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Author Topic: bug ops  (Read 717 times)
WX7G
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Posts: 5922




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« on: March 25, 2010, 07:07:52 AM »

Bug ops, do you check your fist from time to time? Record and play it back and see what you get.

The majority of bug fists are rather unpleasant to copy. Half of the bug fists I hear would not pass the old FCC solid sending for 1 minute test. In other words, these fellows could not obtain an amateur license.

That swing you have might be fun to send but it's difficult to copy. And that too-close spacing between letters and words makes it difficult to tell what you are talking about. Extra dits and frequent mistakes are a pain to listen to.

It's time to work on those bug fists or switch to a keyer (and work on your keyer fist).
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AE4RV
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Posts: 935


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« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2010, 09:48:42 AM »

Yes, I do. Most often I'll send to my computer - it takes CW very literally. I also listen to a keyer and try to emulate that spacing.

I believe there are more bug ops than a lot of people realize and most of them have fairly decent fists. I think it's a "few bad apples" that give bugs a bad name.

On the somewhat-rare occasion that I send an extra dit, I probably would have also done that with a paddle. Another mistake I sometimes make has nothing to do with the sending instrument, more of a minor dyslexia where I sometimes send the second letter of a word first.

73 Geoff
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K9MRD
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Posts: 331




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« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2010, 01:37:37 PM »

IMHO the primary "bug" problem is setting the dots too fast for the dashes and overall keying speed.  When I first got a bug years ago, I added extra weight by wrapping solder over the top of the weights. It was ugly, but the dot:dash ratio was much better. As I recall, some of the bug manufacturers sold extra weights for slower speeds.

I agree, the swing/banana style keying is a real pain to copy. The answer is to rewire the bug to three terminals and use the internal keyer in most newer transceivers or get an external keyer.

Wayne
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AA4N
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Posts: 109




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« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2010, 01:49:43 PM »

I keep a bug, paddles, and a straight key in front of me all the time.  Occasionally, I'll alternate the bug and paddles with sidetone only to make sure I'm not letting my timing slide on the bug.  It helps to keep me honest.

As far as bad fists go, I find that I can handle a certain amount of swing without too much extra effort.  It's the ops that string everything together without any spacing that make copying a struggle for me.  More often than not, I find that they are using straight keys.

Having said that though, I wouldn't put the figure any higher than 1 in 20 bad fists to acceptible fists.  Most of the folks I chat with seem to be making an effort to send solid code.

mike AA4N
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N3QE
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Posts: 2097




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« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2010, 06:36:51 PM »

> Half of the bug fists I hear would not pass the
> old FCC solid sending for 1 minute test.

There's a good chunk of bug ops that sound so fine that you don't know they're using a bug.

The most obvious bug op is one that's not good at using the bug. So I think some perceptions are a little twisted.

Of course there's no shortage of folks out there who can't competently use an electronic keyer either (at least not at the speeds they're sending at).

You have to cut everyone a little slack because nobody's perfect perfect 100% of the time. But there's a threshold, beyond which the majority of characters are misformed, at which you have to stop extending the slack because you really can't copy the guy.

I myself don't mind a certain amount of swing but when the swing takes the form of never properly sending your own callsign, that's when I get worked up :-). Of course I don't have to get worked up, I can just turn the dial a little bit and find someone who is competent.

Tim.
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W6MQI
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Posts: 32




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« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2010, 08:55:39 PM »

...Wiping sweat from forehead... :-) Well I'm safe I never worked WX7G that was a close one. I can honestly say I am the world worst bug op, but I'm trying real.... hard Dave so if I hear you on the air I'll make sure my dit's es dah's are in order just for you.

73, Dave
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WX7G
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Posts: 5922




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« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2010, 08:52:44 AM »

My bug fist might be worse than yours. I struggle with it.
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