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.
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!
Center part with the adhesive copper foil and painted.
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?