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Re: [cw_bugs] Scratchy first dit after a dah...

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  • David Ring
    Milt, My 1919 Blue Racer has flat contacts as do my WW2 and post WW2 BR keys. I remember discussing contacts with Steven Nurkewitz (former N2DAN now silent
    Message 1 of 28 , May 31, 2007
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      Milt,

      My 1919 Blue Racer has flat contacts as do my WW2 and post WW2 BR keys.

      I remember discussing contacts with Steven Nurkewitz (former N2DAN now
      silent key) who made the Mercury Paddles during the 1980-1990s -- he
      was right both contacts should be convex so that they will always
      meet.

      One trick the old telegraphers used was to pivor the dot contact post
      so tht the side of the contact met the flat of the dot spring contact.

      At any direction, the contact will contact and not bounce.

      This is a much better idea than damping the dot spring with cotton,
      foam rubber etc - you need that spring to spring back and give a good
      push!

      As I said in my previous post (did it go through?) 1/8 spacing between
      the dot contacts at rest is about the MINIMUM you can have. 1.5 to
      2.0 mm is about right.

      If you're sending 20 wpm or so you need about 3/16 to 1/4 inch spacing
      of the dot contacts to get to that slow speed. If you need to go
      slower, you have to go to a wider spacing. I remember using about 1/2
      inch spacing to work Novices in the old novice band days.

      That 1/8 spacing (and slightly smaller) is only what you need to do 40
      wpm and faster. And it is very difficult to adjust - but by the time
      you can send 40 wpm with a bug you're probably pretty good at
      adjusting it.

      73

      DR
    • Donald Kemp
      Steve, ... My spacing for the dot stop screw to the arm is 1/16 and the spacing between the dot contacts at rest is 1/8 . ... Yes, that s the place to measure
      Message 2 of 28 , Jun 1, 2007
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        Steve,

        On 6/1/07, n6vl <n6vl@...> wrote:
        > Don,
        >
        > What is difference between space on dot stop and space on dot
        > contacts?

        My spacing for the dot stop screw to the arm is 1/16" and the spacing
        between the dot contacts at rest is 1/8".


        > Is the space on dot stop, the distance between the lever and the dot
        > set screw that stops the travel? I haven't measured that yet.

        Yes, that's the place to measure the stop spacing.


        > Don, if you are using that much travel, how do you ever send at
        > higher speeds. I have read where a bug is stroked with the end of the
        > palm resting on the table. I can't imagine how a bug could be keyed
        > at 30 wpm for example. Of course there is a lot less weight to move
        > at those speeds. Maybe that explains it.

        I am not a high speed operator yet. I am working on improving my
        speed, but at this time sending at about 25 is max for me. I have set
        up my bugs individually and when I just measured them they are
        actually all pretty close to those measurements I quoted above.

        I have also lightened the spring pressures on the dot and dash springs
        for easier keying. This feels better to me but you would need to
        experiment with your pressures.

        My operating position may not be the normally accepted position. I
        have found that I am resting my elbow on the arm of my chair and the
        right side of my hand is resting on the table. I try to use a rocking
        motion to key the bug. Sometimes I find I am also using my fingers to
        key it and consciously go back to the rocking motion.
        I amy not be doing this correctly. I believe David has writted a guide
        about the proper positioning of the hand and fingers,

        > 73,
        >
        > Steve N6VL
        >
        --
        73,
        Don, NN8B
      • Donald Kemp
        Hi MIlt, I just checked the 2 Blue Racers I have. The 1962 Delux is flat on both contacts. These ones are like a mirror, they have never been touched with any
        Message 3 of 28 , Jun 1, 2007
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          Hi MIlt,
          I just checked the 2 Blue Racers I have. The 1962 Delux is flat on
          both contacts. These ones are like a mirror, they have never been
          touched with any abrasives. I really think this key had never been
          used before I got it.
          The 1960 Blue Racer has been used and the contacts do not appear to be
          flat. Whether that's by design or caused by burnishing is unknown.
          They both appear to have a radius.

          My new 100th Anniversary Original does have convex contacts. Both are convex.
          In my opinion that would be a better arrangement than a flat set of
          contacts. No matter where the moving contact hit the stationary
          contact it would be a solid strike and not trying to twist the dot
          spring.


          I believe David once wrote about moving the stationary contact by
          turning the post to pivot the contact surface to accomplish the same
          effect. That would cause the movable contact to hit at a point like it
          would if they were convex. David's method would certainly be best on
          contacts that were not convex and not perfectly parallel, which would
          probably cover most bugs. I may very well be that my adjustment of the
          dot contact screw to find the sweet spot was doing the same thing to a
          lesser degree and indeed may not work on all bugs where David's idea
          would.

