Wednesday, 24 April 2013

To squeeze or not to squeeze.....

The link below convinced me that the iambic or squeeze keying is not as beneficial as we like to believe it to be.

Iambic Keying - Debunking the Myth
by Marshall G. Emm, N1FN

The letters that can be ‘squeezed’ are: C, F, K, L, Y, Q, R
The most common letter used in the English language: E,T,A,O,I,N,S,H,R,D,L,U
So the only squeezable character in that list is the above list is the letter “L

I think we were conned, the theoretical benefit of iambic keying is negligible.

Then there is the mechanical aspects not discussed anywhere as far as I know. With a dual paddle two independent levers must be moved in the same direction (most of the time) and they must act as if it was one solid lever and at other times they must act independently from each other. If one considers the tiny gap between the contacts and the miniscule rotational movement the light return forces (springs or magnets) the light contact forces then one might appreciate that a single lever must be better suited at this task. IMHO the chances of a mechanical hick cup due: to friction, non-return to neutral, poor contact resistance or tracking errors (non-existent) and inertia etc. must be halved when using a single lever paddle.

Let us be honest. Most or many of these errors may only be evident or be unacceptably bothersome at very high speeds. I am not a high speed operator, but a key that works for a QRQ speed freak will simply be perfect when used at normal operating speeds. I would like to be competent (comfortable) at 35 WPM for working in contests and with DX style exchanges.

The only problem with the transition to a single lever paddle I foresee is that I will no longer have a reason or an excuse for my sloppy sending errors.

I am now looking forward to receiving my Begali HST single lever paddle so that I can try and confirm or dispel my theories.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Chasing paper…

It is not often I feel compelled to brag, but finally receiving the following award is somewhat different and I am pleased to share this information.

The award seems very easy to achieve. Basically one requires 200 CW QSOs confirmed with 200 separate South African amateur radio stations. So what is the big deal?

Well the truth is, there are not that many South Africans active on CW anymore. I had to use QSL confirmations dating as far back as 1975 (38 years) to find sufficient QSLs to enable me to qualify for this award.

Sadly looking at my QSLs, many of the radio amateurs are no longer with us.Some 13% are now SK

This award with CW endorsement has only been issued once before to: Chris ZS6EZ in 2001 and the award has been running for some 55 years, since 1958.

I sure hope that this won’t be the last mojo mode endorsed WAZS-200. IMHO theWAZS-300 will be impossible to achieve…..

ZS6A WAZS-200-CW No 2

Out of the blue today, another pleasant surprise!

ZS6A ARRL DX contest CW