CW Paddle - Weekend Project
What do you do with an hour of Saturday free time and a bag full of junk parts?
Why, you take on a HOME-BREW CHALLENGE!
only the parts inside this bag, including miscellaneous brackets,
plates and springs - I set out to build a dual-lever paddle for CW
I spent the first half hour carefully arranging a handful of these parts and eventually arranged them into a working mechanism.
The only extras I used was a piece of wood for the base and some machine bolts and nuts.
There was no drilling and cutting of the paddle's parts except for the mounting board, which is amazing.
First, I took a look at these small black plastic pieces with a funny shape... A good paddle shape.
These angled brackets bolted right into place, and I now had levers.
The main problem to solve was how to actuate the levers.
By attaching the levers to angle "L" brackets, a simple wood screw would allow rotation of the lever arm assembly.
Two small plates were attached to the board which provided a landing place for the lever assembly to strike.
brackets were attached with a small sliver of space between the angle
brackets and plates to allow for a little rotational movement.
I found spring that I cut into two pieces. These fit right over the bolts that were attached to the lever assemblies.
With springs in place, there is a little tension to hold the levers into place.
Angle brackets made from two metal strips are able to be bent to a specific angle to allow for contact distance.
was simple, but to add a nice touch to the connector cord that plugs
into the radio - A gold-plated Radio Shack stereo plug was used,
and three 26 gauge wires were snaked through a brown shoe lace to create a vintage cord reminiscent of days gone by.
Connecting to my Yaesu FT-857-D, I went into the CW type menu and selected the "iambic" Keyer option.
This is a mode that I was unfamiliar with and have not tried in the five years I've been a licensed amateur.
I have to say, It took only a few minutes to pick up the basics of sending with a paddle and "Iambic" keyer.
Soon, I'll post more on the basics of "Iambic" keying and the use of dual-lever paddles...