The guy in the picture is Bob Mirriam, W1NTE who
runs the New England Wireless and Steam Museum
Looks like it would make a great nut cracker…
A great story about the early days of radio and the YL’s that helped raise awareness of Telegraphy and CW.
Got this key on eBay from a Pawn Broker. He didn’t have any real clue about what it was so I got it cheap. The key is in incredible shape and so is the storage case that came with it. I cleaned it up and then made a “dit tamer” which screws in to a small hole I tapped in the existing pendulum weight. That got me down to about 18 WPM. With the weight off the dit speed is about 22 WPM and with the arm removed all together, the dit speed is about 30 wpm. That’s why they called it the Lightning!
Great newsreel about CW from the late 30’s
From the Ham-Radio-History Group:
High speed morse was being sent via paper tape up to 300 WPM during WWII. Check out the equipment and the people that made it happen.
This is a great interview about Ham Radio in it’s earliest days. A must listen. Thanks to the Ham Radio History yahoo group!
Did you know that the inventor of the electric telegraph was an accomplished and devoted painter recognized throughout Europe? Well he was.
Check this out
Now…go here to learn all about it:
It’s more than dots and dashes,
It’s a place.
A sanctuary for those who’ve learned
To love the mysterious magic of
Thoughts arriving in mile-long strings
On roads of ether or wire.
Even more, it’s peace,
A shield from the disordered sounds
Of traffic, angry people
And industrial clutter clatter,
Within its warm mantle
We find soothing respite.
And the patter of bright ideas it is,
The sharp focusing of others’ thoughts
From miles beyond our vision’s range,
As in a dream we sit so still,
It floats in our ears and stirs our minds
With concern, remembrance, speculation
And code is music,
From sounders and speakers it dances
In the shack to each sender’s inner clock,
And comes butter-smooth, deliciously swinging,
Or choppy staccato from a “fist” praising definition,
Or perfectly metered, flowing exquisitely
From the gentle hand of an artist.
Code is more than dots and dashes.
Here’s a little snippet from the Ham Radio History Yahoo Group about the origination of cut numbers.
“Cut numbers” were used extensively on the maritime CW bands:
Every ship at sea sent its weather observations (“OBS”) every six
hours (0000Z, 0600Z, 1200Z, 1800Z) to what ever shore station it was
in contact with. These WX OBS were encoded into 5-digit number groups,
always beginning with 99xxx.
After I had a dozen or so vessels lined up and QRV to work one at a
time, I’d only have to send AA NN, and the ship at the head of the
line would burst forth with their number groups, beginning with the
These OBS were a perfect opportunity for vessels to use the
abbreviated cut numbers, and were very much appreciated by us shore
73, Jeff KH6O
(formerly with NMO, USCG CommSta Honolulu)