Topics

More paddles and keys ...

ON7DQ Luc
 

Better start a new topic, since this has nothing to do with audio problems ...

On the SOTA reflector, we had another fun thread about paddles etc ...
https://reflector.sota.org.uk/t/homebrew-mini-cw-paddles-and-video/15044
To the end you will find my "clothespeg paddle" which actually works quite well, I used it on several summits on Mallorca in 2017, working pile-ups at 20 WPM.

And this is my lightest one ... two small buttons on a 3.5 mm connector, not great but it works in an emergency.
I can't weigh it with my kitchen scale, so it is definitely less than 2 grams !

Luc ON7DQ

ON7DQ Luc
 

oops ,  the picture got lost somewhere ... second attempt
Luc ON7DQ

Paul Galburt - K2AYZ
 

Very clever minimalist design. Even smaller with low  force tact switches configured similarly.

73,

Paul K2AYZ

Kees T
 

I actually made up some small boards with 2 of the 6mm tactile switches (you can get a LOT of them on 10 100mm x 100mm panels). However, I think the force required and the space is excessive. I even took the switches apart and stretched/cut the spring to reduce the force (didn't try foam material) ......but I don't think that solves the problem. You can reduce the size some by shortening the lever or install caps which makes them wider. 



I think a better solution is a small board using gold/silver relay contacts and the gold/silver relay armature is a much better solution. You can attach it with screws or imbedded magnets.

73 Kees K5BCQ

Old Dog
 

I have done a number of 3d prints of cooties and paddles.  After about five iterations I have come up with something that I like.  There is a video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOk62ibeGDs  Mind you I have not put any on EBay yet.  Just thought you might consider taking that approach if you are trying to come up with something specifically for the QCX.  The one in the case I print works pretty well unless you are trying to run more than about 15 wpm.

I had a little paddle that I found on thingiverse.com which worked very well.  It is free for download on that site.

ON7DQ Luc
 

My "secret" little switches come from 3.5" diskette drives.
Most people in this group are old enough to remember those , right ? ;-)
They were the switches that detected if your diskette was write protected or not.
They are very light to operate.
I'll try to make a short video of a couple of my paddles in operation.
73 - Luc, ON7DQ

Peter GM0EUL
 

Love the tiny 3.5mm plug mounted paddles.  I'll have to have a go at one.  Meanwhile here's my current offering- after a few iterations its actually one of the best paddles I've used and I've started trying to sell them.   There are a couple of short videos and some pics I'd welcome any comments or opinion.

https://sites.google.com/view/gm0eul3dkeys/home

73
Peter, GM0EUL

_Dave_AD0B
 

I have found that small paddles tend to walk around a lot and that they seem to need a mount or use two hands to operate. My solution was to print a plate onto the bottom of the key.  The weight of the hand tends to hold the key in one position. 

The two gram paddle is neat, Luc There are other small light weight switches that are made in case your supply runs dry.  I was really disappointed when I bought a computer without a laptop. Although I still have a case of brand new disks left. Of course the entire case of them doesn't hold a fraction of the data as a 2 dollar micro SD card. 

Currently am working on a printed bug. 

I should do less with the keys and more with my copy speed. 
--
73
Dave
k0mbt
Ham_Made_Keys

ON7DQ Luc
 

OK I found the time to make a short video of some of my homebrew paddles in action :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UX6Wzlj5t2Q

Have fun es 73/72 !
Luc ON7DQ / KF0CR

Ken KM4NFQ
 

Greetings,

I have been working on a DIY Dual Lever Paddle made from brass & steel.
Here are a couple of work-in-progress snapshots:


I still need to bevel the sharp corners, and clean it up.
I had the steel and the brass in the shop, as well as the sterling silver for the contact points.
The springs are from the battery compartment of an old toy.
The main expenses were for brass screws, nuts, knurled nuts, and taps/drills.
I estimate that I have about $40.00 + time & labor invested in this paddle.
I have had fun making it.

Regards,
Ken, KM4NFQ "Not Fully Qualified"
https://github.com/muurtikaar/mega-morse-tutor

David Wilcox
 

Beautiful.  Not “pretty” yet but made with your own hands.  I am sure your CW will be a joy to hear.  It has heart and soul...... 

