Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by KB1CKT, Aug 26, 2015.

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  1. SM0AOM

    SM0AOM Ham Member QRZ Page

    In the Radio Regulations there are procedure signals that were used in commercial Morse traffic:

    "AA All after... (used after a question mark to request a repetition).
    AB All before .. . (used after a question mark to request a repetition).

    WA Word after... (used after a question mark to request a repetition).
    WB Word before ... (used after a question mark to request a repetition"

    However,this requires that the received text has been written down in order to identify the missing words.
    A suitable procedure could be to start the reply with a "?" and "PSE RPT WA... or WB" etc.

    If the received text is not written down this becomes much more difficult.
    Use of the phrases PSE MY REPORT AGN or PSE RPT UR NAME AND QTH after the "?" could be a starting point.

    WB5YUZ likes this.
  2. WA7DU

    WA7DU Ham Member QRZ Page

    An operator's "fist" is not restricted to straight keys. Semi-automatic keyer users also show "peculiarity" by which an operator can be identified. Radio intercept intelligence operators used those peculiarities to gather intelligence on both the Japanese navy and Japanese diplomatic corps in WW2.
    WB5YUZ likes this.
  3. N2EY

    N2EY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yes it did.

    The prosign SK derives from the American Morse for "30"

    "30" is from the Western Union list of numerical abbreviations which gave us "73".

    In 1859, Western Union standardized on the "92 code" in which the numbers from 1 to 92 were assigned meanings. It was in this list that 73 got its present meaning. Later more numbers were added.

    Here's a partial list:

    1 Wait a moment
    2 Important Business
    3 What time is it?
    4 Where shall I go ahead?
    5 Have you business for me?
    6 I am ready
    7 Are you ready?
    8 Close your key; circuit is busy
    9 Close your key for priority business (Wire chief, dispatcher, etc)
    10 Keep this circuit closed
    12 Do you understand?
    13 I understand
    14 What is the weather?
    15 For you and other to copy
    17 Lightning here
    18 What is the trouble?
    19 Form 19 train order
    21 Stop for a meal
    22 Wire test
    23 All copy
    24 Repeat this back
    25 Busy on another wire
    26 Put on ground wire
    27 Priority, very important
    28 Do you get my writing?
    29 Private, deliver in sealed envelope
    30 No more (end)
    31 Form 31 train order
    32 I understand that I am to ...
    33 Car report (Also, answer is paid for)
    34 Message for all officers
    35 You may use my signal to answer this
    37 Diversion (Also, inform all interested)
    39 Important, with priority on thru wire (Also, sleep-car report)
    44 Answer promptly by wire
    73 Best regards
    88 Love and kisses
    91 Superintendent's signal
    92 Deliver promptly
    93 Vice President and General Manager's signals
    95 President's signal
    134 Who is at the key?
    "19" and "31" refer to train orders of two different types (absolute and permissive). They were so well known that the terms "19 order" and "31 order" were still in railroad use in the 1980s, after the telegraph was gone from railroad operations.

    The Morse code used in US wire telegraphy was the "American" Morse code, which shares some codes with the "Continental" code we still use today. (The continent referred to in the name is Europe, and it became the standard code for radio work early in the 20th century).

    The abbreviation "ES" for "AND" derives from the American Morse character "&" which was
    dit dididit. The prosign "SK" with the letters run together derives from the American Morse "30", which was didididahdit daaaaaaaah (extra long dah is zero in that code).

    Then there's the origin of the expression "take five". It does NOT derive from "take a five minute break" nor Dave Brubek. "Take five" comes from the American Morse for the letter "P".


    Who recognizes this:

    "AR," grunted Jug, and with his thumb tripped a breaker closing switch...."
    WB5YUZ likes this.
  4. N2EY

    N2EY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    It's much older than the Novice license.

    The RST system dates from the 1930s. In those days, many if not most hams were using self-controlled oscillator transmitters (such as the classic pair of tens). Such transmitters would chirp, yoop, click, and wander around the band if not carefully built and adjusted. A good one could be made to sound very very good, but even the best would sometimes drift a little from thermal effects. Crystal control was much steadier; properly operated, crystals don't drift.

    The ultimate goal of all good CW ops was a T9X signal.
  5. WA1GXC

    WA1GXC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Is it from "Jim", the Christmas QST article from the 19-teens about the poor neighborhood boy who hangs out with

    the rich 'swells' from the Harvard Wireless Club? "I worked somebody"

    Reprinted in the 50th anniversary Christmas issue of QST

    Affirm? Negative?
  6. N2EY

    N2EY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yes and no.

    The quote is indeed from "Jim - A Tug At Your Memory", by John C. Flippin, W4VT (SK) which first appeared in QST in April, 1935, and was reprinted in QST for May 1966 and December 1990. It also appeared in ham radio for May 1981.

    But the story does not take place in the 19-teens; the technology is clearly that of the early 1930s. And the University is definitely NOT Harvard; clues in the story and in W4VT's other stories ("To A Lady With Red Hair" (April 1936) and "Freshman Marlow" (September 1938) rule out Harvard.

    December 1990 was the 75th anniversary Christmas issue - 75 years since Volume 1 Number 1 of QST (December, 1915)

    73 de Jim, N2EY
  7. WA1GXC

    WA1GXC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Read it during the 50th anniversary year in 1966 Featured reprint articles that year, as this one, were printed on very heavy beige rag-stock paper.

    Having grown up in Boston, I presumed the annoited ones were Harvard students. Goes to show culture of entitlement does not observe geographic boundaries.

  8. WB5YUZ

    WB5YUZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    A real-world example: in "Rise and Fall of the Third Reich," William Shirer records that when the German wireless op sent his last message from Paulus' headquarters at Stalingrad, he ended the transmission "CL."
    KC7JNJ, N2EY and W5BIB like this.
  9. N2EY

    N2EY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Some clues as to why it's not Harvard:

    1) Harvard's color is crimson. The stories mention only blue as the school color.

    2) In "To A Lady With Red Hair", it is mentioned that the University sits at the crossing of two trunk lines. Boston is on the coast and close to the eastern end of two trunk lines. Only traffic to and from Maine would be relayed through Boston.

    3) The station descriptions, particularly the antennas, in all three stories do not match the urban Harvard campus. In particular, in "To A Lady With Red Hair", a special message is transmitted from the University to "the girl back home", on 20 meters, using a V beam pointed eastward. The time at the University is noon and it is 3 PM at the receiving end, which puts the University on the west coast.

    Yet there are contradictions in the details. Snow is depicted in "Jim", thunder and lightning in "Freshman Marlow", which do not jive with a University on the west coast.

    IMHO, W4VT was purposely inconsistent with the location details. The University was not so much a real place as an idealized setting - the best of all Amateur Radio worlds at the time.

    Yet there was at least one University amateur radio station in the 1930s which had 204As running the legal limit on three-phase power. This is known from an old QSL card.

    W3ABT-1930s-Front-1024x610.jpg w3abtbackL.jpg

    Note the date (June 1935) and the transmitter description.

    73 de Jim, N2EY
    WA1GXC, WB5YUZ and KC7JNJ like this.

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