Friday, October 01, 2010

Going buggy

I had a very pleasant QSO on 40 Meters tonight with Crit, K4BXN who hails out of Hendersenville, NC.  Crit was using his Ten Tec Omni to a doublet and was manning his bug.  I would've sworn on a stack of bibles that he was using a keyer and paddles - that's how smooth his fist was!

I am very respectful of and admire anyone who can make a bug sound so good!  I don't do too badly on a bug, but I am a "green behind the ears" rookie compared to the likes of K4BXN.  I do want to get that good someday, so I have decided to try and get back in the groove, as it were.  I am going to drop the keyer and paddles for a bit and will make a conscious effort to improve the smoothness of my fist on my Vibroplex.

While it's nice to listen to the "perfection" of an electronic keyer, it is also nice to listen to the richness and "human-ness" of a good op on a bug.  I have to admit, though, that it can also be painful to listen to someone who doesn't practice and who doesn't make an effort to be as good as possible.  I don't want to be accused of falling into the second category; so I will stop being lazy for a while and will put a bit more effort into my bugsmanship.

I have been inspired!  

See? You never know just who and what you are going to run into on any given moment on the bands.  That's what makes this hobby such a hoot!

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


  1. Hi Larry, good luck if and when you give the bug a tap or for me the paddle keeps me confused enough.

  2. Hi Larry,

    I'll be listening...

    I understand exactly what you're saying here. I do my log book with Microsoft Outlook. When I work an operator like this, I place a special "check mark" beside their name. I also take notes about the QSO, enter their e-mail, and web page info.

    What I like MOST about CW is this ability to make "music" with the key. To me, it IS a form of music.

    It makes the difference between "just a QSO" and something special. Chatting with an operator like this is inspiring.

    Perhaps one day, I'll branch out and try a bug. Never used anything but a standard hand key or spring loaded paddles. I'd love to try some of the others.

    I hear the LARGE keys are a pleasure to use and I'm very curious about magnetic paddles. I need to get to Dayton and place some of them in my hands.

    Sad to say, I've never been there. But now that I'm retired, it looks promising.

  3. Anonymous3:44 PM

    Larry, I agree. K4BXN is near perfect with his bug. It takes much attention to detail to send great CW with a bug! So many fists today give no attention to their sending, even with the aid of a keyer. Spaces between characters and words are not consistent. Characters themselves haven't a correct 3:1 dash to dot ratio. Call signs get butchered: WA becomes didahdadidah, one character. Name becomes nag, test becomes nst, an on and on. It takes but a microsecond to send smooth and FB CW like Crit's. I read the mail on his signal often, just for the sake of digging the dirt out of my ears. His CW, and urs too, are the marks of hams who take pride in their hobby down to the split second. I certainly appreciate it! FB blog, Larry! CU on the air. 73, Ken, WA8REI