David J. Wilcox K8WPE’s iPad

On Nov 10, 2019, at 5:27 PM, Ken KM4NFQ <km4nfq@...> wrote:


Greetings,

I have been working on a DIY Dual Lever Paddle made from brass & steel.
Here are a couple of work-in-progress snapshots:

<paddle001.png>
<paddle002.png>

I still need to bevel the sharp corners, and clean it up.
I had the steel and the brass in the shop, as well as the sterling silver for the contact points.
The springs are from the battery compartment of an old toy.
The main expenses were for brass screws, nuts, knurled nuts, and taps/drills.
I estimate that I have about $40.00 + time & labor invested in this paddle.
I have had fun making it.

Regards,
Ken, KM4NFQ "Not Fully Qualified"
https://github.com/muurtikaar/mega-morse-tutor

Ken KM4NFQ
 

Thanks for you kind words David, K8WPE.
I started work on the DIY Dual Lever Paddle by drawing a couple of diagrams.

These were used as a guide to get started.
This is a snapshot of a piece of scrap brass used to make some parts.


I used a reciprocating cut saw to cut out the block, and a micro-lathe to machine it in a 4-jaw chuck.
The micro-lathe has a three inch swing.
The 8-32 brass screws, nuts, and knurled nuts were bought at the local Ace hardware store.

Regards,
Ken, KM4NFQ "Not Fully Qualified"
https://github.com/muurtikaar/mega-morse-tutor

Regards,
Ken, KM4NFQ "Not Fully Qualified"
https://github.com/muurtikaar/mega-morse-tutor


On Mon, Nov 11, 2019 at 5:33 AM David Wilcox via Groups.Io <Djwilcox01=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Beautiful.  Not “pretty” yet but made with your own hands.  I am sure your CW will be a joy to hear.  It has heart and soul...... 

David J. Wilcox K8WPE’s iPad

On Nov 10, 2019, at 5:27 PM, Ken KM4NFQ <km4nfq@...> wrote:


Greetings,

I have been working on a DIY Dual Lever Paddle made from brass & steel.
Here are a couple of work-in-progress snapshots:

<paddle001.png>
<paddle002.png>

I still need to bevel the sharp corners, and clean it up.
I had the steel and the brass in the shop, as well as the sterling silver for the contact points.
The springs are from the battery compartment of an old toy.
The main expenses were for brass screws, nuts, knurled nuts, and taps/drills.
I estimate that I have about $40.00 + time & labor invested in this paddle.
I have had fun making it.

Regards,
Ken, KM4NFQ "Not Fully Qualified"
https://github.com/muurtikaar/mega-morse-tutor

David Wilcox
 

QSL

David J. Wilcox K8WPE’s iPad

On Nov 11, 2019, at 6:47 AM, Ken KM4NFQ <km4nfq@...> wrote:


Thanks for you kind words David, K8WPE.
I started work on the DIY Dual Lever Paddle by drawing a couple of diagrams.

<paddles01.png>
<paddles02.png>
These were used as a guide to get started.
This is a snapshot of a piece of scrap brass used to make some parts.

<castbrass.png>

I used a reciprocating cut saw to cut out the block, and a micro-lathe to machine it in a 4-jaw chuck.
The micro-lathe has a three inch swing.
The 8-32 brass screws, nuts, and knurled nuts were bought at the local Ace hardware store.

Regards,
Ken, KM4NFQ "Not Fully Qualified"
https://github.com/muurtikaar/mega-morse-tutor

Regards,
Ken, KM4NFQ "Not Fully Qualified"
https://github.com/muurtikaar/mega-morse-tutor


On Mon, Nov 11, 2019 at 5:33 AM David Wilcox via Groups.Io <Djwilcox01=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Beautiful.  Not “pretty” yet but made with your own hands.  I am sure your CW will be a joy to hear.  It has heart and soul...... 

David J. Wilcox K8WPE’s iPad

On Nov 10, 2019, at 5:27 PM, Ken KM4NFQ <km4nfq@...> wrote:


Greetings,

I have been working on a DIY Dual Lever Paddle made from brass & steel.
Here are a couple of work-in-progress snapshots:

<paddle001.png>
<paddle002.png>

I still need to bevel the sharp corners, and clean it up.
I had the steel and the brass in the shop, as well as the sterling silver for the contact points.
The springs are from the battery compartment of an old toy.
The main expenses were for brass screws, nuts, knurled nuts, and taps/drills.
I estimate that I have about $40.00 + time & labor invested in this paddle.
I have had fun making it.

Regards,
Ken, KM4NFQ "Not Fully Qualified"
https://github.com/muurtikaar/mega-morse-tutor

jjpurdum
 

If I had a little more sand in the hour glass, I would love to learn how to do something like this...very cool!

