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Author Topic: Thumb dit or thumb dah? Iambic  (Read 5228 times)
N6RHF
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Posts: 9




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« on: February 05, 2011, 01:03:04 PM »

I'd like to start out the "best" way.  Roll Eyes

On YouTube a person mentioned the forefinger was faster for dits. On my Droid phone my Morse Coder app has the dit on the thumb, but if I hold it upside down dit works on the forefinger. Imagine sending code in public and getting a response!

I can practice left handed too as I'm fairly ambidextrous. Seems like this would be handy for copying on paper with the right hand. I'm currently waiting for an MFJ 403 Pocket Keyer to start send practice.

So, just hanging out on LCWO.net learning till I can get on 40m code. Just have a 2m mobile rig so far.

thanks, bill in Santa Cruz
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N0OKS
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Posts: 115




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« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2011, 02:30:49 PM »

Bill

It doesn't matter. Do it which ever way you are most comfortable. I am right handed but send with my left which leaves my right hand free to write and fiddle with the radio.

Mark, NØOKS
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KE3WD
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Posts: 5694




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« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2011, 06:41:32 AM »

Coming from a bug to the iambic paddles way back when, I simply presumed that the thumb for dah was some sort of standard.  But there is no pat law about it, just that if you use that convention then you are more likely to be in conformity for the majority of other operators keys you may encounter at Field Days, Contesting, visiting another shack or the likes. 

A neat trick when using the lefthand to send and righthand to write copy is to simply turn the paddles around backwards and place the lefthand overtop of the mechanism, which places the RH thumb=dah setup such that the LH thumb is now dah.  I once even went so far as to carve out a wooden LH rest with a cutout for the Bencher paddles for use in contest logging, providing a rest for the LH when in that mode for long stretches. 

73
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NK6Q
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Posts: 202




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« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2011, 09:32:48 AM »

Correct me if I'm wrong, but for a right-handed bug the dits are made with the thumb and the dahs with the forefingers.

Bill in Pasadena
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NU1O
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Posts: 2612




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« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2011, 10:48:10 AM »

I agree with N0OKS.  Go with whatever works best. When I was learning I did not have anybody to tell me which way was correct and which way wrong. I send dits with the forefinger.
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KE3WD
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« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2011, 02:41:50 PM »

Correct me if I'm wrong, but for a right-handed bug the dits are made with the thumb and the dahs with the forefingers.

Bill in Pasadena

Yes indeedy.  Was typin' faster'n thinkin' it out again. 

Mmmm.  Good Kona Coffee, y'know.

Thanks for the correction.


73
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N6RHF
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« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2011, 03:46:04 PM »

Uh oh now it's changing. First off I thought one could hook up a key to a keyer either way, so it's up the operator.

Second I thought KE3WD was using Thumb-dah for right handed keying. And BTW I don't see why you can just switch the dah for left handed use instead of using it over-the-top-backward.
I like the field day comment.

So to be clear, so far, I would hook up a paddle key to a keyer set up with the dah on the thumb, right or left, either way. 

bill in Santa Cruz
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K7MH
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Posts: 328




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« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2011, 09:56:44 PM »

You will get a more precise movement for fine motor movement skills and a faster response with your first finger than with a thumb.
We found that out back in the sixties in pro slot car racing when we went from thumb controllers to trigger style controllers. There was no looking back.
Probably wouldn't matter for sending Morse code.
Go with what is comfortable for you.
Play with doing it different ways and have some fun with it.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2011, 10:00:40 PM by K7MH » Logged
N6RHF
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« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2011, 06:38:24 AM »

Great input K7MH I remember noticing the controllers for slot cars had changed.

Also as far as trying different ways.  Grin

I use either hand for the mouse but don't bother switching the buttons, so I could also be using the paddles with right-thumb-dah and left-thumb-dit! In my head the orientation of the paddles stays the same, which might be more important.

Same goes for left foot on the brake or right foot, it's the brake that counts!

