Sideswip1 sideswiper made by IK1OJM.
This is one of the first models produced by the Italian Wizard: Salvatore, IK1OJM. The technical design is based on the Russian R010 sideswiper. The lever return system is magnetic, there are no springs. The contacts are equipped with a flexible element which provides a comfortable tactile feedback. The action is responsive, smooth, and moreover, the key itself can lead the operator towards his best performance.
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DSCN-4195-A sideswiper made by IK1OJM.
Refined version of Nr 1 (see above), heavy metallic base covered with noble wood and briar inlays. Excellent mechanism, the finger piece is adjustable to 3 positions. This feature allows to find the best combinations along with the contact spacing. Here again, no springs, the return system is using magnets. The contacts are flexible, the manufacturer has had an inspired solution: The contacts are embedded in a window cut into the central lever. The key action is very fast and precise, the special shape of the finger piece favours the rotative movement of the wrist, offering the operator a surprising agility in the movement. The key is lovely and unique in every way. The antiskid silicone rubber feet adhere firmly even to the smoothest surfaces.
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Sideswiper made by I1QOD.
This is the key on which I've learned how to use a sideswiper. Also this key was born copying the dimensions and the technical design of the Russian R010 key. The return system is using springs, and the contacts are flexible by means of thin steel blades. This is an excellent training key. Intentionally the action is somewhat hard, as this exercises the muscles involved in operating a sideswiper. [IK0XCB].
I've not often used this key. It was given to me by Gas, F6DUR and I keep it in memory of this excellent friend of mine. I've never thought of making an efficient fastener for the key, I've always been transmitting by holding it down firmly with the left hand. In spite of this, I've been able to appreciate the very smooth action that makes this key really comfortable to use. The sending speed is however somewhat limited because of the excessive soft action and the return system which exclusively depends on the flexibility of the blade lever. Even with the key screwed down to the desk, I think the Maniflex is not capable of speeds beyond 125lpm (25wpm).
Further info on the Maniflex.
GHD GF-601A key.
An attractive key. The lever is a genuine hacksaw blade, whose flexibility offers a smooth action, and the key is easy to use. Because the lever is centered solely by the blade's spring force, it hinders high sending speeds. I find the shape of the finger pieces old-fashioned or even prehistoric. The finger pieces are too flat and don't allow for a proportional rotative movement of the wrist which appears to be the most efficient technique to send with a sideswiper. In my opinion, the action of the lever should be soft for both the initial push and contact closure. But in between the tactile feedback needs to be sufficient to ensure an appropriate grasp that provides a secure operating feel. I don't want to denigrate the soft type of keys, they are perfect when it comes to the traditional way of sending with a sideswiper, but a more modern sending technique requires different features. [IK0XCB].