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Author Topic: Non-Iambic Paddles  (Read 3112 times)
W9OY
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« on: July 20, 2004, 10:05:59 AM »

I would be interested in hearing about expereince with the current crop of "non-iambic" or single lever paddles.  What's good, what's marginal etc

thanks

W9OY  
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K4BXN
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« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2004, 11:57:04 AM »

I have found the Kent single paddles hard to beat.  Have tried several others and they do not compare.
73/Crit/K4BXN
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NI0C
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« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2004, 12:17:50 PM »

I used a Vibroplex VibroKey for many years, and liked the feel of it after transitioning from a Vibroplex bug. Lately I've been using a Brown Bros. iambic key with my old learned single-lever techniques, and it works quite well.

The Morse Express web site describes the VGA T-1A made in Belarus as the "best single lever key in production."  This key has intrigued me for a long time, but I've never seen any reviews of it.  However, I located a fellow who purchased one (actually the earlier T-1 model) and didn't like it because he couldn't adjust it to his fist.  I just bought it from him-- received it just yesterday, in fact.  It's a beautiful key to look at, but I haven't had it long enough to really give it a trial.  I'll post a review of it on eHam after a suitable evaluation period.

73 de Chuck  NI0C
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2004, 01:01:43 PM »

For all you single-lever paddle enthusiasts: What's the attraction to the single lever paddle?  I've always used dual-lever paddles, either in the iambic or non-iambic mode, and I can't "feel" any difference when I use a single-lever paddle.  Blindfolded, I'm pretty sure I could never tell the difference one way or another, if I set the keyer to non-iambic.

So, what's the draw?

WB2WIK/6
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AC5E
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Posts: 3585




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« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2004, 01:51:01 PM »

Steve, I rather suspect it's how an individual is "hard wired."  I never had any particular problem with a bug - circa 1950 - but an iambic was a pain in the posterior to learn to send intelligible code with. Now that I'm used to the double paddles I find it takes more effort than I care to make to use a single paddle. And you don't want to try to copy my current version of the banana boat swing. That's gotten downright embarassing.

On the other hand one of the guys who regularly contests from my shack can't send his own call with the iambics but loves the Kent singles.

Another friend can use anything that's plugged in, no problem. You seem to be one of the latter group. Just a matter of what works best for an individual - just as some have problems with a Curtis A and others insist it's the only keying mode they can use.

73  Pete Allen  AC5E
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2004, 01:59:26 PM »

I guess.

But it isn't the paddle that makes keying iambic or not, it's the keyer!  A dual-lever paddle plugged into a non-iambic keyer behaves exactly the same way as a single-lever paddle does.  If you filled the gap between the two paddles with a piece of plywood, you'd convert "dual lever" to "single lever" for about five cents.

So, I guess I just don't get it.  I use my Bencher dual-lever paddles for everything -- iambic A, iambic B, non-iambic, whatever.  Just because a paddle has two levers doesn't mean you have to operate as a "squeeze key" (although I usually do, to save effort).

WB2WIK/6
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W4TYU
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Posts: 518




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« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2004, 02:21:20 PM »

I learned to use a Bug many many years ago.Dropped out of Ham Radio for a time. Iambic keying was the rage then and I was afraid that I could not handle code  by barely moving my thumb and fore finger so I went to the VibroKeyer. Later I found that I could use a dual paddle unit just fine but not in the iambic mode. I own both and also have no problem switching for single to dual lever paddles.
 The antenna guru (LB) told me one time that he learned to use a bug lefthanded because he was going to use a squeeze key right handed and didn't need to get confused.
Ole man JEAN
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W3JJH
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« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2004, 02:32:11 PM »

Here's another OF who uses a Vibroplex single-lever paddle.

I learned Morse code back in the '50s as a Boy Scout and learned to use a bug in the Signal Corps.  A single-lever paddle fits my muscle memory.  I can use a double-lever paddle, but I use it as if it were a single-lever unit.

I'm not a telegraphy enthusiast.  I use Morse code when necessary and not as a preferred mode of operation.  I choose not to bother with learning the skill of iambic keying because I can get by with the straight keys, the bug, and the single-lever paddle I have.
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NI0C
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« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2004, 03:03:24 PM »

Steve, the answer to your question is simply personal preference, or "muscle memory," as W3JJH put it.  I never learned the "squeeze" or iambic techniques (and indeed, I recall hearing some pretty lousy CW from people first learning the technique in the mid- 1960's).

My latest purchase (of the VGA single lever paddle) was for comparison purposes-- to compare my own sending with a good single lever paddle with that on a good iambic paddle.

BTW, the K1EL WinKey is one fabulous programmable electronic keyer.

73 de Chuck  NI0C
         
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KT8K
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Posts: 1490




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« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2004, 03:49:53 PM »

I've used pretty much every type, from side-swiper vibroplex's to iambic types.  I operate about 90% CW on HF, and find iambic operation to just be easier.  I could go back to single-paddle operation, but why would I?  For me, iambic is just easier and better.  The old Bencher paddle I bought so long ago (list price was $35 or less) is still a winner.
Catch y'all on CW!  73 de kt8k - Tim
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N6AJR
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Posts: 9930




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« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2004, 12:17:02 AM »

I can't use an iambic, and can barely use an old vibroplex. I can send as well on a straight key, perhaps even better, right handed, left handed or with my right foot.  This should indicate to you my lack of ability in cw..  

I have a brace on my right hand ( torn tendons in the wrist.. ow) and you can tell I am wearing it as it actually improves my poor sending..  ssb for ever..  dit dit
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