Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Bencher straight key

I bought a new straight key (a Bencher), because I sold my old one many years ago. I don't want to unlearn to work with a straight key. It has been 25 years ago I worked with a straight key for the last time. Boy oh boy, it is not easy. All those years working with a electronic keyer... OK, starting with 15 wpm. Faster is not yet possible with a straight key. This nice video is not mine but comes from WA2JSG. In the early hours of Sunday I worked on 40 meter with CW LZ1NP Lubo from Sofia, Bulgaria. With PSK31 YO8CGR Eugen from Campulung, Romania. I was reported with WSPR on 40 meter by UA3BZ from Moscow. Have a nice Sunday.


  1. OK Paul, get ready for our cw QSO in a week or so. I will be using a WW2 Royal Air Force straight key. I am also a member of SKCC but don't remember my number, hi. 73 Dick

  2. Hello Dick, I looking forward to it. I Think on 20 meter? Or 30 meter? 73, Paul

  3. I have the Bencher straight key as well. I can only do about 12wpm with it, though. I also have a Kent paddle and I can go a bit faster with that but not too fast or it runs away with me and I get extra dots and dashes. I think I just have slow reflexes...

  4. Nice looking key. I have a copy of a BY-1 Iambic Paddle made by a good friend of mine and it is a beauty every bit as good as the original I just wish I could do it justice. I only have three CW contacts in my log. I go into a blind panic on the air and cannot switch my brain from RX to TX and back again fast enough. One day I might have the time to conquer my fear. You might like these US Army Morse instructional videos.

  5. I LOVE a good "straight key" and enjoy listening to a "good fist" above all else.

    You hear "personality" with this type of key and the fact that (at least MOST people) are limited to around 15 wpm is an added plus.

    I'm forced to use a "paddle" on contests but my preference in a normal QSO is always a "straight key".

    I wish more people would use one....

    John N8ZYA

  6. @Julian: I do have the same problem with my electronic keyer: when I go too fast I give too much dots or dashes especially with numbers. Hi.

    @Steve: Yes, I know what you mean. Sometimes in the early days I got hyperventilation and sweaty hands when someone replies my CQ. Thanks for the link I will watch it.

    @John: there should be an agreement about the speed of CW on radio amateur bands. Lets say 15 or 18 wpm. When I call CQ with 20 wpm and someone replies with 35 wpm I let it go. I can't work with 35 wpm. Yes, a good fist is certainly personal. Sometimes I recognize someone the way he is keying. When working CW DX Station I use my computerized automatic keyer so I can work up to 60 wpm. Hi.

    Thank you all for replying. 73, Paul


Thank you for dropping by and leaving a comment. 73 Paul

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