An idea of CW reception process

A friend of mine has sent me a mail of his idea regarding reception of QRQ CW. His idea seems that we should receive a word or a phrase as a mass or a group and then take its meaning. According to his idea, we should not take each character.

I thought it is not related with only reception of QRQ. It is a general question how we receive CW because QRQ reception is a quite relative or individual question. 15WPM may be QRQ  for someone while the others take it as QRS. What I think of this issue is like below.

I guess, when we are accoustomed with CW code and trying to communicate with it, we are taking each letter in almost subconsciousness. We won't be conscious of the spelling but are taking it in order to get the meaning. In communication, taking the meaning is the most important process. Our mind must concentrate on it.

In that process, we look back and forward in relation with the present word or phrase we are receiving. We speculate its meaning with the knowledge of what has been sent immediately before that wor or phrase. We might expect what the sender is going to say next. In this process , our consciousness may be making ever lasting communication between the past and the future. Receiving each letter is not very crucial but is done without being conscious of it.

It is comparable to reading and writing. In reading and writing, we are not conscious of the spelling of a word or a phrase except for a case of difficult one. We are always conscious of what we mean or what the sentence means.

This is a rough sketch of my idea. It is my dream to describe it with the help of brain science, especially newly developing functional brain science in the future.


Rigid systems

Last night, I was talking with Steve N6TT on 40m about how to escape from the contest being held thgis week end. He told me he would go up to WARC bands as he usually do in contests. I told him I was not licensed for WARC except for 30m. It might make him puzzled a little bit.

The licence system is quite different between here and in the US. We first should get an operator licence and then could apply for a station licence within the priviledges allowed for each class of operator licence. This station licence is a really complicated one. We should apply for each radio equipment we are using.

If we run over 200W output, we should take an exam for the set up by a certain examiner. There are quite some examiners who are licensed by the administrative agency here. They are doing their job as professional. The examination is pretty strict especially as for the interference to the electrical items in the neighborhood.  In case its output power is equal to or less than 200W, we could ask, in stead of taking the above mentioned exam, a private company named TSS to guarantee our radio equipments to be valid. This process is just based on a paper. No actual measurements of the radio specifications etc. Just a paper work. Of course, it costs quite some money for each radio. TSS is believed to be closely related with ceratin head in JARL as well as to be a company accepting people from the related governmental agency after their retirement. It seems JARL has been cooperative to establish and to go on such a system profitable only to the bureaucrats for years. Someone(s) in JARL might get profit from this system as well. JARL has never opposed to this licence system or has never proposed any reformation.

It is illegal to operate radio with the other radio than the ones being specified by the station licence. The mode and band we could operate are also definitely specified. We are supposed not to operate radio with the other equipment than that specified by the station licence.

In addition, ridiculously enough, the station licence is divided into two categories. One is for fixed station while the other for mobile station. We often should apply for these two categories at the same time. Licence fee and a kind of tax each ear are required for each licence category.

Our bureaucracy is rigid itself. So is the sysytem they provide. I am pretty sure this rigid system is depriving us of social activities not oly in the ham radio but also in every field of research, social services and industries. This rigid system is oriented for the bureaucrats' profits and right.

Complaining of this, all I could do is just to listen the number exchanging crazy guys on the air. It sounds pretty good condition on bands so far. Have fun, contesting freaks!


The peak of the conditions arriving

Yesterday, 15m has been open to all over the world throughout the night. It has been quite some time since I heard Eu early in the morning today. I met old Dim LZ1AF before his going to bed. He seemed to be still working at a linear amplifier company over there. I wondered if his boss could understand his being late for work his next morning due to this superb conditions. He answered "Oh, yes. Beacuase he is a ham." The company he is working is ACOM whose president is LZ1JK. I used to chat Dim in '90s. This QSO reminded me of those good QSOs then.

This world wide opening has also brought me to the days when I was the head of an amateur ham radio club at a college in Tokyo. It was 45 years or so ago. We were camping on a foot of Mt Fuji. We tried enjoying QSOs with very simple set up, an 807 single TX with single superheterodyne RX. The antenna was a dipole for 40m set between trees. The conditions were terrific. We could work all over the world throughout the night like yesterday. Since I have not experienced high bands those days, I erroneously believed the location of high altitude made it possible. It was thanks to the height of solar activity those days.

Another end of the camp was to train the young students for operation and CW. I have given them hard training for CW reception. A guy talked on CW in his sleep one night. At first, we could not understand what he had meant. But, in a second, it turned out to be related with CW reception training and has caused a big laughter to those who were still awake then. It must be a strain for him. I hope he is still enjoying this mode somewhere. The club call was JA1YGC those days.

