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Author Topic: Paddle protocol---Dots on the right, dashes on the  (Read 880 times)
N7DKK
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Posts: 9




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« on: September 06, 2003, 07:19:36 PM »

Is there a convention for setting up iambic paddles?

I'm just getting back into CW work and trying a paddle and keyer, but am unsure of which code goes on which side.

Seems that with the old Vibroplex I had dots on the right, dashes on the left.

Does that still hold true with paddles?

Is there a hard-and-fast rule or does everyone do what feels best?

Thanks!
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N0XAS
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« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2003, 08:09:18 PM »

Normally one makes dits with the thumb, and dahs with the forefinger.  Take a look at a mechanical bug -- only way to set it up otherwise is turn it upside down or find a left-handed version.  You can of course do it either way, especially since many (if not most) electronic keyers let you swap paddles.  I figure if people have been doing it that way for that long, there must be a reason.  

73,
Dale - N0XAS
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K7KBN
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Posts: 2837




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« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2003, 09:11:27 PM »

One of the Radiomen stationed on USS Kitty Hawk back in the 1960s was a lefty.  He made an extension cord for keying the transmitters, put my Vibroplex Presentation (yeah, the gold plated one) on the left side of the operating position, with the paddles on the FAR END.  He would extend his forearm over the key and send 35 WPM all day long.  It looked awkward, but hey!  it worked!
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73
Pat K7KBN
CWO4 USNR Ret.
N7DKK
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Posts: 9




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« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2003, 03:48:22 PM »

Thanks, guys for the help.  I had a Vibroplex bug years ago and since you mentioned it - dits,thumb,right and dahs,finger,left - it is beginning to come back to me.  I was always making mistakes and would have to hold that thumb over for the dit-string.

Well, that's the way I'll set up the new paddle.  They are giving me another choice, full iambic or not.  I'll have to try it both ways and see which is easier.  It would seem that the iambic would be faster but requires motor and memory skills plus coordination, yes?

I've decided to make a go of CW and leave the mike in the drawer.

Great class of people on CW, I hear.

Thanks again to all!

-dave-
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N5XM
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Posts: 242




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« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2003, 02:26:05 PM »

I use a right handed paddle left-handed, and the good news is that I can go into anyone's shack and use their paddles with no problem.  If you are right handed, I don't know why you would reverse dits and dahs, but it is a free country and you can do what you want.  Why should it matter unless you were using someone else's setup?
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N7DKK
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« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2003, 02:43:55 PM »

No, I don't want to do it a different way, I want to do it the way that is considered standard.

As you know, unlike a bug, a keyer and a paddle gives one the option to put dots and dashes on whichever side they choose.

As it's been 25 years since I've used a bug, I couldn't quite remember which side had which. I just wanted to know what the standard convention was for this so in case I did visit another shack and work a different paddle, I would be used to it.
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N5POW
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Posts: 3




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« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2003, 10:32:23 PM »

Do whatever you  want, it is a hobby.  But for right handers the convention is dots on the left for a very good reason:  The brain devotes many more neurons to the fine motor control of the the thumb than the finger, so you have better motor control of the thumb.  Timing is of course more important for release of the paddle to get the right number of dits than dahs.  The current issue of Scientific American is devoted to the brain and includes the classic homunculus diagram that shows how much of the sensory and motor cortex is dedicated to various body parts.  If I were left handed, I would reverse it to keep the thumb controlling the dits.  
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BUCK
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Posts: 22




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« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2003, 07:23:28 PM »

I had one years ago.  I wired mine backwards and had no problems with it.  But, Field Day, i was unable to use the provided keyers.... They were all "Backwards" so you might consider that.

Unfortunately, I don't remember which way is the correct way.  I'll be watching this thread and hopefully get another keyer soon.  This time I want to wire it correctly.

Buck
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BUCK
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Posts: 22




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« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2003, 07:28:05 PM »

Mine was an Iambic keyer.  it is so easy to work with.  It takes a little effort to learn anything new, but I am sure that you'll pick it up easily if my clumsy hands could handle it.  

The big thing you might have to work on is spacing the letters.  I often ran letters and words together, something that sounds fairly common on the air.  

Good luck, BUck
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WA9SVD
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Posts: 2198




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« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2003, 11:16:11 PM »

The usual set up (which matches the "semi-automatic or "Bug" single paddle type key) is that it assumes a right handed person; the thumb sent the dit's (paddle pusher to the right,)  and the finger sent the dahs (paddle pushed to the left.)  That meant a left-hander person had to learn the opposite.

    But most electronic, dual paddle keys seem to allow reversing the scheme, either by an (internal perhaps) switch, or reversing the wiring.  (Two paddle keys will have a three conductor cable and plug.)  That can come in handy in a club setting, where both right and left handed operators wish to use the same electronic keyer.
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W9GB
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Posts: 2659




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« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2003, 11:16:42 PM »

For a stereo plug (1/4" or 1/8").  

The "tip" is DOT; the "ring" is DASH and the "sleeve" is COMMON.

Right and left seems to be personal - like the right-handed and left-handed (rare) Vibroplex bugs.

w9gb
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