Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by NW7US, Jun 4, 2020.
To much like work
Ma certamente che si il Morse non morirà Maiiiii
Any chance signals are being drowned out by QRM? Even on semi-busy contest weekends it "sounds" quiet at home, but when I did a SOTA activation on a summit about an hour from here last weekend, it was wall-to-wall signals on 20m. Literally. I struggled to find an open frequency. When i did, I had no problems making 3 contacts in rapid succession. Then I hopped on 15m, which is also normally dead (deader than 20m) and immediately got another contact there. This was all on 5w SSB.
Point is, if I went by what I could hear from my home, I'd be convinced the airwaves are empty, which was not the case when I got out of the noisy environment that is NoVA.
Maybe you would work more DX if you were more active?!
I don't work FT-8 very much (but I don't dislike it) but I'm pretty active trying to make QSO's on JT65A and FT9. But there is little activity with these modes. Almost all activity is on 20 meters.
I'm still trying to figure out how one sets FT8 up for automatic operation. I hear about that allot on social media.
I would love to earn 160 and 6 meter FT8 DXCC while I sleep.
I've always liked operating CW. @NW7US, I'm surprised I don't see you in my log. I've been hittin' just about every SKS and WES lately. Next SKS is Tuesday evening.
@W4HM, I've been doing a lot of 6 meters lately since it's Es season. I spin the big knob between 50.080 and 50.100 and hear nothing. I send CW CQs on 50.090 for 15 minutes and nothing. I spin to 50.313 and see S-5 signals. I fire up WSJT-X and see wall to wall signals. FT8 fits 6 meters well. The CW folks (when they're there) just exchange "599's" and grids. WSJT-X gives honest signal reports (and grids). I've been experimenting with a 6M ringo ranger at 20 feet and a 6M M2 HO-Loop at 20 feet. I don't get consistent results. Sometimes on the horizontal loop, I hear a bunch of stuff and nothing on the ringo ranger. Sometimes the other way around. No matter which antenna I'm on, sometimes they hear me well and I don't hear them well; and sometimes it's the other way around. 6 meters is a crazy band.
As for the automatic FT8 ops, I can give you a list of call signs I see *every time* there's a band opening on 6. Same thing on 10 meters. Google "FT8 Robot Software," you'll see package names like "FT8-helper". It's software that runs in conjunction with WSJT-X. I've been tempted to load it up and let it run. But I just don't see how that can be fun. So I still haven't done it. Besides, I see some DEAF ROBOTS out there. That's pretty annoying. No wonder the ARRL discourages the use of FT8 robots. It's ok to run a robot, but it's not a legal "unattended transmitter" if you walk away from it and let it run. A DEAF ROBOT is an indication of an unattended transmitter.
I find it fun to upload my WSJT-X log to https://www.wg7j.reinalda.net/gridmapper/gridmapper.php and see how much of the states, or world I've blanketed.
But CW is my first love.
Is CW alive because of it's own merits? It seems to me that the ARRL does plenty to keep CW alive. Take the rules for Field day as an example. All voice modes are considered equivalent, so no special credit for using AM or SSB or FM. Once a station is worked on any voice mode it cannot be contacted on that band on another voice mode for credit. Likewise all digital modes are considered equivalent, so no extra points for more than one digital mode. Now digital modes count for more points than voice but there's no more points for more than one mode per band per station.
Then comes CW. It counts for more points than voice, just like digital modes. This means that for those that are chasing points the ARRL weights working CW quite heavily.
Then there's the W1AW Morse code bulletins and practice transmissions. There's the ARRL sponsored contests and awards for Morse code operation. Just how much would Morse code mean to Amateur radio today if the ARRL didn't keep up with rewarding members for their Morse code operations?
When it comes to the FCC it seems that they don't much care what we do, only that we don't cause them trouble. One theory I have is that the FCC was very interested in Morse code up until the end of the Cold War. Up until about 1990 there were still plenty of ships, commercial and military, that needed capable Morse code operators. Amateur radio licensing meant that the federal government had a list of people that knew Morse code that could be drafted into service if there ever was another big shooting war. Being of military age was not important for this because anyone under that age would become of military age later, and those too old but but capable of operating a radio could serve on shore stations and therefore allow someone able to serve aboard a ship to not have to be tied to shore.
Afer 1990, give or take a few years, the FCC lost all interest in maintaining a list of Morse code trained people. By that time the Cold War was over and there were enough digital communications systems that the likelihood of needing to go back to Morse code to keep ships at sea was near zero.
If Morse code had any merit in commercial or military radio communications then the FCC would be highly motivated to maintain a pool of trained Morse code operators.
Oh, and don't forget that the ARRL petitioned against the removal of all Morse code testing when the FCC was taking comments on it. The ARRL fought hard on that, so don't claim the ARRL did nothing.
I don't do Morse Code contacts, just because I could not learn it so far. But I do respect people that can do it, and keep it alive.
I think Morse Code it's not just alive today; it's going to be alive as long as our beautiful hobby will be alive as well.
This mode is fantastic, and I really hope to learn it sometime in the future, maybe when retirement time finally comes to me.
No, I'm not that young, having just turning 58 this last week, being a ham since eleven years ago.
The only thing I can't agree with, is the code proficiency requirement being still mandatory in so many countries (Brazil included) for one to advance his (or her) operating class and privileges.
I'm still stuck in the entry level (the "C"class) in Brazil 'cause I don't do the code.
Despite I've been teaching so many tech stuff to my radio fellas, or have worked around 230 DXCC entities with no privileges on, say, 20 or 40 meters bands (15 is a plus, but only digimodes for me), limited to no more than 100W, I just can't go ahead.
I feel like I'm a second class ham. It seems that we, in the amateur radio world, have two classes of operators: "They" that do know the code, and "Us", that are not capable of do it.
May Morse code be alive forever, and may it be a mode of choice for everyone.
Belated happy birthday!