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Author Topic: I regret leaving my bug for the keyer.  (Read 5441 times)

Posts: 353

« Reply #15 on: December 24, 2014, 11:41:08 PM »


As morse-code just has reached the status of historical herritage by the UN.
So he whole use of CW is realy a thing of the past.

All CW users are learning history sir.
But i know if you realy have a bad fist Bug signal on the band can be very annoying on the ears, as can be some very bad straight key use.

73 Jos

Posts: 13

« Reply #16 on: January 01, 2015, 08:20:00 AM »

Vibroplex (BUG),,, not have bad transmission,,
who transmits bad are the operators,
has to be learned,,, but certainly worth the effort,,
i use daily,,, and it werent fun,, encourage my friends to try too,,,
-iambic is a myth that prevails but it is a myth, do not need it.
-No iambic is the best and you can use a single level key or two paddles key.
-High-speed operators (above 40wpm) in HST-IARU competitions consider very serious mistake to use iambic technical and two paddles key.
-but for their fellow mortals, all this is irrelevant.
Every time you listen QSD bad coming from a BUG, REMEMBER, BAD IS THE OPERATOR, NOT THE KEY.
73 Nat PS7HD

Posts: 532

« Reply #17 on: January 01, 2015, 08:01:11 PM »

When I was first licensed as WV6ZXU back in 1964 there were no keyers.  I learned my cw on a Vibroplex Presentation model key. ..................

No keyers .. back then (where I lived) folk called them "El-bugs" (Electronic bug key). A friend had lent me a McElroy Adams bug but I had to return it eventually Sad  

Imported Vibroplex bugs were much too pricy for a student. So I built an el-bug in about late '63 or 64. OZ2BO design (think that's the right call), used a couple of twin triodes and relays. Difficult to keep adjusted to say the least.

Then in mid-60s the Japanese "coffin" bugs became available at a very good price so I got one and used it for several years. It was better than a Vibroplex as it had a cover - not trivial when keying around 300v as I was Grin
73 Paul.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2015, 08:14:09 PM by N5PG » Logged

Posts: 223

« Reply #18 on: January 03, 2015, 07:52:56 PM »


I both use the electronic keyer with my single lever or twin paddles.
I also always have the Vibroplex bug parallel to the rig and never have problems using both of them.
The advantage I have is that I use all keys like a single lever key also the paddles.
As i do not do Iambic keying i have no troubles switching between Bug and paddles or single lever what so ever.

If you practice enough and keep on switching between keys the problems will go it just takes time and practice.

73 Jos

I like to rag chew.  And I also have a Begali Signature paddle, antique Vibroplex bug and Begali Spark connected at the same time so that I can use any by merely moving my fist.  I am self-taught on the paddle first, and then I picked up the bug and key years afterward. I am still getting better with the bug and key, but at this point, here are my experiences:

- Paddle is BY FAR the easiest on my fist (and iambic is even more efficient for me -- just compare sending CQ with and without)
- Paddle and keyer are much faster than either the bug and the key (30+ v. 24 v. 18 wpm) and the differentials do not seem to be getting much better
- Paddle is the "gold standard" for character spacing -- the bug is getting closer and I am still embarrassed by the key

Although my paddle experience is best by far, I still use the bug whenever I work around the SKCC frequencies, or answer a slower CQ, or just want to watch the cool bug mechanism doing its magic.  The key is usually relegated to a paperweight, unless a really slow response is needed. 

I understand there are other experiences by other OPs; these are just more data points...  But I suggest each operator try what's available and then get on the air and practice, practice, practice what works best for him.  Paddle or bug, iambic or single-lever, A or B, whatever...  It's all fun and challenging at the same time!



Posts: 251


« Reply #19 on: January 05, 2015, 06:41:30 AM »

Bugs were a great new improvement in the early 20th century, but have been supplanted by the modern Keyer.
IMO, very few hams using them can produce proper morse code. The Daaaaaaaaah dit is a dead giveaway of most bug users.
It's harder to master because you have to time the Dah manually to proportionally match the dit and all of it to match the WPM.
Not too many hams bother with these details which makes for annoying listening, at least for me...

I get the impression that the people who knew how to use bugs never passed the knowledge on to the next generation, so it's a lost art, like finding an ancient musical instrument,  but not knowing how to play it as it was intended.

If you want to be a student of history and use a bug , fine, but use it properly!
Otherwise. BURY THE BUG  Grin

I find the over-emphasis on the dahs, combined with either dits that are too short or too MANY particularly annoying.  I actually OWN a Vibroplex Original Presentation, and through the years I have used it, adjusted it, and have come to really hate the thing.  Some call it "swing", but call it what it is: poorly sent CW.

Springbrook, NY

Posts: 3955

« Reply #20 on: January 12, 2015, 02:52:31 PM »

I'm a bug user. Never bothered with a keyer. Nobody can tell it's a bug unless I tell them.

Here are the secrets:

1) A bug WILL NOT correct for a lack of skill in sending. This means you need a good straight key fist before you can do a bug. In my case I was straight-key-only, 100% CW, for the first 7 years I was a ham (1967-74). I could pound out 25 wpm on the J-37 for hours - and still can.

Where folks go wrong is thinking they can have a bug as their first key. Sorry, most can't.

2) A bug has to be adjusted properly, which is a whole skill in itself. Many of the adjustments interact, too. You can't send good code with a maladjusted bug.

3) Most bugs have a minimum speed, usually 15 to 20 wpm with a single weight. You have to be able to send and receive above that speed before you can use a bug properly.

4) You have to practice and learn and be your own worst critic.

73 de Jim, N2EY

Posts: 167

« Reply #21 on: January 12, 2015, 04:50:00 PM »

I have a Vibrokeyer that an OT now SK gave me in appreciation for helping with his antenna.  I never had used a paddle, so I hooked it up to the keyer in the rig, and use it for quick DX exchanges.  When I want a nice ragchew,  I fire up one of my Drake 4 lines and use my trusty Vibroplex Original Deluxe.  I bought it new  in Seattle for 17.95 plus tax.  If you think wow, long time ago, you're right.  I don't think too many folks would know I'm on a bug if I didn't tell them. Have fun, it's certainly my favorite mode.

Posts: 285

« Reply #22 on: January 12, 2015, 04:55:45 PM »


#1 - Very true. I also learned on a straight key and like you, used one exclusively for many years.  I still use the straight key up to about 20-22 WPM: I'm not as quick as I used to be. Perhaps because of straight key use, knowing how the code 'feels' manually, the rhythm and cadence of sending is more easily transferable to my bug. (1939 McElroy Standard)

#3. -  You are the FIRST person who (to me) got the order of speed & accuracy correct on a bug.  Unlike the straight key, where you practice slower code first and as the accuracy of spacing and cadence improves, progress, otherwise it's just BAD for the op on the other end. When I first started using a bug, it was EASIER for me to send good sounding code above the minimal speed on a bug.  It took more practice time for me to get my slower code (18-20 WPM) to sound correct.

To me, I much prefer sending with a bug or a straight key. It's like playing a musical instrument - with one note.  ;-)

73 de Ray
W7ASA  ..._  ._

« Last Edit: January 12, 2015, 04:57:51 PM by W7ASA » Logged

Posts: 3955

« Reply #23 on: January 13, 2015, 08:12:42 AM »


What I was getting at in #3 is that some folks try to slow down a bug by making the dashes longer. Doesn't work.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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