Date   

Re: Beta Readers, closed!

 

Yes, exactly, Wes ;-)

I can't remember where I heard that one; I can't claim that it's mine.

The one I DO claim as mine is this one:

A: "The early bird gets the worm, you know."

B: "Indeed, but the SECOND MOUSE gets the CHEESE !" Hi HI !!

By the way, you probably know, but for those who don't: "bated" is a shortened form of the word "abated", from the verb "to abate" meaning "to reduce in amount, degree, intensity, etc.; lessen; diminish: ". So it means to hold or quieten one's breath, in anticipation.

Julian N4JO.

On 6/27/2020 6:12 PM, Wes AE6ZM wrote:
Good one Julian! Kind of like "Baited breath". Just so I don't have "Bait breath"!

--
> I finally got it all together...now I can't remember where I put it<

VY 73,
Wes

AE6ZM

Sierra Vista, AZ

 


Re: Beta Readers, closed!

kevin asato
 

i used to think i was immune. i start to wonder after having to endure it for a couple of hours with a mask on! i have been making a practice to brush my teeth often.
73,
kevin
kc6pob

On Sat, Jun 27, 2020 at 4:12 PM Wes AE6ZM <wesbflyer@...> wrote:
Good one Julian! Kind of like "Baited breath". Just so I don't have "Bait breath"!

--
> I finally got it all together...now I can't remember where I put it<

VY 73,
Wes

AE6ZM

Sierra Vista, AZ

 


Re: QCX Ship Time: 64 Days #qcx #80m

Glenn ODonnell
 

Whoops, it is indeed 59 days, not the 64 days I have in the subject line! Sigh! :-(

VY 73 de Glenn K3PP


QCX Ship Time: 64 Days #qcx #80m

Glenn ODonnell
 

Hello all,

I may now hold the dubious record for the longest ship time for a QCX shipment. I ordered my QCX-80 on 24-Apr and it shipped quickly on 29-Apr. I was delighted to find it in my mailbox today! That makes it 59 days in transit. Granted, I did choose the slowpoke at-your-own-risk shipping, so I deserve what I got. I was beginning to think this mode involved giving the package to a guy in a rowboat and then he rowed it from Turkey to the US. HI! Let me be clear, I'm not upset with anyone, especially Hans and his Turkish colleagues. It's actually kinda humorous, but I had almost given up hope, worrying it got lost somewhere in shipping/customs/wherever.

I am thrilled to now have it in my grubby mitts! This is one of the final non-plus QCX kits sold, so it is a bit of a collector's item, I suppose. I will enjoy building and using it, if I can ever find the time to focus on it. Hans may be up to the QCX ++ version by then!

TU ES VY 73 de Glenn K3PP


OT: baited breath versus bated breath

Brad Thompson
 

Hello--

<Puts on editor's aluminum-foil  eyeshade>

Let's clear this up for once and for all.

That's "bated" as in "abated", to lessen the force of, or to hold in as in "bated breath".

"Baited breath" would apply to your cat who ate cheese and then breathed into a mouse hole.

...And while I'm on a rant, consider the "foreword"-- a small section of text that's placed in front of the main
body of text-- literally, a" word before". I've encountered variations including "fourword", "foreward", "forward"
and "for ward"-- maybe the latter was meant to dedicate the book to Ward.

73--

Brad  AA1IP





--
Sent from Postbox


Re: Beta Readers, closed!

Wes AE6ZM
 

Good one Julian! Kind of like "Baited breath". Just so I don't have "Bait breath"!

--
> I finally got it all together...now I can't remember where I put it<

VY 73,
Wes

AE6ZM

Sierra Vista, AZ

 


Re: CW

 

Hi Dave,

I agree totally that having a CW "environment" is good for learning: I do it as often as I can - often for a couple of hour a day. I got some flack from an old timer who insisted (quite assertively!) that I could never learn CW listening to it while doing something else, but I find that it is helpful to me. As I have ADD, or something like it, it is extremely difficult - nigh impossible - to sit down and "just" focus on just one thing: my mind wanders all over the place, looking for something else to think about. If I have a low-focus task to do (like cooking, washing dishes, or watering the planters around the patio) then I can do those things in the background and then try to bring the CW to the foreground and hold it there. Doing it that way tells me instantly if a character will come instantly (which they all must, eventually) or if I have to think about it, thus requiring extra focus on that character. And you're right, when listening "environmentally", the brain just starts picking out characters and words naturally. So I'm not only learning to copy CW, I'm also learning to focus - all without stress and frustration, which always wrecks learning for me .

