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Author Topic: An Iambic Paddle, a TS-2000 Keyer, and a Spazoid  (Read 5552 times)

Posts: 16

« on: April 17, 2006, 08:14:55 PM »

I learned CW with a flashlight pointed at the ceiling when I should have been sleeping on school nights.  As a Novice in 1972 I had fun with CW, but I never was very good at it.

Over the last 30+ some years as a ham, I’ve been up to maybe 20wpm and can copy in my head (somewhat).  But the truth is that I’m “good” at about 13wpm.   }:~/

After years of being away from CW, I started using a Bencher iambic key with my TS-2000 keyer.  It works well, but…

I find that I often send too many dahs or dits with long characters.  For example… sending my own call sign “AC9Y” I tend to send too many dahs in the “9”.  In general, I seem to make errors with timing my characters with this keyer.  I’ve made a number of attempts to adjust the keyer speed, weight, etc.  Is this just my inexperience with keyers (I used a bug for a long time) or is my TS-2000 internal keyer a bad choice?  Should I sell the key and stay on phone because I’m a spazoid!?!

Thank you,
Roger – AC9Y

Posts: 691

« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2006, 01:59:03 AM »

Hang in there Roger, it does take time to get the feeling back!

Actually, you may find that you're thinking too hard about getting it right....I know that sounds strange, but like a lot of other things, when you're concentrating on doing something, you usually screw it up (hi).

Just play with the set-up (off the air), send stuff out of books, newspapers, even some of these threads (hi), and the rhythm will develop.  It's when you try to "count" the dits/dahs as you send them, you screw it up.

Hey, it should be fun....not work!

And remember, none of us is perfect (despite what some will tell you!), we all make mistakes.

If you're cool at 10-13 wpm, then hang in there and one day you'll notice you're doing 20 with no problem.  Just takes time....

See ya on the bands!

73, Jim/k7unz


Posts: 16

« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2006, 10:33:47 AM »

Thanks for the encouragement Jim.

I know just what you mean.  An intense focus of form can mess up your performance.

Case in point; I’m a dirt biker.  I like to ride in the woods.  This presents a challenge  because of roots, rocks, etc in the trail.  Riders have to learn to look down the trail and not just in front of their front tire.  This helps keep your flow of negotiating the ever changing trail conditions.

A dirt bike group setting up an “enduro” meet for families, wanted to make things easier for them.  They went out and marked all the significant rocks and roots on the trail with bright orange paint.  The result was that riders focused on the orange spots and hit them!.... rather than avoid them!  No joke, This really happened.

-Roger, AC9Y

Posts: 691

« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2006, 06:45:50 PM »


Play a while and you'll just hear the right sound in your fist, and you'll also know right off when you screwed up, just by the sound of it.

Speaking of orange hazards, maybe that's why my old paddle this the bright red fingerpieces gives me a bit more problems then my Benchers.  And here I thought it was just 'cos the base was too light and it moved around more (hi).

Take care....


Posts: 14

« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2006, 05:32:27 AM »

Hey Roger,
It is too bad they did not retain the keyer
Kenwood built into their TS-870 for the TS-2000.
The keyer in the TS-870 is a K-1 Logikey and is
excellent.  I have not owned a TS-2000 but had
two of the TS-570s and I had the same problem
using those keyers.  I would recomment you get
a K-3 or the new K-5 Logikey from Idiom Press.
I think it will add to your pleasure operating cw.
GL Bill WS4Y

Posts: 691

« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2006, 09:51:51 AM »

WS4Y brings up a very good point.  Don't have a TS-2000, but I do know the keyer in my TS-570 sucks.  It adds bits whenever it wants, and you can only change speeds in 2 wpm steps.

I now run it with a Logikey K-5, which has solved the problem for me as well.

Something to think about for sure....


Posts: 0


« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2006, 10:20:46 AM »

I dare say it's not you Roger.  I have been using an MFJ Econo KeyerII witout incident for years with a Bencher BY-1 paddle.  Last Sept. I purchased a TS-2000 and thought hot I can get rid of some clutter on the desk and use the built-in keyer in the 2000.  WRONG!  It does the same thing to me as it does to you...too many dits and dahs here and there.  I suppose with practice one could overcome it, but while you were learing it all the other guys you QSO with would think you were inept at CW.  I hooked up my MFJ again and had no problem.  Sometime later I tried the 2000 keyer again with the same result.  So now I have completely abandoned the built in keyer and just use my MFJ and all is right with the world.  Other than that niggle, I LOVE the TS-2000 but Kenwood could do better with the keyer.


Posts: 16

« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2006, 10:45:41 AM »


Thank you.  I too wanted to keep the clutter off my desk as well!  …and was happy to see the TS-2000 had a built-in keyer.  Your comments were reassuring to me.  Learning that I wasn’t the only one that had this issue makes me want to use CW more than my big mouth on phone!  I know I’m not that good at CW, but I didn’t think I was THAT bad!

I ordered a PicoKeyer kit from on Thursday.

“Thank you” to all you folks for your kind words and support.  After reading many of these forum threads, seeing nasty remarks from people with some “issue”...  It’s nice to see a group that wants to share their experiences and support others in the hobby.

Plainfield, Illinois
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