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Author Topic: proudly displaying my ignorance  (Read 3787 times)
KD8IWZ
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Posts: 52




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« on: January 06, 2011, 07:40:53 AM »

I'm ready to move up from a straight key to the next level, and this OM sees too many terms, ie 'iambic, single paddle, double paddle' to understand what I want to go to. I know it would be difficult to explain it all here, so if anyone can direct me to a site that can take me by the hand and walk me thru, from beginner on up, I would very much appreciate it. And my really goofy question (I'm a southpaw) are there left and right handed paddles? Thanks in advance,

73    Dale
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KE4ILG
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Posts: 150




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« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2011, 11:25:44 AM »

I don't have a site for you but I highly recommend that you contact a local ham.  Look for a local ham club and find a member who likes to operate cw.  Putting your hand on a paddle will answer more questions than you can have. Nothing can replace a real live local Elmer.

My personal recommendation is to get a used Bencher by-1.  Its an inexpensive paddle that can last a lifetime.  You can wire it left or right handed or make the setting different in you radio depending on your radio.  73 Mike ke4ilg
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AA4PB
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Posts: 12899




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« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2011, 11:48:42 AM »

Basically, dual lever paddles are "iambic" which means that you can close both contacts at the same time creating an alternating dot/dash sequence on an iambic keyer. A single lever paddle will only close one contact at a time and thus will not provide iambic (or squeeze keying) with an iambic keyer.

Dual lever paddles will work with either iambic or non-iambic keyers so they provide the most flexibility.

Some people prefer iambic keyers and some don't. A trip to a local ham supply store would probably give you a chance to see how each works.
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AA4PB
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Posts: 12899




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« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2011, 12:25:51 PM »

Here's some additional info: http://www.morsex.com/pubs/iambicmyth.pdf
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WX7G
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Posts: 6136




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« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2011, 01:34:29 PM »

Almost all Iambic paddles are symmetrical. To change to left-handed use the reverse feature on the transceiver or reverse the DOT and DASH wires. The Vibroplex Vibrokeyer paddles come in right-handed. I believe they can be switched easily.

I think the best paddles at a fair price is the Begali Simplex Basic. http://www.i2rtf.com/html/keys_paddles.html
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N5XM
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Posts: 242




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« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2011, 02:12:03 PM »

I'm happy to see you started out with a straight key.  In order to sound decent you have to have good spacing and character formation, which is the key to sending good, readable CW.  I've used a Kent single lever for about 6 years now, and love it.  I have a small hand and the low profile is just right for me.  You have to be very patient adjusting it to taste, but when you do, it stays there.  I like light, narrow settings, and the sending is nearly effortless.  Try as many as you can...I'm sure you'll enjoy yourself. 
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VA7CPC
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Posts: 2393




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« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2011, 11:19:44 PM »

What KE4ILG says ... you'll learn more looking at somebody's "paddle collection" than you will by reading.

Quote
My personal recommendation is to get a used Bencher by-1.  Its an inexpensive paddle that can last a lifetime.

I consider the BY-1 the "default paddle".    Any other decent paddle is considerably more expensive.  eBay is a good source.

              Charles
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N4AWP
Member

Posts: 21




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« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2011, 10:56:37 AM »

Another option is to build your own from a kit. I did and it was fun to personalize it. Works great .
Art
http://www.w5jh.net/Black_Widow.htm
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K5TEB
Member

Posts: 45




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« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2011, 08:46:54 PM »

Dale,
  Check out the Vizkey website.  If  my memory is correct, Tom charges $45.00 shipped for the paddles.  Good set of paddles for the money. 
                                                 73 de kd5sbo,  Terry














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K8AXW
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Posts: 3902




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« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2011, 09:48:02 AM »

Going from a straight key to a paddle key is a major step that can lead to a great deal of frustration but the rewards make it worthwhile.

If you ask your question "which one" to 100 people you will get at least 60 different answers. 

In my case, went from a hand key to a bug and then the dual-lever paddle.... which means there are two paddles, one for the dits and the second paddle for the dahs.  I simply couldn't deal with this because I went from a hand key to a bug, which has one lever.

I switched to a single lever paddle and I was happy once again.  My biggest complaint was that the dual-lever paddles made the fingers too far apart and I personally had more trouble controlling them.

I eventually bought the Kent single-paddle and fell in love with it immediately.  They are fairly inexpensive compared to many other paddles but very well made.

You also might need a keyer unless your transceiver has one built in.  That is a totally different subject and post.
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WB3CQM
Member

Posts: 117




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« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2011, 07:46:52 PM »

All great advice given .  I use a bug but sometimes I use the vibrokeyer. I put the Icom 746 pro into the bug mode and then my dots are sent electronic and the dash by hand. I can use either key and my friends have no clue which one I am on. By the way when I want to slow down I send with the bug off the side as if it were a straight key. In stead of sending downward  I am just sending sideways with out the dits. So really a bug is TWO keys in one ::smile::

Mostly though I am using a keyboard any more. I guess because I do the digital modes also.

I like K4ILG suggestion also, go try some keys out .
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K7MH
Member

Posts: 339




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« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2011, 10:29:43 AM »

A key is what you manipulate with your hand. A keyer is the electronic keyer that creates the dits and the dahs that are sent.

A single lever key is the easiest to master. Just less going on with it.
The high speed guys I understand use single lever keys.

The iambic key is the dual lever or "paddles" key. It can be used in iambic squeeze fashion or more like a single lever key. A lot of people don't really use the iambic feature all that much, I don't.

If you are like most of us, you will end up owning a few different keys.
Everyone likes something different in keys, look, feel, shape or style, certainly cost!

There are also touch keys. No movable levers.

I have a straight key, a touch key I built, a cootie key I built, and two different iambic keys....so far.
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NN2S
Member

Posts: 5




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« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2011, 12:36:07 PM »

Greetings,
Paddles just have to feel good to your hands and look good sitting on your desk.
Life to too short to look at an ugly paddle.

what every you buy.. you will learn to use well... it looks bad it will always look bad.

rick NN2S
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