They say this coming year will be the peak of the sun spot cycle. Are you ready to make valuable and memorable QSOs with your friends during this good condition period? Or are you wasting time with rubber stamps and collecting  cards?


Where I am located

I am sometimes asked where or what place I am located by foreign hams in QSO. It is in the northern part of Kanto area, 50 miles north of Tokyo. It is the southern edge of the mountain area spreading in the north. It is just a ranges of very low hills here. Our place is on one of them, only a few meters above the troughs in the west and the east. Hardly recognized as a top of a hill range running south and north. If you climb on the tower, you may have a great command of view especially for the northern direction. No obstacles at all.

It has been a farming area for years though there have more numbers of factories for the past decades. Our place is surrounded with rice paddies. At this time of a year, they water them to plant rice. In the northern direction, there is such a watered paddy. They say it is making my signal take off more efficiently than in the seasons though the station owner scarcely appreciate it.

We have a lawn garden with a small farm in the western direction as this photo shows a part of it. Very few visitors come here. But I am still trying to pull the weeds and mowing lawn in a regular interval. It is a kind of self-satisfaction. My father, when he was alive, used to do the same way in his retirement. Concentrating on pulling the weeds in the garden, I often feel my blood was from the ancestor of native farmer here. 

Between works in the garden, I am pounding the brass as you hear me on the radio. Even though very few answer to me. So that is the story where I am and how I am doing.


As if softly hugging someone important to you

Our physical motion is controlled by two systems, voluntary pyramidal tract system and involuntary extrapyramidal tract system. We can't control nor train the latter easily. In keying, both sysytems are involved. We could hardly control it sometimes. All we instantly could do is the voluntary movement and the basic muscle tension control. The muscle tension is controlled voluntarily as well as involuntarily. The voluntary portion is important because it is not often being conscious but is controllable.

In keying motion, the arm and hand should be placed in mildly flexed position. It is the most spontaneous and restful position and it means the muscle tension could be least with that posture. We make errors in keying mostly when transiting between dash and dot, that is, changing to and from  between dash and dot in code of each character. Our fist should obey the order from the CNS immediately and correctly in this motion. When the fist is not in resting position, we should put extra tension on appropriate muscles to move the paddle or key,. It could cause erroneous movements of fist. As told before, it is not the only factor causing errors. But it is important to be conscious of that because we could correct it easily.

As I extended the right arm and made more mistakes in sending, I realized it. I could advise to relax the arm and hand in restful position of mild flexion to anyone who is feeling troubled with sending errors. Yes, as if softly hugging someone important to you.


59 years ago

I will add a year to my age in a couple of days. It is a crisp and cool season. It could be stormy sometimes this year. But I am still pleased and thankful that my parents have given me birth at this time in a year 63 years ago.

My sister has sent me a birthday card with a copy of this old picture. She said that this was taken at the sanatorium my parents worked for in about 1953. It was a small and poor facility which was run by our aunt. She was a faithful christian and used to work for the tuberculotic patients whose illness was always destined to death those days. My parents knew each other and were married there. I scarcely have clear memories of the life there. This photo shows a poor house on the background. There seem to be chicken cage on the left back. The eggs must be precious source of nutrients those days. The people were poorly dressed. I was embraced by my father from behind. My sister said in the letter that she was jealous at me for I took her father away from her. Overall, I did not feel poor or worried at all but was happy and satisfied then. I don't know why. At least I could say that I felt being embraced by our parents. In a year, my brother joined our family. All of us have chosen medical profession, my sister a nurse while I and my brother became doctors. We were never told to go into medical profession. But there was a road ready for us those days.

From now, I don't think much time is left for various activities. Recalling how I was blessed in the in the beginning of life, however, I will do what I could do for myself, for family and for the people around me.


Roger WB0CMZ

Don N5LZ in Utah has called me on 20m this afternoon. He was glad to have a brand new KX3 running 10W into the 3 element SteppIR. His call sounded so familiar that I was sure we had met before. When he introduced himself as a good friend of Roger WB0CMZ who passed away 4 years ago, I remembered everything. Don used to be a dentsit in New Mexico near to Roger in 1980s. Don was KI3L those days. We have had good ragchews.

In 2008, when I got the sad news from rich KL7RG, I have written the following post in my japanese blog. I woud quote it here;


Tonight, I got another e mail from Rich KL7RG, who had told about some friends of Roger's having found this blog. I would like to translate this entry into English. Any comments would be accepted without the image password system for a while I would expect comments from overseas, possibly from Roger's friends.

I am surely missing him.

^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^
This morning, Rich KL7RG has asked me by an e mail if the mail address belongs to me or not. My answer was immediately followed by a sad news that Roger WB0CMZ had killed by an accident. The local net news site reporting his death is here.

