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Re: LF: Activity etc. - DG3LV discussion -One year later

To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: LF: Activity etc. - DG3LV discussion -One year later
From: DK7FC <[email protected]>
Date: Fri, 13 Mar 2015 00:10:12 +0100
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Hello Tobias, LF,

Recently my smartphone reminded me on an entry i made last year. We discussed about the new WSQ mode and if it will be established as a permanent used QSO data mode. It was also the discussion if it/there will be a real alternative to CW. I said i'll come back to you in a year to see what happened. Now this time is over.
So, what do we see? Today is a quiet normal day, no special condx, no special day (weekend or so), no special stations on the band (actually we are all special :-) ) or activity announced but there was a LOT of CW activity! (LOT is relative of course :-) ) See the attached image from my MF grabber giving an overview of the MF CW range this evening (first half of the evening).

Now, take a look at What do you see? What is the preferred mode?

I think the situation is clear now. Actually it has been clear a year ago as well ;-)

73, Stefan

Am 06.03.2014 15:41, schrieb Stefan Schäfer:

Am 06.03.2014 14:42, schrieb Tobias DG3LV:
The lack of QSO-activity of any mode is a social "problem" in my view.
Agreed. And that's why contests are so popular on the HF bands. Actually many people don't know what to talk except "599 tu". Same in SSB of course. That is the actual problem. And as long as this problem exists, every QSO mode has to die after some time. Honestly, since the last few years there have been several new (and of course better and better and really better (like washing agent :-) )) QSO modes or non QSO modes. They come and go. They are interesting for some time until they become boring. Then the next one has to come. And the intervall becomes shorter and shorter.

But somehow, there is that mode: CW. Take a look at  and you will see that there is permanent CW activity, all around the year. Do you remember, it is more than 10 years ago that a CW exam was not part of the HF licence in Germany. And many of the class2 amateurs (VHF/UHF licences) gibed "Hahaha, now CW will die out soon". But somehow it does not, even without a new software update :-)

And that is the difference: In digimodes you press e.g. F3 to start your call. In CW you do it by the "language" itselfe, which is fun for itselfe! Thus, calling CQ for hours is possible without becoming boring, just because it is music what you're listeng to! A non-CW man never understood what that means to talk with your fingers. You can sit at home, alone, and play your guitar and be happy, without someone responding or applouding :-)

As the number of joining hams in a mode usually is limited, there are always "the same suspects" who can talk to each other or even can hear each other.
Which is not the problem. You usually have only even one XYL, evening by evening. Often you can hear her but sometimes you can't understand her :-) Always the same suspect.

After some time its getting boring and unpolite to have a QSO several times a day without any "news" to tell.
Same with some XYLs after some years? :-)

So the number of QSOs is decreasing by the time, and people start to run endless CQ-loops to gain a QSO by force. Some are not answering another ham calling CQ but starting a CQ of their own instead. The subbands fill up with "beacons" by that.
...but there are several OMs who are happy to receive a signal to copy! I've got several SWL reports, even by mail (not e-mail), of OMs who are obviously fascinated by these "beacons" and ask for a QSL. EA3LA, that's a good example. He took a video and uploaded it to youtube. So obviously he must be fascinated, NOT bored by that "beacon"! BTW if my power would be 20 dB down, he would hear NIL and maybe says "the band is dead" and tell it to his friends in the local club.
And, calling CQ is not a beacon at all, as long as someone is listening between the calls and is ready to answer an audible signal.

There has to be a critical mass of people to keep a mode running.
Oh yes, same for CW, as we can see on LF :-(

People have to know about any new mode, so a high level of publicity is mandatory to acheive that critical mass.
But in digimodes, where the above described effect (fascination of listening to CW) is not present, that critical mass can never be hold! Because, as you say, it's all the time the same if you don't know what to tell. So, after a few QSOs, newcomers tend to become bored.

It will take a time to establish a new mode for everyday use. There is a good chance that WSQ will become an effective keyboard to keyboard mode that is used frequently. Just a fortnight ago we first heard about it by you, its definitely too early to dismiss it.
Then let us wait another year and have a conclusion then :-) Maybe i am wrong, which would be good :-)

73, Stefan/DK7FC

Attachment: CW on MF.jpg
Description: JPEG image

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