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Re: [cw_bugs] reading about bugs

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  • Larry Makoski
    John, I like using a bug because it is easier on my arm. Using a straight key for a long amount of time makes my forearm sore. I m sure that means I m not
    Message 1 of 8 , Mar 1, 2008
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      John,

      I like using a bug because it is easier on my arm. Using a straight key
      for a long amount of time makes my forearm sore. I'm sure that means
      I'm not doing it correctly; but that's the way it is for me. I find
      using a bug not only easier on the arm; but also quainter. I'm drawn to
      the nostalgic part of it; and I'm also drawn to the challenge to master
      it and send good code with it.

      I think that if a guy is really proficient using a bug, that you
      wouldn't be able to tell he's using one. The goal is for good code.
      Personally, I hope to become good enough that I sound the same whether
      I'm using a straight key; bug or paddles and keyer.

      73 de Larry W2LJ

      --
      73 de Larry W2LJ
      QRP - When you care to send the very least!

      http://www.w2lj.qrpradio.com
      http://w2lj.blogspot.com/
    • Jason Hissong
      Hey John, I have used the extendadots and they work great. And the price is pretty good too. I get my one key as slow as 15wpm which is a nice comfortable
      Message 2 of 8 , Mar 1, 2008
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        Hey John,

        I have used the extendadots and they work great. And the price is
        pretty good too. I get my one key as slow as 15wpm which is a nice
        comfortable speed for me (for copying).

        As for why I made the switch over to bugs:
        I joined the Straight Key Century Club back in December. I use a
        straight key a great deal but I was curious about bugs. I never had
        much of an interest in them because I thought you had to sound like you
        had a swing. I personally don't like copying code like that so I
        avoided bugs (and stations sending that way). I started reading about
        bugs about 90 days ago and got the opportunity to use one. I fell in
        love with them right there. I also figured out that good bug ops send
        good code with little or no swing. I started to pick it up pretty
        quick. Since then, I purchased two bugs and working on buying two
        more. I have since sold my bencher paddles and my MFJ keyer. I only
        use mechanical means to send code.

        Plus, bugs are just so darned fun to look at and collect.

        Another thing I like about bugs is the history behind them and why they
        were invented. If you ever get the chance, read through the history
        about bugs:
        http://www.telegraph-history.org/horace-g-martin/index.html
        http://www.la.ca.us/frandy/

        If you ever want some practice on the air, let me know.

        They are fun!

        Jason N8XE


        John wrote:
        > I have been looking at different bugs for sale. I wrote to a guy that
        > even had an extra weight for his Vibroplex to slow it down abit. I
        > may be slow in my sending to use a bug. So I am going to have to
        > experiment on sending. Also, I don"t hear alot of bugs on the air
        > much. One of the comments I have read is that only one in ten bug ops
        > send good, the other nine think they send good. I think thats abit
        > unfair. I think for myself, to copy a bug is alittle harder because of
        > the difference in patterns. I wish I could get that Vibroplex with the
        > extra weight, but don't have the cash yet. A friend has said he would
        > lend me a bug to try. I am going to try and find out what make and
        > model it is and try to get some feedback on it as how to use it.
        > Anyway, I would like to hear some opinions on why you as a ham have
        > changed to a bug, or like using a bug. thanks, John K3JK
        >
        >
        >