          Your correct, using a convex contact would probably cure the problems
          on older bugs or bugs with badly worn contacts. It would certainly
          make contact alignment much less critical. They are available from
          Vibroplex. If anyone calls Vibroplex I would ask if the replacement
          contacts are convex.

          On 6/1/07, k4oso@... <k4oso@...> wrote:
          >>
          > Don,
          > Just FYI --- I was told that the old Blue Racers at one time had dot contacts, one of which was conical in shape. I don't know (or remember) which one but it was probably the moving contact. Anyway, I'll bet one of those would go a long way toward curing some of our bug problems, eh?
          > 73, Milt k4oso
          >
          --
          73,
          Don, NN8B
        • k4oso
          David, I wonder which bug you were using to get 1/2 spacing at the dot contacts. None of my bugs will open more than 1/4 . They include Originals, Blue
          Message 4 of 28 , Jun 1, 2007
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            David,
            I wonder which bug you were using to get 1/2" spacing at the dot
            contacts. None of my bugs will open more than 1/4". They include
            Originals, Blue Racers (old), Champions, a Lightning Bug, and a
            McElroy.
            73, Milt k4oso

            --- In cw_bugs@yahoogroups.com, "David Ring" <n1ea@...> wrote:
            >
            > Milt,
            >
            >
            > As I said in my previous post (did it go through?) 1/8 spacing
            between
            > the dot contacts at rest is about the MINIMUM you can have. 1.5 to
            > 2.0 mm is about right.
            >
            > If you're sending 20 wpm or so you need about 3/16 to 1/4 inch
            spacing
            > of the dot contacts to get to that slow speed. If you need to go
            > slower, you have to go to a wider spacing. I remember using about
            1/2
            > inch spacing to work Novices in the old novice band days.
            >
            > That 1/8 spacing (and slightly smaller) is only what you need to do
            40
            > wpm and faster. And it is very difficult to adjust - but by the
            time
            > you can send 40 wpm with a bug you're probably pretty good at
            > adjusting it.
            >
            > 73
            >
            > DR
            >
          • Bill
            I just have to toss this into the mix: My Vibroplxes (all in the past tense) always had a scratchy dit problem. I bought a Johnson 114-500 (I think it was) and
            Message 5 of 28 , Jun 1, 2007
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              I just have to toss this into the mix:

              My Vibroplxes (all in the past tense) always had a scratchy dit
              problem. I bought a Johnson 114-500 (I think it was) and most of the
              problem went away. Later I bought a VizBug 90 Degree and all the
              problem went away.

              The VizBug is now the only bug I own. No squeaks or scratches - great
              key. If I can make it work, anyone can make it work.
            • David Ring
              Milt, You are right. I didn t measure the wide spacing before speaking - I just did - and your right the maximum is 1/4 inch. The customary spacing for dot
              Message 6 of 28 , Jun 1, 2007
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                Milt,

                You are right. I didn't measure the wide spacing before speaking - I
                just did - and your right the maximum is 1/4 inch.

                The customary spacing for dot contacts would be between 1/8 inch and
                3/16 inches. I measure everything in metric because it is easier to
                convert the fractions! 1/16 inch is too narrow.

                To slow a bug way down I open the bug all the way up - near about 1/4
                inch. The huge motion in the dot direction helps moderate the sender
                to send slow dashes - you have to use every trick at that speed to
                force the operator from sending short dot-to-dash spaces and short
                dashes. It is very difficult for me to send dashes that long!

                Thanks for the correction.

