Sideswiper technique advice?

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Sideswiper technique advice?

Postby aa7fv » Fri Oct 02, 2015 7:38 pm

After 50 years of using a paddle and electronic keyer, I'm trying to teach myself to use a cootie or sideswiper key. Reading different documents on the web, there is conflicting advice on how to send with the sideswiper. What opinions do people have?
1. Start each new letter with the index finger side, regardless of how the previous character finished.
2. Start each letter with whichever finger was not used at the end of the previous character.
3. As above, but always start a new word with the index finger, no matter how the previous character ended.
4. Just start each character with whichever finger feels natural, ignoring how the previous character ended.

I started teaching myself using (4), but now wish I'd started my practice using (1). Any thoughts from those experienced with the cootie key? I wonder what technique professional telegraphers used back in 1908?

Darrel, aa7fv.
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2015 12:00 am

Re: Sideswiper technique advice?

Postby W4QO » Tue Jul 26, 2016 3:39 am

I have been using CW for 58 years but would also like to play with a sideswiper. But I'm wondering if this
makes going back to a keyer a problem? Any ideas? Jim W4QO
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2006 4:58 am

Re: Sideswiper technique advice?

Postby W5ALT » Tue Aug 30, 2016 4:56 pm

ON technique, I alternate fingers independent of which was used to end a charaxter. MY advice is practice and see which way seems more automatic.
As far as alternating with a keyer, I learned a swiper before I had a keyer and have no trouble switching between keyer paddles, bug and sideswiper.
My advice practice off the aire, then decide for yourself
Walt W5ALT
Walt, W5ALT
Posts: 177
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2006 2:11 am
Location: Houston/Austin, Texas

Re: Sideswiper technique advice?

Postby NB8F » Mon May 22, 2017 12:52 am

If the letter starts with a dit, start with the thumb. If it starts with a dah, start with the finger and alternate back and forth. Work on making it clear and consistent before speed. Practice just tapping things around the house. That's what got me proficient in a cootie. Now that is all I use and have been told my cootie skills are pretty good. More than happy to make a video if people think it's beneficial.
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Joined: Sun May 21, 2017 10:30 pm

Re: Sideswiper technique advice?

Postby W4rq » Mon Sep 04, 2017 3:41 am

Jim, I found using the Cootie does not interfere at all, I switch back and forth all the time!
And as for technique, once you start sending, always alternate back and forth, side to side.
After you get into the swing of it, you won't even think about it.
The Cootie is the most relaxing way to send, it just takes practice, just like anything else.
Rich W4RQ
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed May 07, 2014 5:02 pm

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