Using a Straight Key with HamSphere

Here’s my solution to send CW with HamSphere using an actual straight key.

The key I’m using is this one:

Vintage 1950 Romanian Army straight Morse key

With cover lifted

 

It looks a little dirty in the pics, but I dismantled it and cleaned it.

Then, I took a very cheap mouse. This one was purchased from Wish.com and I think it only cost shipping. It’s a wireless mouse, which is convenient, as it means one less cable on my computer desk.

I opened it and soldered a cable (I used a 3.5 mm mother jack cable) to the contacts of the left button microswitch. Because the stereo cable had a third wire, I could’ve also soldered the right button and then used the same mouse with a paddle, but since I don’t have a paddle yet, I didn’t bother.

With cable soldered

Then I replaced the old cable in my straight key with a 3.5 mm jack cable so I could connect the key to the mouse:

Finally, I connected the mouse’s tiny wireless adaptor to my iMac, inserted the batteries in the mouse, and hooked it to the key:

Having purchased the CW plugin from HamSphere, all there was left to do was find an available frequency (remember to consult the band plan here), leave the mouse cursor hovering on the CW plugin, and call CQ!

See a video of the key in action here: Calling CQ using a straight key on HamSphere

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