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Author Topic: Best all-around keyer??  (Read 8534 times)
K6MMS
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Posts: 33




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« on: August 20, 2012, 04:52:03 PM »

I've been told that the Bencher BY-1 is the best all around key.

True? False?

I personally don't have enough experience to agree or not. I do have one, and I think it's great.

In your opinion, what is the best do-everything, last-a-lifetime key being made today, and why?


Let the games begin!

K6MMS
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K7KBN
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Posts: 2825




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« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2012, 08:57:43 PM »

I've been told that the Bencher BY-1 is the best all around key.

True? False?

I personally don't have enough experience to agree or not. I do have one, and I think it's great.

In your opinion, what is the best do-everything, last-a-lifetime key being made today, and why?


Let the games begin!

K6MMS

Which is it you're looking for?  The subject is "Best all-around KEYER but then you ask about the KEY.  Two different animals. 

A KEY is nothing more than a single-pole, single-throw switch or a pair of them on a common base.  Some of them are called "paddles".

A KEYER is an electronic device that is connected to the KEY and to the transmitter.  It translates what the operator is doing with the key into Morse code dits and dahs which the transmitter then sends over the air.

Personally, I like the BY-1 paddles.  I use them along with a variety of keyers that all work very well.
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73
Pat K7KBN
CWO4 USNR Ret.
K7MH
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Posts: 344




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« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2012, 11:50:53 PM »

The best key out there is the one YOU like.
Everybody likes something different in a key.
Many have several, I have six of them.
Two Iambic keys, single lever, hand key, touch key, and a double speed or "cootie" key.
I have had two Bencher BY-1 keys and sold them, I just didn't like them. It is a popular key though. Many buy it as a first key and never buy a different one. The MFJ copy (sort of) is pathetic.
The favorite is my Hamco Scotia, it's much the same as a Vibroplex Brass Racer.

Bencher and Kent keys are marketed widely so they have an advantage in becoming popular.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2012, 11:55:44 PM by K7MH » Logged
KU7I
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Posts: 123




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« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2012, 01:17:35 AM »

Agree, whatever KEY you like is the best one. I have two Bencher BY-1s and they just work. They are not the best action in the world but for Plain Jane cw they are good enough for me. I use an old Daiwa KEYER in lieu of the built-in keyer in the FT-890 ONLY because the built in keyer potentiometer is so touchy on the FT-890 when adjusting keyer speed....plus this old Daiwa KEYER is rare....older solid state Daiwa gear is classy.

Lane Ku7i/JH1JCM
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PA0BLAH
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Posts: 0




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« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2012, 01:43:23 AM »

http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/43

When you use a key (your keyer is built in your appliance) you get used to it, just as a car.

In order to decide about the quality
you have to watch:

-The material of the contact points,
- independent adjustability of left and right paddle spring,
- range of spring adjustability
- magnetic or spring
- if magnetic: repelling or attracting
- sponginess
- path of current, through bearings, trunnion screws (nil ok) , or just separate
- stability of adjustments over time (and temperature)
- adjustability
- behavior with real very tiny contact spaces as test
- weight of the base
- height of paddles above desk
- distance between left and right paddle
- dust cover
- availability of parts for repair guarateed for at least 10 years
- The price, which is often ridiculous, don't pay for a name, expensive milling only to distinguish the looking (such as 'sculpture'), hollow phrases,   such as limited edition, a "secret coating" or engravement of a call sign or some signature


gdluck
Bob

« Last Edit: August 21, 2012, 02:08:31 AM by PA0BLAH » Logged
WB2WIK
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Posts: 20636




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« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2012, 11:08:46 AM »

Yep, the BY-1 or any other paddle device is a key, not a keyer.

But anyway, I have three BY-1s for many years and like them.  Properly adjusted they do the job perfectly for me at any speed, but then I have a very "light" fist and probably don't use more than a couple of grams of pressure on them.  For those who have a "heavier" fist (more pressure), a more stable key is good.

