Inexpensive Key

Marvin McConkey K1MAL

We here at the VA Hospital, Northampton, Massachusetts, have built several Electronic Keyers as described by W4UWA/K3KMO in the iune 1962 issue of 73 Magazine as a patient project in our Manual Arts Therapy Radio Clinic. After taxing our pocketbooks to buy a relay and other components not found in our parts box, very little money was left to buy the key- Anxious to go on the air with our radio club call of KIOXT, we decided to



Fig. 1. Inexpensive key knob mode from */4 stock with disc glued to Yz" disc and these two discs glued to piece 1" x 5/a'\ Base is plastic or wood 4*A" x 3 W x V4'\

This phoio of rhe inexpensive key shows the construction.

use Yankee ingenuity and see if we could fabricate a unit. The Instructors in the other Manual Arts herapy Clinics cooperated and we came up with a couple of hacksaw blades, some 6-32 nuts, machine screws, and a scrap picce of Ji" plexiglass (wood could have been used). We put our heads together back at the Radio Clinic, assembled all these parts and came up with the key. This key has worked out very well for us and we thought we would share the information with your readers and our Amateur Radio Fraternity, his can be fabricated with a very small outlay of cash, a minimum number of tools; such as, a drill, an old hacksaw (hope you don't have to use the blade from the hacksaw7 which was used for the key arm), and a screw driver.

Turnbuckle Safety

Turnbuckles are very commonly used in antenna installations to allow tightening of guy guy wires, and also to provide a break point in the guy when antenna masts are to be lowered. It is not very well known, however, that under certain conditions of vibration in windy weather, that a turnbuckle will unscrew, and therefore open the guy just as destructively as if it had broken!

This is particularly true with new turnbuckles, which have nice, clean, smooth threads.

The use of a nut to lock the threads in the desired position is made difficult by the fact that one half of a turnbuckle uses a left-handed thread, and left-hand nuts are hard to find.

A simple, effective means oi preventing a turnbuckle from loosening is shown in the photo. A short piece of common guy wire is fed through the body of the turnbuckle and then through each end, and then twisted to prevent unraveling. This keeps either end from turning with respect to the body. . - , K6UGT

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