Archive for the “CW (Morse Code)” Category

Can you decode this Morse Code?

Can you decode this Morse Code?

Today is Samuel Morse’s birthday. Samuel Morse is the inventor of the Morse Code which many Amateur Radio Operators around the world (including me) use every day for fun and efficient communications.  Today, Google celebrated the day by modifying their search logo.  Can you decode it?

John

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qrp-l_logo

I am susbcribed to the QRP-L mail list. The discussions on the list are usual QRP variety with a sometimes off topic post or two.  The last couple of days, an interesting flair-up of off topic posts about “Earth Hour” and “Earth Day”.  It has been an interesting topic to follow.  Today, Dave, N0IT sent a great post that about sums up the whole deal.

Message: 23
Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2009 14:53:09 -0500
From: “sjolin” <sjolin@swbell.net>
Subject: Re: [QRP-L] Earthday
To: “edward kacura” <ekacura@yahoo.com>,    <QRP-L@mailman.qth.net>

I attended the first Earthday Celebration at Northwestern University in 1970. What a joke! For all the hyperbole about the world coming to an end for this reason and that, non of the calamities the alarmists preached about almost forty years ago ever occurred. Oh yeah, that same year Time Magazine ran a cover story about the new ice age and global cooling. Couldn’t sell that so they switched around and tried global warming.

If there was no money in this for the alarmists, for the scientists “investigating” it, the alternative energy companies that are economically untenable without government subsidies, the governments that drool over the tax revenue from cap & trade, and foremost money for the UN and third world politicians who hope to benefit from “our guilt”, there would be no talk of global warming. Money and control are what is behind climate change paranoia. Enjoy being duped, go right ahead and send your money to the UN. Leave ours alone.

Whenever a little greenie college kid comes to my door to tell me how bad things are today, I laugh in their face. When I was a kid you couldn’t breath when driving near Gary Indiana even with the windows up and the vents closed. And as far as water is concerned, Cleveland I believe had a river that caught fire because of all the pollution.

Tell me with a straight face that we are destroying our environment and I will laugh in your face. If you folks destroy our economy and democracy with your pseudo religion, then your kids and grandkids will be the big losers.

—– Original Message —–
From: “edward kacura” <ekacura@yahoo.com>
To: <QRP-L@mailman.qth.net>
Sent: Saturday, March 28, 2009 11:53 AM
Subject: [QRP-L] Earthday

> > Too bad so many of you supposed intelligent people think global warming
> > and earthday is a joke.Well folks,the jokes on you,go ahead and waste more
> > time and resources ignoring the climate change,and what could be done to
> > help!You are condemning your children and their children for years to
> > come,this has nothing to do with politics or Al Gore.You poor folks have
> > my sympathy,lets hope you open your eyes and minds before it’s too
> > late!Have a nice Earthday,and long live QRP!72/73 de Ed N7EDK.

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A week or so ago, I posted a note about the Gnat 1 single transistor QRP transceiver.  I was excited about building this little project.  I gathered up the parts and warmed up the soldering iron.

The project went together easily.  After all, there are only about a dozen parts or so, what could go wrong?  Oh, what a loaded question that was.

I decided to construct the 80 Meter model.  I live about 20 miles out of Helena, MT, and if I was successful in getting this little rig working, I wanted to see if  a fellow Ham in Helena could detect my signal.  After completion, I attached the power, and antenna.  I hooked up the oscilloscope and frequency meter, and powered the rig up.

I was immediately gratified with a signal when I shorted the “key” line.  It looked like I was getting out between 200 and 400 milliwatts, depending on the power supply voltage.  This is where the fun ended.

I was never able to detect any sort of audio out of the little rig.  I followed the tuneup procedure in the instructions to the tee.  The instructions were easy to follow and the results were exactly as written, but through all of the test procedures, I was “NEVER” able to detect any audio.  After several days, I think I am done with it.  Unless something else pops into my mind, I will cut my losses on this one and continue on to the next project that is begging for my attention.

My dead bug Gnat 1.  No audio was ever detected.

My dead bug Gnat 1. No audio was ever detected. Click to see a closer view of the dead Gnat 1.

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The Gnat One

N7ZWY's prototype of the Gnat 1. About two square inches.

Here is a little project I am excited to build.  The Gnat 1 by Chris Trask – N7ZWY.  It is a ONE transistor CW TRANSCEIVER.  I’ve seen other one transistor transceivers that employ a multi-pole switch or relay to toggle the transistor between the transmitter and receiver, but this one is unique in that it employees neither of those schemes.  The key itself switches it from receive to transmit.  This should be fun.  If I am successful (or not), I will post about the fun time I have with it.

I just received some crystals in the mail today, so my attempt at this little project will be for the 80 meter band.  Check this little project out and warm up your soldering iron and give it a try. It will be FUN!

Here is a six page pdf of the project from N7ZWY: http://www.home.earthlink.net/%7Echristrask/Gnat%2040.pdf

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I love CW (That is: Morse Code).  On the Ham Radio bands, I operate almost exclusively CW.  It is fun and rewarding.  It is a challenge.  It is an easy way to get those DX contacts in the middle of the lowest part of the sun spot cycle.

There seems to be a resergence of interest in CW.  Eliminating CW as a requirement to get a Ham Radio license hasn’t done much to bolster our numbers.  CW is not the reason that our hobby has declining numbers.

Enter LCWO.net .  LCWO.net  is a web site I just discovered that will help you learn, or improve your CW skills.  LCWO stands for “Learn CW Online”.   I fiddled around  a bit on the site and found it very interesting; and it will even track your progress.  Give LCWO.net a try, it just might be the ticket to help you learn, or improve your CW.

CW is FUN!

John – K7JM

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On December 27, I posted a short video by N0TU announcing SKN (Straight Key Night).  He has made an update to that video after the fact of SKN.  View his excellent video and see what you missed if you did not operate SKN.

I operated for a short while and made two contacts using my old Heathkit SB-102, and an old navy key.  It was short but it was a lot of fun!

See you on the air!

John – K7JM

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