Ping CW mavens - Internal keyer setup

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  • Updated 4 years ago
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  • (Edited)
I am deciding which type of morse key to buy. It looks like it will be either a single or twin paddle.

The thing is that I want to use the internal keyer, but do NOT wish to use the Iambic function on starting out. So the questions:-
1) can a single paddle be used with the internal keyer (if the Iambic fuctionality canot be disabled will it be a problem for a single paddle)?
2) can a twin paddle be used with the internal keyer without any Iambic function?

I would prefer the dual paddle route so I can try out Iambic keying when I get more proficient. I expect to find the twin paddle more comfortable in use due to the paddle pad spacing - so much so I was already thinking of ways I could make a wider pad should I get a single paddle.

Can I configure the 6300 to just be an oscillator for sending practice?
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DrTeeth

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Posted 4 years ago

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George Molnar, KF2T, Elmer

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Yes, the iambic mode can be disabled with a setting. Only dual paddle keys support iambic keying (squeeze key). I'm totally in love with my Vibroplex iambic paddle (ARRL Centennial edition), and have used a Bencher for about 25 years very happily, too.
And yes, you can practice by turning the RF level to zero.
(Edited)
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DrTeeth

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Hi George,

Can you tell me what that setting is please? YIA.
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Steve W6SDM

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I use the Bencher BY-2, the chrome model, and I am very happy with it.  I have been a CW op since the mid-1960s and was a US Navy code instructor for a while.  My wife tells me that I think in Morse.  She's probably right.

Yes, you can use the paddles in regular mode even though they're capable of iambic mode.   I never really picked up the art of iambic although some say it's less fatiguing because your hand is making a gentle squeeze instead of the full motion of keying right and left paddles.  Some guys I have known that were really good ops would slap the paddles halfway across the desk, but they still had well-timed very readable code.

There are some really high end paddles out there, like the Bengalis, that you can pay hundreds for.  I would wait to see how well you like the paddle to start with before making a big investment.  You can always sell a BY-2 if you decide to go with something else later.

Hope this helps,

Steve
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George Molnar, KF2T, Elmer

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Yep, that BY2 is a good one. Enjoy!
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Anthony Bowyer

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A lot of us use dual paddles, but like a single paddle. I have a Kent double right now, only because it was hadat a very good price. I would much rather have the single paddle version. 

I'm not sure how many actually use 'iambic' features. It slows me down.

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DrTeeth

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Hi,

That is exactly how I want to start off. I work with my hands and instinctively know that the twin paddle will be more comfortable for me than a single paddle as my thunb and index finger will be further apart. I just would like to disable the iambic functionality to reduce any chance of errors. I do like the idea of sending a 'K' for example by holding down the 'dah' and tapping the 'dit' once
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Al / NN4ZZ

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Guy,
In the CW tab of the radio setup screen you can choose between iambic mode A or B.   There is also a button labeled "iambic."  However I don't think you can turn off the iambic logic.  The iambic button there and on the main transmit panel basically enables/disables the internal keyer.  When the keyer is enabled it will be in one of the 2 possible iambic modes selected.  (someone can correct me if I'm mistaken about this logic)

However I don't think you will find it is easy to accidentally press both paddles at the same time.  At least that has been my experience.

Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
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DrTeeth

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Hi Al,

That is my take on how the internal keyer works too. Looks like a twin paddle it is.

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Stan - VA7NF

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Like you Guy I was away from radio for many years.  I also find "iambic" features are not necessarily easier or as comfortable as a single paddle.  Keep inserting elements due to the squeeze memory.

Built (cut down a bug) a paddle with a 1/2" well varnished wood handle for use with my tube keyer; I still put aside the Bencher when frustrated and move over to that 50 year old paddle. 

Stroke it like making love to a lady and it responds beautifully!  60+ WPM was easy.

Stan VA7NF

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Duane, AC5AA

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I started on a bug, so even though I use that style of keying, I use an "iambic" (two level) paddle.  I've tried them all, and I much prefer the Begali paddles - very easy to adjust to any tension you'd like, beautifully made, and the lowest priced "Simplex" works really well for me.  You don't have to use a two-lever paddle on an iambic keyer, including the on in the Flex, so no problem there.
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DK1EY

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Guy,

1) Yes (I do it with a Begali HST), Iambic is on here, otherwise you just generate dahs. Due to the lack of the possibility to key both contacts at a time with a single key, you will not recognize the Iambic mode. But it has to be active.
2) No. Please explain, what do you expect to happen, if you key with a paddle without Iambic modes. I think I get your direction of thinking but for other modes than Iambic, Single Lever or straight key, you need an external keyer. With an external keyer you can do other modes as e.g. ultimatic mode or bug mode.

My personal favourites:
Single lever solid state: 9A5N Single lever
Dual lever solid state: 9A5N Dual lever

Single lever analogue: Begali HST MKII
Dual lever analogue: Begali Expedition

Just crank down the power slider to set it to 0 to use the Flex as a practising oscillator.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me.

VY73
Tom
DK1EY
(Edited)
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DrTeeth

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Hi Tom,

I want to use a twin paddle as I know I will find that more comfortable (I work with my hands). I would just like to disable iambic keying itself to reduce any chance of errors.If I were to get a single paddle, I would have to get or make a thicker finger pad/paddle to keep my thumb and index finger further apart.

