Power drill CW keyer

by OH6DC

Experts say practice and drills are necessary when improving any skill, including Morse code proficiency. I can understand the practice part perfectly well, but what about drills? I had to find out myself.

I built a fully automatic CW keyer using cordless drills and empty thread spools. The left drill generates dots and the right one dashes.

The spools have strips of aluminium tape around them. When they rotate, electric contact is made between pieces of wire. In addition to dot and dash contacts, there are contacts for sustaining the spool rotation so that it will make a whole turn and always stop at the start position, no matter when the paddle is released.

The drills use external 12 V battery.

Speed is controlled by cable ties around drill triggers. Adjustment is possible to one direction only: tighten to increase speed.

A simple but smooth-operating single lever paddle is included.

See the drills in action in this video clip: