Tone

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by KB1CKT, Sep 19, 2017.

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  1. KB1CKT

    KB1CKT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've heard a few stations of late that I'd rate as maybe a 5 on tone. Does anyone send other than xx9? I haven't worked anyone yet with a bad tone, but I've heard enough that I suspect it's only a matter of time.

    On a similar note, if the band is echo-y, do you just say "WID ECHO" or do you derate the tone also? There was quite the echo the other night.
     
  2. N3HEE

    N3HEE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Tone is only based on the transmitted signal. Not based on propagation effects such as echos or watery sounding signals. I do not hear too many signals with poor tone these days unless they are running vintage gear in which case I may hear a little chirpiness. -Joe N3HEE

    T = TONE
    1 -- Sixty cycle a.c. or less, very rough and broad
    2 -- Very rough a.c. , very harsh and broad
    3 -- Rough a.c. tone, rectified but not filtered
    4 -- Rough note, some trace of filtering
    5 -- Filtered rectified a.c. but strongly ripple-modulated
    6 -- Filtered tone, definite trace of ripple modulation
    7 -- Near pure tone, trace of ripple modulation
    8 -- Near perfect tone, slight trace of modulation
    9 -- Perfect tone, no trace of ripple or modulation of any kind
     
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  3. KB1CKT

    KB1CKT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Fair enough. I do keep a copy of the RST chart handy, but chirp isn't on it.
     
  4. WR2E

    WR2E Ham Member QRZ Page

    For a chirp, append a "C", for a click, append a "K"

    Not that many today would understand that.
     
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  5. KB1CKT

    KB1CKT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I forgot about appending a C, I'll keep that in mind. Hadn't heard of K, but it makes sense.
     
  6. N3HEE

    N3HEE Ham Member QRZ Page

    If you are giving out a 5 for tone then that would be a pretty nasty sounding signal ? I agree the op will probably not understand what a C or K is ? I suppose you could give them a 7 or 8 for chirp ?
     
  7. N2EY

    N2EY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    No. You give them C for chirp, K for click. X for crystal-like stability.

    The "Tone" part of the RST system is from the 1920s/30s, when it was common to hear all sorts of odd-sounding signals. Some ran oscillator transmitters with raw AC on the plates....others MOPA with DC on the oscillator but AC on the amplifier......still others ran DC but with inadequate filtering.....and all sorts of other combinations.

    Rectifiers and power supply filters were expensive back then. Filter chokes and capacitors were sometimes home made. Electrolytic rectifiers were fussy, had relatively short lives and needed to be "formed". Mercury arc rectifiers (not mercury vapor - mercury arc) had their own issues. All sorts of ways to have less than pure DC for the transmitter.

    The 1929 regulations required pure DC, but that didn't mean everyone immediately complied. And even those who did could have bad signals due to various undiagnosed problems in a transmitter.

    (There were also hams who intentionally had signals of less than T9X. The idea was that a "distinctive" signal was easier to copy through QRM).

    73 de Jim, N2EY
     
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  8. K8JD

    K8JD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Signal Reporting
    When did this new T chart come around ? I see the new T numbers on Wikipedia !

    The old one had CW ratings from 5 to 9 and Modulated CW ratings (musical notes) below the 5. (Maybe the Rotating spark gap was being rated ?)
    Kind of obsolete even when I was a novice 55 years ago :D
    I have pretty clean equipment and wonder when some newby gives me a RsT 555, like all the numbers have to match ?
    In the old SWL SINPO reporting system a 55555 was PERFECT reception with PERFECT conditions.
    Echo was mentioned in the original post, probably from multipath around the long and short worldwide paths. I don't know if that would be reported with an appended letter. The bands have not been good enough for me to hear this in a long time but the strange sounds caused by aurora reflections would be noted as an appended "A" after the RST. This can happen on 6 and 10 M signals, and maybe even 12 or 15 M, but I have not heard it there myself.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2017
  9. N8AFT

    N8AFT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Not sure many of us Know exactly what these tone defect examples even sound like.
    As you say, almost obsolete these days with modern equipment.
    Also, Please don't get all carried way with telling us xtal controlled and tube rig ops that we have a slight chirp.
    Most all of us already know this fact because we are monitoring our outbound signal.
    Some chirp and warble or drift is to be expected and accepted.
    Please don't tell us how to fix it by adding a filter in the pwr supply.
    VY 73 lane
     
    K8JD likes this.
  10. WD4IGX

    WD4IGX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have, years ago, heard chirpy signals and given a C which was understood then (70s and 80s) if not super common.

    I think I may have sent a 7 report for tone once because it sounded a little raspy. Once. Maybe. The most common thing you might hear other than a pure 9 would be a chirp on some vintage gear.
     

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