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Old guy having problem mixing codes?

Jun 21st 2015, 16:38

WD5BPI

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
47 years being an amateur. After a dry spell of about 8 years I got back on the air. I have always loved CW but I have noticed something that concerns me about the "International Code" we are all to be using. It is the substitution of the very long DASH from the "Continental" code and its use for the zero character. Generally I can understand what is meant in something as simple as and RST report, but using it in a serial number or some other list of numbers being transmitted is confusing. Not all serial numbers are numbers only, so I always question was that a zero or the letter T.
Should we not try and be as clear as possible in our communication?
Jun 22nd 2015, 12:51

W1VT

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0

It depends on the context. If sent as part of a contest exchange that requires a signal report and serial number, there shouldn't be any confusion as to what is being sent. If you are confused, you can ask for a repeat.

It can be useful for the casual participant in a contest to spend some time listening--contest protocols have evolved over time.

Zack W1VT
May 11th 2016, 23:30

RogerFCole

Joined: Feb 13th 2016, 04:10
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Wow, just getting back into radio and this is news to me. I never heard of this. Glad I found out here before I heard it on the air and wondered what was going on.
May 14th 2016, 00:58

AI4BJ

Joined: Sep 2nd 2003, 12:14
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Someone please educate me. What is a "long dash", and how does one go about sending one with a paddle and electronic keyer?
May 14th 2016, 17:18

W1VT

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
http://n1mm.hamdocs.com/tiki-index.php?page=Configurer
The popular N1MM program has the option of sending "cut numbers"

http://www.amateurradio.com/dont-bug-out-when-hearing-a-vibroplex-semi-automatic-key/

A keyer may offer a semi-automatic mode that would make it easy to send long dashes.
The operator of a semi automatic bug can easily change the length of the dashes.
http://k1el.tripod.com/K16.html
Took a few minutes of Googling to find a keyer with a bug mode.

http://kob.sdf.org/morsekob/docs/decoder.pdf
This paper discusses the decoding of American Morse via machine. It suggests that precise element lengths don't really exist.

In theory, a long dash should be easily differentiated from a "T," making it more understandable to the skilled operator.

Zack Lau W1VT
ARRL Senior Lab Engineer

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