Re: Favorite key


The Begali Spark has a heavy arm on it, making character formation easy for me.  The palm mini seems to work great for my go bag and needs no adjustment.   The Adventure attaches to my KX3 easily and takes little effort to send.  

On Fri, Nov 20, 2015 at 9:25 AM, Joe E
<cornhusker@...> wrote:
My favorite paddle is my Begali magnetic classic.  Portable paddle is palm mini or Begali Adventure.  Straight key is Speed X with navy knob or Begali Spark

On Fri, Nov 20, 2015 at 8:56 AM, Wayne Dillon wayne.dillon@... [4sqrp]
<4sqrp@...> wrote:

Jim and the group,
Ok, let me ask the same basic question as Paul posed but in regard to Bugs and paddles. What is your favorite and why? I'll let Paul deal with the straight key answers and I'll correlate the Paddle/bug answers. By the by Jim, I'm still practicing with my Vibroplex Bug and yes I do go on the air with it, occasionally... Getting better though. I think it's the way different technique that had me stymied.
Blessings all
Wayne - NQ0RP

On Fri, Nov 20, 2015 at 8:22 AM, 'Jim Sheldon' w0eb@... [4sqrp] <4sqrp@...> wrote:

First off, your limiting it to only straight keys leaves out a great many of the membership who don't or in my case, can't use them.  I have a severe case of "glass arm" otherwise known as "Carpal Tunnel Syndrome" and cannot run a hand key using the up and down motion.  I can and do use a bug which is easier because the rolling motion of the wrist to form the characters is much less stressful on the arm and wrist muscles.  The same can be said of paddles VS straight keys,. 
Just my 2 cents worth.
Jim - W0EB
------ Original Message ------
From: "deadgoose@... [4sqrp]" <4sqrp@...>
Sent: 11/20/2015 6:16:50 AM
Subject: [4sqrp] Favorite key

With the every present danger that this will degenerate into a "Chevy versus Ford" truck discussion, I'd like to start a discussion and analysis of keys. It seems that people on this group spend more time talking about telegraph keys than actually using them. 

For starters, I'd like to exclude bugs, paddles, and "Cootie" keys, and limit our inquiry to "straight" keys. Some we love, and some we hate, and all of us have more than one key, right?  Some have MANY. One would think that the only parameters to set are contact spacing and tension. But, why do some keys "feel" better than others?  

I suffer from being an Engineer (EE) in a previous life, and the last statics/dynamics course I had was as a sophomore in about 1957-58 (one semester of each, taught by an incomprehensible Dutchman in the Civil Engineering Department).

I have a few keys in my collection, to wit:

Whiterook mini-key -- basically a micro switch and lever made out of stiff plastic. Nice for REALLY light QRP field operations, but "feel" is terrible, and no adjustments.

WW2 surplus J-38 - bought in 1954 for $1.00. Classic design. In some sense, a little "light." Very subjective factor.

American Morse Equipment KK-1 "straight" key -- beautiful machine work. Lever seems a bit "short."

Bunnell Navy "flameproof" key. Navy style knob (which I like), and very different feel than the J-38. Most of the mass is between the pivot and the knob, and the distance between the pivot and the knob is about twice the distance between the knob on the AME key.

The early "spark" keys (Titanic, for example) have quite heavy levers, and are quite large.

The only thing I can conclude is that we are dealing not only with a spring-mass system (return spring, lever), but with a rotating mass -- think "balance wheel" in a mechanical watch. The design of the "camel back" or "Swedish pump" keys come to mind, where the mass is concentrated around the pivot point, versus being distributed along the lever. Pivot at the back is not going to change the mathematics of the matter. Torsion spring designs just move the spring back to the pivot.

The "cheese block" keys made from a piece of spring are going to have very little mass. I've not used one since I was a kid and had a "toy" telegraph set.

What is the wisdom of the group on the matter?

73 /paul W3FIS

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