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Author Topic: keyer advice for newbie?  (Read 583 times)
VE3ION
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Posts: 3




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« on: January 31, 2003, 09:58:16 AM »

I haven't got an HF radio yet (though the Y-ft920 is the front runner at the moment), but I'd like to start gathering some of the components before I take the big plunge. I took my 5 wpm test on a straight key, of course, so I have no idea what anything more sophisticated should be like, or what I would like out of it.

Speed wise, I'm now pretty comfortable receiving in NuMorse at 10 wpm (working on 15...), and I'd like to get the speed up to a point where I can understand, say, 90% of what's being transmitted (is that somewhere around 20 wpm range)?

If someone would be so kind as to provide (or point to!) a rundown on what an enthusiastic newbie might look for in a keyer, I'd be most grateful!

73,

Jody
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20666




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« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2003, 11:16:21 AM »

Most modern HF rigs, including the FT-920, have an electronic keyer built-in, so you really only need a paddle.

In paddles, there are single lever and dual lever (iambic) types; and other than there being a thousand variations of those two basic designs, they're all the same.

I'd recommend a dual-lever paddle ("squeeze key") simply because you can use it either way, in an iambic mode or not, simply depending upon how you work it with your hand.  A single-lever paddle won't work for iambic keying.

There's zillions of designs and some are better than others with regard to "feel," reliability, ergonomics and industrial design, but their functions are all identical.  My personal preference, after using practically everything ever sold, is the simple Bencher paddle.  Not expensive, easy to use right-handed or left-handed (just reverse the wire connections on the bottom), highly adjustable in every aspect, and heavy enough to "stay put" on the bench without sliding around.  I have three of them, so I don't need to move a single paddle between different rigs.

There are definitely "connoisseurs" out there who prefer more elegant paddles, some of which cost hundreds of dollars each, but after trying most of them I still like the simple Bencher.

Of course, since a keyer paddle is nothing more than a pair of normally open switches, you can homebrew one, and that could be fun, too.  Lots of published articles on that.

Good luck on the upgrade!

WB2WIK/6

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