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Learning to use paddles

To all the Activators with whom I have recently made contacts;

Thank you for your patience!

I’ve used a straight key all my life, but have decided that I need to learn how to use paddles. I practice while I’m off the air, and can zip along just fine, but put me in a live QSO and all that training seems to be for naught. I know it’s going to take a while to get comfortable with the darn things, so please bear with me in the process.

Patrick AC0SR


Your paddling sounds fine Patrick, keep up the good work!

Barry N1EU

Thank you for the chase on my activation yesterday Patrick. I am struggling with CW. When the exchange is more than call sign and RST, I start to get a little confused. I learned dots and dashes in the early 1980s for a Novice ticket but let it expire when I went into the service. Just got back into radio 3 years ago.
Yesterday in the wind, my fingers started getting a little cold. I was using the Palm Pico Paddles with a Yaesu 817 and a trapped end fed half wave wire on Green Mountain W0C/FR-085, above Boulder, Colorado.


This is the only PADDLE I’ve ever used - the Paddle Steamer Waverley, which was one of the Humber ferries before the Humber bridge was built!


Musta been a bear to stuff in the go bag! Not to mention humping it up the hill!!


1 Like

Yes but with steam power - everything is possible!!

Sorry all - at least this is in the off-topic section HI


Well Ed that’s news to me. I’ve only known the Waverly as ferry plying the Clyde. Certainly as a young lad, with my parents, heading off ‘doon-the-watter’ to Rothesay, Millport and exotic sounding Tighnabruaich and Arrochar. Good times with half decent summers (well maybe it seemed that with youthful thoughts - hi!).



Me too Jack. Several times have I gone ‘doon the watter’ on the Waverly. The paddle steamers that crossed the Humber are listed at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humber_Ferry and that list does not include the Waverly.

Going back a long time now Ed but I remember the commotion about the Humber Bridge when it opened. I went to look at it when I visited a fried from University who lived in Hull. We took the wrong turning in the car and had to drive across and thus pay. Then we were on the wrong side of the Humber and had to pay again to come back. Or drive all the way round to Goole and back. Doesn’t seem like 36 years ago!

Maybe getting confused with HMS Snaefell, Although i am not sure if this ship ever worked on the Humber.

My apologies it’s not the same ferry Jack - it looks quite similar although the humber ones were bigger having to carry cars.

There were three paddle steamer ferries on the Humber. Checking now these were the I believe one was called the Tattershall Castle, one the Wingfield Castle and the third, the Lincoln Castle.

Ditto on that Patrick.

Yesterday my first paddle S2S with G8CPZ and first cw contact for a long long time. Glad Andy had the patience. Worked several stations ssb beforehand then chased Andy on cw. I didn’t realise how the nerves and cold fingers would affect the keying. Lots of dit dit dits.

Thanks Andy.

Practice helps but I think the only way to get up to speed is on the air. QRS and errors included.