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Badger52
07-01-2011, 12:26
This question comes after seeing the short film mentioned awhile back about SF work with Montagnards that is available at an online archive site. Noting the film segment of someone literally slapping a Morse key, and being into CW myself, I wondered what 05S/18E's who've had the need take (or took) with them when there was a real need for CW.

Having searched for some specifics (and garnered some interesting bonus reading*), I'm curious about what tools might've been taken along that go beyond what was in the supply system or came with the big honkin' green box.

Did most of you use the J45 affair, which I believe is basically a J37 or J38 with a metal spring leg-band setup? If you really preferred a bug or paddle, did you take a favorite key with you or just deal with it?

Other research indicates a pre-World War II bug (J36) but no information as to whether that's something that was in the system in the last 40 years or so.
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* Errata, or "using the search button can yield interesting bunny trails on its own":

wet dog: kudos to your work with your son. Have a genius grand-daughter who it seems might have an affinity for these things as well.

Noting someone's lament during the bonus reading (when it was still part of the course) at the speed requirement dropping from 15 to 10. An older telegraphy work I've been perusing has some sections on what various services' basic quals are, and they specifically noted (at time of publication) that it was 18wpm.

Hope to work someone here sometime; QRS12, with a steady upward trend.

Finally, my antenna noted a comment from an 18E, inspiration for a line on a QSL card, paraphrased: "You guys can hump it outta here if you want, I'm callin' for a ride." Classic.

Thank you for any responses.
Have a safe & very Blessed American Independence Day!
DE KC9TNH

mark46th
07-01-2011, 12:49
I never carried a bug to the field. Too fragile and heavy. AN/GRC109 had a built in key that I used. We did have a leg key that was used when possible... I did use a bug in the commo bunker. A couple of the guys had electronic keys, but, I didn't like them, they had no soul... FWIW, I called myself an 05B. If you wanted to be formal I would answer to 05B4S...

Badger52
07-01-2011, 13:14
FWIW, I called myself an 05B. If you wanted to be formal I would answer to 05B4S...Trackin, understand the skill/ASI thing, was using previously seen short-hand. 05B4S to be sure.

Appreciate your response very much, especially about use of the 109's integral key.

mojaveman
07-01-2011, 21:17
I don't think anyone wanted to use the KY-872 with the AN/PRC-70 after the OA-8990/P Digitial Message Device Group came out in the early '80s. In '84 I completed 18E training with an IMC speed of 15/15 send/receive. After being assigned to Group I only used the leg key to practice keeping up code speed.

longrange1947
07-01-2011, 21:24
Leg Key and key on the 109 were all I ever used when not bursting.

Mark, how many RF burns did you get on your thumb from the damn antenna wire on the 109?? :munchin :D

Peregrino
07-01-2011, 21:50
Still have my leg key from 30 years ago. Hated it with a passion but did finally pass with 15/18 send/recieve. Only made it because they lowered the standard from 18/18. That's what happens when you send a perfectly good 11B3S back to SWCS because you need more O5B3Ss. Took me almost four years and a PCS OCONUS before I escaped the stigma (NTM - I was a particularly unenthusiastic commo man).

mark46th
07-01-2011, 22:57
I believe my thumb is a permanent medium-rare...

wet dog
07-01-2011, 23:02
...before I escaped the stigma (NTM - I was a particularly unenthusiastic commo man).


but you did it, and that is all that matters.

loved my leg key, felt it was my best friend.

longrange1947
07-01-2011, 23:43
Sent to commo school in 68 and hated it. Put in terminations slips every Friday during code, the only time you could terminate commo but not Tng Grp. Had to stop after we went to reduced distance nets and then the FTXs. Just before graduation I was called in to report to the medical course. Seems one of my requests was granted, just no one was told. They needed medics and I was sent there.

Actually, with the exception of staying in Tng Group longer than I really cared to, it gave me some trips I would not normally of gotten as they had a commo and medic rolled into one. :D

You know you have copied too much code when you hear code in the drum beat of a song. :munchin

wet dog
07-01-2011, 23:51
Sent to commo school in 68 and hated it. Put in terminations slips every Friday during code, the only time you could terminate commo but not Tng Grp. Had to stop after we went to reduced distance nets and then the FTXs. Just before graduation I was called in to report to the medical course. Seems one of my requests was granted, just no one was told. They needed medics and I was sent there.

Actually, with the exception of staying in Tng Group longer than I really cared to, it gave me some trips I would not normally of gotten as they had a commo and medic rolled into one. :D

You know you have copied too much code when you hear code in the drum beat of a song. :munchin

Funny, I failed the final code test (by one 5 letter word group), in order to graduate AIMC. After a sort break, returned, only to pass 18/18 only one week into the next class.

Ended up grading papers,....

longrange1947
07-02-2011, 15:05
13/13 kicked my butt, passed 15 and 18 before I could copy 13. Must have been a mind thing.

Most embarrassing moment in commo school, waking up for "a break" and tied up in my head set by "Squeaky Moore". :D

albeham
07-02-2011, 19:30
I loved Code school.. had a 28/28 when I completed my only time in the class.
Helped that I am ham op...

Still have my leg-key and use it when I am on the QRP rig. . Code GODS UNITE...

