Entering the "Bug world"

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by W4WVW, Jun 25, 2020.

ad: L-HROutlet
ad: l-rl
ad: Subscribe
ad: Left-3
ad: Left-2
ad: FBNews-1
ad: L-MFJ
  1. W4WVW

    W4WVW Ham Member QRZ Page

    I just ordered a right angle, single lever bug from KN4YB. He's a couple of weeks backlogged but I can wait. If I can get good with it (I'm sure I can) then I just may retire the BY-1 paddle.


    I'll report back after I get it.

    73, Mike
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2020
    PU2OZT likes this.
  2. W9EBE

    W9EBE Subscriber QRZ Page

    Enjoy, Mike! There's nothing like beautiful bug music.
    W9RAC, K8PG, K1LKP and 2 others like this.
  3. K1LKP

    K1LKP Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    HI MIKE,





    73 - K1LKP
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2020
    WB5YUZ, PU2OZT and W4WVW like this.
  4. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    My condolences. You have taken the red pill.
    W4WVW likes this.
  5. W6MK

    W6MK Ham Member QRZ Page

    If you are good with a paddle you will have something to shoot for with
    a bug. Adequate spacing between characters and between words for

    A couple of things to keep in mind:

    Unlike a paddle a bug requires something more than the smallest possible
    amount of lever travel.

    Bugs require some attention to adjustment to provide good
    dit weighting. Many bug ops prefer heavier dit weighting
    than most keyer users employ. Scratchy dits are a common accomplishment.

    When dit speed doesn't closely match overall speed it sounds weird and
    can be extremely irritating.

    In times past, commercial and military ops could use electronic keyers whenever
    they wanted to. You had to obtain certification to use a bug.

    Good luck and give yourself plenty of time for practice. Focus on moderate
    speed and absolute clarity.
    W9RAC, W5ESE, W4WVW and 1 other person like this.
  6. WA9FZB

    WA9FZB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Back when I was a novice and then a new general (early 1960's) we were able to afford bugs, but not keyers. We worked as hard as we could to send code on a bug that sounded like a keyer. Some of us got to be very good bug ops.

    Then came the inbuilt keyers and advancing age, and we just gave in and switched to keyers full-time. I still have a couple of bugs, but unless I practice a LOT, I will sound far better on a keyer, so I only bring out a bug for special occasions. (FD is not one of those, either.)
    WB5YUZ and W5ESE like this.
  7. K4RT

    K4RT Ham Member QRZ Page


    That's a fine looking bug. Congratulations.

    If you haven't used a bug before, my advice is to practice off air at first. Also, note that it's not unusual for temperature and humidity changes to affect bug settings.

    W5ESE and W4WVW like this.
  8. W4WVW

    W4WVW Ham Member QRZ Page


    I had one back in the 60s that I practiced with a little but my code was too slow back then. I plan on LOTS of practice before I put this key on the air. It's going to stay indoors (FL heat/humidity) and my outdoor use will be SK or Paddle from CW Morse.

    73, Mike
  9. K5TSK

    K5TSK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Congrats. Have fun. Some time ago I took one of my bugs outside and went QRP on a small table near my vertical antenna trying for a short feed line and maximum signal transfer. After 15 minutes of frustration not being able to form decent code, I quit. Vertical bugs and tilted tables do not work. Inside plus a stable environment and bugs do great. I hope you enjoy the learning process. 73.
    W4WVW likes this.
  10. W5ESE

    W5ESE Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've had a bug for a long time (Vibroplex Lightning Bug; nothing fancy).

    But I would need to be a lot better with it before I would inflict my sending on it onto others.
    W4WVW likes this.

Share This Page

ad: w5yi