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Circa 1940 Morse Training Key restoration

Circa 1940 Morse Training Key restoration

Circa 1940 Morse Training Key restoration

The original scope of this project was that I was approached by a local Air League Squadron, as some of the cadets had shown an interested in obtaining their morse code badge and overall wanting to have a better understanding of where it originated from.

I was thinking of where I could find a Morse key to show to the children, then I remembered that there was a key located in the clubrooms that had seen better days.

For those who enjoy Morse code and the history associated with it may recognize this key and the stamping on it.

Levensons Radio were located at 226 Pitt Street in Sydney from 1920 to the early 1960s producing a large range of radio related products.

One of them being this morse code training keyer,

The key is of Brass construction with chrome plating, along with a bakerlite buzzer and bakerlite light fitting which is dated to early 1940s.

The key had sat untouched and unloved for several years on a shelf.

There was a large amount of oxidisation on the chrome plated brass which was on every piece of metal.

The circuitry works but is not quite up to a current standard.

The “feel” of the key showed there was still a bit of life left in it.

After a very quick polish with Autosol there were positive signs that this would be a successful clean up which is shown on the base and key mechanism itself.

Being incredibly pleased with how well this turned out it was time to move to some light machine polishing.

Unfortunately, there was a small casualty as the chrome plating was quite thin, however the overall pictures speak for themselves

A small clean up and re-run of the wiring underneath ensuring years of stable service

The night came along to showcase Morse to the cadets.

They loved it! it was incredibly engaging and was a fantastic sight to see excitement.

Whether it was excitement for Morse code, or having a Practical hands-on session, I don’t know, and I don’t I really care.

I went through the basic concept of Morse Code; the primary uses and the differences between a Dit and a Dah before moving onto activities.

With each cadet provided with a workbook and morse alphabet, everybody took turns to spell out their name in Morse and the other person would attempt to decode it.

There was a buzz in the room with dits and dahs flying everywhere.

The standard buzzer on the straight key was used for a short time before the unanimous decision was made to move it to the radio as it sounded more natural.

Lucky there was a IC-705 in a bag. And with some quick wiring we were set.

What an experience, and I have already been asked when I will be coming back with it so they can practice again.
Next time around I will be looking at implementing a game of battleships from Sarcnet (sarcnet.org)

Good times.



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