Paddle type(s)

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by N6RGR, Sep 10, 2021.

ad: L-HROutlet
ad: l-rl
ad: L-Geochron
ad: MessiPaoloni-1
ad: HRDLLC-2
ad: Left-2
ad: abrind-2
ad: Left-3
ad: L-MFJ
  1. W9RAC

    W9RAC Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I like the bug but have it weighted properly since a swing is not something I find attractive. They are loads of fun to use for sure. Even with proper weight for the speed I use for conversational QSO's@17ish the sound is different. I'm not sure why. I like the paddle on occasion also and between the two breaks up the skillset. Hope to hear you I hang out on 7058, 73 Rich
    KW9W likes this.
  2. AE0Q

    AE0Q XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I enjoy copying smoothly sent Morse. Some keyboard users use too much punctuation and words spelled out when most other people cut words with kind of standard abbreviations, you can tell it's from a keyboard :) But at least it is easy to copy and I find it relaxing.

    Bugs are good as long as there isn't too much "swing" to make it really weird, but at least you can still copy them... I got a used Vibroplex Original (bug) with a gray base for $10 as a Novice in 1968 and used it for a few months. Then at a St Paul Radio Club hamfest that winter I got a homebrew vacuum tube TO keyer and rewired the Vibroplex to be a keyer paddle. I've been using a keyer ever since then. Switched to home-made dual paddles in 1969 and iambic keying later that year.
    I mostly use my 1992 Jones Key dual paddles at home and a Begali Magnetic Traveler when portable, it straps to my leg and doesn't move around.

    I think using a keyer and any decent keyer paddles is the best way to increase your code speed. If you can send faster you will naturally start to copy faster, one reinforces the other. Eventually you will be able to copy faster than you can physically send :) Just listening to W1AW code practice transmissions at the fastest speeds, faster than you can copy 100%, not trying to copy it on paper or the PC, is good practice.

    Using a straight key does nothing to reinforce good timing of Morse elements or spacing of letters. The worst code to listen to is when words are all run together, that is WORK to decipher in your head, not fun.

    Glenn AE0Q
    AG6QR likes this.
  3. KD1JT

    KD1JT Ham Member QRZ Page

    For the record, bugs don’t swing, the operator does.
    K3EY likes this.
  4. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I saw a spider swing from one part of his web to another.
    KD1JT and AE0Q like this.
  5. KP4SX

    KP4SX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I find it annoying.
  6. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Me, too.

    And wastes a lot of time.
  7. W7HV

    W7HV Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've got time to waste. Agree, though, that communicating in CW is very slow compared to speaking, even at high WPM, so dragging things out with complete sentences, full spelling, and punctuation is simply slowing it further.

    As far a spring vs magnets, the movement of the levers is so small that difference between the force curve of springs and magnets is inconsequential. That said, ideally, when using magnets, they should be arranged to be attractive (pulling the lever against its backstop, away from the contact) rather than repulsive (pushing the lever against its backstop), so that the force decreases as the lever moves from its back stop to the point of making contact.
    AE0Q likes this.
  8. KK9W

    KK9W Ham Member QRZ Page

    I use a single lever torsion bar cootie/paddle made by W1SFR. Smooth as silk and silent.
    K5MUG and K3EY like this.
  9. K3EY

    K3EY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yep, my Green Machine, second one, is coming soon. I love Steve's Keys!

    I also use Tony's ZN-9RZ, STAMPFL Straight Key, an old Bunnell straight key, and a left hand Vibroplex deluxe bug. Use them all.

    Steve's W1SFR are the smoothest and almost silent, then N3ZN for it's very light feel. Using the bug after those feels like I'm lifting weights.
    K5MUG likes this.
  10. W4HAY

    W4HAY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    A good comparison is carrying on a conversation with someone using a voice synthesizer. It's too mechanical. Straight keys, bugs, and sideswipers bring out an individual's sending characteristics and are pleasing to copy -- IF their sending skills are well practiced.
    During WW2, CW OPs were taught to send as near to perfect as possible. At Bletchly Park, MI6 monitors could often identify an enemy station and location by the operator's fist. This was especially helpful in deternining the location of Nazi U-boats

    As for the improperly adjusted bug, the Vibroplex Vari-Speed accessory makes it quick and easy to change speed by swinging the weight through the arc of the Vari-Speed arm. It only takes me a couple of seconds to to it. YMMV.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2021

Share This Page