Sending Pictures by CW?

Rob, KC8RCO, sent me an article from the July 2007 issue of Popular Communications in which Bill, N3AVY, proposes to send pictures via CW. CW is the original digital mode after all, isn’t it?

It is an amusing idea. I would suggest, though, that he start with a small image, such as the small ARRL icon. The .ico format uses only 16 colors, meaning that the colors require only four bits, and that each byte contains the information for two pixels.

The ARRL icon is only 766 bytes, meaning he’ll have to send 1,532 characters after encoding the binary data as ASCII. After he’s successfully sent and received the .ico image, then he could move on to something more complex.


  1. does his brain contains any sort of CRC?



  2. Interesting idea, but why send a raster image? Let’s send a vector image in Adobe Illustrator format, for example, it’s mostly text already. :)

  3. Dan KB6NU says:

    I’d guess that vector encoding would be shorter for some images and longer for others. Right?

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