I don't want to go too crazy price-wise with my first key, so am looking at the Kent single and Twin paddles.

73 de Guy
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Jim, KJ3P

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Guy,

Simple answers:

1) In SSDR, the Iambic button is really a keyer on/off button... ON, it's Iambic; OFF, it's a straight key. I leave iambic ON, and use a non-iambic paddle (Begali Mono), and all is well.  Note:  the Begali Mono has two paddles that move together on a single shaft, so the spacing "feels" like an iambic to the fingers, but there's no "squeeze." To me, this is the best compromise for someone who doesn't intend to use iambic.

2) I've also used my dual paddle (Bencher BY-2), ignoring the "live" Iambic function, and that worked fine, too. I found that I never inadvertently squeezed the paddles. The paddle spacing is a bit wider than the Begali Mono.

3) Code practice oscillator:  Yes.  Just leave "Breakin" OFF (in CW mode), and the sidetone works fine for practice.

Happy dits & dahs.   ---Jim, KJ3P

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W5XZ - dan

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great answer Jim...73, w5xz, dan
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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I have loved my Bencher  BY-2 since about 1987.  Unfortunately it is starting to feel a little "spongy" now.  I may have a bushing starting to wear.  

I would love to replace it with a Begali or a Kent, or something else with ball bearings and magnetic dampening.  But I can't see spending $300+ for a paddle right now.  I have too many other items on my wish list!   But Christmas is coming!
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Duane, AC5AA

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The Begali Simplex Basic (I still use exclusively my Simplex) is only 119 Euro's.  And Pietro will have it shipped to you faster than many stateside suppliers!
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W9XC

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I use a single lever paddle (N0SA - great but no longer made) and use it with the Flex (or other external keyer) set to Iambic mode. I also have a Begali HST which works very well, and a Begali Simplex Mono which works well but has a design anomaly that causes the two sides to interact in unintended ways at very, very tight spacings. Since these are single lever paddles, there is no way to have both 'sides' of the paddle closed at the same time, so the particular iambic setting (A, B, Ultimatic, etc.) doesn't matter. You simply get dits on one side and dahs on the other.

If you anticipate wanting to learn the true iambic style of 'squeeze' keying, and only want to buy one paddle, then it had better be an iambic (2-lever) paddle, because you will never do iambic modes with a single lever paddle. You can certainly use the double "iambic" paddle without squeezing - i.e. use it like a single lever paddle - assuming you have enough finger control to avoid inadvertently squeezing the two levers at once. It's pretty easy to use a double lever paddle that way and not squeeze it.  I do have several double paddles and have used them this way - I never use iambic "squeeze" keying. A single-lever paddle just enforces this behavior technologically.

There have actually been several studies of the keying efficiency of iambic keying that show not much actual gain, if any. See, e.g.,  http://la3za.blogspot.com/2013/06/the-advantage-of-single-lever-paddle.html for an overview with pointers.

Best,

- Les, W9XC
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Ernest - W4EG

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I bought this Brown Brother dual keyer from an old U.S. Coast Guard radioman when I graduated from Radio School in 1965. I used it aboard ship and up to the present day in amateur radio.
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Steve W6SDM

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Now THAT's something I haven't seen in a while.  I have a Bencher chrome straight key that matches my BY-2 paddle, but I almost never use my straight key.
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Al / NN4ZZ

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Hi Guy,
Here is another keys and paddle and a suggestion for connecting them. 

I have the Begali Sculpture paddle on the right plugged into the KEY jack on the front.  The Sculpture Arrow straight key is wired up to the accessory jack on the back of the radio.  With this arrangement I can leave the internal keyer ON (i.e. Iambic selected) and jump back and forth between the paddle and straight key without making any changes.  This is handy and less error prone if you want to quickly QRS or like to work the straight key group.  By the way, there is no cost to get a SKCC number and its an active and fun group. 

http://www.skccgroup.com/

I never got the hang of using the iambic modes but started out on dual paddles.  I've never had any problem accidentally squeezing both paddles but that could be a good excuse for the occasional error ( hihi ).  So the dual paddle is a good option either way.

Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com

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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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I saw your straight key at Dayton, Al.  It is a work of art.  
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Al / NN4ZZ

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Hi Ken,
Compliments go to Piero.   Its probably the last straight key I'll ever buy.  Feels great, all stainless, doesn't move around on the bench, and very fine magnetic adjustments.   

http://www.i2rtf.com/html/sculpture_arrow.html

Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
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DrTeeth

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Thank you all for your answers. They have been very informative and it looks like a twin paddle it will be. The Kent Twin paddle seems to be the best value for a newbie.

On more thing as I have you all here. I am confused by the CW upper and lower band settings. Why would I choose one over the other?

Mni tnx to u all.
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Stan - VA7NF

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As with many options, personal choice is behind this one.  Some like the tone to increase as frequency is increased, and vice versa.  Then with a 50Hz filter everything is the same (almost).

Then for those that like to be confused, there is the option of putting the filter across the carrier so two signals 1Khz apart sound the same!