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Author Topic: Adjusting paddles for QRQ  (Read 4252 times)
K3STX
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« on: May 24, 2010, 07:00:42 PM »

I just got new Begali Simplex paddles. I am having trouble adjusting them and wanted some tips. I want to send QRQ, say 40+ wpm eventually, and can do so with many mistakes with these paddles. (Can copy 60+). I USUALLY like very narrow gap between contacts (a Post-It note can not pass through the gap) and very light touch, but with these paddles I find with really light spring tension I get "opposite" elements when I send over 30 wpm, like a "bounce". Of course, I know I need to practice with these new paddles.

I use iambic type A; don't try to talk me into single paddle or iambic type B. I have no desire to use a keyboard. I was thinking of "setting up" the paddles for good CW at 30 wpm, and then with these contact spacings/tension I will just practice, practice, practice up to 40+ wpm. Does this sound like a good plan?

Everyone raves about these paddles, they certainly look nice. Currently I like them, I don't love them yet. Come to think of it, when I first met my wife, I liked her too, but I didn't love her. On the other hand, I LOVED my Kent TP-1, alas she is gone.

paul
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K0RS
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« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2010, 11:23:27 PM »

Not everyone raves about them.  You should read my review of the Begali Simplex Mono which has exactly the same problem.  Begali sends a .3 mm feeler gauge along with the Mono in order to set contact spacing, apparently with good reason.  It's interesting that after I wrote the review of the Mono, I got two emails basically saying "Yes, exactly!"  That's the first time that ever happened after writing a review of anything.  http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/5058

I'm not going to try to talk you into a single lever anything.  You can send Morse with two bare wires as far as I am concerned.  But know this: European QRQ champs use single lever paddles with much larger contact gaps than you or I like.  This avoids mistakes, particularly with numbers.  An American team entered the 2009 championships for the first time and the judges chided them for attempting numbers with their dual lever paddles.  That after multiple errors.  The judges called it a "rookie mistake."

Yes, the Begali looks great.  The Italians have great taste in designing Morse keys, automobiles and women's underwear.  Sometimes the performance doesn't add up to the sleek lines, but they sure are great eye candy.

Schurr paddles have morphed into Scheunemann.  I never cared for them, thought they looked like a high school shop project.  I didn't much care for BMW automobiles, either, until I drove one.  Now there's one in my garage.  Try a Schuenemann paddle someday.  You just might want to give the Einhebel (single lever) a spin too, since they build a version especially for the US market where operators tend to prefer closer contact spacing than our European counterparts.

73,  Larry

PS.  If you really loved your TP-1, I've got one new-in-the-box that I wouldn't much miss.  You could help finance my purchase of a new Einhebel.  Wink

« Last Edit: May 24, 2010, 11:54:06 PM by Larry Clark » Logged
IK0YGJ
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« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2010, 03:28:22 AM »

Hi Paul,
the Begali Simplex is the entry level of the Begali family, It is a *very* good paddle with spring retention and can be used with good profit up to 35-38WPM. Usually, spring paddles are able to reach no more than 25-28 WPM so, for the price , the Begali Simplex is an outstanding paddle.
The Kent TP-1 has magnets, it is a very good value for the money but the magnets tend to collect dust from time to time, due to economy of construction. Furthermore, paddle distance cannot be adjusted, as in the begali series.
To get a very good paddle for QRQ (40 WPM and above) you should consider only magnetic paddles, such as the I1QOD magnetic iambic or one of the Begali magnetic paddles.

In particular, these 3 Begali paddles Signature, Scultpure, Stealth are able to retain a contact distance as small as 0.03mm (three hundredths of millimeter), they are made with the top-class construction philosophy and will last for a life.

Here is an example of using the Begali Scultpure:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_ZEwZzuqW0

73 de Carlo IK0YGJ


---------------
Download your free copy of "Zen and the Art of Radiotelegraphy" here:
http://www.qsl.net/ik0ygj/enu/index.html
« Last Edit: May 25, 2010, 03:37:10 AM by Carlo » Logged
K0RS
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« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2010, 04:17:07 AM »

Hi Carlo,

Just for the record, the Kent TP-1 does not use magnets, but rather return springs for lever tension.  Knurled nuts are provided for adjusting spring tension.

