VK7CW's keys.


LNR Precision SKCC Cootie.

VK7CW's SKCC Cootie, click to enlarge picture. This is a Sideswiper key made especially for SKCC members by LNR Precision. This is a wonderful key to send with and it looks great too! It has a nice heavy base and a very smooth action. There is no tension adjustment but it is very light and just right for me. [VK7CW].

USSR KDM-2 Sideswiper.

VK7CW's KDM-2 sideswiper, click to enlarge picture. VK7CW's KDM-2 sideswiper, cover closed, click to enlarge picture.

This USSR KDM-2 Sideswiper was acquired from Colin, G3VTT, who in turn acquired it from Valery, UA3AO. It has a very heavy base and is very smooth to send with. Apparently it is a Maritime key from around 1967 and was used by the Soviet Navy, Soviet Polar bases and was also popular with Soviet fishing vessels. If anyone can provide any more history on these keys I would be very grateful. [VK7CW].

TWanger Sideswiper by TW Radio.

VK7CW's TWanger, click to enlarge picture. This is my Twanger which was made by Tom G3HGE. It was one of the last to be ever made as Tom retired just after I received it. I am extremely lucky that I purchased this key when I did or I might have missed out. It is a wonderful key to send with and looks great to boot. It has a nice fluid feeling and is silent in use. [VK7CW].

Homebrew Steel Ruler Cootie.

VK7CW's homebrew Steel Ruler cootie, click to enlarge picture. This is my first sideswiper. I was inspired to build this key after learning about sideswiping though the Straight Key Century Club (SKCC). It is made with a Steel Ruler and simple metal brackets fitted to a wooden base. The tension can be adjusted by moving the steel ruler along the fixing brackets. The spacing can also be adjusted, however as it was made with nuts and bolts all adjustments need to be made using spanners. At the time of construction I only used what I had available and thumb screws would have been much more efficient for making adjustments. It was made before I knew a lot about sideswiping and was basically done with a lot of guess work. After a lot of initial adjusting and testing it is now set perfect and it has a great feel to it. It is still my favourite key to send with and it is very quiet in use. [VK7CW].

Mini Homebrew Steel Ruler Cootie.

VK7CW's Mini homebrew Steel Ruler cootie, click to enlarge picture. Based on my Homebrew Steel Ruler Cootie design, this mini cootie is a very small key which makes it perfect for portable operating. Once again it is made exclusively from spare parts from the junk box. The finger pieces are old magnets that are glued onto a cut down steel ruler. There is no tension adjustment and it has a fixed tension which is quite firm, which feels just right. Spacing is easily adjustable with the use of some spare thumb wheels. It is a very light key and can be held in the palm of your hand while sending. Just perfect for sitting back in your comfy chair for a nice relaxed QSO or for taking out of the shack for a portable excursion. A very enjoyable key to send with! [VK7CW].

Homebrew Project Box Cootie Key.

VK7CW's homebrew Project Box cootie key, click to enlarge picture. An experimental homebrew cootie key made from a hack saw blade placed into an old project box. It turned out to be a lengthy task that took quite a while to get constructed and eventually adjusted. It has a fixed tension and spacing with no external adjustments. However it was fun to make and it is even more fun to use. All parts were obtained from old spares and the junk box. It is fitted with a mini switch enabling it to be used with an external keyer if so desired. It is very lightweight and fits perfectly into your hand for portable use. For a more permanent operating position it is fitted with some rare earth magnets glued into the lid enabling it to be placed onto any metal object, holding it solidly in place. [VK7CW].

Hi-Mound MK-701 Sideswiper.

VK7CW's Hi-Mound MK-701 sideswiper, click to enlarge picture. I purchased this key quite cheaply from another VK Amateur for the sole purpose of trying it out as a sideswiper. Well I was in for quite a surprise as it is a nice big heavy key with a large paddle. Once adjusted it is a pleasure to send with, albeit that it is quite noisy, but with headphones on it is no problem. I have no idea of the history of this model or how old it is. [VK7CW].

KENT Single Paddle Key.

VK7CW's Kent single paddle key, click to enlarge picture. This is my Kent single paddle key. It was purchased second hand some time ago, well before I started sideswiping. The original rubber feet were to soft for my liking and made the key move about. So I replaced them with some large hard white rubber feet, which keep it still on the desk and lift it up slightly as it was a bit low for my liking. Amazingly this key is fantastic to send with as a sideswiper. However it is quite noisy but again with headphones on it is not a problem. [VK7CW].

Modified Vibroplex VibroKeyer.

VK7CW's Modified VibroKeyer sideswiper, click to enlarge picture. Once again this key was purchased way before I started sideswiping. I replaced the original paddle and knob with 2 paddles. I have only just recently tried it as a sideswiper and it works fine, however it would not be my first choice of key to use on air. [VK7CW].

Begali HST II Key.

VK7CW's Begali HST II key, click to enlarge picture. Finally the best key that I own, the Begali HST II single lever paddle. Even though it is a sideswiper as well, I mainly use this as my every day single paddle key hooked up to a keyer. It works great in sideswiper mode, however for me it works better as a single lever paddle and nothing beats it. If I had two of these keys one would be permanently set up in sideswiper mode. [VK7CW].