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Entering the "Bug world"

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

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  1. W6MK

    W6MK Ham Member QRZ Page

    No need, really, for more than half a dozen dits. Errors can be indicated, and usually are, in a
    number of ways such as sending two rapid di-dits (i) or a question mark, or without any
    indication at all. This last is my style. I just ignore the error and continue.

    It may be useful to point out that there are several bug adjustments that determine the
    weight (length) of dits and the total number producible with each stroke of the pendulum:
    weight placement on the pendulum, dit contact spacing and lever travel (in the dit direction).

    This is for a typical straightforward design like most Vibroplexes. Some Vibroplexes
    have screws rather than rivets attaching the sprung part of the pendulum to the
    lever which allows adjustment of the functional spring force. More complex
    bugs like the Begali Intrepid have an adjustable attracting magnet at the weighted end
    of the pendulum which allows for slowing down the dit speed significantly and for lengthening
    the dits.

    Many bugs allow for a very simple adjustment to enable slower speeds. This is done by
    moving the weight as far along the distal end of the pendulum as possible so that the
    damper acts upon the body of the weight rather than on the pendulum rod or beam.
    W9EBE and W9RAC like this.
  2. WA1GXC

    WA1GXC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Sorry for bad news, Fellas--Semiautomatic keys are not adjusted to send a string of 25 dots to send 3 EEEEEEEE error signals
    in succession, but as a proof-of-performance test. If you're getting 12 or 15 dots then decay, your bug is adjusted incorrectly. That doesn't mean you're
    a bad person, it just means your device is out of adjustment. Do yourself a favor, get the best enjoyment from your Morse, and take
    it easy on the receiving station who has to listen to this stuff. Do some reading, some experimentation until you get it right and your reward will be a job

    From: Semi-Automatic Key Adjustment, published by Vibroplex
    originally authored by VE2AGO
    "The performance one gets with a bug depends greatly on the adjustment, and no amount of skill can make up for a poorly adjusted bug...
    There is also the belief that the adjustments are solely for one's individuality, and we therefore hear a lot of signals with choppy dots, poor ratio of
    dot length........"

    Department of the Army, Technical Manual TM 11-459
    Department of the Air Force, Technical Order TO 31-3-16
    September 1957

    Paragraph 33. "Key Adjustment"
    (f) " If the adjustment instructions are followed carefully, the bug will make 25 or more dots before stopping. The first 12 to 15 dits will
    be practically perfect with the dits and spaces equal."

    The Vibroplex briefing sheet calls attention to the ohmmeter check detailed in an earlier post here. Be informed, be the best operator you can be
    and take pride in what goes out over the air under your callsign.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2020
  3. W9EBE

    W9EBE Subscriber QRZ Page

    Phew. I was starting to fear that I would suffer a severe Wouff Hong treatment.

    Perfection is desired in every aspect on Amateur Radio. That being said, if one wants to send PERFECT Morse, one can use a keyboard or a keyer, where the dot/dash ratio is 3:1. But the beauty of sending Morse with a manual keying device, i.e. straight key, bug, or cootie, is that each operator has a distinctive fist with its own unique character. That's part of the fun, IMO.

    Let's not get too hung-up on striving to make our manual keys sound like machines.
    PU2OZT likes this.
  4. W6MK

    W6MK Ham Member QRZ Page

    As with many such kinds of instructions, these are places to start, not the final destination.
  5. K3EY

    K3EY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Long time ago when someone was using a bug that was next to impossible to copy, I would struggle to copy
    the very bad fist. Then one day I decided to stop torching myself and tell the OP--sri om I can't cpi ur fist, maybe next time 73.

    And then we have the guys who try to explain the Erie swing to me:rolleyes:

    They invented paddles and use them for good reason.

    Some OP's can send very well with a bug, but unfortunately too many are just plain terrible.

    This is a hobby and I refuse to frustrate myself and why I feel this way.
    KG7WGX likes this.
  6. W6MK

    W6MK Ham Member QRZ Page

    I completely agree. It's quite surprising to me that there are bug-users who simply do
    not realize how terrible their code sounds.
    K8PG likes this.
  7. KD7ICW

    KD7ICW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Go to Seiuchy and in the "simulated key" setting, click on "bug nightmare" for a bit of fun!

    You're welcome.
    K2CD, W9RAC, PU2OZT and 1 other person like this.
  8. W4WVW

    W4WVW Ham Member QRZ Page

    That's a great site. At 20WPM the bug nightmare is not copyable for me. Bug novice barely copyable, bug is head copyable for me and bug expert is a downright pleasure to listen to.
    PU2OZT and KD7ICW like this.
  9. W6MK

    W6MK Ham Member QRZ Page

    I found the "bug novice" worse than the "bug nightmare."

    I'd thank you but I hear this stuff daily on the air.
  10. W9RAC

    W9RAC Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks for posting Brad, great site. 73 Rich
    KD7ICW likes this.

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