NaBloPoMo – Communications: Iambic Paddle

I have posted keys and yesterday I posted about the bug.  Today,  is the paddles or iambic paddle.  The telegraph key and the telegraph each had a single lever.  Both are a single momentary contact normally open switch.  The key is purely manual and the bug is semi automatic.  Both plug directly into the transmission equipment with no additional hardware.

Next is the paddle.  It is basically just two switches and two levers.  One is for sending dashes (dahs) and one for sending dots (dits).  Now it can not be connected directly into a transmitter.  It needs a keyer (some new transmitters have keyer circuits built in).  That is, electronic circuitry to create the dits and dahs as the levels are pressed.  Most keyers will produce dits for as long as the left lever is pressed and dahs as long as the right lever is pressed.  And the nifty thing,  squeeze both and you get dit-dah repeatedly.  They can be simple or very expensive.  Here is the LTA paddle we bought in 2009:

And a random expensive key ($300)

And a $650 model:

There was a $1700 Japanese paddle but I can’t find a picture.

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