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Single lever paddle compare to dual lever paddle (iambic)

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by KW1L, Jan 14, 2018.


How many of us buy a dual lever paddle and use it like a single lever paddle?

  1. I use my dual lever paddle as a single lever paddle. I slap

    28 vote(s)
  2. I use my dual lever paddle as an iambic paddle. I squeez.

    12 vote(s)
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  1. KW1L

    KW1L Ham Member QRZ Page

    How many of us CW operators buy a dual lever paddle and use it like a single lever paddle?

    In other words do you use your dual lever paddle (with keyer that support iambic A or B) and do squeezing to form the letters or just slap the paddles as a single paddle key?

    Appreciate your comments and vote.

  2. W7UUU

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

    I have never used any iambic "squeeze" mode of keying in over 42 years as a CW Morse ham. Many paddles I have owned were meant for iambic modes but I've never used them that way. I own a number of them now as well, but I use them as single paddle keys.

    I didn't actually vote because I don't "slap" anything

    K5ITM and K3XR like this.
  3. K3XR

    K3XR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Have a number of different keys from single paddle to iambic and use them all as if they were a single lever paddle guess it goes back to starting with a bug and next having a Vibroplex virbrokeyer which is still in use.
  4. K5DH

    K5DH Ham Member QRZ Page

    I learned to use a keyer back in the '70s with a single lever paddle (actually a modified Les Logan Speed-X bug) connected to a Heathkit keyer, both borrowed from one of my Elmers. Once I discovered iambic squeeze keying in 1978, there was no turning back for me! I always use iambic mode "B". My first iambic paddle was made from a pair of J-38 keys mounted vertically (I wish I still had that contraption!). My parents gave me a Bencher BY-1 for Christmas in '78, and that's still my primary paddle. It looks like it's been through a war, but it works as well today as it did when it was new. I own several other iambic paddles, too, but I don't own a single lever paddle. The closest I come to single lever operating is piddling with a few bugs that I have in my key collection.

    Dean K5DH
  5. WD4IGX

    WD4IGX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I learned to loathe iambic paddles. Try as I may I ALWAYS get accidental extraneous elements with an iambic. It’s a single paddle or straight key for me.
  6. WD0BCT

    WD0BCT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    There is an article floating about that describes straight key, bug, and electronic keyer operation. Electronic keying includes iambic/trochaic keying which includes the "squeeze" movement of a double paddle. When squeezing which paddle gets squeezed first determines if it is di-dah or da-dit repeated. Actual iambic/trochaic operation is actually used by very few operators. The interesting thing is the reduction in hand movements going from straight key...bug...electronic keyer...iambic/trochaic keyer while sending the entire alphabet and 0-9 numbers.

    Straight key requires the most movement...iambic/trochaic the least. However the decending order of movement goes from straight key...bug...electronic keyer....electronic iambic/trochaic.

    I don't squeeze. I can understand the slap/squeeze terminology. It's used in describing trigger techniques between a rifle and shotgun target shooting...stationary target (squeeze)vs moving target (slap). It is a very gentle slap.
  7. KD4ZFS

    KD4ZFS Ham Member QRZ Page

    I voted "single lever" -- but I don't "slap."

    I really like my single-lever TBK II made by W1SFR. It has a very subtle action, much more of a caress than a slap.

    I actually own mostly single-lever keys. I have borrowed iambic paddles and played with all sorts of modes. I have studied this whole issue to the point of absurdity. I have enough material for a long-ish technical article. I may even write that article one day.

    The bottom line for me is this: Single Paddle is simple, and works with (almost!) all modes. (Bug mode keyers excluded.)

    Iambic squeeze technique will save you a a little movement on 7 letters (R, K, F, L, Q, Y, and C) and a few punctuation marks (.) and prosigns (AS, SN, AR, AA).


    No other letters even allow for Iambic techniques. If you accidental squeeze when you switch paddles, you will send extra dits and dahs on 20 letters and numbers, and a few punctuation marks and prosigns.

    Do what you want. Use any and all kinds of sending. QRS or QRQ. Help keep CW alive. Enjoy! :)

    I like a single paddle.
    WD4IGX likes this.
  8. KA0HCP

    KA0HCP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I've recently switched to a Kent single paddle. It eliminates the increasingly common mistakes my fingers seem to be making with iambic paddles.

    I won't throw away my iambic paddles though. Keys are like trumpet mouth pieces. The first week they seem like a miracle, then you settle back to the old routines. :)
  9. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I voted for "squeez" (sic) -- it's really "squeeze," and have for years and years and years.

    However, if I come across a station I operate that only has single-lever paddles, that works fine for me also -- just a tiny bit more work.

    I keep things closely spaced and lightly weighted (loose springs or magnets, whatever makes them work) and my hand doesn't move at all when operating. Just two fingers do (thumb and middle finger), and they barely move.

    I'm lazy.:p
    WA7PRC likes this.
  10. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I've slapped stuff, but not keys.

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