Why is CW question mark two things?

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by KE0EYJ, Aug 18, 2018.

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  1. M6GYU

    M6GYU Ham Member QRZ Page

    I can only recall the 'cut numbers' being used at sea a couple of times. I never heard military stations using them, except dah, for zero which was common when it was obviously not going to be mistaken for a 'T'. But I vaguely remember hearing some ship or ship/shore station sending a long signal of cut numbers in groups of 5. At the back of my mind I'm thinking this was a wx or wx synopsis report?
  2. NQ1B

    NQ1B Ham Member QRZ Page

    I am finding "cut numbers" one of the biggest barriers to learning to log contest exchanges quickly. The logging program won't let me type in the letter that the cut number represents, e.g. 1N for 19, 2T for 20, etc. and convert it to a number. It demands that I convert it myself. But it is a huge hit to my speed to hear "1T" and have to think, "OK, 1T, that T must be a number at this point in the exchange, is T a 9 or a 0? Uh, it's a zero, right, so that's a 10" and meanwhile I have missed a bunch of the exchange. If you had sent "10" in the first place, I'd have entered it quickly without thinking twice.

    Part of being a beginner getting your speed up is to quickly and without thinking hear a character, or even a word, and just automatically type it or interpret it. Having one character means two different things, which is the essence of cut numbers, is a real pain.

    "5NN" is fine, as we all get used to that quickly. But using cut numbers for serial numbers in contests are a great way to make life really difficult for new CW contesters.[/QUOTE]
    WB5YUZ and M6GYU like this.
  3. M6GYU

    M6GYU Ham Member QRZ Page


    The joys of CW. When I was at sea many ships sent/received weather forecasts in numeric form of 5 number groups. (the first group always being 10001) Between experienced commercial operators they were mostly sent completely as 'cut' or abbreviated numbers. It does take some getting used to. It was also common in the merchant service to hear operators send a letter o for a zero when this could not be confused with the letter o, for example when sending a date & Time.
    W5BIB and WB5YUZ like this.
  4. KB9BVN

    KB9BVN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Cut numbers 599 = dit dahdit dahdit
  5. W5BIB

    W5BIB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    [/QUOTE]Not to worry Catherine,... The "cut" numbers you're most likely to run across while contesting are: "N" (for nine) & Very Seldom, "E" for "Five".

    5NN (for 599) is used almost exclusively in CW contests & readily understood.

    The cut 5 "E" (as in ENN [599], not very much at all, except by the extremely fast contest operators. (& you already know that the RST is gonna be 599) ;)

    The only other "cut" number you'll likely run across in normal QSO's, is the "cut Zero". Usually sent as an extra long "Dahhh". e.g. "running 5 dahhh dahhh (500) watts, or, even sent with a short dah (like a "T") - "running 5TT watts. Of course in normal QSO's, the RST is most often sent as 5NN or 58N, 56N or whatever.

    Have fun & don't stress out over "cut numbers" :)

    BU (73 in cut numbers) :p:confused:


    p.s., I don't use any logging programs & log every thing by hand, so I don't know about the problems you've encountered with logging.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2018
    VE7PJR and M6GYU like this.
  6. VE7PJR

    VE7PJR Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is another one of those "loan characters" from Morse. "Zero" IS a very long dah. There's "dah" (T), "long dah" (L) and "very long dah" (zero). This goes along with dit (which never changes) and the short space, medium space, long space elements of Morse.

    Sending a T in International would be "double-cut" because the op is sending a short dah to "cut" a long one...:D

    I imagine that's due to those ops who use keyers set up for International, which I understand only has ONE dah length.

    One advantage in International is that technically the same elements ought to be pretty much the same for everyone. You'd have to hear a little bit to get a feel for what each op thinks is a short, long or very long dah otherwise.

    I'm still imagining what a set of Morse keyer paddles would look like. I see one dit lever, next to a stack of three dah levers, and that makes my head hurt. The keyer would need four input lines, and the necessary circuitry for generating the different dahs. I'd still sit down and play with it, though!

    One of those times when a straight key makes a lotta sense. Or a bug.


    Chuck VE7PJR
    W5BIB likes this.
  7. N2SUB

    N2SUB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Dave - in the recent SKCC WES contest the use of QSL was rampant. It was painful :)
  8. N2SUB

    N2SUB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    It seems like you only want to talk to "experienced CW ops". We were all new once. ;)
    NQ1B likes this.
  9. WB9JPH

    WB9JPH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Getting back on CW after a long hiatus. My sending is slowed down the most by computer spell check dependency ...... when sending CW I actually have to think about how words are spelled.
  10. W9RAC

    W9RAC Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I never could figure that out........QSL and hi hi on sideband, why? 73 Rich

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