AL


QRV 40 meters ARL eleven 7.040 MHz....

BT AR

ZonieDiver
07-02-2011, 20:36
In November 1970, I washed out of IMC at 12/10. SFC Majerle <sp> threatened to "shove this hook up <my> ass, and twist" (he had a prosthetic hook on his code-sending hand) - but still recommended me for recycle to Weapons (or 'Billy Bang-Bang' - if you remember him and his 'brother Butch' - as my former Commo compadres referred to us 11B/C's).

It hurt, ego-wise, but came in handy on a team, once I got some antenna theory in cross training.

wet dog
07-02-2011, 22:11
I loved Code school.. had a 28/28 when I completed my only time in the class.
Helped that I am ham op...

Still have my leg-key and use it when I am on the QRP rig. . Code GODS UNITE...

AL


QRV 40 meters ARL eleven 7.040 MHz....

BT AR

Were you able to copy a recorded self? Smokin' fast brother! Too cool!

I found online a code speed program, just listening to 28 is interesting. Would not begin to try sending that fast. My brain has a knack for obscure antenna theory, wave strength, etc., but code was always a chore, but I finally got good at it.

mark46th
07-02-2011, 22:50
Copying at 25-28 wpm, i was usually 4-5 groups behind. When I was at my best, I could break a msg on the one-time pad at up to 15 wpm....

wet dog
07-02-2011, 23:09
I never trusted myself to attempt breaking code while coping. I did however, supervise a young and new 18E in the SCIF who had the trigraph memorized and would copy, (triagraph in his head) and write the coded text in the clear above the cipher text.

Needless to say, he was recruited to another organization and there remains a valuable asset.

His great uncle (a brit) worked at Benchley Park. He was born to be commo.

mark46th
07-03-2011, 12:17
Dog- That's what I meant. I could copy in the clear on the one time pad. I guess I should have told someone I could do it.

wet dog
07-03-2011, 12:23
Dog- That's what I meant. I could copy in the clear on the one time pad. I guess I should have told someone I could do it.

Impressive.

I can type a letter with one hand and rock the baby with another, but can't do either one very well.

Never got the whole multi-tasking thing down.

Ret10Echo
07-03-2011, 13:32
Dog- That's what I meant. I could copy in the clear on the one time pad. I guess I should have told someone I could do it.

Never got to that point. Came out of Code at 20/25... My claim to fame was I would send left-handed and copy right handed (Not at the same time:D). Found I was more consistent (clear) as a lefty.

Stuck with the issued leg-key throughout.

longrange1947
07-03-2011, 13:34
The senior commo on the team copied in the clear all the time. We were on several pilot teams together with 10th. He found out not to hand me a message and have me put on tape without my morning coffee. :D

I miss the sucker, he passed during a tng accident on 19.

Badger52
07-05-2011, 07:14
Thank you all for the responses thus far, inspiring as well as entertaining.

Copying at 25-28 wpm, i was usually 4-5 groups behind. When I was at my best, I could break a msg on the one-time pad at up to 15 wpm....I have heard of these mythical creatures...

albeham: QSL. Will keep :lifter with the J37, spare of which goes along QRP at times, and training the brain (or getting out of the way perhaps).

mark46th
07-05-2011, 09:34
I have heard of some old navy guys that were close to 40 wpm...

Ret10Echo
07-05-2011, 09:49
I have heard of some old navy guys that were close to 40 wpm...

Met some intercept folks at the Field Station... Copying at ridiculous speeds. They were a little "different"...:eek:

longrange1947
07-05-2011, 17:27
My under standing was that the Navy guys intercewpt guys only received and and went crazy fast. Sending was always on a bug for crazy fast again. My rhythm was lousy on a bug and never did get it down. Found out that some used the single side for one and two dits and used the repeater for three or more.

Conjecture only, never worked with them but did spend more than a few nights on a sub though. :munchin :D

mark46th
07-05-2011, 18:37
I liked the bug- it had a nice rhythm once you got going...

albeham
07-05-2011, 19:40
With a lot of stuff you can use, I have a built in keyer in my rig nice and smooth.

Maybe we all should just tune up on 40 meters and play a bit, for the ones that are on a ham, listen in. or maybe we should project bust it......

I would be glad to support the school house from here...?

AL

..so do aliens know code? :munchin

albeham
07-05-2011, 19:42
Never got to that point. Came out of Code at 20/25... My claim to fame was I would send left-handed and copy right handed (Not at the same time:D). Found I was more consistent (clear) as a lefty.

Stuck with the issued leg-key throughout.

I am a lefty...but shoot right when I need to..

You always surprise me brother..Steve send his hellos. :D

Badger52
07-06-2011, 06:30
With a lot of stuff you can use, I have a built in keyer in my rig nice and smooth.

Maybe we all should just tune up on 40 meters and play a bit, for the ones that are on a ham, listen in. or maybe we should project bust it......

I would be glad to support the school house from here...?

AL

..so do aliens know code? :munchinAliens? Interesting direction. Have read that the code was always there & always shall be; that we're just borrowing it. However, have not had this confirmed by an alien so NFI.

Will sit unkeyed & listen sir if you ring the schoolbell.

Interesting stuff so thanks again all, especially the comparisons between services/branches.