Straight Keys? CW Proponents?

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by WA7DU, Jul 28, 2015.

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  1. VK5EEE

    VK5EEE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Just made a funny discovery, with a bit of free license: LONG LIVE MORSE has 77 elements if you count each dit as one, each dah as three, and each space between letters and numbers as one each, you arrive at 65+12=77 in total. Yes, not proportional, but maybe there's an additional sign in there that this is a good choice :D
    W5BIB likes this.
  2. M0LEP

    M0LEP Ham Member QRZ Page

    Then please please please remove the "Straight Keys" from the forum title.
    NQ1B, KA0HCP and AA8TA like this.
  3. K5UNX

    K5UNX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

  4. W5UXH

    W5UXH Subscriber QRZ Page

    The difference between Mode A and Mode B involves some hard to explain (for me) subtle differences in the timing algorithm in the hardware logic or software logic. Decades ago I thought if you did not squeeze, then the mode did not matter. I by chance was using only Curtis Mode A chips at the time. I needed more chips and the A was not available. This was before he came out with the version that provided the option to select the mode. So I ordered the Mode B chips. It took a long time before I finally figured out why my error rates at speeds much above 30 wpm had deteriorated so much, and the reason was that the exact timing of the logic when it evaluates paddle closures made a big difference even though I do not use Iambic / squeeze techniques.

    In my experience, anyone who first started using one Mode, finds the same thing (error rate jumps up) when they change to the other mode, whether or not they use squeeze keying. I think I can explain the situation for my example of sending the letter V in both modes. In Mode B, if you close the dash side for the final element in the V character while you still have the dot side closed, and then immediately release the dot as soon as the dash begins, and release the dash before it completes, the keyer algorithm will "think" that you want one more dit to follow the dash.

    In Mode A, if you do this, and release the dot sometime after the dash has started but not completed, the keyer will not send the "extra" dit. The V is my "test" if I want to figure out if a keyer is in A or B. I think years ago I could think of similar examples for someone who is used to B making a certain error when using A. I suppose it would be letters like R. My guess is a Mode B fist would sometimes try to send R and only get the letter A instead.

    I am sure I am not explaining this clearly. I understand it well enough to write my own keyer algorithms and have done so for about 20 years now. But trying to clearly explain it is another matter.

    One option to almost insure that the iambic mode of your keyer will not affect your sending is to use a single lever paddle. I tried one last year that is an excellent paddle, wanting to see if after 55 years of dual levers and non-squeeze keying, perhaps my error rate would improve at higher speeds. I found that the nature of my errors changed, but not so much the rate:)
    VK5EEE likes this.
  5. KA2CZU

    KA2CZU XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    you mean both straight and, uh, non-straight keyers may be "engaged" here? :)
    W5BIB likes this.
  6. W5BIB

    W5BIB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Here ya go Lou: 77 = Keeping Morse Alive :cool:

    77 es 73
    dit dit
    VK5EEE likes this.
  7. K8JD

    K8JD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Answers for WA7DU
    I actually have 3 straight keys , the original J38 is connected to a rig I have not been using lately and the one in use is a Japanese ball bearing version that resembles the the J38.
    Lastly, I have a KK-1 mini key that I built from a kit. I was going to add it to my camping go-bag with my QRP rigs and lightweight wire antennas. I just never got a good feel for using it and now it is stuck in a drawer.
    I use the straight keys, mostly, for my QRS QSOs with newer Morse ops.
    The bug is a Vibroplex Champion that I have had for about 7 years.
    My first bug was one I got at Lafayette radio in the early 60s, it was the one for $12- with a clear plastic dust cover..
    I have a couple paddles, one HamKey paddle connected to run the internal keyer in my FT990, the other is a Vectronics that looks a little like the Bencher paddles but feels a LOT BETTER to use. It's connected to my MFJ GrandMaster memory keyer.
    I love the feel of the bug but the Paddles require a lot less hand pressure and wrist moveent and are easy to use when my hand and wrist get sore from using a bug or straight key for a long session on the air. .

    VK5EEE likes this.
  8. K8JD

    K8JD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Defining "keyer" ?:cool:
    is it "one who sends Morse code, A person who is a telegraph or radio-telegraph operator".
    Or is it "a device that controls the generation of Morse in a telegrph or radio station".
    I have seen a mention ( quite misapplied) of the latter , interchangably for an electronic keyer or a manual straight key or semiautomatic mechanical bug keys. Like, something that keys Morse code signals.
    Save the term "KEYER" for the electronic semiautomatic keyers, Please !
    IMHO :D

  9. W5BIB

    W5BIB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    To me,... the term KEY denotes a straight key, bug, or cootie. i.e. Mechanical. ... KEYER,... for all other means of keying.:p JMHO
  10. WA7DU

    WA7DU Ham Member QRZ Page

    K8JD and W5BIB:

    You have made your views on the word "keyer" known. Now tackle this bit of folderol...

    Some people refer to a paddle (device) as an iambic key or keyer. The paddle (device) itself cannot make an iambic pattern--it must be connected to an electronic dit/dah generator to do that. Therefore, the paddle (device) cannot itself be accurately called an iambic key or keyer.

    Yes? No?

    Furthermore, if iambic, why not trochaic?

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