Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net

   Home   Help Search  
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: key or paddle?  (Read 269 times)
KC0UXC
Member

Posts: 8




Ignore
« on: September 24, 2005, 04:48:16 PM »

I'm taking my Element 1 test next week and over the time I've been studying morse code, I have started to enjoy listening and translating it.  I can translate approx 7wpm at @ 95% accuracy.  I want to learn how to send code also.  So my questions is pretty simple, should I be looking at a key or paddle.  Also, I am a Southpaw (left handed).  Are there any videos on how to set up/use a paddle/key?  I'm tempted to ask a local ham club to do a demonstration.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks in advance!!!

- -...   ...- -       .-.-.      ...-.-

KC0UXC  
Logged
AD5X
Member

Posts: 1437




Ignore
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2005, 05:17:57 PM »

I'd recommend starting with the paddle, as that's what you'll eventually wind up with anyway if you keep on the cw track.  No matter which hand you send with, typically, the "dit" side of the paddle is the thumb side.

Phil - AD5X
Logged
KZ1X
Member

Posts: 3229




Ignore
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2005, 05:22:17 PM »

"I'm tempted to ask a local ham club to do a demonstration."

Back in the old days (!) when you stated as a Novice, this is how one learned EVERYTHING about ham radio.  Visiting other experienced hams should ALWAYS be your FIRST choice for learning.  

No, there are no videos that I know of.  This is a skill that's passed on, one-to-one.

To answer your question:  if you learn to send well enough to have a computer copy your fist, then, you've done better than 75% of the people out there.  IMHO that's the only useful purpose for programs like CWget and such.

Get a GOOD straight key, one you will always keep (like the Hi-Mound HK-706) and learn on that.  Hook it up to a CPO and send to your PC, using a mic as the input.  Watch the screen as you send the alphabet over and over.

Then, get a set of iambic paddles, and you'll be a natural right away.  Try learning the other way around, and you'll be sending gibberish.  Others will disagree with this advice, of course, and they are entitled to their opinions.

Left- and right-handedness does not matter -- and in fact being left-handed can be a big asset if working a contest station with a 'rightie' ... you don't get in each other's way!
Logged
AA4PB
Member

Posts: 12983




Ignore
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2005, 07:32:18 PM »

I agree with KZ1X. It is much easier to learn to send *good* code with a straight key. Once you are comfortable with the straight key you can easily switch over to a paddle and keyer to further increase your sending speed.
Logged
N6AJR
Member

Posts: 9921




Ignore
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2005, 08:19:04 PM »

I agree, start with a straight key with a heavy base.. and then play with a bug or keyer later..
Logged
AC0CW
Member

Posts: 12


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2005, 09:42:43 AM »

I'm pretty new to this myself, but I agree with the general consensus that you should start with a straight key, then move on (not necessarily up) to a paddle/keyer. I personally love both. The key teaches a better fist, especially at lower speed, and a paddle isn't really necessary til you start using higher speeds. In fact, around 10wpm, I have to switch: to a key for slower speeds, and a paddle for higher speeds--but that's just me, and your milage may vary.
Logged
VA7CPC
Member

Posts: 2406




Ignore
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2005, 04:01:58 PM »

Take a look at:

http://www.mtechnologies.com/misc/keyadj.htm

Those instructions will get you a reasonable setup for straight key, paddle, or bug.  

Some people prefer closer spacing on paddle contacts than that article recommends.  You'll find something to your liking as you practice and adjust.

Solidity matters a lot for a straight key, and I concur with the advice to get (if you have the money) a Hi-Mound or something else with a nice fat arm.

The Bencher _paddle_ is one of the more popular units.  It's built delicately, with noticeable flex in the paddle/contact assembly.  The people happy with Benchers have "light fists", and enjoy the minimal moving mass of the featherweight paddles and arms.  The paddle-pounders bend them, and move on to something else.

It's all a matter of taste.  If you want lots of inconsistent opinions, read the "Keys/Paddles" section in "Product Reviews" on this site.
Logged
KB4QAA
Member

Posts: 2450




Ignore
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2005, 08:57:59 AM »

I recommend starting out with a straight key.   It is better for slow speed ops.  It makes you concentrate on forming good code and actually lets you develop a personal "fist" or swing.  Get a heavy duty key that doesn't flex.  I like the Nye Viking Speedex keys with a Navy knob, because it gives me something to hold on to.

When your speed gets up to about +15wpm get a paddle.  You'll feel like the code is flowing straight from your brain out your fingertips effortlessly.

73, Bill
Logged
ZL4JB
Member

Posts: 40




Ignore
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2005, 04:45:18 PM »

I have just gotten back into CW work after being out of the game for 13 yrs.  I also use a Nye Viking straight key and am very happy with it.   I was thinking about going to a paddle sometime in the future.  Although I haven't worked with a paddle, I would think if you started with a straight key it would be relatively easy to go to a paddle.  The opposite might not be so easy, I would think.  Good luck and I hope to see you on the airwaves.  
JIM
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!