• [VA3QV] First impression of the Morse Decoder by Hot Paw productions

    From VA3QV via rec.radio.amateur.moderat@21:1/5 to All on Tue Dec 7 15:21:58 2021
    XPost: rec.radio.amateur.moderated, rec.radio.amateur.equipment

    My Amateur Radio Life

    First impression of the Morse Decoder by Hot Paw productions

    Posted: 05 Dec 2021 11:48 AM PST https://va3qv.wordpress.com/2021/12/05/first-impression-of-the-morse-decoder-by-hot-paw-productions/

    This was written 1 day (16 hours) after we bought the app from the Apple
    App store. It seems to be very basic but good. If anything changes Ill do
    a follow up post.

    This is a app for Apple IPhone and Apple IPad. When you go to the app
    store it will tell you if the app will work with the device you are
    currently using to connect with the app store.

    Searching the app store for Hot Paw Productions should bring you to the app
    if its still available.

    So here we go

    I downloaded the app from the Apple App store and away we went. It worked right out of the box (or right after installing) on my I Pad. The cost was about $15.00 Cdn after taxes

    Just to remind you this is a CW Decoding app ONLY (no FT8/PSK or any other sound card modes) and you will need some sort of device for transmitting
    CW. Straight Key or Keyer the choices are yours.

    Right off the bat lets say that if you are looking for a decoder to see
    what the group on the weekly slow speed CW roundtable net are talking about
    you will most likely disapointed.

    Remember the old Garbage in = Garbage out saying? Well if the person
    sending the code has a bad fist then. The app cant fix bad sending

    However if you want to use it to pick up the occasional rare DX station or
    a few extra multipliers in contesting or copy the ARRL Bulletins then this
    is about the best $15.00 you can spend (in my opinion) It reads good code, normally that means contest quality computer keyer generated code and its
    good as what it does.

    As an example last night there was the ARRL 160m cw contest. I started
    reading the screen and even though things were crowded I was able to make
    out complete contest exchanges. Just for $h!ts and Giggles I opened up the book of words for my Yaesu FT950 and figured out how to use the built in contest keyer and also how to program the keyers memories .

    Memory 1 was: VA3QV (my callsign)

    Memory 2 was : 5nn ONE (the contest exchange I had to send)

    Memory 3 was : 73 TU (thanks)

    Memorys 4 and 5 were not used

    And heres how it worked:

    I found a station calling CQ Test with his callsign and tuned the dial on
    to him

    I replied with Memory 1.

    He replied by giving my call and then his exchange 5nn CT

    I replied with Memory 2 then Memory 3

    He acknowledged and then went to calling again.

    I made 5 more contacts just to prove the 1st one was not a fluke and as a result contesting stations in the following RAC/ARRL sections got the rare Ontario East (ONE) multi. They were GTA, MDC, CT, MN, WPA and OH.

    Some comments and suggestions:

    I suggest that if you buy the app, get used to it by copying the ARRL code practice on HF. Check the ARRL website for times and freqs. They send computer generated code and so its about as perfect CW as you can get.
    Read the manual that comes with your radio for the fine tuning on receiving
    CW signals or just tune by ear for the proper pitch. It worked for me
    fairly easily as I was used to the tuning aspect from using other decoding software

    Dont get discouraged it you dont get it right the first time.
    Unfortunately its not the software. Its either the poor cw being sent (remember the local roundtable comment) or you just have to make a very
    tiny adjustment to the VFO to change the pitch ever so slightly.

    It has been suggested that you connect from your receivers audio output to
    the audio input on your apple device. I chose not to as just putting the
    IPad on top of my radio (see Pic) worked well enough for me. It may not
    for you though especially if your shack tends to be noisy.

    IPad is right beside the radio speaker

    As an added bonus I can use it on my other Apple Device so in the shack I
    have it on my IPad and its already been installed on my IPhone so its ready
    for portable ops (POTA) with my FT 450 and the Wolf River coil on a Tripod
    when the weather warms up

    This is not the only app out there but its one of the few I have tried that really worked well for me. I have and still use CW Get which is software
    that runs on my laptop. The DM780 part of Ham Radio Deluxe also works good
    but HRD is more expensive than this app and its all I need. Not all the
    other stuff that HRD offers.

    DISCLAIMER: It worked for me, It might work for you, BUT IT MIGHT NOT
    work for you, so you Buy at your own risk. You pays your money and takes
    your chances.


    PS. Thanks to Rich VE3MHY who had left a review for the app at the app
    store and answered a couple of questions I had quickly and honestly. His opinions confirmed what I had been thinking

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