Flower CW key

by OH6DC


SCAG (Scandinavian CW Activity Group) arranges a Straight Key Day (SKD) twice a year. Only hand keys are used and the most beautiful CW fist gets a prize.

I was pondering what might be the secret of beautiful CW. Could it be using a beautiful CW key? I decided to find out. I would build a really beautiful CW key and see if I will get better votes in the SKD.

But what kind of CW key is the most beautiful? No doubt a key made of a flower.


This large rose bush (Rosa poppius) grows in our front yard. Plenty of material for a pretty CW key.




I built a wooden base with a holder for flowers. A piece of aluminium tape was rolled around the rose stem. Below it the keying cable wires were attached to two small screws. Keying contact is made when the flower is pressed down and the aluminium tape touches both screws.




I experimented with other flower species too. This ox-eye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare) is beautiful enough, but it's stem is too thin and sloppy for a good CW key.




Next I tried a dame's rocket (Hesperis matronalis). It has a solid enough stem, but it should have brighter colors for my taste and it lacks the form of a key knob.




A chive (Allium schoenopranum) has a good round knob and a solid stem, but is it beautiful enough?




I tried a stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) too but did not like it at all. Sending morse code with gloves on is not my favorite thing.




So it was back to roses again. This one is from the backyard. The exact species is unknown but it looks pretty to me.




All was well in the beginning, but after several hours of straight key operation my key looked like this. I learned my lesson: Don't forget to water your telegraph key!


This video clip was taken when the rose was still fresh. The statement I send there is true even after my watering problem...


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