PA3CLQ's Leuke Linken Nr. 478


Beste mede amateur,

Dear fellow amateur,
In deze mail staat een link waarop het vijfendertigste DKARS-Magazine is te downloaden.

This mail contains a link which the 35th- DKARS-Magazine is available for download.
De Dutch Kingdom Amateur Radio Society is een stichting die de belangen wenst te behartigen van ALLE radioamateurs binnen het gehele Koninkrijk der Nederlanden.

The Kingdom Dutch Amateur Radio Society is an organization that seeks to represent the interests of ALL radio amateurs throughout the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

De DKARS doet niet aan copyright en het staat een ieder vrij om deze link aan zoveel mogelijk radiovrienden door te sturen. 
The DKARS does not copyrighted and any person shall be free to forward this link to as many radio friends.

DKARS Magazine verschijnt 1x per maand en wij stellen het uiteraard op prijs als je ook (radio amateur gerelateerde) bijdrages wilt leveren. 
DKARS Magazine appears 1x per month and we obviously appreciate it if you (related radio amateur) to provide contributions.
Namens de Dutch Kingdom Amateur Radio Society wens ik je veel leesplezier nadat je op deze link hebt geklikt:

On behalf of the Dutch Kingdom Amateur Radio Society, I wish you pleasant reading after you click on this link:

Wil je in plaats van een PDF te downloaden het Magazine on-line doorbladeren? 
Dat kan ook, ga dan naar deze link:

Want to download the magazine browsing on-line instead of a PDF? This can also go to this link:

Mist u een DKARS-Magazine kijk op:

Do you miss a DKARS-magazine see:

En tot slot: heb je kopij, een mening, gevraagd of ongevraagd advies: dat kan 24 uur per dag, 7 dagen per week via

And finally, do you copy, an opinion, solicited or unsolicited advice: it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through

73 namens de DKARS 
Peter de Graaf 
Secretaris DKARS


[skcc] Ready to try a cootie...looking for tips and advice #Cootie

Ok cootie OPs, I'm ready to get my feet wet ...

I have a hand tremor that sometimes makes standard straight key a challenge, especially when I'm tired or nervous ( just getting over nervousness as a new OP), So I want to try cootie keying.

I have a nice Vibroplex Vibrokey that I have jumped to make it work like a straight key and have experimented a little, but want some tips and direction before I learn some bad habits (don't want to unlearn them).

I've read a good bit on the web, but figure my fellow SKCC OPs might have some good tips as well.

I guess I'm asking for the 3 or 4 things to either avoid doing or things to make sure I'm doing.

On my straight key I'm currently good at about 10-13 wpm send and receive, but have been using 18ish wpm character speed when sending (unless I am in QSO with someone who called slower)
Thanks min advance
VRY 73 DE KQ4MM - Brian

Try the Vizkey cootie.

It is very forgiving. Soft action. Not a speed demon but very easy to use. A favorite of mine. 
Good luck, Jeff n2kof


Brian, obviously you have not located Cootie Corner in the SKCC groups topics.

I'm getting my dinner call so I'll be happy to get in touch for Cootie discussions later.

In the meantime, check out the Cootie corner and also my QRZ page.
Cheers, Mike, K5MP

Brian, I just remembered one additional source of cootie information you should read.

On the SKCC web site, click on the Newsletter link, then select June 2017 News Letter.

Somewhere near the end of the Newsletter you will find my article on Cooties.

Read that for what it has to offer.
Mike, K5MP

Page 21


I used an N3ZN-SLR for about 2 years before jumping to the begali swing.
The SLR is a great key, but in full disclosure once I used a Begali sculpture swing there was no turning back...

Editor... SLR or SL-R not found

Begali at:

Begali sculpture swing


For me the Begali HST II is the best.

Include it in your list of possible manufactured keys.
73,Ed - ad7gr


As an owner and user of the Begali Sculpture Swing, I could not agree more about that being the absolute goal for a Cootie user.

You asked for a few simple tips, and tip number one would be (in my opinion) that you should not start out with a $500 Plus Cootie before you are convinced this is the right answer for you.
In my QRZ page you will find that the Vibroplex Vibrokeyer was my first attempt at Cootie keying, but if I had to declare why I decided to look further for a better fit it would be that I felt that key produced an unfavorable abrupt, hard stop at each end of the key stroke.

I can further declare that after I fashioned my first home brew sawblade Cootie key I was immediately convinced the softer feel was most enjoyable.

Further refinements of the home brew idea brought even better results, and launched my sights upward to the high-end commercially made Cooties.
Don't take the plunge into a costly solution until you have at least tried your hand at a homebrew effort.

