I've been a ham since 1992 and I passed the CW exam in 1994 after much difficulty in learning the code. Since then I've been using mostly CW. In 2010 I met a new ham in the radio club, an ex military and policeman who was using a hacksaw blade key. What a magic sound this instrument was producing. Since then I've made some researches and I ran across the "sideswipernet" website, a group of lovers of CW, keen on beautiful Morse keys. Thanks again to all, 73 de Pascal. [F6UIG].
Homebrew Hacksaw Blade Sideswiper.
This is my homebrew hacksaw blade key, built with modest means and skills. The key is mounted on a wooden base of 10 x 8 x 0.5 cm (LWH). The blade is 9 cm long, the distance between the rear post and the contacts is 5 cm. It has a great feel to it, even after hours of use, this is my favorite key for long periods of activity. FYI, I've made some experimentation with different types of hacksaw blades, I found out that the best ones are the 8 teeth per cm type, more flexible than the 12 teeth per cm type.
Audio: "Hacksaw blade sideswiper demo", by Pascal, F6UIG.
DYNA Maniflex Sideswiper.
This is my Dyna Maniflex sideswiper. I salvaged it from the garbage can in the local club station I'm member of, nobody would care for it. I immediately fell in love with this key, this was the first time I ever saw one in real life. After some cleaning, I found a base for it, a few adjustments and it has been a delight to use thus far. The key has a very soft and smooth feel to it, the blade has less inertia than the lever on the I1QOD key.
Further info on the Maniflex.
Chrome Maniflex Sideswiper, by I1QOD.
This Chrome Maniflex sideswiper is a superb piece of workmanship by Alberto - I1QOD. I ordered the key in November 2014 and received it after a delay of only 20 days or so. The key is very heavy and its finish is perfect. I would be less enthusiastic regarding the operating feel however. I found out that the lever has too much inertia, it is too hard to manipulate. By comparison, the Dyna Maniflex has a much softer and smoother feel to it. I also noticed that the adjustments won't hold after several hours of use. This is just my opinion. Thanks again to Alberto - I1QOD for keeping the sideswiper saga alive. [F6UIG].