Saturday, May 17, 2014


     A selection of old keys -- and one new one -- from the Dayton Hamvention:
"Pendograph," with a base-supported vertical pendulum for forming dits.

Pendograph close-up.  The owner let me try it -- very nice feel.  It's a "release of tension" design like the Mecograph: the reed is flexed at rest, and released to vibrate when you work the left paddle.

"Automorse," an Australian-made fully-automatic mechanical key.  Full-auto for International Morse, as used on radio, anyway:  the third paddle is for the long dahs of landline Morse, and that's manual.

This is a Mecograph, one of two versions.

The original machine for live coverage of news -- cut into the nearest telegraph wire and get to sending! You see these in old photos of press coverage of sporting events and Presidential appearances.


A full-auto, all-mechanical key built by Indy's own brilliant Richard Meiss. He knows more about the physics of bug keys than any man alive. This key is palm-sized, and uses a mechanically-varied mass to switch between dits and dahs.


  1. I'm kinda sick that we no longer can attend the Dayton Hamvention. We did for a good number of years, but then got involved with an RV group called the Tin Can Tourists ( and the Spring rally is on the same dates. Can't be in 2 places at once, darn it!