Monday, July 18, 2016

Psssst! ..... Hey Buddy, wanna key?

Yesterday, I spent part of the morning at the Sussex County Amateur Radio Club Hamfest, in Augusta NJ, at the Sussex County Fairgrounds.  The weather was superb and that was probably the main reason for the huge turnout of vendors.  This year's iteration of the SCARC Hamfest was the biggest I've seen in years. There was so much to take in!  I was not able to spend as much time there as I would have liked, as I had to be home in order to make 11:30 AM Church services.  In the 90 minutes that I was there, I was able to make two complete trips of all the tables, inside and out.

The first trip was a cursory glance, the second more in depth.  I really could have made at least two more circuits easily.  Yes, there was a lot of non-Ham related junk; but there were also plenty of treasures if you had the time to really look. As it was, I purchased a few knobs for future models of my magnetic loop antenna experiments, and I also purchased some silver and Teflon SO-239 chassis mount connectors.  I was the big spender of the day, parting with $10.25 of my hard earned cash-ola.

I was kind of surprised to see a good Ham buddy, Bill Koeth W2WK at a selling table.  I've known Bill since he was President of the Piscataway Amateur Radio Club, when I was Secretary and then, eventually Vice-President.  Bill is a master machinist and mechanic, who worked for over 20 years repairing road surfacing equipment.  Bill is so good with all things mechanical that he restored a Model A Ford, fabricating most of the unavailable parts that he required, himself.

Luckily, Bill is also a CW aficionado and as of late, has turned his skills and talents towards making beautiful straight keys.  I was honored to test one of his prototypes and liked what I saw (and used), very much! He listened to my suggestions and those that others have made and now has a finished product that he offers for sale:

So.... if you're in the market for a high quality straight key, dtrop me a line and I'll send you Bill's e-mail address and you and him can discuss "particulars".

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

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