Thinking in https://www.dxengineering.com/parts/vib-iambic-g
However I will take Advises, All are very Welcome....
George, YV5WZ / PY3ZZZ
Also as a CW newbie, I strongly suggest you invest both in a paddle, but a straight key too. There are times it is just fun to send it yourself.
Have fun ... watch your spacing.
If you really get into CW, be in contesting or ragchewing, a quality set of paddles will reduce fatigue and errors.
Keep in mind that CW isn't for everybody. You might just find your monies could be better spent somewhere else.
Good luck with CW,
73 de K5HP
I'm a fan of single lever paddles as opposed to iambic. Single levers have less degree of freedom in their movement and are less prone to mistakes in sending. Of all the high speed ops I know virtually all use single lever. The old wives tail that iambic is less work is nonsense. I enjoy hour long QSO's all the time and I'm never tired. I'm far more worried about accurate sending.
I own 2 Begali paddles and they are absolutely beautiful but I think N3ZN paddles send better code especially the single lever versions, just my opinion. You can read about N3ZN paddles in the eham reviews. I have a SLR and a ZN-SL1 by N3ZN. My SL1 was the first single lever he ever made and was made to my spec, and it turned out great. Tony N3ZN is a master machinist. Vibroplex makes an excellent single lever if it's adjusted correctly. I ran one of those at field day adjusted by a 90 year old ham who knew how to do it, and it played like butter.
My latest paddle is a single lever by 9A5N and it uses a MEM device and a micro-controller as they keying element. It is amazing. It is not a capacitive element. Mine was custom built by Neno to my spec. I added a custom wooden finger piece from Sal IK1OJM and I couldn't be happier. I delight in using this paddle every day. Just some alternative ideas to think about. Good luck in your CW adventure with your new Flex radio! It's a great CW radio. You'll have a blast!
So much agree with the single paddle comments, and here is why at over 25WPM a single paddle (non iambic) is the way to go. Muscle memory!
A single lever paddle is stroked not pushed; if starting out concentrate on the stroke, the length of which determines how many dots or dashes are sent. An Iambic is almost always a push action and very quickly muscle memory comes into play making it quite difficult to use.
My paddle, from the '60s, is a chopped up chrome plated bug with a highly varnished wood handle about 1/2 inch thick. I carry it when guest operating. Second choice a single paddle commercial, and way down the list a Begali iambic, very nice feel but iambic.
Save your money and find a good hand key (remember to key from above the wrist not the fingers) and a wider handle single lever paddle. Good luck
In the late 1980s I had a 20M CW QSO with N2DAN, and he convinced me to try his magnetic Mercury iambic paddle. I have not looked back since that day, but I have bought more magnetic paddles since that time. I now own the following magnetic paddles ...
1. The original N2DAN Mercury magnetic iambic paddle
2. The Hensley magnetic iambic paddle
3. The Begali Signature magnetic iambic paddle
4. The N3ZN ZN-SL magnetic single lever paddle
First of all, for sheer beauty, the Mercury and the Hensley are in a class by themselves. Unfortunately, they are more difficult to set up than the Begali and the N3ZN key because of the lower TPI (turns per inch) of their set screws . For ease of set up, I consider the Begali and the N3ZN keys to be about equal.
For as long as I can remember, I used iambic keys, but did not use iambic keying modes. It finally dawned on me that my keying errors could be due to the fact that I was using a dual lever iambic key in a non-iambic keying mode. In other words, my 70 year-old hand-wrist-finger proprioception is not what it used to be, and it only takes a twitch or two of a finger or thumb at 35 wpm to make keying errors rise. So I bought one of N3ZN's single lever keys, and it surely did eliminate most of my keying errors. I guess the moral of this story is operating a dual lever iambic key with a single lever brain will give less than optimal results. The only downside is that my thumb and middle finger want to maintain that 5/8 of an inch separation from all the years of muscle memory. I am, however, planning the resolve that problem by gluing a Vibroplex knob onto the thumb side of the N3ZN single lever finger piece.
One other point about generating CW concerns the fixed 3.0 to 1 dash/dot ratio that is built into Flex SmartSDR, and other American made transceivers. 3.0 to 1 CW sounds robotic and can be fatiguing to copy. Long ago, Japanese transceivers introduced variable dash/dot ratio into their built-in keyers. This allows a musical swing to the CW at about 3.6 to 1 dash/dot ratio level, and for me and many others, creates a CW "fist" that is easier to send and easier to read. This feature is built into the microHam and the K1EL external keyers, but I am not sure about other keyers. If you are new to CW and use a hand key for any length of time, you will appreciate the musicality of variable dash/dot ratio when graduating to electronic keyers.
Long live CW!