Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net

   Home   Help Search  
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Bug or paddle for morse learning  (Read 7923 times)
9A5BDP
Member

Posts: 110




Ignore
« on: July 23, 2010, 10:25:34 AM »

Hi there dear elmer's..

I am young ham and want to learn morse code came to this question:
What will be better way to learn morse code:
on classic straight key or on paddle with electronic keyer?


73!
Logged
WX7G
Member

Posts: 6079




Ignore
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2010, 10:37:25 AM »

Learn both the straight key and a keyer (paddle).
« Last Edit: July 25, 2010, 08:17:16 AM by DAVE CUTHBERT » Logged
AE4RV
Member

Posts: 962


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2010, 10:47:21 AM »

Welcome to a fascinating aspect of the hobby.

Definitely don't start with a bug. You may like them someday like I do but don't start with one.

You're going to get a few different answers. I think it's best to start with a straight key and stick with it until you're above at least 12 WPM. Then see if you like paddles. Switching to a paddle after years of using a straight key definitely broadened my horizons and helped me increase my speed but I think mastering the rhythm on a key is best. My opinion.

It's good to have access to paddles so you can hear the well-timed code they produce. Listening to my paddle helped with my dash-lengths when I was new at using a bug.

If you can connect your rig to a computer that can decode Morse Code, it will show you how well you are sending. If the computer can decode it, you're doing quite well.

I don't think you can go very wrong either way, however. Have fun.

73 Geoff
Logged
STAYVERTICAL
Member

Posts: 873




Ignore
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2010, 04:17:49 AM »

Hi there,

First of all become good at receiving morse, before sending too much.
If you don't have a good ear for receiving you may develop bad habits in sending which are difficult to break.
You should definitely start sending practice with a straight key.
This is the way it was taught to seagoing radio officers in my day.
Once you have good receiving speed you can then go to a semiautomatic key (bug) (dits only) or an automatic
keyer (dits and dahs), depending on your preference.
Since many modern rigs have a built in automatic keyer for use with a paddle, I would consider going this route
once your receiving speed is sufficient.  Using a fully automatic keyer also means you will be sending perfect
morse, something which is not always achieved with a semi-automatic bug key.

Using a straight key is hard work and its hard to get high speeds, so eventually most cw ops go to keyers.
But remember, its hard to send faster than you can receive, since you are reading the characters as you go.
So concentrate on receiving first, then sending by straight key, then probably a fully automatic keyer with a
paddle, or a semi-automatic bug key if that is your interest.

Welcome to CW, its a great mode, and has a history of over 150 years of excitement.
Logged
E76549
Member

Posts: 1




Ignore
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2010, 02:21:13 AM »

I found that a straight key was a good way for me to start out with CW. Good straights can be purchased for modest prices.

Later on I got a semi automatic Vibroplex Bug. Dots can be sent with the Vibroplex Bug automatically by pressing the sideways action to the right, and the dashes are manual to the left. By pushing only the dash side for shorter or longer periods, the dash side can function like a sideways straight key to send manual dots and dashes, if you wish to go slower and simpler.

I have also had fun with the fully automatic paddles that send dots and dashes automatically. But the semi automatic bug does not seem to require much more effort than a fully automatic key because dashes are sent less often than dots. At least that is how it is  for me and my modest speeds. Those who wish for really top speeds probably prefer fully automatic. Grin
Logged
VA7CPC
Member

Posts: 2388




Ignore
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2010, 08:16:09 AM »

This is a "religious argument".  If you search this Forum, you'll find all the old arguments, endlessly repeated.  And _nobody_ ever changes his mind.

My own bias:

. . . Start with paddles and a keyer.

That's probably what you'll end up with, if you stick with CW.  From the start, you'll send cleaner code with that combination, than with a straight key or a bug.

I agree completely with the post that suggests _receiving_ first.  It's harder than sending.  And you'll never learn "the rhythm of the code" by sending!  That comes only by _listening_ to perfectly-sent code.

             Charles
Logged
W9OY
Member

Posts: 1307


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2010, 09:03:02 AM »

Your goal is to get to 20 wpm as fast as you can

Buy a single lever paddle and have some radio fun

73  W9OY
Logged
K1DA
Member

Posts: 507




Ignore
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2010, 10:22:25 AM »

   Been my experience that bug users often degenerate into:  a "D" is a dash and a bunch of dots, a "B" is a bigger bunch of dots , and a "6" is a whole lot more.  Up to the guy on the other end to figure it all out.    The dot generator is set as fast as possible and the dashes are a half hour long.  Start with a simple key and go from there. 
Logged
STAYVERTICAL
Member

Posts: 873




Ignore
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2010, 05:58:08 PM »

   Been my experience that bug users often degenerate into:  a "D" is a dash and a bunch of dots, a "B" is a bigger bunch of dots , and a "6" is a whole lot more.  Up to the guy on the other end to figure it all out.    The dot generator is set as fast as possible and the dashes are a half hour long.  Start with a simple key and go from there. 

You obviously work the same guys I do!
Talk about giving the brain a workout!

Just another precautionary tale (although true) , so your goal, no matter the keying method, should be to send the best code you can.

73s
Logged
KQ6Q
Member

Posts: 979




Ignore
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2010, 01:53:18 PM »

With my previous call, I was a test to folks with a bug, less of a challenge to guys with a keyer who were operating faster than they were used to (contests do that for you!)

I used to be W7HSS

poetic justice - my current call has as many dashes as possible without changing call districts!
Logged
K1BXI
Member

Posts: 812




Ignore
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2010, 11:58:56 AM »

I couldn't agree more with STAYVERTICAL when he said learn to receive first.....If you don't understand how it is supposed to sound you will never send clearly with a straight key or anything else  Like as one said, "a "B" is a bigger bunch of dots".

Follow along with W1AW's code practice when they send text from QST. It won't take long for your brain to synchronise with the correct spacing.

It's my opinion that you should start with a straight key and when you can comfortably send around 15 WPM with it, and know the "rhythm" of good sounding code,  it will be time to move up to a paddle or what ever you want. Other opinions may vary.

Enjoy the hobby, what ever you do within it....................John



Logged
AB2T
Member

Posts: 246




Ignore
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2010, 12:10:32 PM »

Regardless, make sure that a set of paddles or a bug is comfortable to use and adjusted properly.  I could never get comfortable with paddles.  Later I understood that I was using poor technique on a poorly adjusted set.  I would often get cramps in my hand from holding the paddles in an awkward position.  It's hard to "test drive" straight keys or paddles, but try to get as many opinions as possible before paying for paddles that are uncomfortable or even painful.

73, Jordan
Logged
VA7CPC
Member

Posts: 2388




Ignore
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2010, 05:08:52 PM »

If a paddle is painful, the problem is with the position of your hand and arm, _not_ with the paddle.

I'm not denying "personal preference" -- a paddle can be "too clunky", or "too light", or many other things that you (or I) don't like.  But I've never found one that _hurt_.

And at "beginner speeds", _any_ paddle will work fine.

             Charles
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!