Thursday, 28 February 2013

Thirty Minute Morse Key ** Updated** to show the improved Key

My trusty straight key is in the workshop being re-vamped with a new brass rocker bar..... see further down for the "improved" version, and also a photo of my "Operations Desk"....

                 (CLICK ON THE PIC .... TO ENLARGE THEM )

 and I needed to get a morse key up and working quick, so I made this one...

Piece of offcut pine.... 1 selftapping screw ,.... a strip of brass, one drilled hole... a piece of used twincore flex ..... a drawing pin...two telephone cable clips.

Cut the wood to size... cut the brass strip to size... drill a hole in one end, big enough for the screw....screw down to the baseboard... twist out to one side, use a small thin screwdriver to lever underneath a short distance from the screw...... return the brass bar to centre.... press down on it.... to put a slight bend in  the bar.... remove the screw....invert the bar, Prepare the wire as shown in the pic..... make a loop in one wire.... place under the screw end and screw back down tight...... make a loop in the other wire, and place a brass drawing pin in position under the brass bar at the other end to the screw... should be a small gap betwen the brass bar and the drawing pin.... secure the cables with the two telephone cable clips... and then wire up to your transmitter ( DB9 Plug)  to connect to your DB9 to USB converter cable... ready to use on CWCom.

EDIT... Just thought of a Modification that can be done in the construction phase.... In its present form, there is no way to adjust the gap ... so instead of using a Brass Drawing Pin as the contact point... use a small screw, preferably brass,. you can move the bar across (right or left), and then screw the screw in or out of the wood, to adjust the gap.... Of course, the wire loop will need to be reasonably tight to make a good contact.

EDIT EDIT EDIT.... and an update.... here is a couple of pics of the "improved" version of my trusty straight key... Still getting used to it, after taking it to bits, it needs a lot of testing to get the spring, the tension, the gap, and the pressure on the pivot points, to work together again...!... anyway. I am pleased with the result so far... getting lots of practice on CWCOM... a way of transmitting and receiving morse code over the internet....In three weeks of being on CWCOM, I have made a couple of friends in the USA... and a couple of contacts in Holland, and also Poland... The world is my oyster, and I don`t need to pass the Radio Amateur exam !...

The Improved Key........  ( CLICK ON THE PICS TO ENLARGE THEM )

Edit... Edit... Edit..

This version of the key is no longer !.... I have refurbished it, again, and it now resembles it`s original format as a "proper" Admiralty Pattern 7681 Royal Navy standard issue key..  

Note, this one , I think, is an earlier version for the more commone versions which have a bakelite base with integral moulder Rocker Supports..  As you can see, the rocker suppor is moulded brass, and I think this was discontinued, around the start of WW2, as the need for brass for shell cases was very important !.. ( an Bakelite was probably cheaper to produce !  ) ..

You can see the story of the re-build/refurbishment on this article in the archives on this blog 

Admiralty Pattern 7681 - Re-Build ! !

Below is the "Operations Desk"... with pull out draw, and extra desk space for my morse key.

                                CLICK ON THE PIC............... TO ENLARGE IT.......