This Blog focuses on a few of my favorite activities. Most notably Cycling, Amateur Radio and Target Shooting. I believe that we learn best by doing. Since I am always engaged in one project or another, the blog is the journal where I keep track of my accomplishments and ideas.
I love Morse Code keys. I have a small collection of keys that represent the different designs that have appeared throughout the history of telegraphy. Because of this I am not an operator who is happy pounding away on the same old brass. I am always changing out keys, using different ones on the air at my amateur radio station. Reaching around to the back of the transceiver amid the jungle of wires to connect and reconnect key cables is a drag. This project is something I have wanted to do ever since I got my second key.
The key junction box lets me connect four different keys to my radio at one time and use any of the four without interruption. Luckily I have access to some light fabrication equipment at my screen printing shop.
I used 1/16" aluminum to make my juction box. It's really not a box, more like a bracket to hold the four 1/4" mono jacks. Using a manual punch press I accurately made holes in the aluminum panel spaced and sized just right to accept the jacks. I changed out the punch and die to a smaller size to make holes for the mounting screws and the cable clamp at the bottom of the bracket.
The next step was on to the bending brake to bend the bracket to 90 degrees.
Here is the junction box with the four jacks installed. I used solid copper hook up wire and soldered each of the jacks to the main cable. Heat shrink tubing finished off the connections.
The opening picture shows the junction box in its final position at the back of the operating desk just behind the transceiver. It is easily accessible from the left end of the desk yet out of sight from the front.