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Author Topic: BY-1 sending mistakes  (Read 1390 times)
KA2FIR
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Posts: 73




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« on: July 01, 2017, 11:30:17 AM »

Hi,

I don't do well handling a pileup. I make lots of sending mistakes, sending an I instead of an E gaps when sending numbers. I tried adjusting for wide and narrow spacing, light and soft touch. Do I need to practice sending more? Is my technique wrong? I'm operating as one of the K2I stations and like to do CW but when I get on and things get busy my sending tanks. I started using the memory Keyer for CQ, exchange, TU and call. Even that when someone calls I'm messing up their call. Maybe I've spend too much time using a straight key being active in SKCC.

Tnx,

Mike
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W9OY
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« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2017, 12:20:25 PM »

I don't like the BY-1 or any iambic paddles exactly for this reason.  There are too many degrees of freedom in the system and therefore the system is prone to error generation.  The idea these paddles are easier to send with is a crock.  Practice certainly helps but my suggestion is a single lever paddle with bearings like the N3ZN SL paddle series or the Kent SP1 or the Vibroplex

73  W9OY
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VA7CPC
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« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2017, 01:37:13 PM »

Two things (besides changing paddles -- I also prefer the Kent SP-1 to the Bencher BY-1):

a) Sending "I" instead of "E" -- suggests that your keyer speed is set higher than you can actually send _accurately_.  So either lower the speed, or start doing practice sessions to improve your sending:

EISH5 5HSIE  repeated, and  AUV4 4VUA repeated, and so on.

And "listen" to the sound with a software CW decoder, to ensure you're not adding any extra spacing, or running things together.

If you're confused _at all_ with iambic keying (where paddles are "squeezed" for "C" and "Q"), use the BY-1 as a single-lever paddle.   Hit the "dit" paddle, or the "dah" paddle, _but not both at the same time_.


b)  What's wrong with using a memory keyer, or a contest-logging program that sends the information?

.     Charles
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K8AXW
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Posts: 6098




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« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2017, 03:19:16 PM »

Quote
What's wrong with using a memory keyer, or a contest-logging program that sends the information?

This reminded me of a long ago CQ magazine article where a guy designs and builds an automatic station....initially wanting something to send automatically....which then morphed into a device to automatically receive and then log the QSO.

When he finished he would visit the shack once a week and find out who he worked; what countries he worked, etc. 

Is this what ham radio has come to?  An exchange of macros?
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K7KBN
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« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2017, 04:30:10 PM »

When I operated from 9V1YW in Singapore in 1993, he (Simo Hoikka, 9V1YW) invited me to sit in the operator's chair and work whatever I could at whatever speed I could.  His paddle was a BY1, and its adjustment and touch were identical to my own BY1 as far as I could tell.  The hardest thing for me was to remember NOT to use K7KBN when identifying!  Whenever a Finnish station would call, Simo would take over at the key and use that - interesting - language for a few minutes.  He was, at the time, MISTER NOKIA for Southeast Asia.

FIR - I'd say you need a lot more code practice under contest pressure so that what you're doing becomes next to automatic.  I log all of my QSOs in an ARRL Log Book, by hand, and still keep up with the pileups.  It's something that only comes with practice and experience; you'll know it when it happens  Smiley  Keep at it!
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73
Pat K7KBN
CWO4 USNR Ret.
VA7CPC
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Posts: 2795




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« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2017, 05:46:32 AM »

Quote
What's wrong with using a memory keyer, or a contest-logging program that sends the information?

. . .

Is this what ham radio has come to?  An exchange of macros?

The OP is talking about contest pileups.  There's not much room for originality -- he'll be keying:

. . .   <HisCall> 599 <number> DE <mycall> K

for hours.

So yes, it's an exchange of macros.   That's what _contesting_ has become (and I think it's been like that for a long time). 

In a situation where 30 wpm is average, I'll bet that just about everyone is using either memory keyers, or computer support.   It's become common to send "599" faster than the rest of the exchange -- so we _know_ that anyone who does that isn't hand-keying.

Perhaps I'm wrong, and there are scads of ops who can send perfectly-spaced CW at 30 wpm.

I sympathize with your emotion, but in different contexts.  When I receive a PSK31 macro that tells me what version/release of Linux the op is using, I wonder why he bothered to send that -- and whether, if he were typing himself, he'd have better sense.

.          Charles
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K8AXW
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« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2017, 10:15:05 PM »

Charles.... there's no "emotion" involved with my post.  You see, I really don't care!  No offense meant.

I was just pointing out what ham radio has become.  I used to operate PSK31 and after a year or so I saw more and and more "macro contacts" and when I wanted to know something or just asked a question I was......aborted.  So I no longer use PSK31.

I also seldom ever respond to a DX pile-up because they're are indeed running 30wpm which is a strain for me and they also work "split" which I can't do.  I just simply don't like what so much of ham radio has become.  It isn't as much fun as it used to be.