He was only 53 years old at his tragic death. It was the age an experienced pediatrician like him could work most actively. We used to talk a lot on many things whenever we met on the radio. As I have written elsewhere, it was early 80s when we met first on the air.He was working as a pediatrician at a native residential area in New Mexico. I wa working at a med school hospital. He used to help me correcting my medical papers.

Thereafter, he has moved to CDC in Georgia, where he made some research work in epidemiology. Was it around 2000 when we ran across again on the air? It was a contact after absence for a decade or so. Both of us were so pleased with much surprise. He told me he had moved to Alaska and had been serving for the native children there. In a QSO several years ago, he used to tell me delightedly that his daughter was going to a unversity in the east coast. According to my last entry in this blog regarding him, he was thinking to retire and go on research career. However, he still looked to be enthusiastic for his present work.

The net news reporting his death tells us that he was supposed to see a lot of patients at a clinic on the day of his passsing. A pediatrician serving hard for the native children like him is forced to put an end to his life at so young age. How could I accept the fact?

Rich told me in the end of his mail that whenever he met me on the radio, he used to pleasantly tell him on it. That may be why he let me know on his death.

I would like to write a mail of condolence to his family


I have sent a letter of condolence to his wife. No reply from her. She and her family must have had a very hard time then. I would appreciate any update on his family if you have anything.

Don has already retired 8 years ago. He said he had been having good retirement there.

I surely miss my good friend Roger again.

JS Bach's music

The other day, it was a topic of discussion between me and a friend of mine, Bob, W6CYX  why JS Bach had composed of H moll Mass even though he was a faithful Lutherian protestant. It has been a question to me for a long time. Bob will attend a Bach festival in Carmel this summer. So I have given him this question.

He thought Catholic was an orthodox in its meaning. Bach might compose it in the style of Catholic in order to have his work obtain the eternal meaning. Catholic church and its culture have lived long enough. Any music in its style might live long as well. That was his idea. I was not convinced by this because belief in Christianity was so important for Bach and I could hardly believe he has made a kind of compromise to have his work live longer utelizing the style of Catholic music.

I would rather believe that it was after the Thirty Years war in Germany and there were lieges who believed in Protestant or in Catholic. Bach must served either liege at different times. In his real life, he might have to compromise between these two parties. The H moll Mass could be a product of such a compromise in real life, I thought.

Lately, when I searched about this question, I knew this religious work could be composed late in his life. At that time, Bach has given up promotion of his career etc but wanted to compile his knowledge and experience in his composition mainly by counterpoint in the last years of his life. He hoped, they say, to have his works live long in the history. It was quite possible  that he took the catholic style for that purpose. This explanation is a little bit different from what Bob had thought about it in its nuance. But I must admit he was close to this explanation.

Yesterday, I have been to Chiba driving almost 3 hours each way. I was invited to play the cello part of the famous Doppel Concerto for two violines by JS Bach there. It was a big fun to play it. Each note in his works could never be ignored. Very tough to play it. But while playing the cello part, I realized what a structure it was composed of. It was a real fun for me as well. We will play this piece at a small concert of a friend's violine class recital. The counterpoint technique had been regarded an old fashioned music those days of Bach. But he has composed, with its technique and style of counterpoint, these musics of eternal value. It is really a surprise to me.


Spring at an old tomb

The old tomb, of which I have uploaded a photo in the past, is welcoming arrival of spring among the watered rice paddies. This could be built to bury some man of power in this area in 7 or 8th century.

In that period, our ancestors used to accept Buddhism from China. There seemed to be no conflicts between the new religion and the primitive one the people had believed in for centuries. Rather, the people placed Buddhism in pararell to the other primitive religions. They intended to utilize religions only for guarding the country those days, as a historian told. It had taken some more time before they did  with the problem of individual salvation through enlightenment even though there used to be a budding of realization in value of religion in such as , a great statesman, Shotokutaishi.

Whenever I get through this place, I could not help imagining of those ancient people. They might look at this tomb with some primitive but spiritual feeling as I do at present.



Mackerel cooked with soy paste. Pretty good taste.

Why am I cooking? The first reason is that it is my duty. The next one is that it reminds me of an inheritance from old ancestors who chased animals and grew crops and fed them to family members.

You might miss a pleasure in life without cooking by yourself.


A draft plan of the trip

For memorandum,

July 27~29  at Hilton Bellevue, WA,  reserved

July 29~August 1 in SFO, maybe staying in Mountainview or San Jose

August 1~4 in LA, maybe in El Secundo

I had to omit visiting Sedona AZ this time. Sorry, Mike, W7LPV.

Any eyeball schedule welcomed! hi


A sad observation on the air

I have worked 7 statessides on 15m CW this morning. Four of them have ended off their transmission with "BK" in stead of the usual style of identification. The number of QSOs is too small to conclude anything. But it is quite similar to what I have felt about the style of QSOs recently as I posted before. I am sorry but should add the observation that there were a few among these 4 stations who could hardly receive the message other than call or report etc.