To help with this, I have a set of "Trekz Aftershokz Titanium Bone Conduction Open Ear Headphones" - what I call "bone phones", which are headphones which go over the head, as normal, but the drivers sit on the cheek bones in front of the ear, not over the ear. That way I am fully connected to my environment and can hear the wife if she suddenly decides to talk to me from the other room - for safety (in both cases)  - and the CW (or music or whatever) is just "there". If and when my mind quiets down, I can sit down and focus.

For software I use several tools that run on the PC and/or my mobile phone. On the latter my favorite is CW Morse Trainer by some outfit called "Wolphi LLC". It's my favorite because I can switch quickly between random groups with and without Koch, call signs, qso text,English words, my own text, or eBook - all of them with Farnsworth spacing. I've used a couple of others, but the great thing is with this app that I can set it up to repeat any number of groups or any number of words, and it'll run for ages, which is really nice if my hands are wet or dirty. The one thing that is missing is repeating each English word a couple of times, which would make it almost perfect.

I'll check out Ham Morse, because as we all know, words are linked together to make sentences, and contextually relevant material from outside sources would be good training for rag-chewing.

Thanks for your input!

Julian N4JO.

On 6/27/2020 1:34 PM, David wrote:
Julian,

If my wife is not downstairs near the shack I leave a rig on in the background (sadly she has excellent hearing and can hear through the floor and through two closed doors. I have a device like TV Ears that I can hook up to a rig and hear CW through my Bluetooth hearing aids). Surprising how well the brain picks out words from a string of even high speed code. If I wasn’t married I would have a CW radio on in the background even upstairs and sometimes do when Bev is out for the day. I am no speed demon but have fun at 12 - 15 WPM and can copy faster if the sender is good.

I also use an Ap called Ham Morse ($5.00) on my iPhone that sends the daily news to my hearing aids from 20 or more daily newspapers. Try it. You can use ear buds and listen to CW at any speed w and w/o Farnsworth from your iPhone any time, any place.

I may have mentioned it but the Morserino 32 is a fantastic learning machine too.

FWIW,

Dave K8WPE

David J. Wilcox K8WPE’s iPad


Re: learning Iambic or Straight Keying first?

Dudley Chapman
 

Some very good advice in this thread.  I agree with it all.   But let me clarify a few things for brand new hams.   Electronic keyers (and this includes the QCX keyer function) have two inputs.  If you ground one input you get dots, and the other you get dashes.   A single lever paddle, aka sideswiper, aka cootie, can ground one contact or the other.   Usually with the right hand thumb, as you press it to the right, you get dots, and with a finger (usually the index or the next finger) pressing to the left, you get dashes.  

The keyer has a lot of smarts such as:

1) self completing the dots and dashes.  One quick tap with the thumb will cause the keyer to emit an entire dash of the proper length according to the speed setting.   Same with the dot side.  You always get perfect dots or dashes.
2) dot and dash injection.  There is also one dot and a one dash memory, so if you tap the dash side and the quickly tap the dot side, the dot is queued up and will be emitted after the dash with perfect spacing.   Same with dashes, queued before the dot and space completes.   So you learn to make the side to side movements in bursts so you can be slightly ahead of the keyer.   That way it emits dots, spaces, and dashes with perfect timing. 
3) Auto word spacing.   If you leave a long enough interval between taps of the paddle, (but not too long), you can start the next word a slight bit early.   That way the keyer injects a proper word spacing between your words.

This all sounds tricky, but what happens is that you start sending as if there are none of those features and you start to "learn" how to lead the keyer a slight bit.  It is actually easier than it sounds because you can start right away and ease into using the fancy features.

But what if you have a dual paddle?  Why have such a complicated device when a piece of spring steel between two contacts should be good enough.   The reason is that the keyer as an even more sophisticated feature which is iambic keying.  The word Iambic comes from the poetry word where it means a kind of word cadence. 

