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Re: [cw_bugs] Hello cw bug operators

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  • David Ring
    Hello John, Welcome to cw_bugs and the fine people we have here. The coffee s always on and the door always open - plus we have a practice room for musicians
    Message 1 of 4 , Feb 29, 2008
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      Hello John,

      Welcome to cw_bugs and the fine people we have here. The coffee's
      always on and the door always open - plus we have a practice room for
      musicians of Morse!

      Your friend meant that you have to plug your bug into a straight key
      jack, not a keyer jack for a paddle.

      Since you come from paddles to bug, I'll tell you the most difficult
      thing for such who have done this.

      While paddles can be adjusted so that you can breath on them and have
      them send, you need the spacing on the vibrator to be enough for it to
      swing solidly. Think electric instruments versus manual instruments -
      you have to pound the piano hard enough for the hammers to hit, but
      the electronic piano, you can make a switch as sensitive as the
      paddles. No effort was ever made to reproduce the feel of a bug with
      paddles.

      You can search this groups archives for a message from me which was
      titled something like "Care, cleaning and adjustment of semi-automatic
      keys" - just search for n1ea in the archives and you'll probably find
      it.

      Briefly the key to adjusting a bug is:

      Strong vibrations of the vibrator.
      Accurate striking of the contacts against each other - face to face - full on.
      Adjustment of the damper so that the vibrator "just" stops when at rest.

      Others have added extra weights and slow down devices. I'm of the old
      school that learned to send up to 20 wpm on a hand key, then after you
      mastered that, go on to the bug. I have my reasons for that thinking
      and it has to do with learning coordination and rhythm.

      Posture when gripping the bug is like your picking a piece of lint
      from a woman's dress in front of you - with the button shaped finger
      piece and the paddle shaped finger piece inside the "C" of your
      fingers and thumb.

      Then put the heel of your hand on the desk and ROLL the heel of your
      hand left and right. Don't use your fingers to send - you will not be
      able to develop rhythm and you will quickly tire with the increased
      work of using a bug compared to a paddle.

      Use the letters VVV to find the right length of dash - compared to the
      dots you're making.

      If you have an analog (old meter display) ohm meter, correct dot to
      space ratio is about 70% of full scale in the ohms meter range.
      Connect the leads to the key, short the dash side, adjust the
      potentiometer on the meter for full scale, then send dots - 60 to 70
      percent is about right.

      73

      David N1EA
      Converting electricity to dots and dashes for 43 years on land and
      sea, amateur and professional.
      -30-


      On Fri, Feb 29, 2008 at 11:29 PM, John <klokis@...> wrote:
      > John K3JK here. Operating only 6 years. about 5 on cw. Mostly
      > Iambic. some straight key also. But the sound of a bug intrigues me.
      > I am wondering if a bug is tough to operate? As a skill I mean. Is it
      > timing like the iambic, or is it all in the adjustment of the bug?
      > If I wire the bug I hope to get as a straight key, like I was told to
      > operate it on my Jupiter, then the dits must be automatically or
      > continuously sent. I don't understand this. Does the dits have a
      > vibrational ongoing contact while the dit side is pressed? I am trying
      > to understand it mechanically. I know there is not a coil that
      > energizes a constant contact, so there must be some type of contact
      > which is constant. But if it is constant, how does each dit end and
      > begin again? I am looking at pictures and diagrams of bugs and trying
      > to figure this out. I am a musician, play guitar, so I have good
      > rhythm on the iambic. But I am not to fast. I probably send from 15
      > to 18 wpm. Is this an o.k. speed to learn the bug at? Just a few
      > thoughts on learning to operate a bug.
      > thanks for reading, John K3JK
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
      >
      >
      >
    • nzeronv
      Hello John: Too many people avoid trying anything new that appears to be difficult. By merely expressing your interest in the bug, you have already set
      Message 2 of 4 , Mar 1, 2008
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        Hello John:

        Too many people avoid trying anything new that appears to be
        difficult. By merely expressing your interest in the bug, you have
        already set yourself apart from the rest. Congratulations!

        I am also a Ten-Tec Jupiter owner, so I will notify you ahead of time
        that the keying circuit in that rig is not forgiving to any dot
        contact bounce produced by a typical Vibroplex bug. You are likely to
        hear 'choppy dits' being produced both in the Jupiter's sidetone and
        RF output. Not to worry, if you set up your bug just like the
        Vibroplex instruction sheet says...
        http://www.vibroplex.com/original_bug_adjustments.pdf
        ...it should sound fine. If not, a capacitor can also be placed
        across the key terminals. I settled on a 1 micro-farad value and
        haven't noticed any ill effect.

        Use the sending method that David, N1EA mentions in the prior post.
        Your musical ear will be a good tool in evaluating your own sending.
        You will notice that a bug does not automatically finish each dot or
        dash that you initiate as an electronic keyer does. This will make
        the timing awkward at first, but you will get used to it. This is
        also the reason that bug users are less prone to running their letters
        too close together, as opposed to paddle/keyer users who are enabled
        to get ahead of themselves if they're not careful.

        Any other questions, be sure and let us know.

        73,

        Jack - N0NV



        --- In cw_bugs@yahoogroups.com, "John" <klokis@...> wrote:
        >
        > John K3JK here. Operating only 6 years. about 5 on cw. Mostly
        > Iambic. some straight key also. But the sound of a bug intrigues me.
        > I am wondering if a bug is tough to operate? As a skill I mean. Is it
        > timing like the iambic, or is it all in the adjustment of the bug?
        > If I wire the bug I hope to get as a straight key, like I was told to
        > operate it on my Jupiter, then the dits must be automatically or
        > continuously sent. I don't understand this. Does the dits have a
        > vibrational ongoing contact while the dit side is pressed? I am trying
        > to understand it mechanically. I know there is not a coil that
        > energizes a constant contact, so there must be some type of contact
        > which is constant. But if it is constant, how does each dit end and
        > begin again? I am looking at pictures and diagrams of bugs and trying
        > to figure this out. I am a musician, play guitar, so I have good
        > rhythm on the iambic. But I am not to fast. I probably send from 15
        > to 18 wpm. Is this an o.k. speed to learn the bug at? Just a few
        > thoughts on learning to operate a bug.
        > thanks for reading, John K3JK
        >
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