Re: Morserino with a straight keyer

Chuck Broadwell, W5UXH

I started with a straight key in 1960, and have been CW only since then.  But, I built my first keyer (a W9TO with four vacuum tubes, two tube regulators and a mercury relay for the key line) within the first year or so.  As for any topic of "which is better", you will get recommendations from one extreme to the other.  I appreciate the sound of an excellent fist on a key, or a bug, but feel for learning, the electronic keyer is good because it provides some of the timing needed for clean CW keying.  It still requires the user to develop an ear for properly timed code.

The W9TO keyer was not "iambic".  If I recall correctly, when used with a dual lever paddle (two J-38 keys mounted back to back) the dash "overrode" the dot.  When I moved to an iambic keyer, it probably happened to be Type A, but all I know now is that my fingers prefer A.  Years ago, when rigs first came out with internal keyers, I believe it was common that they did not provide an option for A or B, but only had B.  Everyone who learned on B of course finds it hard to use A and vice versa.  I feel that B is more demanding on finger timing at higher speed.  

The other option that comes up is "to squeeze or not squeeze".  Again you will find proponents for each one.  N1FN wrote a paper years ago to state his case for non squeeze:
I think K7QO takes the side of squeeze keying.  I do not know if this article is where he makes his arguments for squeeze keying or not:

I am on the side of not squeezing.  I use a dual lever paddle, iambic type A, and do not squeeze.  A few years ago I decided to try a single lever paddle thinking perhaps some of my errors might be reduced.  My conclusion was that the type of errors merely changed, but my error rate was still higher than I care for.

I think the most important thing to do while learning any manner of sending is to be able to recognize errors and clearly correct them.  If errors are made and not corrected, then depending on the nature of the error, it can make copy much more difficult for the other op.  I have had QSOs where I had to really struggle to try to figure out what was being sent.  I would prefer that the other op QRS to a speed where their error rate is reasonably low than to push the speed with a higher error rate.

Las Cruces, NM

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