[CQ-Contest] Foot switch

kq2m at kq2m.com kq2m at kq2m.com
Sat Nov 12 14:02:53 EST 2022

Foot Switch for me thanks.

I eat/drink at the radio in between cq's.  You don't want those sounds 
going out on the air.
There are also the other in-shack noises, upstairs noises, family 
noises/communications, etc.  Those don't belong on the air either.

When I operate SO2R, TWO Foot Switches are imperative.  One for each 
foot - left foot, left radio, right foot, right radio.   LOL!

I used to use VOX and a boom mic early in my contesting "career" but 
gave it up after a few years.  Too many issues and inconveniences.

You have to use what makes the most sense to your operating style and 
increases efficiency.  The ability to begin or end a transmission 
cleanly is paramount to me.  Operating VOX does not allow that. In fact, 
tripping the VOX (even with proper anti-vox setting) slows me down due 
to inadvertent noises, moving headset, etc. which trips the vox right 
when I am trying to copy a callsign.

Yes, there are issues with foot switches.  They slide around, they 
sometimes fall apart when in use. The instep of my foot can spasm and 
ache terribly from constant use.  These are all manageable - in fact, I 
have even fixed a footswitch while I was operating and logging.  I have 
standard cheapie "Radio Shack" style footswitch which will slide but I 
boxed it in so that it has rigid boundaries now and stays in place.  The 
other footswitch is very heavy and has TWO pedals which allows me to 
separately control two radios with it.  It sever slides or wears out.

The instep issue is a bigger problem that is mitigated by occasionally 
standing up and stretching out my leg and foot while I operate.  
Standing up and stretching out is important to do anyway and relieves 
the tension and improves blood flow.

I always find it interesting to read the various opinions on what 
equipment ops use and why they use it or don't use it.  We are all 
different and therefore have different experiences and preferences.


Bob, KQ2M  Proud footswitch user  LOL!

On 2022-11-12 09:17, Joe wrote:
> I never had luck using Vox,
> But probably mainly because of my method of talking when running a
> Phone contest.
> I talk very quietly. I don't stress my Voice. It just drives me crazy
> to hear these guys screaming in their Mics.
> Umm there is a Mic Gain control! Hello?
> Then they wonder why 8 hours later they sound like an old sailor and
> don't have a voice anymore.
> I have been in Multi stations where a OP that is 12 feet away is
> talking sooo loud that he is over driving my radio past the ALC
> window!
> But with my voice levels being sooo low VOX operation is late on the
> attack and often miss the first letter, and or keeps dropping out like
> a SSB version of QSK. Or even worse to stop the QSK effect then the
> hang time is too long and you miss the first part of replies.
> Foot switch is the only way I will do a Phone contest.
> Joe WB9SBD / W9ET
> On 11/11/2022 3:39 PM, Steve Wojton NN2NN wrote:
>> Personally, I like using a foot switch. It prevents any of my salty 
>> language from going out over the air when I get frustrated! 😂 To each 
>> his own.
>> Steve NN2NN
>> Sent from my iPhone
>>> On Nov 11, 2022, at 11:02 AM, Yuri<ve3dz at rigexpert.net>  wrote:
>>> While I find myself in disagreement with Bill on many topics outside 
>>> HAM Radio :-) in this case I am 100% with him.
>>> Though I keep some variety of them, I personally never used foot 
>>> switches for the last 7-8 years in the Phone Contests. Properly 
>>> adjusted VOX in your radio would do the job just fine, including 
>>> amplifier PTT control.
>>> 73, Yuri VE3DZ
>>>> On 11/10/2022 12:30 PM, Bill kollenbaum - K4XS via CQ-Contest wrote:
>>>> Why worry about a foot switch unless you're doing MM etc.  The 
>>>> switch ties you down  and is just one more thing to worry about.  
>>>> Much easier to VOX...been doing it for 45 years.
>>>> Bill V31XX/K4XS

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