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Author Topic: Have a chuckle at my homebrew key  (Read 3425 times)
KC4ZGP
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Posts: 968




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« Reply #15 on: June 16, 2017, 05:47:39 AM »


I looked again and that is the neatest, beatest all construction.

We were purging stuff from our warehouse. I salvaged a steel drawer from a short desk-side
cabinet for my giant t-match-er. The back of the cabinet made the perfect cover. Upon it sits
my EB-104 amplifier, fan and Bird meter. A real Dr. FrankenKraus look to station KC4ZGP.

_ _ ... ... _ _

Kraus
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KH6AQ
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Posts: 7542




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« Reply #16 on: June 16, 2017, 09:05:23 AM »

That is a handsome paddle you've created. It looks like it could also serve as a cootie key.
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W3TTT
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Posts: 213




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« Reply #17 on: June 16, 2017, 10:04:28 AM »

... then a $500 Begali will feel ... wrong.
Smiley
But a $5 bagel will feel right.  Especially if you use the paddle for a schmeer. 
 Wink
73 W3TTT
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DL8OV
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Posts: 711




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« Reply #18 on: June 16, 2017, 10:45:09 AM »

Nice job, will you be using it with a keyer or as a cootie key?

Peter DL8OV
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KE6EE
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Posts: 1736




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« Reply #19 on: June 16, 2017, 11:12:52 AM »

But a $5 bagel will feel right.  Especially if you use the paddle for a schmeer. 
73 W3TTT

Out here in Silicon Valley environs, that $5 bagel will cost you $12.99 plus tax. Not including schmear.
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KC4ZGP
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Posts: 968




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« Reply #20 on: June 16, 2017, 11:37:27 AM »


And the Copperhead circuit from 73 Magazine, May 1992 would be a perfect
compliment.

I built the Copperhead with copper clad PCB for the platform and the dits and
dahs tabs. I still use it today.

_ _ ... ... _ _

Kraus
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K1VCT
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Posts: 112




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« Reply #21 on: June 16, 2017, 06:34:17 PM »

Nice job, will you be using it with a keyer or as a cootie key?

Peter DL8OV

My humble thanks for complements when I thought it would get a few snickers.  I am honored to be in the company of polite gents!

This is gonna hook to my IC-7200.  Wired it up and tested tonight... and it works!  Dits on one side and dahs on the other.

I guess this would be called a single lever paddle?  I had to look up what a cootie was... I'm not sure if it meets the strict definition, but could be wired as what I understand a cootie to be... I think.

Not knowing how agreeable learning code would be, the idea was to build a key for low cost, and see how things progress.

And if anyone "needs" a wooden handle spreader... I had to get a package of four, and somehow got shipped eight!  Two were given to a friend, one made into the key, and so.... I'll part with at least four more.  Call it paying forward!  Just send a SASE (PM me for where to send).  WARNING - these things are a SOB to drill, but it can be done with LOW speed and HIGH pressure.

Thank you all again for the kind words!

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K1VCT
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Posts: 112




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« Reply #22 on: June 16, 2017, 06:42:48 PM »

Very nice indeed! Looks good. Someday people will be saying: I made a sandwich spreader from an old telegraph key... Wink

Off topic... but... I like to build solid body electric guitars.  I was surfing the net one day, back in the wild and wooly days of about 1999 or so, and I saw a company called "Jammin' Johns".  They made toilet seats shaped like classic guitar bodies - Les Paul, Stratocaster, Telecaster, Martin, etc.

Took one look at that and said heck... I can build a guitar out of a toilet seat!  So I did!


So... I'm sure some bloke will make a sammy spreader from an old telegraph key... where there's a will there's a way.
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K8AXW
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Posts: 6098




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« Reply #23 on: June 16, 2017, 09:02:15 PM »

VCT:  If the paddle is wired to a keyer with a push to one side creates a string of dits and pushed the opposite way creates a string of dahs, it's a single lever paddle.

If you have to manually create the dits and dahs with the paddle it's a cootie key.

Whatever it is, you did a great and very innovative job!  ( You COULD wire this creation up to be either a keyer or cootie key!!)
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K1VCT
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« Reply #24 on: June 16, 2017, 09:22:52 PM »

Paddle it is!
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VA7CPC
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Posts: 2796




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« Reply #25 on: June 17, 2017, 05:05:51 AM »

Looks very nice indeed.

How it works as a paddle is one matter. It's likely to be fine.

That style of key can also be used as a cootie, which may be more difficult to use for a beginner than a standard straight key.

Cooties take a bit of technique not to sound too much like a cootie.  Grin

It's a classic "cootie key".  Very popular among marine CW operators.  There's nothing funny about it.

The traditional marine construction uses a hacksaw blade, with either a wooden fingerpiece, or tape wrapped around the end.  People who wanted more elegance, would grind the teeth off the hacksaw blade.  So your stainless-steel arm is really fancy!

You can find Bunnell "speed keys" (slightly more sophisticated than yours) on eBay, occasionally.

There's a good "cootie key" instruction manual, if you want to use it as it was intended to be used (instead of using it as a paddle):

http://www.mtechnologies.com/cootie.htm

Have fun!

.     Charles
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KC4ZGP
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Posts: 968




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« Reply #26 on: June 17, 2017, 05:57:14 AM »


...polite gents?

No problem with polite. It's the gent part that gets me.

_ _ ... ... _ _

Kraus
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VK5EEE
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Posts: 878




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« Reply #27 on: June 17, 2017, 06:35:08 AM »

Excellent and beautiful key! It's a cootie, side-swiper, or single lever paddle (?) whatever you want to call it, it looks great and I have no doubt it works great!
I also have one similar to this but made by VK3CAB, and until yesterday have been using it exclusively as a cootie (side swiper). No matter you push it left or right, it makes contact not as a keyer, so you send Morse like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2zwx3xHcx4

But yesterday I finally got to making the connected 3 leads so I can change it from the above side-swiper mode, to keyer mode, as you are using yours, with a keyer. And I thought that I would have a lot of trouble adapting to sending QRQ on it because I've always used Iambic dual squeeze paddles. But no, it was surprisingly easy! A single lever is the way to go with keyer because, to cut a long story short, iambic prevents any speed being attained higher than about 45-50WPM. On a single lever, one CAN achieve speeds of 65WPM and higher. I'm not sure I ever will as with age I think my reflexes aren't getting better, but it's *possible*.

Again congrats on an excellent job!
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Long Live Real Human CW and wishing you many happy CW QSO - 77 - CW Forever
K1VCT
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Posts: 112




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« Reply #28 on: June 17, 2017, 08:10:40 AM »

I saw the hacksaw blade key....thought it interesting but crude.  Was considering some stainless steel feeler gage stock.  Looked at scrapers in the big box hardware stores.  Made a cheese n onion sammy and....the YLnearly lost her spreader on the spot. But it is essentially the same as the hacksaw key.
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VK5EEE
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Posts: 878




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« Reply #29 on: June 17, 2017, 11:01:48 PM »

Yes for simplicity and also it provides very good soft contacting without additional measures, hacksaw blades are great. Nail files and knives have been used too, steel rulers... to great effect.
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Long Live Real Human CW and wishing you many happy CW QSO - 77 - CW Forever
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