Hello, dear SOTA mates,
A friend of mine says I am a bit freak trying to squeeze my SOTA kit by reducing its weight more and more…
Just for fun I decided to build a new homebrew Morse key, this time using Greyboard.
Greyboard is a thick and dense paper-based material, mainly used for packaging or building models.
It is available in several different thicknesses. I took an A4 sheet 1,5 mm thickness to build my paddle.
It is light but strong enough and I decided to use it because it is also slightly flexible and can be cut easily with a proper paper guillotine.
Some small wood square dowels cut to hold the greyboard in place complete the assembly:
I won’t use neither screws nor hinges, but the flexibility of the greyboard to have the center moving part by having it fixed at one end only.
Center part with the adhesive copper foil and painted.
I just need a short piece of copper foil (used for electric guitar shielding) and a couple of thumbtacks to get the contacts for the dots and dashes.
Add a cable, solder to the copper and trap the other 2 by the thumbtacks: done!
All parts are glued with wood glue and then made waterproof with acrylic paint:
Most my homebrew gear is in orange color, like for another friend in UK (hey Colin!). It is useful not to abandon the gear when packing after a Sota activation.
The weight of the finished key without cables is 16 gram. And it works a charm!
Last 13th january I run it for the first time activating EA2/NV-070. It all went really fine there, even with a huge snow on the summit.
I finally added a top cover also made with greyboard to prevent dust to degrade the function:
Hope you like it, VY 73 de Ignacio
P.s. any ideas to convert it into a cheap welcome kit for CW newbies or kids in our clubs?