If you feel incapable to fabricate your own, let me know and I will try to find a reasonable answer for you.
Tip number two would be to adopt what I find to be the preferred method of cootie keying, that being to make sure you use alternate keying strokes, i.e. don't make two sequential strokes on the same side of the key.

My best technique is to begin a word or sentence as if I am using a Bug by beginning a dash on my index finger (I am right handed) then use my thumb for the next character, whether it is a dash or a dot.

Then alternate from one to the other side without keying twice successfully on the same side of the key. By the same token, if the character begins with a dit, then I start with my thumb to begin the alternating motion.

If that is confusing, we can talk more about that.
I witness many Cootie users who apparently struggle with that alternating method as I hear obvious attempts to string multiple dits from the same side of the key as opposed to alternate sides of the key.

You would be surprised how choppy and cumbersome it is to ignore the side to side alternating strokes.

Once that becomes second nature, I can testify that your code speed will increase dramatically.
I know you will soon feel you are drinking out of a fire hose as you delve into all that is written on this subject.

I'll suspend my comments for now and await your invitation for more help.
Good luck. Cheers, Mike, K5MP

Thanks for all the advice and replies ..

I've read the cootie corner thread, and a good part of whats on the web, plus watched a fair number of videos...

I've got a Vibroplex Vibrokeyer setup for cootie and I'm practicing the tips I've been provided.

I figure in a week or so when I get my nerve up I may actually try a QSO cootie style, lets hope none of you are the first victim ..ha ha...
VRY 73 DE KQ4MM - Brian

When I used a cootie, some time back,,,,,,,,,

I was also a bug user, I used my thumb for the start if it was a dit and the finger for a starting dah.

Like when I started with a straight key, I would verbalize the code in my mind.

When I used a cootie, I did the same, saying Dididahdit.

It seemed to help make my fingers manipulate the paddles better.

When I started CW back in 1956/57, I would say CW as I went down the road reading road signs.

The real secret to sending CW is to hear well what you are sending.

I mostly use cans to copy or use my hearing aids tied directly to my receiver.

Outside distractions are not good.

Over the ear are the best, properly fitted so as to not to be too tight or too heavy.

In warmer climates, the ones with terry cloth covers keep sweat from trickling down my cheeks.

I hope this helps and good luck.

73, K8JoePalooka
I have both Begalis and they are great cootie keys.

But you can also sent fast and accurate with a shorted out paddle.

I have an N3ZN key that I also use regularly.

I find doing the Cootie movement in a paddle hand position very comfortable and easier to go fast. 
Here’s a photo of one of my Begalis and my N3ZN:

73, Art, W2NRA
I have a little video instruction on a Russian KDM Sideswiper here:

Regards, David N1EA
Interesting blog post about Vibroplex single lever key.

This is what I use for a cootie.

Makes a lot of sense to me.


Tips - Two videos and one article that are well done and very helpful:
An introduction to the Sideswiper - IK0YGJ

CW with a Sideswiper: improving timing and spacing with the Begali CW Machine - IK0YGJ

The Art of Side-Swipery - KD0CA

73, Ed - ad7gr

This is my Vibrokeyer wired as a cootie.
I replaced the R-finger piece for a thumb piece,


Many more articles, videos, instructions written and video are available here :

I recommend my method of using the cootie because it makes it easier to keep using other types of Morse keys.
I have no problem going from straight key to cootie key to bug key to electronic keyer and paddles and back again with this method.
You'll find my instructions on that page along with other excellent tips and advice.
73, David N1EA
I think your method is where I have ended up to date.

I initially start with the finger side, alternating, then from there just what ever happens, but always alternating.

If I focus on the key in practice I occasionally find I may occasionally start a new word with the same side, but again always alternating left to right after that.

It does seem to just become natural and flow once you get into it.

I have had now actually one QSO cootie mode ( thanks Rich W9RAC for being the victim) and it was so fun, I;m definitely hooked.

I did once or twice get confused and use the same side twice or 3 times in a row , but that quickly went away as I settled down.
Also big thanks to W4RQ - Rich who willingly and without coercion listened to and critiqued my sending via a recording I made and sent to him, the ensuing torture has ended in our scheduling a regular cootie practice session.
Again, thanks to all who responded and for the links and encouragement
VRY 73 DE KQ4MM - Brian/

Brian, I'm happy to hear you are ready to conquer the Cootie world.

One item I don't recall sharing with you is the attachment from N1EA from the web site which illustrates one of two methods you should choose as you develop your Cootie fist.

I think I previously mentioned I chose the second method which I found to be more fluid and quite simple to master.

