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Author Topic: Please Pick This New-bee's Key?  (Read 18097 times)
K8PRG
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« Reply #30 on: May 24, 2015, 08:39:09 AM »

Very well put 6EE...for a Jarhead... Grin
Semper Fi
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KE6EE
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Posts: 1876




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« Reply #31 on: May 24, 2015, 10:30:55 AM »

Very well put 6EE...for a Jarhead... Grin
Semper Fi

The Morse I learned in 1957 as a 13 y.o. stood me well over the years despite the fact that I stopped hamming in about 1962.

In '64 in training as a USMC radio op my boss discovered I knew code, got me the radiotelegraph certification and immediately put me on the evening CW net, thus relieving himself of that chore.

I didn't do any CW from about 1965 until 2010 when I built a SW receiver and realized that code was still indelibly implanted in my skull. I got a tech license.

My point is that learning Morse the hard way (whatever that may be) really hard-wires it into ya. No pain no gain.

Pound that brass and it sticks with ya.

Semper Fi
« Last Edit: May 25, 2015, 05:16:57 PM by KE6EE » Logged
KU4RN
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« Reply #32 on: June 03, 2015, 08:24:33 PM »

I have not read every reply so please forgive me if this has all ready been stated.  I would recommend you to use a straight key until you can copy in the speeds that a paddle can send.
I was very active in cw for most part of 20 years.  I moved and it took a couple years for me to get set back up.  I started working Voice and got away from code, I have recently started back to code and practice listening and copying to get my speed back up not for sending but copying. I can still send as fast as my hand can move but I can not copy that speed.

So enjoy code with a straight key and when your ready go for the Begali, or get a nice GHD straight key.  Just enjoy code and welcome to Ham radio
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W9OY
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« Reply #33 on: June 06, 2015, 08:41:21 PM »

For an opposing point of view I would never recommend a strait key.  It's a total impediment to both learning code and speed.  It promotes dot-dash counting.  ou can play with one of those AFTER you know the code.  I'm a fan of single lever paddles because they have less degrees of freedom and therefore less chances to make a mistake.  My favorite SL is N3ZN. 

73  W9OY
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M0LEP
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« Reply #34 on: June 07, 2015, 02:03:19 AM »

I would recommend you to use a straight key until you can copy in the speeds that a paddle can send.

It's perfectly possible to send Morse slowly with a paddle. A decent keyer (or rig) will even include a knob to dial the speed down or up as required.

For an opposing point of view I would never recommend a strait key.  It's a total impediment to both learning code and speed.

Yes, a keyer certainly helps in getting at least some of the spacing and timing correct.

I was pleasantly surprised, when I finally bit the bullet and got myself a paddle, at how much easier it was to use than any of the straight keys I'd been fighting with. It also doesn't aggravate the RSI pain I get having spent far too long on computers with poor mice at work...
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KB2FCV
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« Reply #35 on: June 15, 2015, 11:45:34 AM »

I learned on a heathkit keyer that had the paddles built-in (hd-1410 I think?). I don't really see anything wrong with learning on paddles. I still wound up buying straight keys and enjoy them from time to time.

I bought a bencher BY-1 and used it for over 20 years, I still own them. They are great paddles that have a good feel.. I always enjoyed sending with them. Several years ago my wife treated me to the Begali Signature which I really enjoy, and it is what I use daily. It costs a great deal more, but they are worth every penny. In straight keys I like the Bencher RJ-1. Bugs take a while to learn and get setup right but are fun to use. I have a couple that I put on the air now and then.
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W0WCA
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« Reply #36 on: June 15, 2015, 01:24:17 PM »

Well, here is another thought on the subject . . .
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpt7poG0fdA
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W1JKA
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« Reply #37 on: June 15, 2015, 02:40:41 PM »

Well, here is another thought on the subject . . .
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpt7poG0fdA

Best sounding fist I've heard in a long time.

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W8RBT
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« Reply #38 on: June 15, 2015, 03:31:26 PM »

One huge benefit of using a simple straight key is that it's entirely mechanical. No electronic keyer is required. Basically, it makes for a more durable, simple station with less components. A straight key will survive an EMP, a keyer will not. I know, that sounds crazy, but it's true. Yes, straight keys are a bit slower, but otherwise the pros outweigh the cons.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2015, 03:35:42 PM by W8RBT » Logged
M0LEP
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« Reply #39 on: June 16, 2015, 02:45:26 AM »

A straight key will survive an EMP, a keyer will not.
I suspect the radio you'd want to be using with the straight key would also have been fried by the EMP that took out the keyer, though...
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K6PLE
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« Reply #40 on: July 04, 2015, 08:20:36 PM »

Oh what a fun thread......

