Keying Three Ways

I use three methods to key my rig: an Iambic paddle, a bug, and the keyboard. I’m not really counting the J-38 strait key since it’s rarely connected. Lately I’ve been using the bug so much that I was loosing touch with the paddles. While listening for stations I haven’t worked during the K3Y operating event, I matched the speed of my bug to my keyer. By ear, it sounds like the bug sends dits at about 23 words per minute. The I started sending a little code practice with the paddles and switching to the bug to send the same code. My fist improved right away! Hearing the correct letter spacing and dash length before sending with the bug makes a real difference. There’s nothing like a bad bug fist. Really long dahhhhs and really fast dits all running together like the op never needs to take a breath. Hate to admit it but that’s me as I get spun up into a QSO. My mind races around trying to think of stuff to say and as soon as I come up with something I feel the need to spit it all out there ASAP. It really comes down to how much you practice though, doesn’t it. If I were to make two or three Qs a day, rag chewing would come easier for sure.

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