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Author Topic: Straight key or keyer for novice  (Read 626 times)
KB9WYS
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« on: December 27, 2000, 08:30:42 PM »

After I pass my code test should I start sending code with a straight key or go right to an electronic keyer?
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N7JAU
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« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2000, 10:21:41 PM »

My personal reccomendation is to go right to a keyer.  Most of the newer rigs have keyers built in, and even if they don't, buying a used keyer or building one is not very expensive.  

One thing I would NOT do, is learn to use something like a "bug" or a "single lever paddle" and then try to switch to iambic.  Pick a good, iambic paddle, and stick with it.
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KF2TZ
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« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2000, 11:14:47 PM »

Hello. I would stay with a straight key. I've been operating on CW since 93 and still use and prefer a straight key. I've used bugs and paddles, they are fun, but being new you will develop a good cadence useing a straight key. Have fun. Greg.
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N6QTH
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« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2000, 12:28:44 AM »

Since I was introduced to CW with a straight key in 1956, I'm gonna recognize my bias and recommend you begin with a straight key.  I've used many kinds and types of "bugs" and keyers and I always come back to the straight key.  My J38 still works as well as it did in '56.  Sending CW fast takes a back seat to sending accurately with proper cadence.  And that takes many hours of practice (and some proper instruction if you can find it) for placement of the fingers and movement of the wrist (it's all in the wrist). Sending fast so that the receiving operator who is using a code reader can claim he copies a sloppy 45 WPM in his head doesn't impress anyone.
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KF4ZGZ
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« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2000, 07:00:31 AM »

Of course , all you're gonna get is opinions on this one. AND....here's mine.
If you want to learn proper spacing,timing, and "cadence" the best way to go is with a straight key. If speed is your main goal then go with paddles and a keyer. Actually if you go with the straight key ,you still need to get a set of paddles,and learn how to use them . Why? Most people use paddles, and if you ever use another hams rig or use a club station it will probably be equipped with a set of paddles. That is as unbiased as I can get. What should you do? Go with the straight key. It will set you apart from the crowd and to be honest,its alot more fun. I have both and the straight key gets most of the work simply because I enjoy it more.
--... ...--   73 de Matt, kf4zgz
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NB9H
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« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2001, 11:45:20 AM »

I would recommend both.  Start with a straight key to "get the feel" of cw.  Then progress to an iambic keyer as your skill and speed increase.  If you plan on using cw as your main method of QSOing, you'll appreciate a keyer and avoid a sore wrist/arm/elbow as your speed increases.
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