W6BNB's keys.

Bob - W6BNB wearing his Merchant Marine officers cap in 1942, click to enlarge picture. Bob, W6BNB, Silent Key. Bob - W6BNB wearing his old Merchant Marine officers cap, photo taken one day prior to his passing, click to enlarge picture.

It is with great sadness that we announce that:
Our good friend, Robert L. (Bob) Shrader, W6BNB, founder of the SSN, passed away at age 98 on April 11, 2012.
Bob will be greatly missed.
Our deepest sympathy to Robert L. (Bob) Shrader's family and friends.

We are extremely pleased to announce that Bob's son, Doug - KJ6TEJ, is following in his Fathers footsteps, also a Radio Ham, and has proudly inherited his Fathers Call Sign: W6BNB. This will be a legacy to Doug and keep the memory of this wonderful man alive to all who knew him and deservedly so, for many years to come.

Homebrew cootie key.

W6BNB's homebrew cootie key, click to enlarge picture. I have a Bunnell cootie key but prefer the homebrew model I put together in 1985 from spare parts I had laying around here. It is built in the form of a bug on a 3 by 5 by 1/2 inch heavy iron base with 3 rubber feet, but without any vibrating parts on the dot side. Instead, I put a dash contact on both sides. Unlike the Bunnell and other similar hack-saw keys it has a definite off position, not an undetermined center area. I can adjust the length of the thumb and finger throws, although I don't think they matter as much as I thought they would.
I also have a cootie made from a hacksaw blade with dash contacts on both sides. I also have a cootie made by bolting two straight keys base to base and setting them up at 90 degrees. All three of these cooties work OK but none have the nice feel of my HB model. [W6BNB].