Homebrew Sideswiper 1.
After passing my CW exam back in 1987 I made a few CW contacts which were no fun. People told me my speed was too low. I never bothered for CW again, until the summer of 2010. During the summer holiday in Zeeland (Southwest Netherlands) some hams showed me a simple antenna which could make me active on HF. Say HF, aren't these the bands for CW?
I restarted learning CW again and made a few straight key contacts early 2011. Things have changed, people are more polite and CW is more fun now. During a camp in spring 2011 someone told me to visit the caravan of Jan Pieter, PA3CLQ. He has a LOT of keys (See PA3CLQ's keys).
One of them was a Sideswiper, I had not seen anything like it before. I tried it and Jan Pieter was amazed that I could send with it quite easily in the first minutes. I have not ever sent with a paddle, so probably my hand can easily be set to "swipe mode". It was fun, and I decided to make a sideswiper myself. I followed PA3CLQ's idea of his key from an old Polar relay. In the picture you see the result. I am still in the process of learning to copy CW more easily, now I am also learning to improve my swiper sending skills. I will stay with it. It's surely more fun than the straight key.
The black base is a solid steel block which is quite heavy and prevents the key from walking around the table. This is, so far, my only swiper key. [PA1FOX].