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Author Topic: Practice Oscillator  (Read 10048 times)

Sunflower

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Practice Oscillator
« on: October 10, 2012, 01:15:22 PM »
http://www.hamradio.com/detail.cfm?pid=H0-001229
Thanks to KC9TNH for sending this pic of a practice oscillitor. I was looking at buying something totally different looking - something in a box.

I posting this on a open thread in case others would like to chim in with opinions on which Practice Oscillators to consider.

Keep in mind I am not a "smart phone" kind of person. Still have a rotary dial in the home.

cockpitbob

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Re: Practice Oscillator
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2012, 03:43:18 PM »
I've used that oscillator and it's fine.  Great for getting started.  And, you can easily wire a plug to it and use it as a straight key with your radio.

gil

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Re: Practice Oscillator
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2012, 04:57:54 PM »
You have to decide if you want to go with a straight key or a paddle... I went with an paddle because most radios these days have built-in iambic keyers and I can output cleaner and faster code with a paddle... Try both, see what you like best...

Gil.

gil

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Re: Practice Oscillator
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2012, 11:55:37 PM »
Tess, PM me your address, I will send you one I have here which I no longer use..

Gil.

KC9TNH

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Re: Practice Oscillator
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2012, 04:29:45 PM »
You have to decide if you want to go with a straight key or a paddle... I went with an paddle because most radios these days have built-in iambic keyers and I can output cleaner and faster code with a paddle... Try both, see what you like best...

Gil.
Great idea (and kudos to your generous offer to Tess). My initial reason for adding the '61 Vibroplex next to the old J-37 was that some evenings my wrist didn't want to make that motion (yeah, some days I mouse alot). Using that different motion let me play when I otherwise might be on the DL. (Besides it's hard to resist a Rube Goldberg lookin' thing with chrome and lots of screws, springs & levers.)

Sunflower

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Re: Practice Oscillator
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2012, 11:41:15 AM »
Great idea (and kudos to your generous offer to Tess). [/quote]
Yes. Lucky Tess. Thank you GIL - address sent. Maybe come January I can pay you for it.

Question about the pic above --- Are those paddles?

gil

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Re: Practice Oscillator
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2012, 12:00:53 PM »
Quote
Maybe come January I can pay you for it.

You already have.

The paddles are not those. They are MFJ paddles, which unfortunately are not good, but they will show you how paddles work. The code oscillator though is great.
You can download the manual here under "Documents." http://k1el.tripod.com/K12.html
It can be used with other paddles of course.

Gil.

Sunflower

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Re: Practice Oscillator
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2012, 04:46:58 PM »
Quote
Maybe come January I can pay you for it.

You already have.

The paddles are not those. They are MFJ paddles, which unfortunately are not good, but they will show you how paddles work. The code oscillator though is great.
You can download the manual here under "Documents." http://k1el.tripod.com/K12.html
It can be used with other paddles of course.

Gil.
I appologize ahead of time for being a pest. That pic on the link is not something I understand. It is hard to visulize actually using it. Maybe it will all make more sense once I have it in my hand. I will be writing back with more questions.

BTW, thank you so very much for wishing to share some equipt with me. Heart touching. I hope it does not make me want to pull my hair out.


About the top part/piece pictured on the link. It sort of reminded me of the chime selector on the drive motion detector. The up and down  arms work to create a particular sytle of sound. Maybe there is no association between them, but reminded of it.

I am looking forward to the oscillator! Thanks again.
Now, to get of the computer and back one of the 21 items on the to-do list today.

underhill

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Re: Practice Oscillator
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2012, 08:05:35 PM »
Sunflower

A bit of a description can be found here

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vibroplex

basically a mechanical keyer to automatically generates dit's when the lever is pressed in one direction, dah's when pressed from the other.  No need for electronics to generate the code. 

MFJ, or other, paddles combined with an electronic keyer simulate this with circuitry.

Underhill

Sunflower

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Re: Practice Oscillator
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2012, 09:51:30 PM »
 ::)Thank you underhill. "Bug" is finally fully understood.
I love the size of those items/bugs. Not too big. Easy to pickup and run. I will need to start thinking of a station to practice. I have two options that might work once unburied.