I was also surprised to hear a contest being held on a plain week day yeasterday. It was something like RCC. Maybe, not the old Ragchwers Century Club but Russian Contest Club. 20m was occupied by those contesters. I firmly oppose them to hold a contest on any plain week day. Do they want to fill the bands with 599BK type QSOs all the time? What a worthless idea! Don't they know that these contests are expelling the people who would like to communicate on CW? This contest addiction clashes with the QSOs as real communication. Those who learned CW as a tool for contesting won't know that it is originally for real commuunication. A CW club which has started this kind of contest on plain week day is also responsible for this. I can't believe they insist advocating CW to the beginners. They might only reproduct the contest addicts.

Well, both phenomena means, in my view, that CW communication is in a long lasting process to fade out from the history or to go into a drastic metamorphosis into a kind of game. At any rate, it is not what I like. I might think of fading out of this hobby then.

A relief was a nice chat with Dick N7RC about Shouji Hamada and his pottery work.


Brahms Clarinet Quintet

This piece is one of the most favorite works among Brahms' chamber musics for me. Rather the most favorite music among all chamber musics, maybe.

The reason is the music itself. You may listen Brahms closely uttering of his thoughts to you in this music. Yes, it is the intimacy that characterizes this music most. Brahms, in the latest days of his life, speaks, from heart to heart, to you with low voice in this music.

Another memory of this music for me is that I used to practise this piece with close friends in my med student days. It was at a class room in an afternoon of fall. The sunray, not very bright but seemingly close to sunset, was coming through the window. It was so quiet. The initial thema in 3 degree harmony sung by the two parts of violin started abruptly breaking the silence. It is a little bit unstable but flows like fall breeze. It was a real pleasure for us to breathe for the music together.

This performance by Guarneri Quartet and Shifran may sound not exciting nor brilliant like the other modern performances. This modesty in performance is rather preferable with this piece. A feeling of resignation to life. I believe this Guarneri Quartet was expressing it in this performance. They say it was the last concert for them before retirement. I don't know why they have chosen this piece for the memorable concert. But I still could imagine what thought they had put to this piece. They have expressed what Brahms wanted to, I believe. Modestly expressed feeling of resignation to life despite of an eagerness for living going on sometimes.

Listen to Brahms uttering to you as if the closest friend of yours.

A miracle in life

Several days ago, when I was relaxing at home after having spent a busy day at a bank or with an accountant etc, I got a phone call from a friend in neighborhood. Her daughter, named K, aged 21 years seemed to have an asthmatic attack. I told her that I would care for her at the clinic where I used to work by myself. After getting permission to care for her by myself at the clinic, I took them there on my car.

K got massive coughing bouts but least dyspnea. On the way to the clinic, I have talked with her mother on our old days. I first met K at a serious situation. It was almost 20 years ago. In a morning when I was getting ready to go for work at a med school hospital, her mother has given me a call. She screamed to me telling that K was almost drowned to death in a watered bath tub. I rushed to her home in a few minutes. She was only a toddler lying motionlessly on the floor without consciousness. She was not cyanotic but quite pale. I confirmed she had regular heart beats but very weak breathing if any. Instantly, I gave her primary resuscitation. I don't remember how she responded to it. Possibly, she might breathe better then. I had her transfered to the med school hospital on an amubulance car. This episode left her psychomotor retardation, not so severe, and mild cerebral palsy. With her and her mother's effort, she has finished the ordinary education ata a local junir high school.

At the clinic, with the help of nebulization, she became free from that massive coughing. I have given her medication for asthma. She and her mother have been relieved a lot. I was happy to be able to help her again.

I haven't met her for years. She has grown to be a slender beautiful girl. I know she has been working at a facility for the handicapped. She would like, though, to work for aged people etc. Actually, she had a training to be a helper but had no chance to work that way so far. Her mother told me she had taken lessons for piano, which she loves so much. I know K should be regarded as an unfortunate girl from the common sense in the world due to her handicap. As a matter of fact, she as well as her mother must have had much difficulty in lives for years. Fight against prejudice, struggle to have the ordinary education despite of her handicap and so forth. But they accept it as it is and won't care for that so much. Her mother's story implied a bit of tears. But they seemed free from any troubles in mind. No care for tomorrow. They are living in the way as they are now. A kind of transparency, free from any cloudedness of anxiety or unhappiness, in their way of living. It is admirable to me. Apparently unhappiest mother and daughter are living in this way free from any anxiety or anger for their misfortune. It is not a sentimentalism at all. Once you know them in person, you might share the same feeling as I have had.

How could it be in the world?