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Author Topic: Iambic Keyer  (Read 641 times)
NN1I
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« on: November 08, 2001, 09:25:53 PM »

Hi everybody. Could you help me with adjusting MFJ-564B Iambic keyer? I am just learning this thing for the first time. I understand that it will take a lot of practice, but I want to make sure that my hardware is OK also. The only experience I had before is a single paddle, but I did not master that one either. Now I am trying to squeeze this one. Thanks for your help.
73 Igor NN1I
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GM0VIT
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Posts: 1




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« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2001, 06:05:23 AM »

Hi
If it's not too late, leave it at the factory setting until you become used to it and sending iambically. Don't just send the same way you did with the single keyer. Take the trouble to learn properly from the start.
It's usual to have the dahs on the right.

Give up radio and do something useful with your life. Too late for me I'm afraid.
gud luck
Bill
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2001, 12:34:01 PM »

The MFJ-564B is not an iambic keyer, it's an iambic paddle, which is the famous Bencher design.

There is no proper adjustment for such a paddle.  Everything's adjustable in the Bencher design, including contact spacing (individually left and right) and spring tension.  The reason it's all so adjustable is because no two individuals set paddles the same way -- it's totally up to you.

I set very light spring tension and very close contact spacing, literally setting the spacing by placing a piece of paper between the contacts and tightening down the contact screw so it touches the paper.  Removing the paper creates contact spacing of just a few thousandths of an inch, which is perfect for me and sending non-fatigueing very high speed CW.  Farther spacing creates a lot of fatigue from hand motion.  But unless you can send good, clean CW at 50-60 wpm, you don't need such close spacing.

73 de Steve WB2WIK/6
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NN1I
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« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2001, 03:58:43 PM »

That answered one of my questions. I did too use sheet of paper to make a small spacing between contacts, but then I would have troubles sending extra dits sometimes. Now I will try to make spacing a little more, until I get to the speed. Thanks for your suggestions. I am not relly looking for the ideal answer, I just want different opinions, so I can try it in a different ways, before I find the best way for myself.
73 Igor NN1I
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K3DDX
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Posts: 18




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« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2001, 01:37:20 PM »

Go to Morse Express web site.  Marshall Emm has an excellent instructiional on adjusting keys and keyers of all types.   Web address is www.morsex.com.
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N5XM
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Posts: 242




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« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2001, 09:22:54 PM »

A friend gave me a set of these paddles, and while they aren't expensive or fancy, they work ok, and would be fine for someone just starting out. You need to take your time in dialing in the adjustments. It needs to be balanced in all the planes and angles, and adjust the contacts to close with as much surface area of the contacts touching each other as possible. I set my paddles with very close tolerances, and very light to the touch, and I run anywhere between 15 and 40 wpm, depending on what the other person is running, so you set it wherever it is comfortable for YOU, but be prepared to do some fiddling. Don't let yourself get frustrated. Above all, get on the air and make some contacts. That is where the fun of CW is anyway.
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K6RAS
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« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2001, 07:13:51 PM »

While I have many years of experience with CW, I too am fairly new to the world of paddles and keyers.  My straight key is tucked away in the desk and my Vibroplex Bug found a new owner.  Here's what has worked for me in recent weeks.
First, and most important, make certain that all mechanical characteristics are aligned properly and that return spring tensions are adequate for returning the paddle to its "resting" position when you release pressure.  Like other adjustments on the paddle mechanism, It's a personal adjustment so make sure it fits your preference.
I used a match book (rather than a piece of bond paper) to space the contacts.  My rig has an internal keyer which allows me to use the side tone generator to practice off the air.  Pressing the "dot" paddle repeatedly to get just the number of "dits" I want (one, two, four, one, five, etc.) gives me a pretty good feel of that paddle.  Then, I repeat the practice with the other paddle before attempting to combine their affects to create meaningful morse characters.  When I had a pretty good feel for the paddles, I moved the contacts closer together (one piece of paper with just a slight amount of drag when pulling it through the contacts) and worked toward improvement from there.  I haven't mastered it...  but I'm gonna keep trying and I hope you will do the same.  Don't be afraid to get on the air.  I find that, if I explain to the other operator that I'm trying to learn a new skill, he or she is usually pretty patient; he/or she had to learn at some point too.
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WA0KZL
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« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2002, 08:16:11 AM »

I bought my first Bencher Iambic Lever 10 or 15 years ago. Took it out of the box, hooked it up and have NEVER touched any of the adjustments...

My advice is "JUST LEAVE THE ADJUSTMENTS ALONE" at least until you figure out what you are doing to it.

They (Bencher paddles) do help you make Beautiful CW Music much easier !!! 73's de TexA
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KB2EOQ
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« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2003, 09:52:37 PM »

I bought the MFJ 564B in combination with the keyer.  Within a few hours of using it a problem developed, turned out to be a short causing continous keying.  If trying to figure out the problem, I twiddled all the screws  and contact posts.  Now I have the short fixed but have totally lost any sense of a default setting for contact spacing and throw adjustment.  I have read the instructions a zillion times but they are vague and I have no clue.  

If anyone here has good knowledge of how to adjust it and are willing to walk me through it, I would appreciate your help.

Andy KB2EOQ
obrienaj@netysnc.net
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