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My new passion... operating CW mode with a homemade Sideswiper. Years ago (1972 '73) I was operating in a shack away from the house. I built a 6'X8' operating shack, kinda looked like an outdoor toilet. It had an window opening, no window though, and a slab of plywood across the shed for a desktop. There was just barely room enough to swing the door open and enter. (Yes, I did actually have a door. I also added some clear plastic to cover the window hole later.) I always wanted to get away from the straight key and ended up putting together a sideswiper made from a hacksaw blade and wooden blocks. This aparation was screwed down on the "desktop." And I learned to send with it. It was replaced after about a year with a tube keyer that was given to me.
I recently worked a fellow on 40 meters who was using a sideswiper. (I recognized its unique sound immediately and he confirmed that it was indeed a SS.) That was early last week. I was so intrigued by that old nostalgic sound that I built another one and began practising. Now, after working a few "Victims" on the air, I think it will be fun to continue the quest.
Here's a picture of what I cobbled together. (Click the picture to enlarge.)