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Author Topic: Moving from straight key..to paddle operation..  (Read 413 times)
VK2JAF
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« on: November 09, 2009, 10:29:35 PM »

Hi all,

Having gained my licence originally using a straight key..i am now dabbling in iambic paddle operation.

I would be really interested to hear the techniques that you used in making the transition...

i am left handed and use the paddle in "traditional" rather than reverse mode...i suppose like the straight key..practice practice and more practice is the key...

apreciate you input,

Derek VK2YN formerly VK2JAF..
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N3QE
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« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2009, 05:53:01 AM »

I build a HD-1410 when I was a kid and immediately started using it. I think one of my elmers had let me play with his before and I knew since I touched my first paddle that it was the "right" way to send code. It was certainly "new" but I adapted almost immediately and except for SKN hardly ever go back to a straight key.
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K6LO
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« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2009, 08:26:44 AM »

I am left handed too, and run mine reverse. Use a fairly wide contact spacing to start with and as you gain more confidence and develope a feel for the paddle you may wish to narrow that down.
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KE3WD
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« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2009, 03:42:05 PM »

"i suppose like the straight key..practice practice and more practice is the key... "

You suppose right.  

Code oscillator or just the side tone, try sending magazine article, newspaper story, whatever.  

Record it to tape or digital tape recorder.  

Play it back maybe a week later and copy yourself.  

Repeat.
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N7FE
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« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2009, 07:00:57 PM »

"Record it to tape or digital tape recorder.

Play it back maybe a week later and copy yourself.

Repeat."

That would be like trying to read your own handwriting. If you can't read or copy your own output how could you expect ANYONE ELSE to?Huh

Great idea by the way....
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WA8JNM
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« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2009, 06:41:28 PM »

When I faced that issue a few years ago, I set up a code oscillator beside my treadmill.  As I walked on the treadmill, I sent random words that came to mind, or ad libbed a fake QSO.  My goal was to learn to use a paddle and lose weight at the same time. After a couple weeks, I was good enough to get on the air.  But I was still fat.

Dave
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VA7CPC
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« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2009, 11:47:05 PM »

I suspect the only useful "technique" is to take the straight key off your desk, and start using the paddle.

You can try some paddle exercises -- the alphabet, the numbers,  EISH5 EISH5 5HSIE 5HSIE for dits -- to build fundamental skills.  But if you're already working CW QSO's, just set your keyer for a comfortable speed (slow enough so you don't make too many mistakes) and start sending with the paddle.

My only hint would be to keep the paddle movements _slightly faster_ than the dits and dahs you want to make.  The keyer will prevent you from running dits and dahs together in a character, but it will _not_ prevent you from spacing them too far apart.

            Charles
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