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Thread: How to get started with CW using IC-7300, computer, and CX50 antenna?

  1. #1

    Default How to get started with CW using IC-7300, computer, and CX50 antenna?

    Hi,

    I'm just moving from UHF/VHF. I've got an IC-7300 connected to a simple CX50 dipole (on the roof) and a USB cable to a computer. That's about as far as I've got. I can find CW signals on the 7300, but I'd be grateful for any recommendations for what software to run on the computer to talk to the IC-7300 and generate/decode the morse. Eventually, I'd like to use a paddle, but to experience the communication I thought it'd be better run it through a program. Eventually, I'd like to do a lot more on HF, but CW is calling me now.

    I've no idea if the antenna is set up correctly, but that's a question for another day.

    Thanks in advance for any info, KR0Y

  2. #2
    Super Moderator 5B4AJB's Avatar
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    CWget has a nice simple GUI, you can't transmit with it though.

    MultiPSK can transmit and a whole lot more!

    Start getting up to speed with a straight key, once you hit about 15wpm go on to a paddle and you should hit 20wpm+ in no time...

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Nov 2019
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    Ash Fork, Arizona
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    At DX Soft you can get CWget (RX) and CWtype (TX). But note that CWget has a $35 registration fee, to use the full capabilities. CWtype can be registered for as little as $5. They both can be run without registering them but CWget will not allow you to save your configuration, unless it is registered. This means that every time you start it up, you have to go through the configuration again.

    However, do not expect miracles. There are dozens of applications that will handle RX/TX of CW, like Ham Radio Deluxe, Fldigi, DXlab, etc... Sending from a computer is easy. CWtype keys your rig directly, through a serial port. Receiving is not so simple. With QRM, QRN, noise, signal drift, etc. you will often just get a smattering of odd characters. The only computer that can copy Morse code effectively, with all that going on, is the one between your ears.

    While both CWget and CWtype work well, I do not recommend getting on the air with no CW knowledge. Those programs become a crutch that you can never seem to get rid of. Morse code was meant to be copied by ear, and is not that difficult to learn. After you get your receiving speed up a bit, you will start recognizing whole words, rather than single characters.

    If you want some recorded material for learning CW, you might try my web page on Morse Code. You can use the recorded files on-line or down load them and use them at home. When I created those files, I used them to pass the 20 WPM code test (1999), before it was eliminated from the Extra requirements. At the time I copied used a cassette tape player but you can also use a MP3 player. The recorded files are one side of a simulated QSO. As the speed increases, so does the content.

    I started (1965) with a straight key. But keyers were not very feasible then. I bought my first keyer in 1980 (Heathkit HD-1410), while I was operating as DA2EU in Germany. I still have it but I never used a straight key again. Now I have 6 or 7 keyers. They are a lot of fun to use and make sending effortless. I also have a 1916 Vibroplex Blue Racer, but that takes a bit of getting use to.

    Finally, sending Morse Code, with a straight key or keyer, is much easier than receiving, if you are sending and receiving manually. So, when you are on the air, never send faster than you can receive by ear. Other stations use your sending speed to gauge the sending speed that they use to talk to you.

    You might want to connect with the SKCC (Straight Key Century Club). They have lots of information on learning Morse Code.

    I don't know what a CX50 antenna is. A google search didn't turn up much of anything. But a dipole is all you need to get started.
    Martin, K7MEM
    http://www.k7mem.com
    Ash Fork, AZ - 60 miles from the Grand Canyon on Rt-66. Elevation 5,300 ft.

  4. #4

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    Fldigi is fairly easy to use, it has many digital modes and it sends and receives CW well. The program has options for rig control (that ive never used), but what i like most is that it can interface with the radio using the computer sound card as a modem.

  5. #5

    Default Thanks!

    Thanks all for the replies.

    Martin - thanks for all the Morse resources. It is my intent to relearn Morse code (I knew it as a teenager), but I'd like to get something up and running first, which will be more motivating to do it by hand. I could do both at the same time, and hope the auto-version doesn't become a crutch.

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