Sort of exciting. bTW, do people work the bug from their lap? I use a keyboard near my knees due to comfort/pain managment. The reaching up near table level does not work very well.

My main question is, Does it have to be level or on a flat surface?   

KC9TNH

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Re: Practice Oscillator
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2012, 09:09:14 AM »
Lost in the mix perhaps for me what Sunflower was asking. The wiki link shows a bug. If about the pic I posted, it is a PADDLE. Incredibly easy to use, requires either a separate keyer for connection or the internal keyer in the radio, quite common nowadays. Requires THREE wires & stereo plug on the end, one for dits, one for dahs, and the usual common/sleeve/ground presence. Hold it one way it makes dits, for as long as you hold it, based upon the rate at which you adjust the keyer.  Same for dahs. Let go & it returns to neutral position. Springs & levers are adjusted for personal preference in terms of return strength to neutral position and closeness to the contacts - i.e., how much movement you need to work it.

A bug (other thread) works on its own via magnet properties and/or counterweight to adjust the speed downward. A straight key just your classic on/off switch. Vibroplex makes all 3. Sorry for the confusion.

Because they're intended for an operating desk, they (especially bugs) don't lend themselves to being used from the knee position. A straight key on a pilot's kneeboard or the sturdy KY-116 military "leg key" work fine for that.

The key to not surrending to fatigue in using a key or other apparatus at a desk (my thoughts and the Navy's) is to get it AWAY from you. Get your whole forearm supported (on the desk, your upper leg, whatever).

Sunflower

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Re: Practice Oscillator
« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2012, 10:56:40 AM »
KC9TNH
-Thank you for taking the time. I am still confused, but at least now I realize they are not one in the same. Maybe is it like  a sewing machine, one has to try it out to get it.

The pic of leg key is interesting. It looks like it is operated by foot.??? Is that possible, or is the leg key strickly finger touched? I definately will be wanting something I don't have to reach for. I have so many notes to get caught up on.

I did get some CW in last night - mostly listening as transcribing was not clicking.  This is the note I will be putting in my book:
"Because they're intended for an operating desk, they (especially bugs) don't lend themselves to being used from the knee position. A straight key on a pilot's kneeboard or the sturdy KY-116 military "leg key" work fine for that."

Thanks.


KC9TNH

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Re: Practice Oscillator
« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2012, 02:35:50 PM »
The pic of leg key is interesting. It looks like it is operated by foot.??? Is that possible, or is the leg key strickly finger touched?

Thanks.
Actually the key is a standard J-37 or J-38 military straight-key attached to a swivel base that snaps down. The heavy spring band just goes over the upper-thigh & lets you have the key on the upper portion of the leg, just behind the knee. In a sitting position you can just rest your upper arm straight down, forearm goes along your upper thigh & works the key. And, no, they're not meant to be comfortable although they do good work. Attached is a pic of the same basic key, by itself. It has also been attached to a somewhat weighty 3x6" piece of bakelite (think heavy polymer for the time) which was the "training" key, issued in sets with a code-generating machine and students used this in their classroom labs. Same key, many uses.
 :)

Edit to add: You can find that training version of the key regularly (often called the "Mae West" because of its slightly hourglass base shape) on the ham forum classifieds. They go for not too much money; it's the SK on my desk still today. Sometimes they have a J-37 as the key, sometimes the J-38. Only diff is the J-38 uses a small coil spring for the tension adjustment vs. a wide-leaf spring. I like the feel of the leaf but they both work just fine.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2012, 02:39:33 PM by KC9TNH »

Sunflower

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Re: Practice Oscillator
« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2012, 09:08:28 PM »
Thank you KC9TNH. Your description makes the device sound comfortable enough for me.

Sunflower

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Re: Practice Oscillator
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2012, 07:27:27 PM »
The practice oscillator from Gil arrived today. It began chirping as soon as put the battery in. I wanted to try it out on my leg (just above the knee). Changed plans when my drooling dog took an interest in it. He might have thought it was part chicken wing.

Looking forward to using it. Will keep you all posted. 

Radio Preppers

Re: Practice Oscillator
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2012, 07:27:27 PM »