The first time I became aware of Bencher Morse keys was seeing a picture of a BY-1 on Wikipedia. I fell in love. After some time on the Googel, it became obvious that they were not only excellent keys, but also expensive. It also became evident that there existed an even more beautiful version of this device which was all chrome: The BY-2. At this point I had to have it. Oh yes. It will be mine. And now it is, thanks to a bargain on eBay. Even second-hand it’s thoroughly beautiful visually, as it is beautifully tactile. But what possible use could it be to someone without a Ham licence or a rig? Well, I want to get practice of 20 wpm morse and luckily all that needs is CWIRC which allows morse code over IRC, and also includes a beautiful and effective keyer. But how do you connect a morse key to a computer?
My eventual solution was to take an old USB mouse, connect a 1/4 inch jack socket to it, and solder it to the mouse button contacts. Bingo – instant morse key interface to every OS!
It’s been a productive weekend all round; not only did I get my lovely key hooked up, but I also spent a lot of time playing with IPMI, and we even managed to collect a second-hand FMT (Fucking Massive Telly) from M’s father and hook it up. We now have a 42 inch LCD projection TV! The biggest telly I’ve ever owned. Our old TV we managed to freecycle to a lovely couple of lesbians.
My little niece Lily, who will never know a world before video conferencing, was lovely on Skype today.