DJ5IL's keys.

Homebrew cootie key #1.

DJ5IL's homebrew cootie 1, click to enlarge picture. DJ5IL's homebrew cootie 1, bottom view, click to enlarge picture.

Being a passionate CW operator, after 35 years of mainly high-speed operation with electronic keyers I felt more and more bored listening to the uniform and impersonal sound of CW signals on the amateur radio bands. So I found myself a new challenge: build and learn to operate a cootie key. And though I am still in my learning phase, I feel that I finally arrived at my favourite way of sending morse code. The picture shows my homebrew cootie key #1. Please note that this is NOT a paddle to operate an electronic keyer, and it is also NOT a semi-automatic key or "Bug"! In fact, the dots and dashes are both made manually by horizontal movement of the blade. The resulting CW note has to be heard to be appreciated - if properly operated, it sounds very distinct, melodic and a little bit corny. Real CW operators love the sweet sound of cooties...
Description: Made of printed circuit board material, a 15 cm stainless steel ruler and stainless steel hardware on a 140x70x15 mm / 1.2 kg spray-painted steel plate.
NB: See the author's updated note.

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