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Author Topic: Sideswiper settings  (Read 4174 times)
KR4TH
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Posts: 47




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« on: July 16, 2013, 06:56:42 AM »

I adjusted my vibroplex bug so that the pendulum swings left and right without making any dits.    I removed the weight and added a small piece of foam between the U shaped arm off the pendulum so that the dots will be a dash.

I have been practicing however I can't find a comfortable spacing.  I watched sideswipers on youtube and it looks like the gap between contacts is fairly wide.

What spacing between the contacts do you use on a sideswiper? 

Thanks
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WX7G
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Posts: 6331




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« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2013, 08:42:17 AM »

I have a sideswiper that uses a hacksaw blade and the contact spacing is roughly 1/8" inch.
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K7MH
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Posts: 347




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« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2013, 10:55:49 AM »

I made a homebrew sideswiper or double speed key from coffin key parts and a hacksaw blade. Contact spacing on it is about 1/16" and that seems pretty good for now.
I would want something that is very firm inside your dot contact spring. Something too soft might give it a mushy feel.
You're de-engineering or dumbing down your Vibroplex bug to approximate a simple double speed key. Single lever keys for electronic keying would probably work better.
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N3HEE
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Posts: 131




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« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2013, 12:06:36 PM »

I also use a hack saw blade SS and the gap is about 1/8 inch.  I like a pretty wide gap on that type of key.
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KB4QAA
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« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2013, 01:49:47 PM »

Adjusting a bug can be tedious and mysterious at times.  When yo. u find the sweet spot the bug comes to life. 

A good starting point is around 0.015".  Using an automotive feeler gauge is the best way to set the contacts accurately.  Alternatively, an ordinary business card can be used.

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VA7CPC
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« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2013, 08:45:38 PM »

Because of the way you use a sideswiper, the left-to-right gap determines the off-time between "dits".  I'm going to assume that you have a natural "swing rhythm" in your wrist (or forearm).

Try this -- it may sound crazy, but I did it to adjust my bug dit-spacing, and it worked nicely:

. . . Send "EISH5" with a code-practice oscillator, and record the sound.

. . . Import the recording into "Audacity" (or any other recording software). 

. . . Expand the time scale, and look at the dits, and the spaces between them.

If the "off time" is longer than the "on time", reduce the spacing of the contacts.

If the "on time" is longer than the "off time", increase the spacing of the contacts.

.                 Charles

PS -- if you have an automotive "dwell meter", that gives you another way to adjust -- fiddle the gap until you're producing dit-strings with 50% dwell time.   I suspect "dwell meters" are now collector's items.
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KH2G
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Posts: 344




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« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2013, 08:05:36 PM »

I use an analog ohm meter and adjust until the needle is holding about mid-scale.
Works for me. 73
Dick KH2G
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