As a new guy with about six months in for practice, I still say, get the best key/s you can afford. These are just like tools. There is a reason we electricians spend the $$$$ on Klein. Unless, of course, this is just a whim and it will be over with in a month or two. In that case, anything will do...

My first key was a joke. One of those Mighty Fine pieces of Junk practice straight keys. It ultimately ended up in the hands of my 3yo grandchild never to be thought of again. Second key was a VibroCube and I found it to be absolutely horrible. It has gigantic paddles and very poor adjustments. The extra money for "jeweled" movements were nothing more than extra dollars down the drain.

After some research and much determination I decided that I have always enjoyed nice stuff just as I would never stay in a Motel 6 ever again or cook with cheap cookware. So... I bought a couple Begali's. The Spark came for Christmas and the Leonessa a couple weeks later. Wow what a difference! There is however a danger here as not only does it become an addiction only realized after another two Begali's. It seems to encourage much faster sending than I can copy. The additional keys did have purpose as I do a lot of hotel camping and the Adventure was an obvious choice for the KX3. The Magnetic Traveler Light will do just fine as a backup and I can't wait for my new American Morse MS-2 for ultra portable straight key ops.

The bottom line is, get something you will enjoy. I am absolutely enjoying the whole process and my only disappointment is that I didn't start 20 or 30 years ago.

73-K6PLE
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K8JD
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« Reply #41 on: July 23, 2015, 02:24:16 PM »

I learned sending Morse with a WW2 era J38 surplus key I bought for 49 cents.
I also passed my 20 WPM sending test with a similar straight key at the FCC office.
There are still a lot of fans of the mechanical sending skills. (check SKCCgroup.com to find about one club for mechanical Morse sending).
Another thing is the electronics in a modern keyer may be not easy to repair Cry when they fail, a Straight key or Bug is simple to repair (usually just clean the contacts to restore operation).
I have a straight key, bug and a few paddles on my desk , all hooked up and ready to use. I sometimes switch from a device to another one in mid QSO !

One huge benefit of using a simple straight key is that it's entirely mechanical. No electronic keyer is required. Basically, it makes for a more durable, simple station with less components. A straight key will survive an EMP, a keyer will not. I know, that sounds crazy, but it's true. Yes, straight keys are a bit slower, but otherwise the pros outweigh the cons.
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73...John
SKCC 1395T, FISTS 3853
Official US Taxpayer
VK3MEG
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« Reply #42 on: July 25, 2015, 11:55:39 AM »

i bought a cheap chinese ebay paddle while not great it taught me how to key my cq @ 20 wpm and helped me decide i actually want to start using a key previously i was only using a key board. i'll wait a few more months then i'll get a good key  a bencher or a bengali. while the key board will still be my main method its nice to have a key for a chat or a quick respone in a contest.
btw i found the  paddle much eaier to use i did practice with an old straight key  i had and it helped me understand they right sounds a letter should make. as i have foudn this is the key to  good sending i also send into a decoder to make sure my spacing is good and its making sense b4 i get into bad habit.

Decoders aren't bad they are a tool to be used with out them them my morse journey would be no where. and i would be still shouting in to ta microphone rathe rthan havign 110 coutnries worked in cw.

cheers
 
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NY7Q
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Posts: 65




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« Reply #43 on: July 29, 2015, 04:29:45 PM »

OK, 6 months into Ham life, I have my station in order (590s with 20m and 40m verticals), and I just passed my Extra.  I have been working phone, but my goal is to operate CW, and that is the next step in this adventure.

Presently have a Nye Viking straight key that I've been learning on, but I'm thinking to get a single device to learn on and to run for several years.

It looks like most people use paddles, and I wonder if I should go that route, and if so, what type and brand?  I would like to purchase a new product that is currently available.

Also, this will be used on a desk at home, no portable use.  And, since this is a long-term investment, price is not a concern.

Please offer your suggestions...
Dan I began learning the code in 1953. Stay with a hand key until you get real real real comfortable and then go to a speed key. (some folks now call them paddles)

Thank your for your thoughts.

73

Dan

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