W9EBE's keys.

Vibroplex VibroKeyer.

W9EBE's VibroKeyer, click to enlarge picture. In the late 1960's, I absolutely hated having to learn Morse code in order to get my Amateur Radio license. I think it was during either my third or fourth QSO as a nervous, newly licensed Novice that something magical happened: I completely fell in love with CW. As of this writing, I rarely operate any mode other than CW.

Although Morse code generated by any type of device is music to my ears, there's something uniquely special about it being sent manually. I liken it to listening to someone speaking with a regional accent different from that of my own, or appreciating the slight pronunciational variations people often have in spoken conversation. While machine Morse code is perfectly pleasant to copy (I still frequently use electronic keyers), listening to CW sent by someone manually is incredibly satisfying to me; in my opinion it has more character and depth.

Pictured is my trusty old Vibroplex Vibrokeyer Deluxe. I used it with electronic keyers for many years. Having been unused for some time following my switching to iambic paddles, I decided to put it back into service as a sideswiper. It's a lot of fun to use! [W9EBE].