Jack, W8TEE

On Monday, November 11, 2019, 6:47:57 AM EST, Ken KM4NFQ <km4nfq@...> wrote:


Thanks for you kind words David, K8WPE.
I started work on the DIY Dual Lever Paddle by drawing a couple of diagrams.

These were used as a guide to get started.
This is a snapshot of a piece of scrap brass used to make some parts.


I used a reciprocating cut saw to cut out the block, and a micro-lathe to machine it in a 4-jaw chuck.
The micro-lathe has a three inch swing.
The 8-32 brass screws, nuts, and knurled nuts were bought at the local Ace hardware store.

Regards,
Ken, KM4NFQ "Not Fully Qualified"
https://github.com/muurtikaar/mega-morse-tutor

Regards,
Ken, KM4NFQ "Not Fully Qualified"
https://github.com/muurtikaar/mega-morse-tutor


On Mon, Nov 11, 2019 at 5:33 AM David Wilcox via Groups.Io <Djwilcox01=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Beautiful.  Not “pretty” yet but made with your own hands.  I am sure your CW will be a joy to hear.  It has heart and soul...... 

David J. Wilcox K8WPE’s iPad

On Nov 10, 2019, at 5:27 PM, Ken KM4NFQ <km4nfq@...> wrote:


Greetings,

I have been working on a DIY Dual Lever Paddle made from brass & steel.
Here are a couple of work-in-progress snapshots:

<paddle001.png>
<paddle002.png>

I still need to bevel the sharp corners, and clean it up.
I had the steel and the brass in the shop, as well as the sterling silver for the contact points.
The springs are from the battery compartment of an old toy.
The main expenses were for brass screws, nuts, knurled nuts, and taps/drills.
I estimate that I have about $40.00 + time & labor invested in this paddle.
I have had fun making it.

Regards,
Ken, KM4NFQ "Not Fully Qualified"
https://github.com/muurtikaar/mega-morse-tutor

Joe Street
 

This brings a question to mind.  In my quest to improve my CW skills, I like to adjust my paddles for a small movement and light force and I thought it would be an advantage (if I could build my own) to make the distance between the pivot and the paddles smaller than the distance between the pivot and the contacts.  It seems the limiting factor is for small spacing at the contacts and something like the thickness of a sheet of paper (0.005" -0.010") is about as close as the mechanical tolerances will allow for reliable operation on a well made paddle.  If the lengths were set as I mentioned then the movement at the paddles could be a fraction of the contact gap as determined by the ratio of lengths.  It seems many paddle designs don't consider this or else I am an oddball going for small movement.  Conversely the actuation force would increase by shortening the paddle length but by moving the spring post closer to the pivot point it would allow the spring force to be maintained at a higher level to keep mechanical slop under control.   I'm curious for the comments of others on these fine points of paddle design.  Anyone?

Joe ve3vxo




Charles Wells
 

If the drawing is to scale, the two lever arms are almost a 1:1 ratio as presented.  I don't know how you quantify your "small movement", but your thesis could be tested easily by extending the paddle reach 2x or 3x and seeing if that gives you the intended result. 

I would think that to ensure no accidental actuation of the dit or dah you would want at least 5 mils paddle movement.  At 2:1 lever arm ratio that would close the 10 mil gap.

It seems that the end of your road, though, may be a capacitive touch type key.  No movement required and just a light touch to actuate.


On Mon, Nov 11, 2019 at 9:39 AM Joe Street <racingtheclouds@...> wrote:
This brings a question to mind.  In my quest to improve my CW skills, I like to adjust my paddles for a small movement and light force and I thought it would be an advantage (if I could build my own) to make the distance between the pivot and the paddles smaller than the distance between the pivot and the contacts.  It seems the limiting factor is for small spacing at the contacts and something like the thickness of a sheet of paper (0.005" -0.010") is about as close as the mechanical tolerances will allow for reliable operation on a well made paddle.  If the lengths were set as I mentioned then the movement at the paddles could be a fraction of the contact gap as determined by the ratio of lengths.  It seems many paddle designs don't consider this or else I am an oddball going for small movement.  Conversely the actuation force would increase by shortening the paddle length but by moving the spring post closer to the pivot point it would allow the spring force to be maintained at a higher level to keep mechanical slop under control.   I'm curious for the comments of others on these fine points of paddle design.  Anyone?

Joe ve3vxo




Jim Sheldon
 

Wow!  Thanks for posting your "Engineering" drawings.  I have a bunch of brass stock left over from refurbishing an old home made bug (had to replace the base because the guy that made it originally back in the 1940's made the base out of ASBESTOS of all things!).  I also have a Harbor Freight table top milling machine that also doubles as a drill press and lots of different end mill bits.

