Saturday, December 30, 2017

CW key dilemma

Well here we are it's almost the end of 2017 as I was out for a pint with my Ipad and looking at some of the blogs  I follow. I came across PE4BAS's blog and after reading his post I checked out the blogs that he follows to see what else was new in blog world. As I scrolled down I came across the blogs that have not posted in over a month. Low and behold there was has been over 4 weeks since my last post!! I have to be honest this is not the first time I have gone for a month without posting. There was a time when I was posting twice a week and for sure once a week, since our move to Toronto I have not been on the radio as much as I would like. In the evenings  after dinner I just feel too tired to get on the radio. Anyway......I did get on the radio this weekend and found the RAC Canada Winter contest in full swing. I was not prepared to give the contest a full out go but I was able to make a leisurely 7 contacts. With my modest setup I was able to contact CW coast to coast in Canada and a station in France. What I like to do is have QRZ.COM going in the background on the computer as I make a contact I look them up and read about their station.

Some time ago I purchased a Begali Key, the Contour key. I have read lots about having a good key, of how it makes sending the code an art. I have to say that from day one the Contour key and I have had a love-hate relationship! The craftsmanship of the key is next to none as are all of the Begali keys. I am not sure if it's just this key or the contour keys but for way to long when ever I use this key I send extra dots and dashes or the spacing gets screwed up. I used to think it was just me and my sloppy fist until I did more portable op's and used the Mini Palm paddle.  I just never seemed to miss a beat with this paddle there was no extra anything and the code was very smooth all the time. I have contacted Begali and exchanged many emails about adjusting the key, cleaning the contacts on the key and spacing the contacts on the key. It just seems to be the same old frustration with the Contour key. When I got on the radio today for the RAC contest I started out with the Begali key and after sending some very simple but very embarrassing exchanges I switched to the Mini Palm Paddle and exchanges were sent with not one error. I would put the Begali key up for sale in a second but it has my call engraved in it. I still think nothing can be said for a good quality key but it seems the Begali Contour is just not for me.


  1. Welcome back to the blog, mine was down for some time to but I have it back up and I’m trying to post on a regular basis again.

    Keys are like an expensive pair of shoes. They look very nice, but we don’t actually know how they are going to feel until we wear them for a while... or in the case of a key use it for a while.

    Happy new year, I wish you all the best in 2018.

    72 de Mike KQ9RP

    1. Good morning Mike and very nice to hear from you. A new pair of shoes is a very good way of looking at it but unfortunately with Bengali there is no store in town to try on the fit.
      All the best in the New Year!