Your dual paddles are two switches that are mechanically and electrically isolated from each other.   One is connected to the dot input of the keyer, and the other to the dash input.   If you have one of those connected you can use it like a sideswiper, but something special happens if you have both paddles closed at the same time.   Sometimes called a "squeeze paddle" if you squeeze both paddles closed, the keyer will start sending alternating dots and dashes.  If you lead slightly with the dot side, and hold them closed, you will get dit dah dit dah dit dah...  as long as you hold them closed.    Leading with the dash side, you will get dah dit dah dit dah dit.....

Looking at that you can see that already a number of letters can be sent with a carefully timed squeeze, such as C, R A, N, and so forth.   The other letters are formed by either leading with one paddle for a while then squeezing, such as F, U, V, G, or squeezing then letting off on one of the paddles to get letters like B, D, etc.  

When using the iambic mode with both paddles all the other features I already described are still running.  So by using a combination of iambic and dot and dash injection and so forth, you can get perfectly timed characters with just a well time twitch of the fingers.   Once again, you can start by just going side to side for a while and over time your fingers will learn to exploit all the features I described.  It's more like a piano where you can get a nice sounding chord as a beginner, and not like a violin where it takes a lot of practice just to get a good sounding note.

Believe it or not, I used to do hours of mobile CW during long commutes.   I used  (and still do) one of the first high end paddles, made by a ham/machinist N2DAN (now SK).   The design is now sold by Vibroplex as the Mercury Paddles.   During those commutes I used to have 60 wpm QSOs with the QRQ ops that would be around 7020 khz in those days.  I qualified for the CFO club, where you have to be nominated by a few members after having QRQ ragchews.   I still use the same paddles and keyer circuit  

But I have a feeling if I tried someone else's keyer circuit design, my fist would fall apart a bit.  That is because all the timing of that particular circuit is burned into my DNA.    A circuit with slightly different timing would take a bit getting used to.  This is why current day QRQ ops are switching over to single paddle use because it drops the iambic aspect out of the picture.   It has been shown that the efficiency gain of iambic over single paddle is not super dramatic.  I added a picture of my paddles which you can see beyond the big honkin trap coil I was making for an dual band inverted L.

de WA1X


Re: learning Iambic or Straight Keying first?

James Daldry W4JED
 

Hi, Michael

My key that is plugged into my QCX is a homebrew single lever sideswiper key, made out of PC board material, with contacts from an old relay. To keep it from sliding around I have a stack of 5 - four inch electrical box cover plates from my local Lowes. It has 4 silicone feet, also from Lowes, and the cord is from an old pair of earbuds. Best to use receive only buds, since the ones with the mike have an extra contact in the plug, which adds to the confusion. I have it wired with the "dahs" on the thumb, and 2 of the silicone feet stacked on each side of the paddle to make a comfortable distance between thumb and forefinger. Total travel side to side is about 1/8 inch, or 3 mm.

73

Jim W4JED

On 6/27/20 9:33 AM, Michael.2E0IHW via groups.io wrote:
I looked up "Vibroflex" and nearly fell off my perch at the cost.

What  home-brew single-lever paddles are recommended?
And what electronics to interface with a regular key-socket,
eg my old TT Century 22?

Do I correctly assume that a diy single-lever paddle would
plug straight into a QCXP ?

Michael 2E0IHW

On 27/06/2020 14:00, James Daldry W4JED wrote:
Hi, Folks

Back in 1979, when I was busy in the basement of Henry Blodgett W2UTH's house, learning Novice stuff and getting my code up to 5 WPM, he came up with and important pronouncement for the class: "Twenty is Plenty". He then proceeded to illustrate it with his Vibroplex, adjusted for 20 WPM.

73

Jim W4JED

On 6/26/20 6:14 PM, Dudley Chapman wrote:
...
5) I am hearing more and more that the real fast QRQ ops are now using single lever paddles with electronic keyers.   My advice to new hams who want to learn to use a keyer, is to start with a single level paddle.   Then learn to exploit the features of dot and dash injection, character completion, and auto word spacing.
...
73 OM, and cu on the bands.  de WA1X


QCX Absolute max supply voltage

scot forshaw
 

Hi Hans,

Hope you are well. My I have just put my QCX in a paraset style case for SOTA which I am putting a reserve battery in also.

My QCX is one of those perfect 5.1W at 13.8V (diode removed). The battery I am hoping to use is a 3A 4x3.7V Li-On battery which nominally will give 14.8 v but like most lions after charging it kicks closer to 16.9v for a while until things settle down. 