Having your precise dimensions will make it a heck of a lot easier to duplicate, and I also have a couple of 3D printers that I can use to make the paddles.  I have gotten reasonably proficient with Autodesk's Fusion 360 3D CAD program so colored plastic paddles won't be a problem either.  

I have a Begali "Stradivarius" paddle that I use every day, and that will be hard to get away from, but having a decent set like your design will be nice for the "portable" station (Elecraft KX3 at the moment, still waiting for Hans' QSX). 

This will be a long-term Winter project for me and having made a couple of hand keys, this should be pretty easy with the milling machine/drill press.

Jim - W0EB

------ Original Message ------
From: "Ken KM4NFQ" <km4nfq@...>
Sent: 11/11/2019 5:47:34 AM
Subject: Re: [QRPLabs] More paddles and keys ...

Thanks for you kind words David, K8WPE.
I started work on the DIY Dual Lever Paddle by drawing a couple of diagrams.

These were used as a guide to get started.
This is a snapshot of a piece of scrap brass used to make some parts.


I used a reciprocating cut saw to cut out the block, and a micro-lathe to machine it in a 4-jaw chuck.
The micro-lathe has a three inch swing.
The 8-32 brass screws, nuts, and knurled nuts were bought at the local Ace hardware store.

Regards,
Ken, KM4NFQ "Not Fully Qualified"
https://github.com/muurtikaar/mega-morse-tutor

Regards,
Ken, KM4NFQ "Not Fully Qualified"
https://github.com/muurtikaar/mega-morse-tutor


On Mon, Nov 11, 2019 at 5:33 AM David Wilcox via Groups.Io <Djwilcox01=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Beautiful.  Not “pretty” yet but made with your own hands.  I am sure your CW will be a joy to hear.  It has heart and soul...... 

David J. Wilcox K8WPE’s iPad

On Nov 10, 2019, at 5:27 PM, Ken KM4NFQ <km4nfq@...> wrote:


Greetings,

I have been working on a DIY Dual Lever Paddle made from brass & steel.
Here are a couple of work-in-progress snapshots:

<paddle001.png>
<paddle002.png>

I still need to bevel the sharp corners, and clean it up.
I had the steel and the brass in the shop, as well as the sterling silver for the contact points.
The springs are from the battery compartment of an old toy.
The main expenses were for brass screws, nuts, knurled nuts, and taps/drills.
I estimate that I have about $40.00 + time & labor invested in this paddle.
I have had fun making it.

Regards,
Ken, KM4NFQ "Not Fully Qualified"
https://github.com/muurtikaar/mega-morse-tutor

Joe Street
 

Hi Charles

Extending the paddles would have the opposite to the desired effect, that is to say the movement at the paddles would be increased for the same contact spacing.  I did try touch sensitive paddles but they have other issues I don't like.

Joe


On Mon, Nov 11, 2019 at 11:45 AM Charles Wells <odu1993@...> wrote:
If the drawing is to scale, the two lever arms are almost a 1:1 ratio as presented.  I don't know how you quantify your "small movement", but your thesis could be tested easily by extending the paddle reach 2x or 3x and seeing if that gives you the intended result. 

I would think that to ensure no accidental actuation of the dit or dah you would want at least 5 mils paddle movement.  At 2:1 lever arm ratio that would close the 10 mil gap.

It seems that the end of your road, though, may be a capacitive touch type key.  No movement required and just a light touch to actuate.
_._,_._,_

Eric KE6US
 

Very nice work, Ken. I'm also a minimalist when it comes to making keys. I made this left-handed bug about 3 years ago with a drill press, common hand tools and lots of sweat. The base is a piece of 3" copper bus bar an electrician friend gave me. The brass parts are round and bar brass stock from a local supplier. The knurled screws came from old keys and Ace Hardware. The spring steel spring for the dots is a piece of 0.010" feeler gauge. Silver contacts from an old relay. Lots of aesthetic compromises when dealing with simple tools as you well know, but it is a very satisfying key to use. As smooth as my Speed-X 520 which, unfortunately, is right handed.

Ordered a QCX this morning. Looking forward to using this key with it. Hope I don't have to wait for the slow boat from Turkey that is bringing my QLG1 to make the return trip to fetch my QCX.

Eric KE6US





On 11/11/2019 3:47 AM, Ken KM4NFQ wrote:
Thanks for you kind words David, K8WPE.
I started work on the DIY Dual Lever Paddle by drawing a couple of diagrams.

These were used as a guide to get started.
This is a snapshot of a piece of scrap brass used to make some parts.


