I suspect Richard’s and the problem you are referring to when in charge of a FT-817 has to do with the dot & dash memory feature.
When I bought my FT-817, it fortunately came with dot & dash memory enebled by default, so I can operate the double lever paddle in perfect iambic mode. You can be touching the dot lever while the keyer is still sending a dash after a previous touch you made on such lever and viceversa.
I started CW with a very basic straight key like this one:
Soon later I bought an electronic keyer and I home brewed my first single lever paddle. Don’t have a picture of it as there were no digital cameras or mobile phones with built in cameras at that time.
When you use a single lever paddle, you don’t need the dot-dash memory feature.
Not too long later I got my Hy-Mound 2 lever paddle. I guess it was back in 1985 or 86 and it’s the key I still use in my main shack. This one:
The shiny metal base was home brewed.
Since I got this 2 lever paddle, I immediately and naturaly learnt the iambic operation thanks to the dot & dash memory feature and the morse code sending is far more confortable and easy this way.
From this site: http://dl6iak.etonlein.de/projects/1999-09-08.htm
I confess I currently have serious troubles when ever I have to send morse code with a double lever key if the keyer or the rig that paddle is connected to doesn’t have the dot & dash memory feature enabled.
Have a look and see if the dot & dash memory feature is enabled and let me know, please.