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Going Back To Single Lever Paddle

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by K5UOS, Sep 12, 2015.

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  1. K5UOS

    K5UOS Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have never been proficient using an iambic paddle.

    Using a homebrew single lever paddle along with a lot of straight key for so many years I had trouble transitioning to sqeezing the iambic key.

    I decided to go back to single lever. It won’t drastically change my skill but I hope to increase my conversational speed and reduce some error.

    I looked at lots of single lever models and reviews. Picked this one but there are better (subjective) models.

    This is spring operated while others use magnets. Gonna start with this one.

    Begali Simplex Mono

  2. W7UUU

    W7UUU Super Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    BEAUTIFUL paddle!!

    I use "squeeze paddles" all the time - I have four of them right here in the shack on different rigs... but I have never once squoze the squeeze :) The only Iambic I have ever done had something to do with Shakespeare :D

    I simply run them the same way you'd run a single lever - works fine. The whole squeezy thing never made much sense to me.

    I did make a very nice single paddle sideswiper "cootie key" in 9th grade, around 1974. Alas, it perished in a fire in 1997, 3 months after I passed my Extra.

    Anyway, Begali really does make a nice [albeit spendy!] product.

  3. K5UOS

    K5UOS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi Dave,

    I have a decent Elecraft Hex Key which is iambic. I am good up to about 22WPM using it but after that it seems foreign to me.

    Probably psychological more than physical.

    My basic problem is that for a while I tried iambic and as I increase speed the two methods cause me to hesitate.

    If the single lever doesn't solve my problem I will at least have fun trying a few new paddles. :D
  4. WA7DU

    WA7DU Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've not used a single lever key, but I use the double lever key just as I would a single lever...I think. I do not squeeze and hold--I push the lever for each dit and each dah. Therefore, I think the same motions would "translate" to a single lever left/right key. I think.

    My problem with true iambic or trochaic keying is that it would put me back into that troubling world of counting dits and dahs--a habit I had to work hard to break in the first place. I wonder if that makes me weird, or if it is normal for the "average" being. If the former, no big deal--there are dozens of other things that signal strongly just how weird I am. I'm playing with the idea of changing my call sign to WE1RD. Or W3IRD. Or WE1RDO. Or WA6KO.
    K5UOS likes this.
  5. G3YRO

    G3YRO Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have used a mechanical semi-auto key ("bug") for about 45 years . . .

    But I've started to find it hard to send the dahs fast enough at high speeds, so thought I'd finally change over to an el-bug.

    A friend kindly gave me a nice double-paddle (made by Kent), and I built a really cheap ic based keyer, that works really well.

    However . . . I find that I make quite a lot of mistakes unless I really concentrate. The problem is due to the squeeze keying facility . . . for all that I use it as if it's a single-paddle key, you can't help but sometimes go to the other side, and you end up with rubbish!

    I'm sure if I had a single paddle key I wouldn't get these errors . . . but they are quite rare second-hand, and very expensive new!
    K5UOS likes this.
  6. K5UOS

    K5UOS Ham Member QRZ Page

    GyYRO - I guess I feel like you. I am hoping to reduce error as I increase my speed.

    The price for a good paddle is pretty significant. But mono with all things equal is not more expensive that the iambic. Probably slighly less.

    There is a lot more choices for iambic than mono types. That might make mono less available on the 2nd hand market.

  7. K5UOS

    K5UOS Ham Member QRZ Page

    I just don't know. I have never had the two types at the same time to play with.

    Obviously, I do the same as you. As my speed has creeped up above 18-20wpm I seem to make more errors. No a lot but enough to make me try something different.

    I chose the single lever because since I was going to get something new I might as well buy a paddle that is made to fit my sending style.

    At least something fun to do this week. Arrives tomorrow. :)

  8. KB1CKT

    KB1CKT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hmm.... Has anyone made a keyer where it DIDN'T send a string of dits/dahs when you held down the paddle?

    I'm not sure this would be of any use, but I have casually tried my hand at 20wpm on my BY1, and I find I get double dits in particular when I want just one (N's turn into D's for instance). I don't get my finger off the paddle fast enough; if I "slap" it's better. [Slap as in all but hit; fast movement but the paddle stays where it is.] If the keyer would only send one dit per press, and make me hit it twice (or 3, or 4 or 5 times)...

    I'm guessing I'd just send worse code if it did that. But I wonder if that mode would be something someone else would want.
  9. K5GI

    K5GI Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm feeling better already! I thought I was alone in thinking I was the only one using an iambic keyer as a single lever paddle. I will key now with peace of mind, knowing there are others doing the same. My next keyer will be a single lever if and when I buy a new one. thanks everyone, Ken
  10. WA4BRL

    WA4BRL Ham Member QRZ Page

    One can fashion a simple cootie key with a piece of hacksaw blade to do this job. Just run the separate wires to the lateral contacts.

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