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Author Topic: New to CW, what key should I use?  (Read 13950 times)
K7KBN
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Posts: 2825




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« Reply #45 on: July 07, 2013, 09:46:00 PM »

I always recommend starting with a straight key, moving to something else only when you can make the precise sounds AND PERIODS OF NO SOUND exactly correctly.

That said, I just got home from watching The Lone Ranger.  If you haven't yet (or if you plan to see it again), right at the beginning of the dialogue there's a scene at a railroad telegraph station.  Take a look at the contact alignment on that guy's key!  Makes me shudder... Shocked
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73
Pat K7KBN
CWO4 USNR Ret.
M0LEP
Member

Posts: 212




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« Reply #46 on: July 08, 2013, 02:32:50 AM »

You won't suffer any kind of injuries using a straight key if you don't start suddenly sending for hours a day.

...assuming you're not one of those who already suffer from RSI. (Ah, hindsight...I wonder how much less RSI there'd be among computer-using folk if the designers of computer mice had learned a bit from the design and use of Morse keys?)
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K8AXW
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Posts: 3963




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« Reply #47 on: July 08, 2013, 09:13:26 AM »

JUNKINGEO:

No offense meant OM but you've asked "what kind of radio should I buy" and now "what kind of key should I use?"  What next?  What kind of antenna should I use?

The reason for this smartass response to your question is that you're setting right here on eHam.com which is without a doubt the most incredible source of information that can be found on ANY one website!

These questions you ask have been asked and answered hundreds of times.  All that is necessary is to scroll back through a particular forum and read what has been posted before.

I know whereof I speak because I always have more questions than answers and these forums provide many hours of information from hams who have been there; done that. 

The name of this game is "Research" and THIS is the place to do it.  No need to go anywhere else.

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ZL1BBW
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Posts: 403




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« Reply #48 on: July 08, 2013, 04:37:24 PM »

A good quality straight key is fine for up to 30wpm and 3 - 4 hours at a time.  This one upmanship with keys and paddles is incredible.  I have seen people send faultless morse with clapped out old vibroplex bugs and all sorts.

It is not the key that sends the morse it is the hand on the key, and until the hand and the ears can recognise and send good morse nobody should be let loose with a bug or elkeyer.

We used to have to pass a test before we were allowed a bug or elkeyer on the air.

JMTCW. 
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ex MN Radio Officer, Portishead Radio GKA, BT Radio Amateur Morse Tester.  Licensed as G3YCP ZL1DAB, now taken over my father (sk) call as ZL1BBW.
K7KBN
Member

Posts: 2825




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« Reply #49 on: July 09, 2013, 07:27:44 AM »

A good quality straight key is fine for up to 30wpm and 3 - 4 hours at a time.  This one upmanship with keys and paddles is incredible.  I have seen people send faultless morse with clapped out old vibroplex bugs and all sorts.

It is not the key that sends the morse it is the hand on the key, and until the hand and the ears can recognise and send good morse nobody should be let loose with a bug or elkeyer.

We used to have to pass a test before we were allowed a bug or elkeyer on the air.

JMTCW. 

ZBM1.
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Pat K7KBN
CWO4 USNR Ret.
ZL1BBW
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Posts: 403




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« Reply #50 on: July 09, 2013, 01:02:46 PM »

..--.. never used Z codes
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ex MN Radio Officer, Portishead Radio GKA, BT Radio Amateur Morse Tester.  Licensed as G3YCP ZL1DAB, now taken over my father (sk) call as ZL1BBW.
ZL1BBW
Member

Posts: 403




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« Reply #51 on: July 09, 2013, 01:04:08 PM »

Got it, ours was
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ex MN Radio Officer, Portishead Radio GKA, BT Radio Amateur Morse Tester.  Licensed as G3YCP ZL1DAB, now taken over my father (sk) call as ZL1BBW.
ZL1BBW
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Posts: 403




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« Reply #52 on: July 09, 2013, 01:06:43 PM »

QSD QRL VA Especially if running a QRY on 22Mhz of 30 plus, then a whole load of ops would switch over to 22, no time for dilly dallying with multi multi ops all sharing one tx.
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ex MN Radio Officer, Portishead Radio GKA, BT Radio Amateur Morse Tester.  Licensed as G3YCP ZL1DAB, now taken over my father (sk) call as ZL1BBW.
K7KBN
Member

Posts: 2825




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« Reply #53 on: July 09, 2013, 04:58:35 PM »

Got my "Speed Key Certificate" (aka "Bug Ticket") in 1963, right after Radioman school in San Diego and reporting to my ship (which was pierside, adjacent to the office where I took the test).  Had my six-month old Vibroplex Presentation (high school graduation present from relatives) and the Chief was more impressed with it than with my sending!  "Okay, Bailey; you passed and we're getting the paperwork processed right now...mind if I try your bug??"

The ZBM1 referred to a "qualified speed-key operator".  That was fine.  However, ZBM2 means/meant "Place a competent operator on this circuit."  The ultimate insult to a Radioman in those days.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2013, 05:05:22 PM by K7KBN » Logged

73
Pat K7KBN
CWO4 USNR Ret.
ZL1BBW
Member

Posts: 403




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« Reply #54 on: July 09, 2013, 08:05:36 PM »

In the majority of cases, there was only one op on the ships we were working, so not a lot of choice.  But  I am often reminded by my ex colleagues of telling a ship QSD, the reply was I have a broken arm, so it turned into a medico Smiley

But back to the original post, a nice solid hand key, Kent used to make one, or ex Marconi key if you can get one still sends nice solid morse. My own favourite is the RAF Type D with its very slightly sprung front contact.
http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/4904
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ex MN Radio Officer, Portishead Radio GKA, BT Radio Amateur Morse Tester.  Licensed as G3YCP ZL1DAB, now taken over my father (sk) call as ZL1BBW.
GW3OQK
Member

Posts: 155




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« Reply #55 on: July 10, 2013, 02:47:33 AM »

I aggree with ZL1BBN. IMHO Straight key at least until you can copy 25 wpm error free and send at 20s error free. Try this http://www.smrcc.org.uk/morse/morse.htm
Fix the key to the edge of the bench for it should not have the slightest ability to move no matter how hard you try. At least that's how I like it and passed my 1st class at 25 wpm using the WT8Amp key. Check there is no wear whatever in the bearing.

73
Andrew
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K7RNO
Member

Posts: 279




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« Reply #56 on: July 25, 2013, 09:05:09 PM »

Your moniker being what it is, there is only one key that fits you: the Junker straight key. Check it out, all the details are here.
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73,
aRNO
NAQCC #6870, SKCC #11131
ZL1BBW
Member

Posts: 403




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« Reply #57 on: July 25, 2013, 11:04:59 PM »

How about this 25 quid....

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/WW2-Morse-Key-Type-D-/271241157798?pt=UK_Collectables_Militaria_LE&hash=item3f273b9ca6
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ex MN Radio Officer, Portishead Radio GKA, BT Radio Amateur Morse Tester.  Licensed as G3YCP ZL1DAB, now taken over my father (sk) call as ZL1BBW.
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