        --

        "A long journey starts with the first step and an understanding spouse."
        http://www.undermidnight.com - astronomy and astrophotography
        http://www.n8xe.com - ham radio
        http://www.jasonhissong.com - electronic music composition
      • k4oso
        John, I quote from Larry, W2LJ: I think that if a guy is really proficient using a bug, that you wouldn t be able to tell he s using one. I use a bug almost
        Message 3 of 8 , Mar 1, 2008
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          John,
          I quote from Larry, W2LJ: "I think that if a guy is really proficient
          using a bug, that you wouldn't be able to tell he's using one."
          I use a bug almost exclusively and most times the guy I'm working is
          VERY surprised to find that out. I also get a lot of comments about how
          very easy my cw is to copy. To a great extent, I think you sound the
          way you WANT to sound because if you really want to sound a certain
          way, you will probably work at it. I work at spacing, continuity and
          cadence. I never start a word until I'm prepared to finish it. I
          never run words together. Each word is a nice, neat little package
          with a ribbon tied around it and presented to the receiving op for his
          listening pleasure.
          How did I get started with bugs? Three years ago when I got my ticket
          I was using a straight key. But I started developing numbness in my
          wrist and hand after sending for awhile. This persisted so I finally
          bought a paddle (Kent Iambic) and keyer (Logikey). Bingo! The
          numbness went away immediately. BUT...the feeling of satisfaction of
          creating my own cw left with it. So I tried a bug...an old McElroy,
          and it was love at first dit. After many joy-filled hours of practice,
          usually about 20-30 minutes a day, and after almost driving the xyl
          nuts with the clatter of the damper on the key, I became comfortable
          enough to go public with my bug. The rest is history however, the
          practice goes on. For practice not only makes perfect, practice
          maintains perfect.
          I will offer a couple of items of advice. First, please don't think
          you need a fancy, store-bought gizmo to slow your bug down. There are
          many items laying about the house/shop that can add additional weight
          to slow your bug (clothes pins, alligator clips, lead fishing weights,
          brass/copper tubing, etc). Its limited only by your imagination. The
          second item of advice is, DON'T SELL/THROW AWAY YOUR PADDLE/KEYBOARD or
          whatever you're using now to send cw. Whether electronic or
          mechanical, there are lots of tools that are great for sending cw...and
          they all have a place on a good cw-man's operating desk.
          If you like, contact me via email and I'd be glad to offer any
          assistance I can to get you started.
          Good luck,
          73, Milt
          K4OSO
          SKCC 180T
          --- In cw_bugs@yahoogroups.com, "John" <klokis@...> wrote:
          >
          > I have been looking at different bugs for sale. I wrote to a guy that
          > even had an extra weight for his Vibroplex to slow it down abit. I
          > may be slow in my sending to use a bug. So I am going to have to
          > experiment on sending. Also, I don"t hear alot of bugs on the air
          > much. One of the comments I have read is that only one in ten bug ops
          > send good, the other nine think they send good. I think thats abit
          > unfair. I think for myself, to copy a bug is alittle harder because of
          > the difference in patterns. I wish I could get that Vibroplex with the
          > extra weight, but don't have the cash yet. A friend has said he would
          > lend me a bug to try. I am going to try and find out what make and
          > model it is and try to get some feedback on it as how to use it.
          > Anyway, I would like to hear some opinions on why you as a ham have
          > changed to a bug, or like using a bug. thanks, John K3JK
          >
        • David Ring
          What Milt wrote is so excellent, it bears repeating. Also I second the statement that K4OSO sounds better than a keyboard! 73 David N1EA - FISTS, SKCC, MTC,
          Message 4 of 8 , Mar 1, 2008
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            What Milt wrote is so excellent, it bears repeating. Also I second
            the statement that K4OSO sounds better than a keyboard!

            73
            David N1EA - FISTS, SKCC, MTC, VWOA, SOWP, ARRL A1-OP, SOC, ex-FOC, and YMCA.

            On Sun, Mar 2, 2008 at 12:13 AM, k4oso <k4oso@...> wrote:
            I use a bug almost exclusively and most times the guy I'm working is
            VERY surprised to find that out. I also get a lot of comments about how
            very easy my cw is to copy. To a great extent, I think you sound the
            way you WANT to sound because if you really want to sound a certain
            way, you will probably work at it. I work at spacing, continuity and
            cadence. I never start a word until I'm prepared to finish it. I
            never run words together. Each word is a nice, neat little package
            with a ribbon tied around it and presented to the receiving op for his
            listening pleasure.
          • Jason Hissong
            Milt, You got your ticket three years ago? You sound like you been doing this a while! HI! Looking forward to working you sometime. Jason N8XE ... -- A long
            Message 5 of 8 , Mar 1, 2008
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              Milt,

              You got your ticket three years ago? You sound like you been doing this
              a while! HI! Looking forward to working you sometime.

