What do you think of this key ?

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by NX3M, Jun 23, 2020.


What do you think of this key ?

  1. really like or would modify to taste

  2. would rather buy a harbor freight special

Multiple votes are allowed.
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  1. NX3M

    NX3M Ham Member QRZ Page

    Okay here's a screenshot with the key on a black acrylic base Unrendered view with steel plate weighted acrylic base.JPG
  2. K8FFF

    K8FFF Ham Member QRZ Page

    Couple things:

    1. It’s beautiful. I’d send you money tomorrow if you were in production.

    2. At first I didn’t like the trussed version, but after looking at it for a bit I really like the trusses. Yeah, that ‘s the one I want.

    3. I suggest you add posts under the mounting screws to take the stress. Otherwise, the base will flex if the mounting screws are tightened aggressively, and the “ears” will pinch the lever.

    4. What metal finish will you use? I’d hate to have to Brasso those trusses.

    5. Question: Some pictures show the “ears” to be separate pieces, some don’t look like they are. Makes no matter to me, but I’m just curious.
  3. K8FFF

    K8FFF Ham Member QRZ Page

    And not to be a nit picker, but I don't see a connection between the binding post and the lower key contact.
  4. NX3M

    NX3M Ham Member QRZ Page

    Answers to comments and questions :

    1. I will get some quotes but just considering the cost of brass as a metal is about $1.50 per pound and that base of the key with trusses is about 1 pound. The black base should be a heavy cheap metal like steel but steel costs more to machine since its harder.

    2. Yea, I didn't care too much either, but like you said ; its distinctive and nothing like it out there.

    3. Torque on the mounting screws is minimal and consider that the FEA is at where I can stand on the base and the trusses can support my weight (> 170 lbs), so not really an issue. IF it was aluminum I would agree with you ! Zinc added to Copper makes brass really tough !

    4. I am not sure how to passivate the brass, but I get your concern. Perhaps a thin clear lacquer would be best.

    5. This design is constructed from views of a older Signal Electric key which has (2) round head slotted screws attaching each ear. Manufacturing is cheaper since the base material is thinner. Otherwise the ones that you see are made from a casting, which is not as nice for surface texture as machining.

    Oh, and don't forget to up vote if you like it now.

    View attachment 676687 View attachment 676687
  5. NX3M

    NX3M Ham Member QRZ Page

    Of course you don't ! :) It's under the steel plate that you see.
  6. NX3M

    NX3M Ham Member QRZ Page

  7. AJ4UY

    AJ4UY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Appears that you used the "K.I.S.S." approach to this design !
    Nice. Nice Pictures ! I like the Triangular Cut Aways in the drawings.
  8. KW6LA

    KW6LA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Nice CAD work and it looks great ! looks are not everything and the extra weight can be your friend. I mount my straight keys on anything heavy so they don't hop around on the desk. Going to make this key? Keep us posted ?
  9. AB9NZ

    AB9NZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Machinist here. How would you cut the sharp corners in the triangles?
  10. KW6LA

    KW6LA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Machinist here. How would you cut the sharp corners in the triangles?

    Here too. If he farms it out to a shop they will use a small end-mill 3/32 and will have a radius in corners. If sharp, broaching or plunge EDM $$$$ Anything is posible>>>
    If YOU don't have to do it your self. With CAD / CAM software, I see a lot of this at work driving the cost thru the roof. Not being mean, I love the fact that a Ham is building something!!! Just has to be feasible and cost effective? If I was to quote this CAD file complete to manufacture, it would be around $ 1,600.00 Most shop rates are about
    $90.00 per hour. Just print it and paint it... DONE!!
    AB9NZ likes this.

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