Not wanting to hurt my QCX at the moment I was wondering your thoughts on using that as is, or is it better to put a couple of inline diodes in there to reduce it to be safe? 

I'm assuming its the key shaper that gets the stick? I can heat sink that if need be.... Main issue is with only 3A to play with, once they drop voltage, the diodes would possibly prevent getting the best out of it. Didn't want the extra weight of building a regulator, but if thats what to takes I would.

What do you think?

Cheers
Scot
2E0WWV ... oh her she is her new case :) 










Re: Clock problem

David Lockard
 

Actually it was my offset. But thanks.
Dave KC3LIR


From: QRPLabs@groups.io <QRPLabs@groups.io> on behalf of N3MNT <bob@...>
Sent: Saturday, June 27, 2020 12:41:30 PM
To: QRPLabs@groups.io <QRPLabs@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [QRPLabs] Clock problem
 
See page 4 of the operation manual.  You need to be in 12hr time.  If not using a GPS for time you need to set it in 24hr time.


Re: learning Iambic or Straight Keying first?

lajes67
 

I will agree with that, use a straight key first so you can learn the proper spacing and character length.  I doubt anyone will ever copy a press broadcast or sit a military CW circuit and copy a 5 letter code group with a group count of over 100, if you tried that at 5 WPM it would take most of the watch to send.

Accuracy is the most important thing, when you get to the point where you think you're doing good, try taping your sending and then see if you can copy your own fist, if you have trouble, imagine how the other station is doing.

You don't have to go out and buy something fancy, and expensive, Bill Mauldin, the man that drew the "Joe and Willie" cartoons during WWII said that when he was in art school he dreamed of using only the finest camel hair brushes for his work, he said that when he went to work for one of the big papers he saw one of the prize winning artists using the chewed up end of a wooden match stick for his brush.

Relax, have fun, this is a hobby, enjoy yourself, it takes a bit more concentration to form the letters of words in your head and then convert them to code than to simply key a mic.

73 John K2IZ


Re: Clock problem

N3MNT
 

See page 4 of the operation manual.  You need to be in 12hr time.  If not using a GPS for time you need to set it in 24hr time.


Clock problem

David Lockard
 

Problem with am PM local. Utc and local time are right but the date on local is behind because I can't set up am pm.
Thanks Dave KC3LIR 


Re: Tracking make no sense - bad number?

N3MNT
 

https://groups.io/g/QRPLabs/topic/shipping_faq/74701941?p=,,,20,0,0,0::recentpostdate%2Fsticky,,,20,2,40,74701941


Re: learning Iambic or Straight Keying first?

R. Tyson
 

Straight key or paddle ?  The choice is yours. Iambic keying you may find difficult as the paddles are squeezed to get the right combination of dots and dashes, this will take some time to master. I can't be bothered with iambic keying but use the twin paddles by tapping them to obtain the combination of dots and dashes to form a letter. For a beginner a straight key is usually easier to learn to use.

Once you are sending at a good speed and having lengthy chats on CW then the twin paddle means you will find sending for longer periods easier on the wrist and fingers.
The American key, where the elbow is rested on the table can cause "glass arm" where fatigue sets in. The U.K. key where the arm is completely free of the table and the wrist easily flexes up and down can be used for long periods without the same problems (that should cause some comments).

Whatever you use then make sure you send good CW with the letters properly formed and the spacing correct. It will then be both easy and a pleasure for the listener at the other end. There are some horrendous examples of poor CW that are very difficult to make sense of and they are sent by people using both twin paddles and straight keys.
Good CW has a musical rythm to it and is much easier to copy.

Reg                        G4NFR


Re: learning Iambic or Straight Keying first?

Paul M0GSX..
 

Hi Guys an Gals,
I follow these threads with interest and I've only got a Xiegu G90 for QRP work and am at auw of you lot with the wonderful QRP Labs gear.
Following the threads on the QCX  a lot but must admit I'm not a constructor!!

