Paddle question

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by K2CQW, Oct 18, 2015.

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  1. K2CQW

    K2CQW Ham Member QRZ Page

    I made my first cw qso today in over 60 years. I am right-handed. Are the dahs on the thumb (left) paddle and the dits on the index finger (right)?
     
  2. W5BIB

    W5BIB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    normally, yes. Welcome back to CW

    Steve
     
  3. K2CQW

    K2CQW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks, I thought so because dahs are fat and dits are thin.
     
  4. W5UXH

    W5UXH Subscriber QRZ Page

    It of course does not matter, but I think the most commonly accepted answer is the one found in another thread (Mike's answer) :

    http://www.eham.net/ehamforum/smf/index.php?topic=13543.0;wap2

    where Mike replied:

    Mike:
    "The overwhelming "standard" is most definitely the dit paddle on the left and dash paddle on the right. Most bugs are set up this way, though I'm sure there are left-handed models that are reversed (I'm no bug expert)."

    So that is dot on the left side of the paddle and dash on the right side. I believe this most likely comes from standard bugs, dots on right hand thumb. The "common" setup for left handers is the opposite, I am left handed, and have dots on the left, so most right handers can use my paddle without having to reverse the connections.
     
  5. W5BIB

    W5BIB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    On second thought,... I think it's like my bug (using it right-handed) ... dits are with the thumb & dahs are with the index-finger.
     
    VK5EEE likes this.
  6. K2CQW

    K2CQW Ham Member QRZ Page

    So now I'm wrong. You say po-tay-to, I say po-tah-to. Does the thumb have more dexterity than the index finger?
     
  7. W5BIB

    W5BIB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Now you're asking difficult questions !!! :eek: Heck,... just use a J-38 & eliminate all of the confusion !!! :D:) (I thought I was wrong once, but I was just mistaken)
     
    AC8UN likes this.
  8. AG6QR

    AG6QR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    The most common system is for those who key with their right hand to put the dahs on the finger, and dits on the thumb. Probably because most bugs were built that way. (And it's most common for the dits to be on the tip of the stereo connector, and dahs to be on the ring, but you didn't ask about that.)

    Plenty of people do it differently, though. Some of those who hook their paddles up the other way key with their left hand, some not.

    At my club shack, I got tired of seeing the paddle's cable get frayed from many people swapping the dit and dah sides by swapping the wires around. So I built a "paddle flipper", a little box with a couple of jacks and a DPDT switch wired to swap the tip and ring. Now anyone at the club station can switch sides without having to rewire the paddle, and without digging through menus on the rig.

    I'm right-handed. I normally use my right hand to key, and follow the common convention of thumb=dit. But I've found that I can fairly easily key with my left hand, provided I swap the paddle sides when I switch hands. My brain is used to "thumb=dit, finger=dah", and it doesn't seem to matter so much which hand the thumb and finger belong to. Some people like to key with their non-dominant hand, so they can hold a pencil with their writing hand, to quickly switch between sending and writing.
     
  9. KB1CKT

    KB1CKT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Years ago I bought a K1EL K40 keyboard keyer, and memorized the shortcut key to swap paddles (alt-F9). For some reason I prefer dah on my thumb. No idea, probably just the first way I wired up the paddles, and too lazy to relearn. I don't know if "most" keyers support reverse on the paddles.

    I have been attempting to practice keying with my left hand using "standard" keyer wiring, which would still have dah on my thumb but now dah would be on the right. Hopefully if anything were to happen to my dominate hand I could still do cw; and if I were to ever be a guest at someone's station where I couldn't find that reverse shortcut/switch/whatever I could still operate.
     
  10. KI5WW

    KI5WW Ham Member QRZ Page



    Im left handed. I use the finger for "dit" left paddle, and the thumb for "da" , right paddle. But does it matter?
     

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