Remember Samuel Morse’s original telegraph key, made from custom machined parts. It was good enough to introduce the world to the telegraph signal that would become CW. But what if Sam could have had a neighborhood Ace Hardware store? Would have opted for a key made from nuts, bolts, screws and a hacksaw blade?
Take a look at the photos below to see Morse’s first key, and then compare that with an Ace Hardware “sideswiper” key that can be made by anyone.
And if you are wondering what kind of antenna works well with the “Ace” special – a special choke and its accompanying 30m/17m dipole.