How Do You Keep Your Key From Sliding Around?

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by W5BIB, Jan 24, 2018.

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  1. K8ERV

    K8ERV Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have a big box of that stuff, from yard sales. Luvit. I cut small squares and attach to many items with double-sided tape. Really grabs the desk top, and prevents scratching. Not sure what it is called.

    TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
     
  2. WB5YUZ

    WB5YUZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    The straight key is screwed directly into the operating table (I can't be the only guy who still does this).

    The bug doesn't slide around at all unless I let the feet and/or the desk surface get dusty. A quick cleaning and it will stick fast again.
     
    N2SUB likes this.
  3. VE7PJR

    VE7PJR Ham Member QRZ Page

    I come from the "...let your 'yea' be 'yea'" school of sending, so I send with some "authority." Not to say "slap" -- that would be rude. :rolleyes: More like Denise Stoops, the "Goddess of the Airwaves." Or at least my fantasy of my sending is like hers!

    Here she is:

    In the complete absence of any housecleaning skills of my own, I use that rubberized material. Works just fine.

    Can't see screwing the key down to the desk -- I switch them off occasionally and each one goes in a slightly different spot.
     
    AD5HR and N2EY like this.
  4. N2UHC

    N2UHC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have added some flat stick-on wheel weights to some of my paddles to keep them from sliding around. I have mounted my straight key on a board which rests under my wrist, though I've since stopped using that and have it mounted on a corian countertop sample now, just like my other straight key. The straight keys aren't subject to much side-to-side movement like the paddles are. But I've used both rubber feet and that sticky drawer padding to keep them from sliding.
     
  5. K7KBN

    K7KBN Ham Member QRZ Page

    The Vibroplex "Presentation" I bought myself after graduating from RM "A" school never slipped around at the operating position, whether I was sending or one of the ship's other CW net Radiomen happened to be using it at the time. Never have seen the need or reason behind exaggerated whole-arm movements unless I was holding a pair of semaphore flags. Small finger-and-wrist movements are all that's needed. The receiving station can't see you or copy you any better.
     
  6. K8JD

    K8JD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I had some stick-on rubber pad squares about an inch on a side on the bottom of My J38 key.
    For the Vibroplex bug and Vectronics paddle I used two mouse pads glued back-to-back so the rubbery side was on the outside . That seemed good to keep the keys and paddles stay put.
    Another straight key had a 7/8 inch thick brass plate slightly wider than the key base and with threaded holes for screws going thru the key its-self. That was so heavy it stayed in place .
     
  7. WA8UEG

    WA8UEG XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I use the same thing and it works great, actually when the Radio Shack went out of business and everything was 10 cents on the dollar I bought the last 7 they had. What I like is when they get dusty or dirty you just wash with some warm water and there like new again.
     
    W5BIB likes this.
  8. K5UJ

    K5UJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I went through the posts so far to see if anyone provided the time tested method of the ancients. Didn't see it. First of course you have to have good rubber feet (a.k.a. bumpers) on the key. If they're old dried out and hard, remove and replace. You can get a bunch of new rubber bumpers from McMaster Carr. Get the ones with the metal washer built in.

    If you have a glass or smooth table top, you need to make up key-grabber paste. Combine some bees wax and a little lamp oil in a can over a burner until the wax melts and stir in the oil. Doesn't take much. This is just to make the wax a bit soft at room temp. Apply the resulting paste to the bottoms of the key feet and press down on the table. Give it 15 minutes and it will stay put. But unlike glue, if you want to move the key you can pull it off and wipe off the wax.

    In a pinch, you can use something like Blistex or Chapstik lip balm. In some places you can buy "Burt's Bees Lip Balm" and it has beeswax in it.
     
  9. WA7PRC

    WA7PRC Ham Member QRZ Page

    In my Novice daze (ca 1970) w/ my crude homebrew paddle, significant return spring was needed, with corresponding manhandling. Later, my Vibroplex keyer paddles w/ light return springs grip the desk fine sans anything extra (I recently replaced the old hard/dried bumpers). When mobile, I used to run a lot more contact spacing and return spring. The recessed console ashtray in my '69 Barracuda convertible fit my Vibrokeyer paddle perfectly, and it didn't move much.

    On my straight key, I just have it screwed onto a 1/8" thick piece of aluminum. A piece of felt piece of felt prevents scratching the desk. Since there's only up/down motion, nothing is needed to prevent side-side movement:

    [​IMG]
    vy 73,
    Bryan WA7PRC
     
  10. N1OOQ

    N1OOQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have the ol' Speed-x mounted to a board about 2 ft long. The other end goes under my elbow. So my whole forearm is resting on the board.
     
    WB5YUZ likes this.

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