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Old topic from an old newbie. I used a cheap, straight key many, many years ago as a Novice and General, then had a 50 year hiatus from the ham world. I'm now newly re-licensed as a General and only just gotten my rig. I hope to do a lot of CW and took the CW Academy basic course. I grudgingly followed the mentor's advice and got a (cheap) iambic key. The hand motions seemed all wrong at first and I longed for the straight key. But with time, the iambic way came easier. Now, to comply with SKCC principles I am faced with re-re-learning the straight key. I see much old discussion of key recommendations from some years ago, and wondered if anyone had any opinions (Ha!) about any recent developments. In particular, I wonder if there is any consensus (Ha!) about the Vibroplex combination straight and iambic units? They are certainly pricey as are all Vibroplex products, but for SKCC purposes, would this be a reasonable choice. Of course then there is the problem of switching from straight to iambic, but surely there is a subset of SKCC members who do this?
I have my straight key (a LTA SKCC key) and my dual paddles (MFJ-564) sitting side by side with both plugged into my ICOM 746PRO. The straight key is plugged into the rear connection and the paddles are plugged into the front connection. I often switch back and forth between the two during a QSO. The paddles are on a set speed using the internal keyer. But I can use the straight key to adjust my speed to match my contact as needed. I use the straight key more often but sometimes my old hands start to cramp and I will switch to the paddles for relief. (I don't actually use the iambic mode with the paddles.) Hope you are having fun. 73, Joe N5XGG
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