed to send AA (all after) first but very few sparkies did.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2016
    VK5EEE likes this.
  9. AG6QR

    AG6QR Subscriber QRZ Page

    I always keep my radio on full QSK. I rarely need it, but I'm used to it, and it's nice to have when I hear some alligator station come tune up over my in-progress transmission, or when the party I'm in QSO with wants to interrupt me for a repeat or something.

    With QSK, CW becomes the most conversational mode on ham radio, short of tying up two frequencies to use full duplex. It's the only mode I use where I can hear someone interrupting while I'm in the middle of a transmission. It leads to a much more quick, interactive and real-time flow of conversation than is normally heard over a VHF repeater, where the changeover from sending to receiving and back takes much longer.

    I can't count the number of times I've heard inane long-winded transmissions on a repeater, where someone just won't let go of the microphone. "Oh, and then there's George, uh, oh, what was his last name again? I'm trying to think of it. ... I'm sure it'll come to me in a minute, that guy, I can picture him, he's a bit portly and really friendly, He always likes talking about cars, and sits near the back of the room at most of our meetings. He's got a golden retriever. Why can't I remember his last name? It'll come to me. ... " Finally, the repeater mercifully times out, but you can never tell whether the long-winded guy still has his hand on the mike.

    Of course, interrupting needs to be done seldom, and with at least the same care and respect for the other person as one would use in ordinary face-to-face conversation. But used well, QSK is great.

    Modern cell phones, with their long latency, and sometimes half-duplex speakerphones or car bluetooth systems, can make conversations much less interactive than CW. I prefer to be able to listen while I'm speaking.
     
    VK2WP, VK5EEE and M0PHE like this.
  10. W8ZNX

    W8ZNX Ham Member QRZ Page

    ahoy

    you forgot a place for using all three

    it all depends on the rig and what i am trying to do

    if am running one of the HB rigs it sometimes takes throwing a switch and turning a knob
    to go from transmit to receive
    some times just turning up or down the receiver gain

    slow speed rag chewing or trying to work a DX station mid pile up
    contest or working a solitary weak weak signal in the noise

    it all depends

    still in the stacks
    mac
     
    VK5EEE likes this.

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