If you are not fully burned out with your constant review and study of this topic, then you really should give some attention to this.
Good luck, and I sincerely hope to be one of your earliest victims. I'm sure it will be quite a pleasurable experience.
Good luck, and please give me a shout when you see me on the SKED page.
Cheers, Mike, K5MP

Here's a brilliant idea from Steve N4LQ
A video he just made

73, David N1EA
See for info below:

How To Send With A Sideswiper Or Cootie Key.
Suggestions from David J. Ring, Jr., N1EA as learned from sideswiper greats from the present and past and his own fumblings.
Want to Send with a Sideswiper or Cootie Key? Here's how! 
Here are two ways of trying cootie key without much work are given below:
• 1. The bug rubber band method. Tie the vibrator to the damper with a rubber band, readjust the dot contact adjustment to produce a good steady contact. This (of course!) is reversible.
• 2. Take a single lever paddle, short the dot/dash contact posts with a wire. Plug key into straight key jack.
If you've never spotted the rare cootie key, either the wild or domesticated species, a recording is here: 
Demonstration of cootie key sending. 
(It is of me when I had just learned to send on the cootie several years ago - the tenuous cootie key with stage fright. 
Sometimes a cootie (also called a sideswiper) is confused with an expert on the hand key. Some hand key operators can achieve 30 wpm which is also a fast cootie key speed. Here is a recording of a fast hand key: 
Recording of a fast hand key 
When learning the cootie, I tried with the "fingers start first" system recommended by some wire telegraphists and old timers and I found it very smooth but I also found it very confusing as I wanted to send with a bug and one key confused the other! 
I soon modified this to use this method: 
Start each letter with the same hand motion as a bug, then alternate the closures from that point. Thus a morse character beginning with a dash would always start with the fingers; a character beginning with a dot, the thumb. This was my only modification of the LRLRLR type (or RLRLRLRL etc.) type of motion.
I can force myself to send "fingers grab first" but it seems on the next letter, I'm leading as if I'm sending on a bug again. So I didn't fight it, I went with the flow. 
Unevenness - I have noticed that I occasionally get "confused" about which side to send on - but since a cootie is bi-directional, I have learned not to worry about it, so any delay or break in the flow is minimized. Basically I adopt the "if it feels like it should go this way in motion, do it." approach. 
Adjustment of sideswiper: Most operators find that it is easier to send clearly with different spacings on the left and right. I give myself a bit more spacing on the left hand side (which closes with the push of my fingers). I also add a bit more spring on that side with the Vibroplex Sideswiper: 
N1EA's Modified Vibroplex VibroKeyer. 
The keys settings should be adjusted for CLARITY of sending. 
The hand key recording mentioned above was from a 1910-era disk recording. At the beginning I sent the same text as later sent by hand key by keyboard. How fast is the fellow going? He is uneven, but he sends between 23 and 25 wpm. 
The signal which sounds like "III" is the international Morse for "period". The sound for the comma (now) used to be the sound for the exclamation point which now has no sound for it. There were other differences in early 20th century Morse but I forget what they were. I think the last change was the dropping of the separator signal (used to separate fractions from whole numbers) to the hyphen (which is still currently used for this) around 1965.
73, David Ring, N1EA   SKCC & SSN Group


"Bug with Two Levers" which I have called "Bug with 'cootie dasher'"

Attach is a translation of the article that Lery UA3AO wrote for his book on Russian keys.

This appendix to his book is concerned only with the very interesting "Bug with Two Levers" which I have called "Bug with 'cootie dasher'"

Lery took a video of this type of key in operation:

More of this type of key here:

See eventual PLL Nr. 475

I just received an email from Bruna Begali, the daughter of Piero Begali the Italian telegraph key maker.

It seems that on his own, Piero heard about this key and is designing one now!

Great news for lovers of the bug with dasher cootie.
73, David Ring, N1EA


Hello Friends

Some thoughts about my cootie

Yesterday evening, we had a nice 80m EU session with all reports above 599.

Seems that propagation gods are kind to us again!
I began with my HB cootie (hacksaw blade) but I had to switch back to HST.
It seems that my cootie had bad contacts, or that the contacts were bumping?

The distance between the point where the blade is fixed and the contacts is 60mm.

Probably a little too long.

I tried to increase the blade/contact gap, but travel is too far and I do not like the feeling.
On the other hand, with the Begali HST contacts are perfect, but the movements are somewhat "hard", as there is absolutely no flexibility in the moving lever.

