Thursday, 12 August 2010

Str8 Key Modifications

A change being as good as a rest, I decided to have a bit of a do with my "trusty rusty" FT101ZD. My home-brewed straight key wasn't keying the rig cleanly - at first I thought this was due to dirty contacts, so I cleaned them (with paper - I don't use abrasives). No effect.

Further consideration led me to try what I thought was the unlikely possibility that the electrical connection through the "hinge" was less-than-perfect - simply tested with a temporary cable...

Sure enough - and surprisingly enough - this sorted the problem.

I've seen little electrical bridges over the "hinge" on Kent straight keys and always thought this over-kill. However, I made up a flexible link (from some solder tags and some copper braid)...

... and fitted it to some conveniently located screwed fittings...

Result: the key is infinitely better! I can't see why the electrical path through the bushings (Phos. Bronze), the axle (Silver Steel) and the key's "arm" (Brass) should be so "iffy" - but the new strap has made all the difference.

Not bad for ten minute's work!

...-.- de m0xpd

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