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Author Topic: Sideswiper key? I'm not certain I know what that is but ...  (Read 10857 times)
KA0HVE
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« on: August 15, 2013, 06:45:10 AM »

... is it like a paddle but with only one handle?  Still works off a keyer but you can't get the alternating dits and dahs by squeezing the handles together?

If it's what I'm thinking of Ten-Tec made a couple models (maybe the 670?) that either you pushed the handle right or left but you couldn't squeeze the handles together since there was only one handle.

Thanks.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2013, 06:47:45 AM by KA0HVE » Logged
AC4RD
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« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2013, 09:27:35 AM »

You've got it exactly right--push the lever one side for DAH, other side for DIT.  I've got a couple of them and I've never gotten comfortable with them, I don't know why.  They're simple as can be, but I've been using dual paddles for so long that I just can't get comfy with sideswipers.  Oh, and they're easy to homebrew, too! 
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DJ1YFK
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« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2013, 10:30:44 AM »

... is it like a paddle but with only one handle?  Still works off a keyer but you can't get the alternating dits and dahs by squeezing the handles together?

If it's what I'm thinking of Ten-Tec made a couple models (maybe the 670?) that either you pushed the handle right or left but you couldn't squeeze the handles together since there was only one handle.

Thanks.

There may be different definitions of what a sideswiper key is, but in my books it's a single lever without any keyer electronics:
See http://www.sideswipernet.org/
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KA0HVE
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« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2013, 11:01:19 AM »

There may be different definitions of what a sideswiper key is, but in my books it's a single lever without any keyer electronics:
See http://www.sideswipernet.org/

Thanks for the link.  Some of those are absolutely butt-ugly and some are real beauties; all of them are interesting.

I see a lot of the 1/4" mono plugs so there can't be any isolation of the two contact points for using with a keyer so electrically it must just look like a regular straight key.  The horizontal motion of the hand may be less fatiguing than vertical motion and the alternating of pressure from side-to-side motion may be even better.

I went back and viewed the slideshow again.  Some of them do have 3 points for electrical contact.  I guess those work with a keyer.  I'm sure they wouldn't be considered a straight key though if they used a keyer.  One even had a very small circuit board attached next to the key.  Maybe the definition is open to interpretation.  I dunno.

I'll need to keep this type of key in mind.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2013, 11:20:59 AM by KA0HVE » Logged
KA0HVE
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« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2013, 12:26:09 PM »

The more I read about these the more interested I'm becoming in trying one.  Seems like a lot of people make their own.

I see that VIZKEY sells one.  Who else do you know of that sells one?

Thanks.
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VA7CPC
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« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2013, 07:23:11 PM »

The Begali "HST" is usable as a sideswiper, as is any non-iambic paddle (Vibrokeyer, etc).

Just wire the "dit" and "dah" contacts together -- two alligator clips works fine.

A "real" (old-fashioned) sideswiper has no "stop" at the middle of the action.  They're typically made of a piece of brass with a handle on it, supported by a leaf spring at the "pivot".  I think that's how Vizkey does it.

The simplest sideswiper uses a shortened hacksaw blade for the lever.   Wrap tape around the "paddle" end.  Clamp the other end end, and arrange two contacts (left and right) with screws and nuts (for adjustability).   No electronics, no chrome plating.

.        Charles

PS -- for a pretty good list of manufacturers, go to eHam.net "Reviews", and search for "sideswiper".

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AC4RD
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« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2013, 04:22:26 AM »

I see a lot of the 1/4" mono plugs so there can't be any isolation of the two contact points for using with a keyer so electrically it must just look like a regular straight key.

Both of my store-bought sideswipers and my homebrewed one have separate contacts for DIT and DAH; see   http://people.duke.edu/~kuzen001/vibroplex_433.jpg  for one of them.   The homebrewed one is at   http://people.duke.edu/~kuzen001/sideswiper6031.JPG  --it worked pretty well for portable use.  But as I said, I haven't been able to get used to a 'swiper.

My other "storebought" sideswiper is an imitation of the Vibroplex; I don't have a photo of it handy (which is good, because it's ugly as mud), but I bought it for $20 at a hamfest. 
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VE3WMB
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« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2013, 07:30:43 PM »

What you are describing is actually a single lever paddle.

A true sideswiper is like a straight key except it moves from side to side and makes contact in
both directions.  It is also known as a "Cootie Key". You can use a single lever paddle as a sideswiper if you wire both of the contacts together and connect that to the tip of your key jack and connect the lever part to the ground or shell on the key jack. A sideswiper doesn't utilize a keyer, it is a manual key.

See the following for more details

http://mtechnologies.com/cootie.htm

Michael VE3WMB

... is it like a paddle but with only one handle?  Still works off a keyer but you can't get the alternating dits and dahs by squeezing the handles together?

If it's what I'm thinking of Ten-Tec made a couple models (maybe the 670?) that either you pushed the handle right or left but you couldn't squeeze the handles together since there was only one handle.

Thanks.
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WX7G
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« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2013, 07:36:26 PM »

The more I read about these the more interested I'm becoming in trying one.  Seems like a lot of people make their own.

I see that VIZKEY sells one.  Who else do you know of that sells one?

Thanks.

I have a VIZKEY Cootie that I never got used to and will sell it when I get around to posting it on the eham classifieds.
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W0WCA
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« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2013, 07:29:13 AM »

I was going to comment about what a really dumb idea the "sideswipe" or "Cootie " key is - but I won't.
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KA0HVE
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Posts: 117




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« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2013, 07:32:33 AM »

I have a VIZKEY Cootie on the way!  I'm looking forward to using it.  It has great reviews.

I know that one can be significantly faster with a sideswiper than with a traditional telegraph key but I'm not so much wanting to get that fast with one.  I think that for me the side-to-side motion will work better than the up-and-down motion; accuracy over speed.

Now I can find out if my thoughts are correct.   Grin
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KA0HVE
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« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2013, 07:35:05 AM »

I was going to comment about what a really dumb idea the "sideswipe" or "Cootie " key is - but I won't.

Is it any dumber than using CW to communicate instead of a cell phone?

It's a hobby.  It's fun.  I'll do it my way.  Grin
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W1JKA
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« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2013, 08:16:17 AM »

Talk about dumb keys, my emergency back pack key rates right up there, it's a wood cloths pin with two thumb tacks for the wires and contact points. I was never a big fan of squeeze paddles but this does the trick.
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WX7G
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« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2013, 08:42:45 AM »

I don't believe the Cootie is fast than a straight key. The Cootie key was invented as an alternative to the straight key and to give some relief from "glass arm" or carpal tunnel syndrome. It became obsolete when the "bug" was invented.

The Cootie key is keyed back and forth; right, left, right, left, with whatever element is next being sent on the next left or right alternation. For example CQ is sent right (dah), left (dit), right (dah), left (dit),...right (dah), left (dah), right (dit), left (dah). 

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W1JKA
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« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2013, 09:40:09 AM »

  Side swiper operators are easily identified on the air because each has their own distinct varying rhythm (AKA Swing), I call it some what semi musical.So much so that marine coastal stations could easily identify a particular ship's R/O well before the ship's call letters were sent. Ex shipboard R/Os are very familiar with this type of key. If you ever hear David N1EA on air with his side swiper you will know what I mean ,he also has a vary interesting web site about marine cw communications.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2013, 09:48:50 AM by W1JKA » Logged
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