The "automatic station" comment was something I found very amusing at the time but is becoming a reality today!  I still find it amusing.
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VA7CPC
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Posts: 2795




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« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2017, 11:25:40 PM »

Quote
. . .
I was just pointing out what ham radio has become.  I used to operate PSK31 and after a year or so I saw more and and more "macro contacts" and when I wanted to know something or just asked a question I was......aborted.  So I no longer use PSK31.

My PSK31 macros are quite short.  I type fast, and I have had some very nice, very long QSO's using PSK31.  But if somebody wants just a signal report and log entry, there's not much point in trying to make conversation.

Contests are a special case.  You _know_ you're not going to chat with anyone.  But that's when the big amps, big towers, big beams are out -- so if you really want to work someplace, it's a good opportunity.
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OZ8AGB
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Posts: 285




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« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2017, 02:07:28 AM »

In a situation where 30 wpm is average, I'll bet that just about everyone is using either memory keyers, or computer support.   It's become common to send "599" faster than the rest of the exchange -- so we _know_ that anyone who does that isn't hand-keying.

So it isn't REALLY a CW contest anymore....!?
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N2SR
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Posts: 554




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« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2017, 06:45:02 AM »

So yes, it's an exchange of macros.   That's what _contesting_ has become (and I think it's been like that for a long time). 



.          Charles


Yep.  Next we'll have a program that can copy CW, differentiate the calls in the pileup, log each call, make decisions on when to change bands, make decisions on what direction to turn the antennas, when to go work a multiplier, make a decision on how long to stay in the pileup for that multiplier, decide when to sleep (oh wait!  the computer doesn't need to sleep!), fix something that failed, etc

Say..how about a world wide "profile" that you create, based on your previous contest scores, radios, amps, antennas, etc.  All that information is entered into a Cray (or whatever the latest fastest computer is), and the computer provides the results?   That way, no one has to actually operate the contest.   
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KA2FIR
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« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2017, 07:47:05 AM »

How does the Kent paddle compare to the BY-1? Do you have to spend an arm and a leg to get a good paddle? Steering thread back on course.
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OZ8AGB
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Posts: 285




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« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2017, 08:37:21 AM »

We have a BY-1 in our local club. Don't like it. Bought a Begali Simplex. Almost the same price tag.
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G4LNA
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Posts: 115




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« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2017, 08:31:22 AM »

I've got some nice keys, including a Begali, but my best key by far is my home brew single paddle.



I don't make any mistakes with that like I do with an iambic. In case you are wondering, yes it was a Bencher Hex key that I definitely couldn't get on with, it was much too clunky for my liking, so I used the parts to make another key.

Just goes to show, you don't have to spend a fortune on keys if you don't want to.
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VA7CPC
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« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2017, 09:21:48 AM »

How does the Kent paddle compare to the BY-1? Do you have to spend an arm and a leg to get a good paddle? Steering thread back on course.

The Kent single paddle (and double paddle) are made with very solid machined brass arms (one arm, for the SP-1), and use heavy ball bearings to locate them.  They are _very_ stiff -- press against the fingerpiece, it has very little "give".  But it has lots of moving mass (compared to some alternatives).

The BY-1 is made with stamped-steel arms, thinner fingerpieces, and uses an elegant two-point-contact, steel-point-on-nylon bearing system.  It's very low mass, very low friction -- but it's not extremely stiff.  Push on the fingerpiece,and it moves a lot more than the Kent's.

The choice seems to be strictly "user preference".   Heavy-handed people will tend toward the Kent, light-fingered people will tend toward the Bencher.

I had a Bencher single-paddle, never really liked it, and traded it for a friend's Kent SP-1.  Both of us were happy we switched.   Go figure . . .

The Begali's probably have the desirable properties of both -- low moving mass, low friction, high stiffness.   And a "low-end" Begali (no chrome, no gold) is competitive in cost with Kent and Bencher.

I think the whole "paddle market" is an example of Veblen's "conspicuous consumption" -- the more expensive something is, the more desirable.

I'd suggest that a new ham get a used paddle.  eBay is loaded with them, and some are reasonable deals.  Since the low-priced K8RA paddles are out of production, I don't know of any paddle with real bearings in the "budget" price range below $100 new.  The "Black Widow" kit is also out-of-production.

MFJ makes a paddle that's a Bencher knock-off.  I suspect that, with a little skill and some LocTite to hold the setting-screws in place, it would work OK.   There's one _critical_ machining step for the Bencher design, and I don't know if MFJ takes enough care with that.

And you could look at the home-brew paddle that G4LNA made.   Nothing wrong with that, for most people.  I have been thinking of making a mostly-wood paddle, just to show that it's possible.

.      Charles

PS -- I saw a used K8RA paddle at our club's hamfest, for $100 Cdn.  I pointed a new-ham friend to it, and he's happy.   I bought my paddles (Autronic, Bencher BY-2, Bencher BY-1 traded for Kent SP-1) on eBay.  They were all well-used.
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K7KBN
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Posts: 3438




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« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2017, 09:31:22 AM »

FIR -  Verblen had it right.  $500 and up for two SPST switches  Roll Eyes
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73
Pat K7KBN
CWO4 USNR Ret.
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