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Author Topic: Homebrew Straight Key  (Read 892 times)
MOTOR486
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Posts: 58




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« on: December 01, 2009, 04:22:14 PM »

I am both an amateur radio operator and an amateur woodworker (heavy emphasis on amateur in both cases.)

I desire to make a nice straight key out of wood. I have searched the net, but have been less than thrilled with the results. Ideas??

Thanks & 73.

Rob Frailing
AJ4SB
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W2BLC
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Posts: 42


WWW

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« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2009, 04:37:23 PM »

http://forum.radiotelegraphy.net/phpBB3/viewforum.php?f=3

Several key builders hand around there. One even built a wooden Amplidan, which you can see at http://nt9k.radiotelegraphy.net/
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MOTOR486
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Posts: 58




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« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2009, 04:55:59 PM »

I have seen the work of the fellow from the latter site and recalled that he lives in Florida. Neat stuff.

Thanks. This is a start.

73,
Rob
AJ4SB
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KE7WAV
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Posts: 126




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« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2009, 12:30:27 PM »

I love wood work.  I have often thought a simple lever run to a micro switch would work quite nicely and cheaply.  It would allow the wood work to be as extravagent or as simple as you would like.  
  If you wanted you could go numerous way to hide the pushbutton micro-switch and make an elaborate but very unique looking key.
  I hope you have fun with it.  Post pics when you're done.
KE7WAV
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VA7CPC
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Posts: 2358




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« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2009, 06:25:09 PM »

I've tried microswitch keys -- I have a miniature key by Whiterook that uses one.  And I've used "tactile switches" for a tiny paddle I made.

IMHO, they "feel" worse than a plain metal-to-metal contact.  There's some lost motion in the switch, and the "click" when it goes over-center isn't as nice as the "clunk" when two contacts hit each other.

If I were to build a wooden key, I'd use a leaf-spring "bearing" to support the lever at the rear end, a secondary coil spring for "weight" adjustment, and make a really nice hardwood lever and base.  I think the arrangement is called a "Swedish key", and (with a metal lever) it's used in some high-grade commercial keys.

            Charles
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