DL2KHU's keys.


Introduction: My Way To The Sideswiper.

When I made my class A license in 1993 the requirements were hearing and giving with a straight key with 12 wpm. The Junker key was the standard key that time in Germany and nearly all OM I knew in that time had one and had graduated with that key. The key has been produced continuously from 1931 until 2014 from the Junker Factory, who moved 1947 from Berlin to in Bad Honnef on Rhine, a town near Bonn. I also graduated with the Junker. I remember, that the examiner said to me: “You sigs are a bit hectic”. And he was right. My handwriting with the straight key was really hectic and that’s how it stayed. So soon after making the license I changed to a Samson ETM-5c keyer and to a Hi-Mount BK-100 bug.

But the wish, to made QSO only manually remained. A few years ago I discovered the page of the sideswiper net and I build my first two sideswipers. I tried a few weeks to manage the keys but with no great success. So they went into the drawer for the next years. In Summer 2019 I took the two sideswipers out of the drawer again and began to practice. To my surprise it worked immediately, not perfect but reasonable. So I dared on the band and one of my first victims was Durk PA3BYW. He invited me to participate in the sideswiper net the next Sunday evening and after some months being a participant of the sideswiper net I see progress. Here are my keys: [DL2KHU].

Homebrew Sideswiper 1.

DL2KHU homebrew sideswiper 1, click to enlarge picture. My way to my first sideswiper was a little bit random. First I wanted to build a single paddle key for the build-in keyer in my TS-870S. In the internet I saw a very nice Japanese single paddle key with a chrome-plated base and the lever was a hacksaw blade. Then I discovered the page of the sideswiper net and decided to build it as a cootie. I appreciated the dimensions, took a 10 cm x 10 cm wooden base and began to build. The lever is from a hacksaw blade and it is 90 mm long. The key has a vy light and direct action. [DL2KHU].

Homebrew Sideswiper 2: The Machine.

DL2KHU's homebrew sideswiper 2, the Machine, right view, click to enlarge picture. DL2KHU's homebrew sideswiper 2, the Machine, left view, click to enlarge picture.

I had several base plated cut to size and why not build a further key? For my second key I took the famous Vibrokeyer as role model. The wooden base is also 10 cm x 10 cm. The lever for the index finger is from u-shaped metal. It took some work but the result works very fine. There is no finish, only pure metal and screws. So I call it “The Machine”. And the action is really like a machine, completely different from the first key, more indirectly and it takes more effort, like the Vibroplex bug. [DL2KHU].

Homebrew Sideswiper 3: Portable Key.

DL2KHU's homebrew sideswiper 3, Portable Key, click to enlarge picture. For portable use I build this simple key. The base is 6,7 cm x 10 cm. It looks like marble but it is from plastic. The lever is also from a hacksaw blade like the key # 1. It has also a vy light and direct action but because of the longer finger piece and the shorter distance between the contacts and the attachment point, only 24 mm, the key is more comfortable. [DL2KHU].

Homebrew Sideswiper 4: Ivar Cootie.

DL2KHU's homebrew sideswiper 4, Ivar Cootie, click to enlarge picture. My new key should look something like the Maniflex. I looked for a new material for the lever and found spring metal strap used for packaging and shipping. I think, the key of KD8PMK is from the same material. It is real spring steel, stable and flexible at the same time.
The base is 14 cm x 4,2 cm. The distance between the contacts and the attachment point is 47 mm. The result does not look quite like a Maniflex but it works great. It is my favorite key The parts came from spare material of an Ivar shelf, so I call it Ivar Cootie. [DL2KHU].