Been doing mainly CW for a few years now and thoroughly enjoy it, I've not used a straight key in ages, I use a Kent twin paddle and a vibroplex single paddle both the same operation to produce the code, the only difference is the twin paddle is used iambically through the keyer in my rigs to utilise squeeze keying, but recently been using the single paddle in 'bug' mode which is fun.
Basically get on the air as SOON as possible and don't worry about exact code, Ops will slow down for you and it would be a PLEASURE to hear more newcomers on the air having QSO'S on CW, I would be pleased to meet anyone who has took the time to learn the code and get on the air , so don't be worrying about making mistakes, its happened to all of us and still happens to me now, but try to not let the nerves take over, take your time, ask for ops that won't slow for you to QRS, if they continue to send above YOUR speed just send 73.. With 2 dits to end the QSO, then move on to the next QSO.
Please don't be put off by other OPS not slowing for you, I'm a member of FISTS and would welcome all for a nice, steady, relaxed QSO at YOUR speed, at the start you will make mistakes, but keep at it, the more QSO's you get, the easier it becomes but don't feel pressured at all.
Have a look around the FISTS freq - 7.028, 3.558, 14.058 even 10.118 and please get on the air, have 1QSO, then another, then another, your confidence will then start to build, forget the mistakes, pause, then continue - but most of all ENJOY the code, it's a hobby for us all to ENJOY..

Paul M0GSX FISTS #17642..


Re: learning Iambic or Straight Keying first?

 

Respectfully, Steve, Iambic may have been more difficult for you, but it would be unreasonable to presume that the same would be true for everybody. I found Iambic keying very easy to learn (I use Iambic B).

As for building a key, I would also argue that mounting a piece of hacksaw blade either side of a block of wood glued on a flat piece of with a couple of nuts bolts and washers must be easier than constructing a rigid arm on a pivot with a spring and contacts, etc.

Actually, I "built" - and I'm almost embarrassed to use such am imposing word: "cobbled together" would be more accurate - a touch sensitive twin "paddle" out of two brass angle brackets hot-glued to a sample piece of kitchen tile (picture attached). It has no moving parts at all, and is a joy to use. it interfaces with a QCX via a simple circuit (I used an Arduino and a bit of code as a practice oscillator before I bought my QCXs).

So while I respect your experience and preference, I offer an opposing view on both issues :-)

Julian N4JO.

On 6/27/2020 9:38 AM, Steve in Okinawa wrote:
My humble opinion as a longtime almost exclusively CW op: aside from the fact that iambic sending is harder to learn and offers very little advantage, a really practical consideration is when it comes to homebrewery of a really compact paddle. Making a reliable single-lever paddle is almost trivial. I believe (but never tried it) building a small iambic paddle would be very challenging. JS6TMW


Re: learning Iambic or Straight Keying first?

Steve in Okinawa
 

My humble opinion as a longtime almost exclusively CW op: aside from the fact that iambic sending is harder to learn and offers very little advantage, a really practical consideration is when it comes to homebrewery of a really compact paddle. Making a reliable single-lever paddle is almost trivial. I believe (but never tried it) building a small iambic paddle would be very challenging. JS6TMW


Re: learning Iambic or Straight Keying first?

 

Michael,

I don't know about single lever paddles - not my interest - but the QCX/QCXP will accept both single circuit and twin circuit keys. It has a configuration option to allow either key of a twin paddle to key in straight key mode.

Julian, N4JO.

On 6/27/2020 8:33 AM, Michael.2E0IHW via groups.io wrote:
I looked up "Vibroflex" and nearly fell off my perch at the cost.

What  home-brew single-lever paddles are recommended?
And what electronics to interface with a regular key-socket,
eg my old TT Century 22?

Do I correctly assume that a diy single-lever paddle would
plug straight into a QCXP ?

Michael 2E0IHW

On 27/06/2020 14:00, James Daldry W4JED wrote:
Hi, Folks

Back in 1979, when I was busy in the basement of Henry Blodgett W2UTH's house, learning Novice stuff and getting my code up to 5 WPM, he came up with and important pronouncement for the class: "Twenty is Plenty". He then proceeded to illustrate it with his Vibroplex, adjusted for 20 WPM.

73

Jim W4JED

On 6/26/20 6:14 PM, Dudley Chapman wrote:
...
5) I am hearing more and more that the real fast QRQ ops are now using single lever paddles with electronic keyers.   My advice to new hams who want to learn to use a keyer, is to start with a single level paddle.   Then learn to exploit the features of dot and dash injection, character completion, and auto word spacing.
...
73 OM, and cu on the bands.  de WA1X

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