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May 7th 2013, 02:12


Joined: Feb 5th 2012, 23:25
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Sep 4th 2014, 12:49


Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
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Hello Guy:

I checked and see that you are a real Novice licensee. Congratulations on putting the time and effort into learning CW. By learning and using CW you have unlocked the door to an entire universe of ham radio possibilities that are beyond the capabilities of the codeless hams of today.

When it comes to copying CW with a software application the first description that comes to mind is that they are "all equally poor". Almost all CW you will find on the air is actually sent by hand. I include CW sent with a keyer using paddles as well as CW sent via a keyboard if the sender is not typing well ahead of the buffer. The reason CW software programs don't do well receiving CW is that they are very intolerant of minor timing inconsistencies with hand sent CW.

A CW software application trying to copy the oft heard phrase "BEST 73" sent by hand with minor timing flaws within the characters might correctly copy "DEIET ZE ST"

That being said, now I will say that I have tried various software application for copying CW and found most can only be rated fair to poor. The best I have found is using the CW mode in a Multi-mode Kantronics TNC and displaying the decoded CW in the terminal program of your choice. I have a Kam+ that I have had for a good 18 years or more and it actually does a pretty respectable job copying CW.

Just about any of the CW programs cnd send CW well.

Now I will say that the very best computer for copying CW is the one between your ears. It has built in error correction for timing issues, and has a lightning fast search engine that access an enormous data base of terms and phrases and make corrections on the fly. The grey matter computer gets faster and more efficient with use but does take some time to program. And in my humble opinion trying to find a short cut around investing the required time only takes more time.

If you are a touch typist who can type with all your fingers without looking at the keyboard, I encourage you to start practicing copying code by typing the characters. Open notepad or a similar application and practice typing slow CW by typing the characters. But keep your eyes on the display as you type and not the keyboard. Your brain will over time convert the sound directly into the required finger movement to type the correct key. At the same time you will be seeing and reading what you are receiving and can anticipate what the next word will be and can verify it as its being received. Your maximum code speed capability will more than double if you can learn to copy CW by typing. You can even close your eyes and concentrate on the sound and finger movements while typing and not have any idea what you copied until you are done and can go back and read it. It's good practice. The slow speed code practice audio files on the ARRL web site are an excellent tool for practicing this technique.

Well, I got way off topic, which is what I usually do when it comes to the topic of CW. Good luck and stick with it. It's worth the effort.

73, Steve/k8bz
Sep 7th 2014, 19:40


Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
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Give Fldigi a try.

73, Nate
Aug 23rd, 21:38


Joined: Jun 11th 2014, 17:46
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I see you didn't get much of an answer here.

I got my novice in 1961 and didn't get back into amateur radio til a few years ago when I got a general. I too am interested in "trying" some of the code conversion programs and have tried MRP4066 and EHOCW. The first gives you a 30 trial and the second can be freeware (donation gleefully accepted by them).

Both look good and I've spent some time going thru the software ... but have not as yet been able to do a physical connection between my PC and my KG-UV950P to really see how well they work. My Kenwood HF is easily connected to the PC but I'm waiting on an antenna rig before installation.

So, you might start with the Ehocw program (since it's free) then later try (30 day free trial) the MRP4066 for comparison.

Hope this helps.
Duane KG7LQV

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