                73

                DR

                On 6/2/07, k4oso <k4oso@...> wrote:
                > David,
                > I wonder which bug you were using to get 1/2" spacing at the dot
                > contacts. None of my bugs will open more than 1/4". They include
                > Originals, Blue Racers (old), Champions, a Lightning Bug, and a
                > McElroy.
                > 73, Milt k4oso
                >
                > --- In cw_bugs@yahoogroups.com, "David Ring" <n1ea@...> wrote:
                > >
                > > Milt,
                > >
                > >
                > > As I said in my previous post (did it go through?) 1/8 spacing
                > between
                > > the dot contacts at rest is about the MINIMUM you can have. 1.5 to
                > > 2.0 mm is about right.
                > >
                > > If you're sending 20 wpm or so you need about 3/16 to 1/4 inch
                > spacing
                > > of the dot contacts to get to that slow speed. If you need to go
                > > slower, you have to go to a wider spacing. I remember using about
                > 1/2
                > > inch spacing to work Novices in the old novice band days.
                > >
                > > That 1/8 spacing (and slightly smaller) is only what you need to do
                > 40
                > > wpm and faster. And it is very difficult to adjust - but by the
                > time
                > > you can send 40 wpm with a bug you're probably pretty good at
                > > adjusting it.
                > >
                > > 73
                > >
                > > DR
                > >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > Yahoo! Groups Links
                >
                >
                >
                >
              • Earl Needham
                ... You re talking about the spacing between the CONTACTS, or the arm and stops? Thanks, Earl KD5XB -- Earl Needham Clovis, New Mexico DM84jk
                Message 7 of 28 , Jun 1, 2007
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                  At 08:48 PM 5/31/2007, David Ring wrote:
                  >I thought you were a slow sender? You don't need that type of
                  >closeness, also if you're not sending at 40 wpm, and you want a low
                  >slow range, you way too close. That kind of spacing is needed only
                  >at extreme speeds.
                  >
                  >At about 20 wpm (or less) your spacing should be about 1/4 inch or so.

                  You're talking about the spacing between the CONTACTS, or
                  the arm and stops?

                  Thanks,
                  Earl

                  KD5XB -- Earl Needham
                  Clovis, New Mexico DM84jk
                  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/cw_bugs
                • David Ring
                  Earl, I always refer to the spacing between the contacts as the distance between the lever and the stop screw is just too difficult to measure. The maximum
                  Message 8 of 28 , Jun 1, 2007
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                    Earl,

                    I always refer to the spacing between the contacts as the distance between the lever and the stop screw is just too difficult to measure.

                    The maximum spacing - as you correctly noted - is about 1/4 inch - that's what I use for very slow speeds, 3/16 to 1/8 is about right and 3/16 (if I remember correctly) is the lower limit - any less spacing is very very very critical and the dots will come out poorly at a certain minimum spacing.  Maybe the lower limit is 3/32 below which the bug sounds like it is sputtering.  I don't have a working bug here where I'm writing this email.  I'm not at my station - I am (and have been) away from the QTH for a few days!

                    73

                    DR

                    On 6/2/07, Earl Needham <needhame1@...> wrote:
                    At 08:48 PM 5/31/2007, David Ring wrote:
                    >I thought you were a slow sender? You don't need that type of
                    >closeness, also if you're not sending at 40 wpm, and you want a low
                    >slow range, you way too close. That kind of spacing is needed only
                    >at extreme speeds.
                    >
                    >At about 20 wpm (or less) your spacing should be about 1/4 inch or so.

                             You're talking about the spacing between the CONTACTS, or
                    the arm and stops?

                             Thanks,
                             Earl

                    KD5XB -- Earl Needham
                    Clovis, New Mexico DM84jk
                    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/cw_bugs





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                  • David Ring
                    I do have a bug here - but not no radio - that explains how I meaured the 1/4 inch maximum. Just so the mystery buffs can figure it out. Without a radio I
                    Message 9 of 28 , Jun 1, 2007
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                      I do have a bug here - but not no radio - that explains how I meaured the 1/4 inch maximum.  Just so the mystery buffs can figure it out.  Without a radio I can't find the minimum that produces good dots.

                      73

                      DR

                      On 6/2/07, David Ring <n1ea@...> wrote:
                      Earl,

                      I always refer to the spacing between the contacts as the distance between the lever and the stop screw is just too difficult to measure.

                      The maximum spacing - as you correctly noted - is about 1/4 inch - that's what I use for very slow speeds, 3/16 to 1/8 is about right and 3/16 (if I remember correctly) is the lower limit - any less spacing is very very very critical and the dots will come out poorly at a certain minimum spacing.  Maybe the lower limit is 3/32 below which the bug sounds like it is sputtering.  I don't have a working bug here where I'm writing this email.  I'm not at my station - I am (and have been) away from the QTH for a few days!

                      73

                      DR


                      On 6/2/07, Earl Needham < needhame1@...> wrote:
                      At 08:48 PM 5/31/2007, David Ring wrote:
                      >I thought you were a slow sender? You don't need that type of
                      >closeness, also if you're not sending at 40 wpm, and you want a low
                      >slow range, you way too close. That kind of spacing is needed only
                      >at extreme speeds.
                      >
                      >At about 20 wpm (or less) your spacing should be about 1/4 inch or so.

                               You're talking about the spacing between the CONTACTS, or
                      the arm and stops?

                               Thanks,
                               Earl

                      KD5XB -- Earl Needham
                      Clovis, New Mexico DM84jk
                      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/cw_bugs





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