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Anyone tried "morse stick key" ?


Thanks Richard. Yes, I think the pressure sensors are a better option that capacitive touch as it seems to cope fine with moisture and does not appear to be sensitive to RF in the limited tests I’ve done to date. I find I can send on it no problems, but I’m still a novice at CW and don’t go above about 12 wpm, so will be interested to get feedback from some more experienced ops.

David VK3IL


Great work Ron and Dave. (or anyone else who has tried it) I for sure think it is the way to go. So far mine has worked perfectly at home and on the SOTA summits. No contacts to get dirty or clean. I would be willing to bet my monthly retirement check I could hold the paddles under water and it would still work fine, as long as the battery/electronics did not get submerged of course.
BTW Dave, a friend and I just ordered some boards from China to try out your SMT PC board version. I am excited about give that a go also.
Tim - K5DEZ


Also, an update on my schematic. I used a 500K variable resistor instead of the 30K fixed resistor. I have not measured the exact resistance yet but it at least 150-200K ohm. It made the sensitivity much better and also gives the added benefit of a lot less current draw. On transmit mine measured between 50-80uA so quiescent current has to be very close to zero, or at least my DVM is unable to measure it.
Tim - K5DEZ
P.S. Just made some measurements. The resistor in both the dit and dah circuits is set to 378K ohms. With the tiny A23 12V battery it draws 35uA with one paddle energized and 70uA with both paddles pressed simultaneously.


Hi Tim,

Interesting. I wondered about the 30 k gate resistor. I am using 180 k because that’s what surfaced in the junk box. My current drain with 1,000 hrs of operating is similarly low and I decided not to put an alkaline battery in mine as i will be a SK before it is discharged,:grinning:

David has done a great job with his design.




I’ve now had a half dozen contacts with my prototype pressure sensor paddle. I find it needs s subtle change of technique compared to a paddle that moved before making contact and maybe moves a tich before breaking. The pressure sensors respond fast with pressure and let go fast. Also the pressure needs to be more consistent or at least not too light. A bit more practice and my error rate will be back to normal.

Local activators and chasers expect mistakes from me but at the moment they are being kind and coping quietly with my new “fist”.

Still very happy with it and have a new design on the drawing board. Same circuit but different pcb…



Update. 3rd generation pressure paddle. WB5USB and I had some of David’s VK3IL circuit boards made up. The ones that scavenge the power from the rig. I put PCB into one of my keyer paddles instead of making the handheld one. The circuit works great on the KX2 and KX3. May I suggest you give it a Go. All my pressure sensor paddles have been working great on the summits in any climate or WX.
Thanks David.
Tim - K5DEZ