              Jason N8XE

              k4oso wrote:
              > John,
              > I quote from Larry, W2LJ: "I think that if a guy is really proficient
              > using a bug, that you wouldn't be able to tell he's using one."
              > I use a bug almost exclusively and most times the guy I'm working is
              > VERY surprised to find that out. I also get a lot of comments about how
              > very easy my cw is to copy. To a great extent, I think you sound the
              > way you WANT to sound because if you really want to sound a certain
              > way, you will probably work at it. I work at spacing, continuity and
              > cadence. I never start a word until I'm prepared to finish it. I
              > never run words together. Each word is a nice, neat little package
              > with a ribbon tied around it and presented to the receiving op for his
              > listening pleasure.
              > How did I get started with bugs? Three years ago when I got my ticket
              > I was using a straight key. But I started developing numbness in my
              > wrist and hand after sending for awhile. This persisted so I finally
              > bought a paddle (Kent Iambic) and keyer (Logikey). Bingo! The
              > numbness went away immediately. BUT...the feeling of satisfaction of
              > creating my own cw left with it. So I tried a bug...an old McElroy,
              > and it was love at first dit. After many joy-filled hours of practice,
              > usually about 20-30 minutes a day, and after almost driving the xyl
              > nuts with the clatter of the damper on the key, I became comfortable
              > enough to go public with my bug. The rest is history however, the
              > practice goes on. For practice not only makes perfect, practice
              > maintains perfect.
              > I will offer a couple of items of advice. First, please don't think
              > you need a fancy, store-bought gizmo to slow your bug down. There are
              > many items laying about the house/shop that can add additional weight
              > to slow your bug (clothes pins, alligator clips, lead fishing weights,
              > brass/copper tubing, etc). Its limited only by your imagination. The
              > second item of advice is, DON'T SELL/THROW AWAY YOUR PADDLE/KEYBOARD or
              > whatever you're using now to send cw. Whether electronic or
              > mechanical, there are lots of tools that are great for sending cw...and
              > they all have a place on a good cw-man's operating desk.
              > If you like, contact me via email and I'd be glad to offer any
              > assistance I can to get you started.
              > Good luck,
              > 73, Milt
              > K4OSO
              > SKCC 180T
              >

              --

              "A long journey starts with the first step and an understanding spouse."
              http://www.undermidnight.com - astronomy and astrophotography
              http://www.n8xe.com - ham radio
              http://www.jasonhissong.com - electronic music composition
            • Adam Taylor
              I have been a bug man for 25 years, i got my first one from KL7HDY (now SK) and never looked back. I do own a couple of mini-paddles but only made a handful of
              Message 6 of 8 , Mar 2, 2008
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                I have been a bug man for 25 years, i got my first one from KL7HDY (now SK) and never looked back. I do own a couple of mini-paddles but only made a handful of contacts with them.
                 To me, using a bug or straight key is like playing a guitar, a paddle or keyboard is like programming a computer to sound like a guitar...but thats just my opinion. As far as the 1-in-10 thing goes, I have heard some pretty sloppy fists on the air but always reserve my judgement due to me not knowing if the ham on the other end is 7 years old, or maybe hes an old war vet sending with his foot because he doesnt have arms, etc...all valid possiblities, if i can understand them, then im more than happy to make a qso with them. But one thing i noticed, a sloppy fist can be sloppy on any sending device...ive heard it on bugs, straight keys and paddles. Granted, using a bug takes some getting used to, thats no joke. Some pick it up faster than others, but by just getting on the air and using it you will improve your skills in no time.
                 
                 Im a very hands on guy, i love using a bug because its very old school, and completely interactive with the operator. You can tell certain ops by the "swing" in their sending. Another thing i love about bugs and hand keys is the ease of repair and adjustment on the fly. If im not happy with the dits, i can adjust the speed with the turn of a screw, or reset the 'dit' terminal. You have complete control over the sound of the bug...you can adjust it for short, sharp dits, or you can make them a little more full...all from one adjustment screw. So im a bug fan, always will be. And if you need to go really slow, perhaps sending your call in inclimate conditions, you want to make sure the guy gets your call, you can use the bug as a straight key without touching or changing a thing...then send 1wpm if needed, then without skipping a beat, go right back to 50 wpm. These things require no power to use, they have been around for well over 100 years and will remain in use as long as there are CW ops. And a bug can fall into disrepair and get really ugly looking from sitting in storage, etc, it will still work...you can take them anywhere and plug them into any rig and it will work. I suggest you find a really nice bug and discover for yourself why owning one is a good idea.
                 
                 I suspect that i will always be a bug man. I hope this helps you figure out the mindset of bug users.
                 
                73...Adam, N7YA

                ----- Original Message -----
                From: John
                To: cw_bugs@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: [cw_bugs] reading about bugs
                Date: Sun, 02 Mar 2008 03:11:04 -0000

                I have been looking at different bugs for sale. I wrote to a guy that
                even had an extra weight for his Vibroplex to slow it down abit. I
                may be slow in my sending to use a bug. So I am going to have to
                experiment on sending. Also, I don"t hear alot of bugs on the air
                much. One of the comments I have read is that only one in ten bug ops
                send good, the other nine think they send good. I think thats abit
                unfair. I think for myself, to copy a bug is alittle harder because of
                the difference in patterns. I wish I could get that Vibroplex with the
                extra weight, but don't have the cash yet. A friend has said he would
                lend me a bug to try. I am going to try and find out what make and
                model it is and try to get some feedback on it as how to use it.
                Anyway, I would like to hear some opinions on why you as a ham have
                changed to a bug, or like using a bug. thanks, John K3JK


                --

                rock.com

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