Wednesday, December 2, 2009

CW decode feature

I love Ten Tec transceivers, but the new generation transceivers are too expensive for me. Icom is a good second, with better prices. Unfortunately they stopped the production of the IC-703. Why? OK, now I will buy a IC-718 with a power adjustable between 5 and 100 watts. QRO... got the devil in me? Icom is seducing me. I know what kind of problems I can expect with 100 watt, trouble. And to have more power and more gain is very relative. When I have 5 watt and wanted to be heard twice as loud than I need 50 watt. Again than I need 500 watt. So the difference between 100 and 200 watt is hardly audible. The difference between 5 and 100 watt is 2 S-points. So what is the big deal?

So this morning I heard calling SV2MAP in the noise on 20 meter and my S-meter stays flat. I call him with my 5 watts USB, and he almost could pick me up from the noise. No QSO... Conditions are poor again, I heard on 20 meter with USB only 2 Russian stations and EA7/G1WUU. With JT65A I heard RA3ICK.

What about the Ten Tec transceiver on the Youtube film: is has a CW decode feature on board. Thats really nice, to bring CW to hams which are not able to copy CW with their ears. I came across two stations who participate in the CQWW CW contest using decoding software. And why not. Purist among us will reject it, but it is a way to bring CW in the spotlights. They could be encouraged to learn it the old way. I use decoding software in combination with my ears. They are perfect partners.


  1. I have a used IC-718 waiting for me when I return to the USA.

    It is very simple to remain true to QRP. Use no more than a 7 amp power supply. That will make you nervous enough to remain at 5 watts. Since the power output is menu driven, set the power output to 5 watts, get out of the power menu and forget about going into it again. That is what I intend to do.

    You have such a great record at 5 watts, I don't think you would gain very much running QRO. And, you would have the problems associated with QRO operating.

    72/73 Dick

  2. Hello Dick, Yes I remember you wrote it on your blog. The IC 718 is a nice little transceiver, I am told that the receiver is better than the rx of the FT817. Its a good hint to set up once the power menu and leave it that way. My power supply can manage a maximum of 23 A. But its too tricky to work full 100 watts with it. Maybe 10 watts (like Adam) but more is not needed. 73 Paul

  3. Once you have 100W at your disposal it's hard not to use it. I still do QRP from time to time but only with the little rigs, which I can rarely use from home as I need the QRN fighting capabilities of the K3 and MFJ noise eliminator.

    Actually I rarely run 100W, mainly because I rarely operate phone. I typically use 40W and crank the power up only if the other side has trouble copying.

    The K3 also has a built in CW decoder. It's quite good, though not as good as the PC program MRP40, but I don't use it. Cumbria Designs has a kit called the Microcode for a standalone morse reader you can sit next to any receiver.

  4. Morning Paul,

    Thanks for the great lyrics you left on my blog. Very appropriate. I can tell the words have had an impact on you. BTW, you have just inspired me to try some CW software as I am finding it a hard thing to try and learn the code. Any recommendations as to which software I start off with??

    I am also very interested to have a look into the MFJ Noice Eliminator for my shack as I am sick and tired of all racket on, especially, 40M. It might just make the difference between being able to copy a station and have a QSO and not being able to.

    Bye for now, Adam

  5. Hello Julian, most of my contacts are CW or digi modes. And I don't need more power. Only when I am on 80 or 160 meter I want more power. Maybe 50 watts or so. I tried MRP40 this morning together with Fldigi and MRP40 can decode weak signals better. But most of the time, when the opposite station is QRO and weak, I can't work that station anyway. It's different when it is a QRP station and weak, then I must rely on my ears. 73 Paul

  6. Hello Adam, There are several decode features on the market.
    I use now most of the time: Fldigi. You can use it also for all kind of digimodes. Its free ware.

    Another: EhoCW only for CW, works perfect. I use no interface, only VOX and microphone. Also free ware.

    You can find both software on the Internet.

    There is also CW Skimmer, I don't like it because the two above are better in use, is my opinion. I paid 80 euro's for it. I don't recommend this.

    A good decoder is MRP40. It has a simple interface but it can really decode weak CW signals. Is has also a narrow filter on board which work well. You can try a trial for 30 days. After that period you have to pay 49,90 euro's to register.

    There are many stations working CW that way. You can at least try it. I become very handy with the decoding software and don't use a normal keyer anymore.

    Good luck, 73 Paul

  7. I think it is going to have to be MRP40 for its weak signal capabilities. But I may also try ehoCW or Fldigi. I shall give them a try over the next few days as I am very keen to try CW this way.

    Thank you very much for your detailed and helpful reply to my question.

    I managed to have a brief QSO with a PE1 station this morning but it was a struggle. As you say conditions are not that great today.

    73 Adam

  8. Anonymous12/05/2009

    The Icom IC 718 is a great easy to use radio. Fun to get on and can be had at a decent price.



Thank you for dropping by and leaving a comment. 73 Paul

Popular Posts