I used a reciprocating cut saw to cut out the block, and a micro-lathe to machine it in a 4-jaw chuck.
The micro-lathe has a three inch swing.
The 8-32 brass screws, nuts, and knurled nuts were bought at the local Ace hardware store.

Regards,
Ken, KM4NFQ "Not Fully Qualified"
https://github.com/muurtikaar/mega-morse-tutor

Regards,
Ken, KM4NFQ "Not Fully Qualified"
https://github.com/muurtikaar/mega-morse-tutor


On Mon, Nov 11, 2019 at 5:33 AM David Wilcox via Groups.Io <Djwilcox01=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Beautiful.  Not “pretty” yet but made with your own hands.  I am sure your CW will be a joy to hear.  It has heart and soul...... 

David J. Wilcox K8WPE’s iPad

On Nov 10, 2019, at 5:27 PM, Ken KM4NFQ <km4nfq@...> wrote:


Greetings,

I have been working on a DIY Dual Lever Paddle made from brass & steel.
Here are a couple of work-in-progress snapshots:

<paddle001.png>
<paddle002.png>

I still need to bevel the sharp corners, and clean it up.
I had the steel and the brass in the shop, as well as the sterling silver for the contact points.
The springs are from the battery compartment of an old toy.
The main expenses were for brass screws, nuts, knurled nuts, and taps/drills.
I estimate that I have about $40.00 + time & labor invested in this paddle.
I have had fun making it.

Regards,
Ken, KM4NFQ "Not Fully Qualified"
https://github.com/muurtikaar/mega-morse-tutor

Gary Bernard
 

Eric, very nicely done.
73, Gary W0CKI


-----Original Message-----
From: Eric KE6US <eric.csuf@...>
To: QRPLabs <QRPLabs@groups.io>
Sent: Mon, Nov 11, 2019 1:05 pm
Subject: Re: [QRPLabs] More paddles and keys ...

Very nice work, Ken. I'm also a minimalist when it comes to making keys. I made this left-handed bug about 3 years ago with a drill press, common hand tools and lots of sweat. The base is a piece of 3" copper bus bar an electrician friend gave me. The brass parts are round and bar brass stock from a local supplier. The knurled screws came from old keys and Ace Hardware. The spring steel spring for the dots is a piece of 0.010" feeler gauge. Silver contacts from an old relay. Lots of aesthetic compromises when dealing with simple tools as you well know, but it is a very satisfying key to use. As smooth as my Speed-X 520 which, unfortunately, is right handed.
Ordered a QCX this morning. Looking forward to using this key with it. Hope I don't have to wait for the slow boat from Turkey that is bringing my QLG1 to make the return trip to fetch my QCX.
Eric KE6US




On 11/11/2019 3:47 AM, Ken KM4NFQ wrote:
Thanks for you kind words David, K8WPE.
I started work on the DIY Dual Lever Paddle by drawing a couple of diagrams.

These were used as a guide to get started.
This is a snapshot of a piece of scrap brass used to make some parts.


I used a reciprocating cut saw to cut out the block, and a micro-lathe to machine it in a 4-jaw chuck.
The micro-lathe has a three inch swing.
The 8-32 brass screws, nuts, and knurled nuts were bought at the local Ace hardware store.

Regards,
Ken, KM4NFQ "Not Fully Qualified"
https://github.com/muurtikaar/mega-morse-tutor

Regards,
Ken, KM4NFQ "Not Fully Qualified"
https://github.com/muurtikaar/mega-morse-tutor


On Mon, Nov 11, 2019 at 5:33 AM David Wilcox via Groups.Io <Djwilcox01=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Beautiful.  Not “pretty” yet but made with your own hands.  I am sure your CW will be a joy to hear.  It has heart and soul...... 

David J. Wilcox K8WPE’s iPad

On Nov 10, 2019, at 5:27 PM, Ken KM4NFQ <km4nfq@...> wrote:


Greetings,

I have been working on a DIY Dual Lever Paddle made from brass & steel.
Here are a couple of work-in-progress snapshots:

<paddle001.png>
<paddle002.png>

I still need to bevel the sharp corners, and clean it up.
I had the steel and the brass in the shop, as well as the sterling silver for the contact points.
The springs are from the battery compartment of an old toy.
The main expenses were for brass screws, nuts, knurled nuts, and taps/drills.
I estimate that I have about $40.00 + time & labor invested in this paddle.
I have had fun making it.

Regards,
Ken, KM4NFQ "Not Fully Qualified"
https://github.com/muurtikaar/mega-morse-tutor