Thursday, June 21, 2012

CW aka Morse Code

So, I want to venture into the land of CW and become a true ham.  When I first attempted getting into Amateur Radio over 20 years ago, in order to gain Novice privileges, you had to demonstrate proficiency in receiving (copying) Morse Code at five words per minute.  This turned out to be my biggest challenge, and the reason that I didn't earn my license back in the late 80s.  Fast forward to today, and I still want to master this.  So, I went to my local ham shop and picked up a straight key, which of course needs to be mounted on something so that it doesn't move all over while you are trying to use it.  This lead to a small project, and the topic of today's post.  This is a quick and easy project, and didn't cost much.  I went to Home Depot to see what I could find, figuring that a block of wood would work.  Well, I found that, and then something even better.  A chunk of base molding was the exact right size, and cost around a buck.  A quick coat of paint, and two screws later, and I had a functional straight key.  Now all I need to do it learn to use it!

My Parts List:

  • 1 x Chunk of base molding
  • 1 x Straight Key
  • 2 x Wood Screws
  • 1 x Some old spray paint.  ;-)

Time to Completion:

  • It only took a few minutes to mount the key once the paint dried, and only a few minutes to paint it.  The longest part was waiting for the paint to dry!

Here is a pic:

All in all, a simple, fun little project that hopefully will open up a whole new world for me!


Richard, KK4JDO

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