Re: [cw_bugs] Re: reading about bugs
- What Milt wrote is so excellent, it bears repeating. Also I second
the statement that K4OSO sounds better than a keyboard!
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
You got your ticket three years ago? You sound like you been doing this
a while! HI! Looking forward to working you sometime.
> 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
> 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
- 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 -----
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