DYNA Maniflex Sideswiper.
When I discovered this kind of key, I could not imagine that I would be able to manipulate it during a QSO.
In 2005, I went to our club for a special call activation. I took my laptop, twin paddle, keyer and a small power supply. As you can see, there were too many items to be able to make a simple contact.
During the night, an old man, CN8BK (SK), came with his key which was only a wooden base with a simple blade as a lever. When in use an inimitable sound came out of the speaker. I was impressed by the simplicity of this key and the sound it produced.
The sound was unforgettable and it was always in my ears. But finding such a key and manipulating it was another problem.
I told my ham friends that I was looking for a sideswiper key and after one year, two keys were offered to me and I did not hesitate to buy them.
Description of the DYNA Maniflex on base: The base is a piece of marble (10x18x2 cm - weight is about 2 pounds). The key is secured by screws into plastic anchors and sealed with resin.
The 2 keys stayed unused for 3 or 4 years, because the first tests were catastrophic. But one day, I decided to learn seriously how to manipulate them. The Internet was a big help for that, and I discovered articles, videos, mp3 etc.
I unplugged my keyer and decided that all my standard contacts would be made with a sideswiper key.
At the beginning I made a mistake in learning, because all the text was manipulated with a series of Index finger-Thumb. I-T-I-T so my text was "stuck" and not understood in QSOs.
After some search, I found this method: Begin each letter as if I was using a bug. It was perfect for me, because it is the same as a twin paddle. I found no problem when moving from one key to the other.
I still don't know if the settings (spacing and rigidity) are the best ones for me, but for now they allow me to be on the air and have fun.
Day after day I become more confident. The best part is that I now have more pleasure than with the keyer. [CN8YR].
Audio: "DYNA Maniflex Demo", by Med, CN8YR.
Further info on the Maniflex.
Homebrew Ultra Key.
Here is the Ultra Key:
- A piece of wood width 75 mm depth 70 mm and height 18 mm and 90 mm saw blade.
- Stereo jack plug to use it with a keyer.
- 2 alligator clips to switch to a sideswiper key.
See the picture on the right. The original finger piece was causing some skin irritation on my fingers. I glued two shirt buttons on the lever, this makes a very comfortable finger piece. The black button glued on the base is used to place a left hand finger on the Ultra to hold it in position while sending. [CN8YR].
DYNA Maniflex - Dynawood Sideswiper.
Here is the lightweight version of the Dyna.
The stability is provided by the weight of the wrist on the wooden plate.
The plate is folded during transport.