73 bill
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KE4JOY
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Posts: 1338




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« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2011, 10:18:19 AM »

I'm right handed and have the dah's on the thumb side.

Dont even know why to be honest but have been doing it that way since forever. If I sat in front of a paddle that was reversed I would be totally perplexed. "May I borrow a straight key please  Grin " Of course some of my sending sounds a bit perplexing at times anyhow  Tongue

Anyhow about the phone and 'public' CW getting a response would be pretty unlikely. However you would certainly raise a few eyebrows as the pedestrians try to figure out what the heck you were up to. In today's paranoid society it may even get you in trouble  Roll Eyes

Now there is an app that will send morse as a ringtone (plays the incoming call number or name). That's pretty cool.
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N6RHF
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Posts: 9




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« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2011, 11:09:39 AM »

Thanks KE4JOY, good call   Wink

Downloaded Morse Ring for my Droid X. Just like one reviewer said, "total geek factor"!
And way fun, took just couple tries to dial it in for a great sounding Morse ring.

I'm gonna ask the programmer if he can do an iambic keyer for Droids. There's a nice one for iPone where the demo on YouTube shows entering text on the phone at 50wpm!

That's all my daughter needs!!   Shocked
-bill
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KE4JOY
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Posts: 1338




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« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2011, 04:33:51 PM »

Thanks KE4JOY, good call   Wink

Downloaded Morse Ring for my Droid X. Just like one reviewer said, "total geek factor"!
And way fun, took just couple tries to dial it in for a great sounding Morse ring.

I'm gonna ask the programmer if he can do an iambic keyer for Droids. There's a nice one for iPone where the demo on YouTube shows entering text on the phone at 50wpm!

That's all my daughter needs!!   Shocked
-bill


You know what? Actually being able to enter 'text' by sending iambic would be awesome. I'm pretty sure I could do that allot faster than I could on any smartphone keypad.

Woah some kind of time rift loop thing going on here..  Grin
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K0RS
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Posts: 704




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« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2011, 12:03:13 PM »

Since bugs required the thumb to generate dots and the forefinger to generate the dahs, that became the defacto standard when electronic keying became popular.  Standardizing the motion allowed operators to switch between a bug and a keyer easily.  It's hard to understand why a beginner who really has no well developed preference at the outset would want, or need, to deviate from that.

The idea that the forefinger has more precise control may have some founding in the physical construction of the hand, or even in the way the hand is wired to the brain via the nervous system, but I'm not so sure that has any applicability to sending CW.  It may be possible to have more accurate control over trigger type throttle control with the forefinger for model race cars where intermediate manipulation of the trigger positon is required over a range of inputs, but this is very different from the motion required to send CW.  And after all, the dahs need just as accurate input as the dots.  The thousands of operators who can send CW at blistering speeds routinely demonstrate that there is no physical inadequacy in using the thumb to generate dots.

Personally, I think "Do whatever" is poor advice.  Learn to do it correctly, accurately and conventionally.  For sure if you learn to send "backwards" you will never be able to switch over to a bug.  That may seem unimportant now, but who knows where your interest in CW may lead?  
« Last Edit: February 08, 2011, 06:01:21 PM by K0RS » Logged
N6RHF
Member

Posts: 9




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« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2011, 12:26:55 PM »

Thank you K0RS for putting a definitive stamp on it!
Thumb dit it is then! "the de facto standard".

As for beginners like me, by definition they don't know a bug from a hole in the ground.  Shocked
Unless they ask, so thanks to you and this great eHam list!

-bill flip flopping from dah to dit

p.s. still waiting for my MFJ 403 on back order
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W5TTW
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Posts: 42




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« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2011, 02:05:41 PM »

As always, lots of great comments. 

I'm right handed and send 'Russian Style' with the thumb as 'dah.'  I tried it both ways and concluded that this method had the more natural feel for me.  Interestingly, I can reverse the paddles to the 'traditional' setting and send with my left hand without a problem.  It seems that my mind equates my thumbs with 'dah.' 
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