What I have found is that using a different hand for each type of keying (i.e Bug vs Electronic
keyer) really helps to keep things straight in your head.
I am left handed and have been using a dual-lever paddle for Iambic B for the past 30 years with my
About 7 or so years ago I got interested in collecting Bugs so I wanted to use them on the air.
Since 99% of the Bugs out there are right-handed I just hooked up the CPO and started practicing
with my right hand. After about 30 hours (I kid you not) of off-air sending practice I finally braved
an attempt at a QSO with a Bug using my wrong hand ! Now after a few years of using a Bug with
my right hand it feels pretty natural. I will never be a "speed-demon" on a Bug but it sure is a lot
of fun. The side-effect of this is that I can now send with a straight key using either hand and
switching between using a Bug with my right hand and a paddle with my left is not a problem.
I have been contemplating the idea of mastering the art of side-swipery (i.e. cootie key) but I think that I might need a third hand ;-) .
What a weird experience: after being on-air for a month pretty much 100% using my Vibroplex bug (with a Vari-speed "bug tamer"), I got the nerve to try out an old Heathkit HD-1410 iambic keyer I'd bought last year. After about 5-10 minutes, I got the hang of it, but didn't like pulling the speed knob to tune up my rig.
Switching back to the bug after maybe a half-hour on the electronic keyer, I stumbled around trying to remember that I now needed to manually create the "dahs". I couldn't believe I had forgotten in such a short time. Those electronic keyers are like hard drugs: you get hooked fast!
For now, I think I'll stick to my old-fashioned bug. I'm scared to think what I'd be like after using the electronic keyer for a couple of days. I could never go back again!
Bill in Pasadena, NK6Q