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Straight Keys? CW Proponents?

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

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  1. W5BIB

    W5BIB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'll go with Yes. Without the electronic dit/dah generator,... the paddle (device) becomes a Side-swiper (cootie) KEY. No?
  2. KA2CZU

    KA2CZU XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I tend to agree, but the previous poster had indicated that the supreme court extended or changed the definition of "keyer"
    allowing any type to be included. In fact, you can't exclude any type from your place of business. But I digress.

    For me, I'm so rusty on code, that I really can only use a straight key. I have a vibroplex bug but since I'm currently only
    back to around 9 WPM receive I don't want to be a LID sending at 13+ and asking someone else to QRS, or having a really
    poor "bug fist". I did notice that there are now some kind of extended weights that will actually slow the bug way down
    so may try one of those.

    As to Iambic, er, devices (which from the discussion must include the paddle and "keyer", I suppose)... really amazed that
    guys have the dexterity and skill to even use them, though I was never up to speed, so to speak, getting up to around 18wpm
    max back when I was on all the time.
  3. AG6QR

    AG6QR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    My own paddles (pictured in my avatar), are capable of iambic, trochaic, and ultimatic operation when squeezed. Any pair of momentary contact switches are capable of the same poetic feats, when connected to the right electronics. Most electronic keyers will do iambic and trochaic perfectly well, and switch between them effortlessly, depending on which side you press first. A few, like the PicoKeyer, will do ultimatic, as well.

    I think the confusion started when someone marketed "iambic keyer paddles". The English language has some ambiguity. Does that phrase mean "paddles for an iambic keyer" or "iambic paddles for a keyer". The first one seems right. The second one doesn't, because the paddles themselves can't be iambic, only the keyer is.

    But I fear I'm fighting a losing battle in keeping the terminology sane. On the Vibroplex website, they sell "iambic paddles", both under the Vibroplex and Bencher names. On the Begali website, they sometimes call those things "iambic paddles" and sometimes "iambic keys".

    Another question: if you have only one of those units on your desk, with a right and a left side, is it singular or plural? Some marketing materials say it's "a key" or "a paddle", other things call it a set of "paddles".

    Arrgh! All I can say for sure is that different people have different understandings of the vocabulary. Be sure and clarify the terminology if it's important that you not be misunderstood.

    Fortunately, it's usually not that important.
    VK5EEE likes this.
  4. WA7DU

    WA7DU Ham Member QRZ Page

  5. AI6KX

    AI6KX Ham Member QRZ Page

    OK, everyone, this is my first post since getting my call changed (I was EXK2RDP until yesterday).

    I will probably be CW only simply because I am in Japan and the locals are much more comfortable conversing in Morse English than in voice English! Also, I used to enjoy phone when I was active a long time ago, on 2M AM and 20M SSB, but just listening around now I don't find much in the way of real conversations and I am not a contester either. Just hanker for a good old CW ragchew with someone who can send decent code.

    How I got back into it is an interesting tale. My wife's father was JA9BB but passed on before I ever met her, and left a pristine FT-101ZD MkI in his shack, and whenever we visited her hometown I would glance in and think about retrieving it and getting back on the air. Finally I did, last New Years, and now I am in the process of getting a reciprocal JA license (actually 7J6...). But I did not pay much attention to the accessories he had - a Japanese-made electronic keyer that I did take home and quickly mastered (non-iambically - what's up with that??) up to about 25 wpm.

    But I had left behind a couple of other dusty items that turned out to be the real treasure - a battered Signal Corps Vibroplex J36 and a pristine Hi-Mound super-deluxe straight key. I got those both shipped to me last month. I was totally familiar with bugs so got the J36 all straightened, cleaned, and adjusted in a few hours at the kitchen table, and have it connected in parallel with the keyer and the straight key. That bug brings me back to my early years but I am looking forward to really "pounding brass" on the Hi-Mound - it is a hefty masterpiece (apparently still manufactured), and the sound of chrome, silver, and the hefty marble base almost eliminates the need for a sidetone. Hope to cu on 20 or 15 this winter!
  6. W4AUT

    W4AUT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Wow, glad to read these comments! C.W. was never meant to be a "All Hands Evolution" It takes grit and determination to master this SKILL!
    Take pride in your CW talent and try to encourage new ops to learn and enjoy the real Amateur Radio mode.
    K4RT likes this.
  7. N5CM

    N5CM Ham Member QRZ Page

  8. AJ6KZ

    AJ6KZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    As a newbie to amateur radio who is mainly interested in CW I can say that at least now I can't copy the straight keys with lots of "personality." The ratio of dits to dahs keeps changing as does the ratio of dits and dahs to spaces. Maybe someday I'll be able to decipher that thing that sounds sort of like a prosign but should be a number, but for now I have to give it a pass.

    Still, I'm thrilled that there are as many people still doing code as there are. I'm practicing and looking forward to the day when it all comes a bit easier to copy. :)

    NQ1B likes this.
  9. N8AFT

    N8AFT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hello Kelly; It will come to you as you make more QSO's.
    Welcome Aboard Friend!

    Learn Morse
    Do CW.
    AJ6KZ likes this.

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