View Full Version : Where do you put the CW Key?

05-13-2008, 02:38 PM
I currently have my radio mounted on the dash but that may have to change.
I operate CW on occasion and I like the old fashioned elbow down method for comfort and stability.
Our MH has a pull out desk affair for a computer in front of the navigator which may work. There is also a smaller table desk behind that position that may do.
Otherwise I guess I leave everything where it's at and try the key down low on the drink tray and see if I can control it that way from above.
I even thought of making a little desk to sit on top of the steering wheel to operate from. The center of it serves as a platform for notes now.
Of course I don't operate any mode except occasional 2 meter while driving as I have enough to watch out for.
At one point I thought of putting the key on a mount for my leg like we used to have for the straight keys when we rarely sent CW on move in the Army but the paddles weigh 2.75# (K8RA P2) and that leg clamp we had in the Army was not that pleasant anyway.
Where do you put yours for operation?

05-15-2008, 09:19 AM
Don't know about the motorhome, but as you can see on my picture that I have it in my console....this works great for me...yep...even driving down the road and working it at the same time...not as bad as you would think...

05-15-2008, 01:30 PM
That will not work for me unless I raise the console a bunch. Mine sits on the floor and it's a reach for the drink holder.
But that just might be my option in the long run.
I had even thought of a little fold down from the dash that I could make and hinge it up when I am operating SSB HF which is about 90% of my time. But then I still have to adjust to the idea of no elbow down to send CW which I am sure I could do.
I even thought of build the key into the dash and using my knee while seating in the driver's seat for the elbow down too.
I don't operate while driving other than a little 2 meters once in a great while. I like to band hop and find it too distracting.
I am also not a high speed CW op. 7-12 WPM for me is fine and then I still like to write it all down.
Old habits from copying encrypted in the Army die hard when you can't fill in the blanks.
I just don't spend enough time on the air with CW to learn to hear the words but it works for me.
I think the fastest I ever got up to was around 20 WPM as a Novice in the 70s after discharge from the Army when I got my first ticket. But I lost interest and did not have the time so I dropped it and moved on to the family and the job which kept my plenty busy.
I still enjoy CW once in awhile however. It's different.
Now if I could just take the time to learn Spanish. Maybe that's my next goal. So many stations out there I could work if I knew it!

05-15-2008, 07:02 PM
Being a veteran of the Navy and a radioman...I learned cw on the ship (USS Denebola AF-56), but did not become a ham until I was out of the service 19 years...I sure missed alot. CW is my favorite mode, but PSK and RTTY are becoming a close second. I was doing 28wpm when I left the navy in 75, passed the 5 and 13 with no problem, but the 20 gave me problem,flunked the code three times but the 4th time(1995) was the right time....I got a cw rag chew award from K6DF back in 94 or 95 thru ARRL that was great...its not as bad as everyone seems to work it on the road..I avg about 22-25 while driving and 25 -30 at home. Have fun, hope you get that key hooked up in the MH.

05-15-2008, 07:46 PM
As it will be home it will be there.
I am an ex radio operator and instructor (05B) from the Army with 6 years service 66-72.
After passing 15 GPM (encrypted groups random 5 letter mixed) for training both sending and receiving we did not use CW much other than for training purposes.
They had us drill with it once in awhile.
For the most part until I got sent to be an instructor I was saddled doing 05C work (radio teletype~how do you spell boring?)
I instructed CW for a short time and then they discovered I liked teaching the radios and I taught them back when you had to tune them.
I also taught map reading, emergency antenna construction procedures and safety as part of my block of instruction.
It was amazing what you could make an antenna from.

05-15-2008, 08:08 PM
Yeah, I remember having to tune radios and antenna couplers....I am the proud owner of a Navy AN/URC-35 HF rig...you can see it on my old web page http://www.enter.net/~k3mp I purchased that rig at the Dayton Hamfest in 1998 and it was overhauled by Navcomsta Ponce Puerto Rico in the late 80's...it works great, 2.999 Mcs to 29.999 Mcs ...I really never did like CW until I became a ham...we did more RTTY (FSK) on the ship than anything else.

05-16-2008, 07:04 AM
Found out (The easy way) that Detroit has a "Both hands on the wheel" Ordnance.

Did not know that till last night.... Thankfully (For me) the ticket to the 36th district court and comedy club belonged to a charming young lady, not me :) (The ticket was for something else, the ord was listed among the pre-set schedule of fines on the optional hand out she was given with the ticket)

05-19-2008, 12:23 PM
You cannot see it well in the avatar pix but I found that the pull out desk was just the right size for all of the equipment.
I posted a bigger pix under Eyeball QSOs.
The layout works well.