eHam Forums => CW => Topic started by: KL3DL on March 13, 2010, 09:41:46 AM

Title: Left handed or right?
Post by: KL3DL on March 13, 2010, 09:41:46 AM
I'm about to undertake learning CW full force. I have a nice touch key/keyer I just built.

Knowing that and knowing I am right handed for writing... but ambidextrous for most other things.

Which hand should I learn to do CW with?

Or, if you had a chance to go back with what you know now and do something different, what would it be?


Title: RE: Left handed or right?
Post by: AA4N on March 13, 2010, 10:35:01 AM
I've heard of folks going that route.  It makes sense.  However, in practice, I haven't found that being right handed on the bug/key/paddles is a handicap.  Perhaps going southpaw on the key would be helpful for a hard core contester, where one is logging and sending simultaneously.   But, it seems like most of those guys automate as much as they can anyway, and actual key time is kept to a minimum.

I would say, just go with whatever is comfortable.

mike AA4N

Title: RE: Left handed or right?
Post by: N9GXA on March 13, 2010, 01:29:37 PM
I returned to ham radio a few years back and had the opportunity to re-learn CW. Not that I knew it all that well before. I went for the "other" hand. I am right handed but now key the paddles with my left. My reasoning was to have my writing hand available to quickly scribble some notes down if needed or make rig adjustments since I am right handed and my radio is off to the right. I am glad I went that route, but maybe I am just saying that because it was my decision to make.

73 - Paul - N9GXA

Title: RE: Left handed or right?
Post by: KP2Z on March 13, 2010, 03:23:41 PM
I write with the left hand and send with the right. It is a much smoother operation that way rather then having to switch back and forth. So if you can do it I recommend you use your writing hand to write and the other hand to send.

Title: RE: Left handed or right?
Post by: N3OX on March 14, 2010, 12:42:41 PM
I agree that you should learn to send with your not-writing hand.

I am right handed, far from ambidextrous and I can still sorta send acceptably with my left if I reverse my paddles.

I learned to send with my right hand and haven't practiced enough to really switch yet, but think I will work on it sometime in the future. I usually don't have a need for it, but there are times when it would be useful (field day comes to mind... for most contests I log with a keyboard and send with my right)


Title: RE: Left handed or right?
Post by: W9OY on March 15, 2010, 08:26:11 AM
Why not both?  Its not much harder to learn both and then you can choose what ever is convenient

73  W8OY

Title: RE: Left handed or right?
Post by: K9MRD on March 15, 2010, 07:28:49 PM
It really does not make any difference and here is why. After you practice long enough, you will copy in your head and there will be little written on paper. Also, you don't send and write (copy) at the same time anyway.


Title: RE: Left handed or right?
Post by: KC8WH on March 22, 2010, 11:37:42 AM
I too am ambidextrous but write with my right hand.  

I learned to send code with both hands and can send equally well either way.

But I set my keyers and my Bencher paddles up for left handed operation. That way I can keep my left hand on the paddles and use my right hand for taking notes, logging, rig adjustments, etc.  

Saves a lot of extra movement for me.

Title: RE: Left handed or right?
Post by: K9ZMD on March 29, 2010, 07:11:41 PM
Last year I decided I wanted to try using a cootie key.  I chose to teach my left hand because I felt such a different stroke would mess up 30 years of paddle-sending muscle memory in my right hand.  It took weeks of daily drill to gain a little coordination in that left hand & a few months more to smooth that out.  My apologies to anyone I worked during that time. 

Next, I found I could make keyboard log entries with the right hand while I swiped away with the left.  Although halting at first, that is getting better with practice.  The convenience of it all has me wishing I'd learned to send with my left hand 50 years ago.
The 2010 goal will be to teach my left hand to also work a straight key.  2011?  The fabled QLF.  73

Gary, K9ZMD/6
Palmdale, CA

Title: RE: Left handed or right?
Post by: K0FF on April 03, 2010, 06:54:37 PM
Send with your left hand, freeing your right hand up so you can wite down what you are sending.

Seriously, I can send left handed but I have to turn the bug around backwards.