I love the Begali keys:  http://i2rtf.com

I do have one of his, called the "Signature."  It's small but heavy and feels great, but it's also over $200.  I guess there's a lot of hand labor in those, and they're just expensive to make.  I leave that one in the shack, but have no problem packing a BY-1 for travel and have done that hundreds of times.

If you go to hamfests, there are often people selling all sorts of paddles which can give you an opportunity to try some out and see what you think.  It's a personal issue, like the driver's seat adjustment in an automobile. 
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N5XM
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Posts: 242




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« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2012, 02:55:31 PM »

Kent Single Lever for me!
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W9KEY
Member

Posts: 1137




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« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2012, 03:12:36 PM »

Brown Brothers BTL for me, but my straight key (Brown Bros. ST-A) gets 99% of the work here.  Grin
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K6MMS
Member

Posts: 33




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« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2012, 03:30:48 PM »

Yes, yes. I meant "Key" as shown in the body of the post.

I didn't catch "keyer" in the heading of the post. It should be "key", not "keyer".

Best "key". Not best "keyer"
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N3JJT
Member

Posts: 31




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« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2012, 04:36:25 PM »

The key would be a personal issue, and everyone elses are their opinions, based on what they like in their keys.   What ends up happening over time, something will catch your eye, and you may find you like the new key better, and maybe not.  Like some of us we have keys on the shelf that see little use, and get put in the rotation if we get the urge.  I also have 2 BY-1s, and like them, and those are the keys I started with.  I have since grew a small collection of hand keys and paddles. So with that said, here is my opinion; My favorite keys are the Begali Simplex, and the Simplex Basic.  I also like my K8RA P2.  My favorite hand key is the Begali Spark. 

73, and enjoy..De N3JJT..Scott
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K4ELO
Member

Posts: 55




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« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2012, 04:45:42 PM »

I have about 6 keys here, including Bencher and Begali.  The absolute best in my opinion is the N3ZN without a doubt.
Super quality and the finest adjustment capability.

73
Wayne
K4ELO
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PA0BLAH
Member

Posts: 0




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« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2012, 02:38:37 AM »

K6MMS

You are looking after a black widow.

When I only see the picture, it should certainly be not my choice.

1. Paddles are wide spaced.
When you will do something precious, you always work with thumb and direction finger close together. Wide space  requires a hand setting that is in contradiction with this.
You always can increase paddle space by a layer of cork, but you can't decrease the distance of a wide spaced design..

2. An adjusting screw in screwthread has some play. That is undesired when adjusting and when the adjustment is done.
Some methods to solve the problem:
= a contra nut
= a saw cut with adjustable width that narrows the hole.
= Black widow method: as it looks like to be on the picture: a second screw perpendicular on the adjusting screw.
Any idea what happens with the precious thread of the adjusting screw, when you secure it that way?
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K6MMS
Member

Posts: 33




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« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2012, 01:05:02 PM »

Thanks Bob.

I never thought about the importance of small spacing before.

Lenny B.
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AB9NZ
Member

Posts: 177




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« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2012, 01:42:46 PM »

Bob said
Quote
= Black widow method: as it looks like to be on the picture: a second screw perpendicular on the adjusting screw.
Any idea what happens with the precious thread of the adjusting screw, when you secure it that way?
   Good thoughts Bob. Often times a little plastic plug is supplied under such a screw to remove back lash and secure it from turning. I don't know if that is true in the case of this paddle though. 73 de Tom ab9nz
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K3STX
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Posts: 1053




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« Reply #14 on: August 23, 2012, 06:40:08 AM »

There is no such thing as a best all-around key. My best might be better than your best, and how can even I know it is the BEST for me if I have not tried them all?

I love my Kent TP-1 paddles. I had a set of Begali Simplex paddles; I did not like them. I love the Kents, as do almost everyone who has them. And they are not THAT much more money than the Benchers but the Kent is solid/heavy as a rock.

paul
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