A parts diagram is available at the Kent website:

http://www.kent-engineers.com/twinspares.htm

The Kent ball bearing pivot system is actually quite good for a modestly priced key and provides reliable action at reasonably tight contact spacings.

And yes, the feeler gauge supplied with my Mono is .03 mm (approximately .0012 inch), not .3 mm as I incorrectly stated earlier.  I obviously lost a decimal place while doing the mental gymnastics of converting between the English and metric system!

73,  Larry

« Last Edit: May 25, 2010, 06:13:07 AM by Larry Clark » Logged
IK0YGJ
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« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2010, 05:04:05 AM »

Hi Larry,
right ! I had a Kent TP-1 back in the first years, I was ready to swear it had magnets  Huh. However, I swapped it for an I1QOD magnetic iambic, with which I entered VHSC. Later, to get into SHSC with 50WPM test QSO I had to find an even better paddle, the Scultpure.
I also use the HST, but the Scultpure is the best, in my personal opinion.
I'll be in Friedrichshafen this June, probably will buy also an ex-Schurr paddle.
73 !
Carlo

---------------
Download your free copy of "Zen and the Art of Radiotelegraphy" here:
http://www.qsl.net/ik0ygj/enu/index.html
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K0RS
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« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2010, 03:15:31 PM »

Here's an interesting link documenting Team USA's experiences at the HST in Bulgaria in 2009.  The article was authored by Ken, KE3X, and posted on the ARRL website.  Great read.

http://www.arrl.org/teamusa-at-the-2009-hst
« Last Edit: May 25, 2010, 03:20:29 PM by Larry Clark » Logged
K3STX
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« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2010, 04:59:02 PM »

That's a great read, Larry. I increased the spacing today (still a piece of paper does not fit through) and increased tension a LITTLE, this seems to help a bit. No bounce. I did read the Begali Simplex Mono review, but I thought this was a MONO issue, not a Begali Simplex issue.

I used to send 40 wpm using those old red Ham-Key paddles from the '70s, how much worse could this key be?!

And thanks for the offer of the Kent, but I just spent my $190!

paul
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K0RS
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« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2010, 07:34:56 PM »

I increased the spacing today (still a piece of paper does not fit through) and increased tension a LITTLE, this seems to help a bit. No bounce.

Paul that's exactly what I did on the Mono with similar results.  My problem probably was one of expectations.  I don't hate my Mono and I'm using currently on a boatanchor position with an AEA MM-3 keyer.  I'm just disappointed that I can't run closer spacings with lighter spring tension.  It appears I'm just going to have to be satisfied.

I did read the Begali Simplex Mono review, but I thought this was a MONO issue, not a Begali Simplex issue.

Not having used the Simplex I didn't know either.  I assumed that the Simplex should be better.  It's actually easier for a manufacturer to design a dual lever paddle and get solid, repeatable results than it is to create a good, reliable single lever, as counter-intuitive as that sounds.  Certain mechanical problems, like self-centering the lever, can present formidable problems in the execution of a single lever.

It's interesting that KE3X chose an N3ZN paddle for the HST.  I checked out his (N3ZN's) website today and he does indeed make some attractive paddles.  And at least for me, several interesting iterations on single lever models.
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K3STX
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« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2010, 05:51:47 AM »

My problem probably was one of expectations.  It appears I'm just going to have to be satisfied.


Me too, maybe I was expecting too much for $170. But to me $170 is alot of money.

paul
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VA7CPC
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« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2010, 06:09:07 AM »

. . .
I used to send 40 wpm using those old red Ham-Key paddles from the '70s, how much worse could this key be?!
. . .
paul

That was 40 wpm, how many years ago?

Ham-Key paddles still show up on eBay, occasionally.

You could pick one up, and see if the problems you're having are caused by you, or your new paddle.<g>

                     Charles
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K3STX
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« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2010, 10:24:54 AM »

HA,  Yes, Charles, 40 wpm x 35 years ago =   ?? HI. I am certain the problem is me, never meant to imply there was a defect in the key. Whatever I was doing with that Ham-Key, right or wrong, I just got used to it. I think it will be the same again. Smiley

paul
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W9OY
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« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2010, 06:51:30 AM »

All the guys I know who are 60+ QRQ guys use single lever paddles mostly Vibroplex

My personal favorite is the N3ZN-SL

I have a couple of Begali paddles including a Graciella but the ZN is a better paddle IMHO

73  W9OY
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