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QRP KEYS+BUGS - SUGGESTIONS WANTED

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by K1KTF, Jun 14, 2021.

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  1. WA1GXC

    WA1GXC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Simplicity, style, and legacy sez I.

    Those who have the fine imported mechanisms from across the oceans can rightfully enjoy pride of ownership in well-designed and crafted
    examples of engineering.

    But a key is a key is a key. The new guys and gals will fight me on this, but the old hands won't.

    My straight key for all venues is a circa-1945 Signal Electric (Menominee Michigan) heavy-duty key screwed-down to a wooden slat salvaged from a
    tomato crate I found in a trash pile in Alexandria, Virginia in 1986. Still in use today, sits with the long-end facing me on my desk.

    Hamfests are coming back. 25-30 dollars for a well-made standard WW II military key or civilian Johnson/Speed-X is a fair deal for buyer
    and seller. Bunnell or other professional grade keys slightly higher.

    Surplus Sales of Nebraska still listing brand-new in box Nye Viking for $59. Super high quality. Listed under "T" - telegraph


    At the risk of being redundant (I've said it here in Straight Keys at least 10 times in 2 years):
    The same good code or the same crap will be transmitted from the key, independent of what it looks like or who made it.

    Find one you'll enjoy. Don't spend too much.

    73
     
    W9EBE, K8PG and K1KTF like this.
  2. K5DH

    K5DH Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have a little iambic paddle from American Morse that's pretty nice. If you can find 'em at a tolerable price, the no-longer-available paddles from Palm Radio are very popular. I like mine.
     
    KP4SX and K1KTF like this.
  3. K1KTF

    K1KTF Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    This is such an awesome paddle bug! Definitely a candidate for my next purchase.

    thank you and 73! Steve (K1KTF)
     
  4. KG7WGX

    KG7WGX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    OK, that's where I got lost. What on earth is a paddle bug?
     
    PU2OZT likes this.
  5. WN1MB

    WN1MB Ham Member QRZ Page

  6. KF9VV

    KF9VV Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    N0SA ssp for portable if available.

    Superb paddle. Tiny, rugged, good feel and hold up well. Stay “in tune” once set up, Work fine at higher speed. Not quite as sweet as his desk models, but just work.

    Last portable paddle I will ever buy, they are that good.
     
  7. AE0Q

    AE0Q XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Not sure we are all using the same terminology.

    A Keyer paddle is the key you use with an electronic keyer (built in a radio or separate). It can have two paddle arms or just one.

    A bug is a mechanical key that vibrates and makes dits when pushed to one side, and you make the dashes by pushing it the other way.

    A straight key (or hand key) is one you use to tap out Morse code and you provide all the timing.

    If you are looking for a nice paddle to use with an electronic keyer and portable operating, the Begali Traveler is great. It can be strapped to your leg so it won't move around, it weighs 1.5 pounds and has folding legs to protect it when not in use.

    Begali_traveler_m.jpg

    Legs folded
    Begali_traveler__folded.jpg

    Glenn AE0Q
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2021
    K8PG likes this.
  8. W6MK

    W6MK Ham Member QRZ Page

    A bug needs some weight otherwise it will scoot around too much under use.

    A well-designed, relatively compact bug is the Vizbug.
     
    K1KTF likes this.
  9. K5TSK

    K5TSK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Refers to certain spiders who inhabit boats, oars, paddles, in a marine environment.
     
    K1KTF likes this.
  10. K8JD

    K8JD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I got the MOrse KK-1 mini key kit to use on camping trips with my QRP rigs, easy to drop in a carry bad and go.
    My problem with this tiny key is my large fingers could not use it well. Go much faster without errors with the big J38 key.
     

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