I tried to increase stiffness (with the small magnet setting) but with no appreciable change.
I appreciate the feeling of blade, where the keying is more personalized, in my opinion, than with the HST.
But I have to find a good mechanical set-up, so as to get very stable contacts, and a better blade.

Yesterday evening Martin G4ZXN suggested to use a ruler or a nail file to get a more stiff blade.

I have to go to a hardware store today, and I will look for some "good" blade.
Anyway, I enjoy very much our sessions and the friendship of the group.
I now make some QSO with cootie, aside our sessions, but my keying is not always very good.

Sometime I'm lost in the process and cannot find where to go: right, left, dash or dit!! (you've probably noticed).
It is not always easy to switch from cootie to el-bug, although I keep the HST for both modes.
So dear friends, thanks for all and have a nice week.
73 de Gerard, F6EEQ


I have the same experience with my hacksaw blade cootie vs. the LLaves cootie.

The LLaves contacts are located at the rear and the lever is thick brass.

When contact is made you can feel it hit, hard plus the bang can be heard in the next room!

Looking at the waveform on my scope indicates some contact bounce which was a real surprise.

I doubt if anyone notices but it does show visually.

My homebrew hacksaw cootie uses brass bolt heads as the contact.

I sanded the paint off the blade, ground off the teeth and it's very smooth.

When the blade hits the brass heads there is no contact bounce on the scope and the touch is very soft.

At first I felt the blade was too soft so I sawed off an inch and it feels better now.

I can send faster dits on the LLaves but better code on the hacksaw.

73, Steve N4LQ

About the same thing here Steve.

The hack saw blade has a lot less pressure than by Sculpture Swing but I can send a little better with the HB.

I added a second set of L brackets to make it a little stiffer but still noting like the Begali.

The only reason I don't use the HB more is I have to hold it down.

Still have not found a weight to make it weigh more yet.

Still looking.

Allen KA5TJS

Convert BUG to Cootie

Video I just made

Steve N4LQ

The latest Space Weather from Tamitha Skov, Nov 9, 2017.

...a spotless Sun, yet a huge solar storm hits Earth ...
This storm is compounding amateur radio issues we already are having due to the very low solar flux. ...

September 28 edition Space Weather broadcast from Tamitha Skov.

Because it is so interesting to repeat Darrels & Tamitha Skov

The October 31 edition of Space Weather brodcast from Tamitha Skov.

Cheers, Darrel, aa7fv.

Anyone have a Bunnell double speed they would part with?

Other commercial SS keys would be of interest too.

Steve N4LQ ok on QRZ page

Like this?

What would be the value today?


Rag Chew Party” is the latest activity proposed by our CW enthusiast friend Jos – ON6WJ, straight from his vivid imagination.

Dear Radio Friends, also tired of these contest style "5NN TU" QSO's ?

To promote QRP & CW activity in a far more relaxing way ,

the "EU QRP FOXHUNT" proudly presents a weekly one hour Ragchew Party starting on Monday November 13, 2017 and ending on March 19, 2018

The Ragchew Party is an informal ham radio event and should be considered as a friendly meeting amongst CW QRP enthusiasts.

We’d like to think a QSO duration time of at least 6 minutes is a reliable measure of a meaningfull 2-way conversation, exchanging name, QTH, rig details and other info.


1 - minimum duration time of a QSO = 6 minutes (start&ending time)

2 - Low power, (preferably) all kind of simple rigs & antenna's -commercial as home brew- is highly recommended!

Times & frequencies

Sunday: 09:30-10:30 UTC

Rag-chew QRG : 30meter :10123 khz and/or 20 meter 14053 Khz +/- QRM ie: a 5Kz "window" with R-C as centre

Monday: 19:30-20:30 UTC

Rag-chew QRG: 40 meter7023 Khz and/or 80 meter 3553 Khz +/- QRM ie a 5Kz "window" with R-C as centre

Good luck to all participants and, most of all, have fun!

Jos – ON6WJ

from Morsum Magnificat Nr.1 autumn 1986 page 16

Congratulations mon vieux Jos, keep up the good work.

Have a nice week gents, BCNU.

73, Yann F5LAW

By OM Yann F5LAW SideSwiperNetGroup


73, from the town at the rivers "De Bergsche Maas" and "De Dongen" Geertruidenberg (800+ years city rights) at: 51.702211N 4.853854E

Editor Jan Pieter Oelp PA3CLQ



My simple website about Gigantic DF-Antennas

Part 1 "DF-Antenna Wullenweber Array"

Part 2 "DF-Antenna USSR Variants"

Part 3 "DF-Antenna USA Variant"

Next Part 4 "USSR OTHRA DUGA 1,2 & 3" at: