portable paddles/keyer

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From: Jeff M. Gold (jmg@tntech.edu)
Date: Mon Aug 04 1997 - 11:20:08 EDT


Howdi,

for the first time in I don't know how many months, I had time to tinker
in the shack. I had two Tick-II keyer kits and an altoid box. My goal
was to make a set of portable paddles/keyer with using only parts I had
available in my shack.

I first built up the keyer kit. It only took a little bit of time. I
built my with the 12 V option and piezo speaker. It fired up fine the
first time.

I next needed some paddles to mount on top of the altoids. I looked at
my Whitebrook and thought they would make a good model. The problem was
getting the correct thickness plastic for the paddles. I had cut up some
plastic boxes to experiment. On one of my trips through the house I saw
my son eating crackers and cheese. The little snack packs have little
red sticks to put the cheese on the crackers. I told him to deliver the
stick to the shack as soon as he was finished. Guess what, about the
EXACT length and width and only a little stiffer than the Whitebrook..
and red. I then made him eat the only remaining pack of snacks to get my
other paddle material (child abuse :*)

I didn't have a block of plastic, so I cut up some wood to use as my
center block. This actually made it easier to assemble, I used a small
screw on each paddle to attach the end points to the wood.. worked
great. for the center post I used a metal standoff. I had to disassemble
something to get two small bots for the contacts. Since I didn't have
any solder lugs, like Whitebrook uses from the paddle end points to the
plug, I directly connected the wire from the Tick II to each bolt and
one to the center connector. I even found some feet pads the same size
as Whitebrook uses to put on the end of the paddles.

I experimented with two different placements of the center post to get
the "feel" of the paddle correct. This is what makes the Whitebrook
paddles nice is the type of plastic they use for the paddles and the
center post.

The paddles seem to work very well. I have the pads epoxied to the
paddles pieces and had to re-glue one this am. I am using a 9 volt
battery inside the Altoids box for power. I have no external connectors.
The push button is to the right of the paddles and the Piezo speaker is
right above the button. I admitt it isn't a pretty picture, but this is
my prototype.

I don't think I like the way the Tick II commands work. I find them to
be confusing, but might just need to get use to it. I think if you press
the button once it should send the memory message.. this is what I use
most.. 99+%. I think to get to the commands you should press and hold
the button. I think this is the way some of the other keyers work. I
also found I had to send my 3X3 CQ pretty rapidly without much spacing
to get it to fit in memory.

72
Jeff, AC4HF

Love this ham stuff

--
Jeff M. Gold, Manager
Academic Computing Support
Tennessee Technological University
(615)372-3979


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