First Bug Contacts: McElroy S-600 on the Air

I worked a handful of stations during the MI and Ontario QSO parties from the Radio Club of Tacoma, W7DK, clubhouse last Saturday. The club station rig is a TenTec Omni-VI and Rich, KR7W, helped me connect the club’s McElroy S-600 bug to the TenTec. Usually the bug is connected to the club’s ‘Old Oak Rig’ but the old rig is a little under the weather and being crystal controlled, not much good for contesting. Apparently my skill at sending with a bug was sufficient for others to understand, at least by the big contest stations like N8SS. Most stations came back on the first call. My experience on the air just made my bug bug that much worse.

3 responses to “First Bug Contacts: McElroy S-600 on the Air”

  1. N8SS

    Hope I didn’t stumble over your call. Sometimes the bugs are really tough to copy. Was that an X or a TU? But a well adjusted one is easy to copy. The worst ones are the staccato 40 WPM dits with 7 WPM dahs. Thanks for the call in the MI QSO Party. BTW, I could never get the bug thing to work for me, I keep waiting for that second dah before I remember its a bug.

  2. Don (AC7FA)

    I believe you came right back on the first call, OM. Sending with a bug is fun. The first few times I tried it, I caught myself squeezing the finger piece as if it were an Iambic key. Bug or no bug, the hardest CW stations to copy are the ones that don’t leave any space between letters let alone words. I cannot even read text from a piece of paper that doesn’t have any spaces so how am I supposed to copy CW that doesn’t pause at all? Please listen for my little station in the 7QP contest the first weekend in May. Unless one of my friends invites me to a multi-op, I’ll be calling CQ from my QTH.

  3. N8SS

    Not that my fist is great, but there are a lot of ops behind me. I remember one guy in the MI QSO Party who I swore had plugged his keyer into the paddles port on his rig. I won’t be able to get on until late for the 7QP but hopefully I can work some lowbands near the end. See you then.

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