[CQ-Contest] Use of CW decoders in contests

Zack Widup w9sz.zack at gmail.com
Fri May 28 05:49:16 PDT 2010

I kind of get that way myself maybe. Back when the Novice license was one
year and not renewable, I learned Morse code and that was all I used. When I
upgraded to General, I had the same station I used as a Novice and the
transmitter would only do AM and CW. I never could find a mic that worked
well with that rig, so I stuck with CW. I used a hand key and then upgraded
to a bug I inherited from my grandfather (who was a railroad telegrapher).

Some time in the 70's I built the WB4VVF Accu-Keyer. I used my bug as the
keyer paddle, adjusting the dit reed so it always made contact when the dit
paddle was pushed.

I never cared for copying Morse on a machine and don't really care to send
it with a keyboard. I still prefer a keyer.

It's kinda interesting, though, that Samuel Morse originally intended his
code to be printed on a paper tape by a machine at the receiving end and
translated visually. Somehow that did not gain acceptance at the time and
people learned to copy by ear.

If newcomers to amateur radio want to use machines to copy Morse code, it's
fine with me. I'll keep doing what I'm doing. I only hope that they get
interested in it enough to advance their own skills and learn to copy it by

73, Zack W9SZ

On Thu, May 27, 2010 at 10:40 PM, Radio K0HB <kzerohb at gmail.com> wrote:

> I, like a lot of others (I suspect) sometimes act overly-proud of personal
> skills developed over long periods of practice and usage.
> Then I remember back when I wasn't so skilled, and the crutches that I used
> to build my confidence and expertise.
> I have no problem with someone who tunes up a signal but uses some
> electronic help to check his copy.
> 73, de Hans, K0HB
> --
> "Just a boy and his radio"
> --
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