Just wondering if anyone else has switched back from an electronic keyer to a bug.
I did for two reasons:
1) I just like the bug, and got tired of "perfect" code.
2) A sneaking suspicion that the distinctive sound of a bug might help in the pileups.
Now, I know there are those that think bugs are flat-out awful devices, so I expect a bit of flame here. That's okay.
Your thoughts, fellow CW ops?
I always though those electronic keyers were impersonal. I am using a bug (blue racer) I got in 1949 new. Still like it. Have rebuilt it once.
The bug certainly does give an operator a quality all his own, and a fist that is unique. #I don't mind working an op with a little swing to the fist, as long as it isn't overboard(dash 15 wpm #dots 35 wpm) #Other than that, I enjoy them. #I have one, and use it every now and then.
FISTS #9324 SKCC #6 ARRL
Member SPAR NAQCC #0443
To me, bugs are like handwriting. I can read some people's script, some others I can't. Some of the handwriting I can't read is quite decorative, but it's meaningless to me because I can't read it. There are some bug users who are a joy to listen to, others overestimate the beauty and legibility of their fists. It really depends who's swinging the lever.
Having terrible handwriting myself, I'll continue to use my keyer for the sake of those who work me.
If you have to worry about the cost of HF e-mail, you can't afford the boat.
CW: The mode that accomplishes the most with the least circuitry, the least spectrum, and the least power.
What hath God wrought?
He hath wrought that pounding brass still kicks .- ... ...
Don't remember where I picked this up, but some of you might be interested:
I've never mastered a bug - never had one, but I admire those who are proficient. Maybe I'll find one at a hamfest for a good price & practice a bit.
Back in 1964 I tried using a bug but found I was just too inconsistent. Being on the receiving end of my signal couldn't have been much fun. I found a Hallicrafters T.O. Keyer on the cheap and bought a Vibroplex Vibrokeyer - my code improved tremendously.
I never learned iambic keying. The Vibrokeyer isn't set up for that. I just transitioned from right handed to left handed sending so I can log easier. I'm not ready to get another key to use iambic. Hell, it was hard enough changing hands! I'm too old to learn another trick. So I'll remain a paddle slapper.
There are guys out there that can make a bug sing and they're a joy to copy. Then there are guys that sound like me on a bug. I stay away from them.
I currently use an Iambic key but I would like to find a decent Bug at a good price and play with it. I figure I am young enough to get the feel for a bug and become somewhat proficient with it. I have seen guys using Bugs at 35-45 WPM and they make it sound nice, I would like to be able to be that good one day. I agree with what everyone is saying about the Iambic, it does make all the CW Ops sound alike. 73
In the hands of an op with a good fist, they're a joy to listen to. If the op has no idea how to use one, they make me turn the VFO. I'm not good with one so I don't use one, but always enjoy listening and working a good op who has a bug and a little bit of swing.
Motivation - If a pretty poster and a cute saying are all it takes to motivate you, you probably have a very easy job. The kind robots will be doing soon.
What makes "all operators sound alike" ? If you are talking about the typical UR 599 MD 249, QSL ? type of contest exchange, that might be true.
However, there are those that can only send their Call, Name, exchange, and on to the next contact, but in my opinion, the good operators are the ones who can sit and ragchew for hours. They tell stories about their past operating experiences, and keep you fascinated for hours! They can be a pleasure to come back to time and time again.
Whether they use a bug, straight key, or the most modern iambic keyer is not important. What they have to say when they are engaged in a QSO is what IS !
73 from Jim
Ham Radio, Amateur Astronomy, and Model Airplanes - what better way to spend some time!
No time is ever wasted that is spent LEARNING something !
I use a Vibroplex Gold Presentation Original exclusively for code. It is a joy to use, and actually requires some skill in use AND setup to use. Plus, I love the looks I get at field day.
My wife gave it to me for a first anniversary present.