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.

8 comments:

  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

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  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

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  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.

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  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

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  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

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  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

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  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

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  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.

    Regards,
    Jim
    W2KLM
    meltedsolder.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete

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