Making your own CW key is a real challenge for many ham radio amateurs. Hundreds very beautiful pieces of workmanship can be found on the Internet.
Made of wood, plastic, copper, brass ..... you name it. Many of these keyers are mechanically.
However, my preference is a one with as little as possible, or even better, without any mechanical parts.
Because almost every modern transceiver has the capability to connect a keyer, I thought a capacitive keyer can be a good alternative.
No moving parts, no wear, overall a reliable instrument.
As always, Google is your friend. While searching for a good, but especially simple design I came on website of John, M0UKD.
Besides a lot of other interesting articles I found one that describes a capacitive key with only 10 parts.
Can you imagine ...... 10 electrical parts.
Because John is a very busy OM, and he did not have the complete kit at that time, I decided to gather the parts myself. At that moment I had no possibility
to make the PCB so it was outsourced to a fellow radio amateur and he has made the perfect PCB for me.
It was an easy job because John had made the layout available for download in PDF format.
Finding the right components was not a problem. Most components were in stock at the local store. You do need some skills for soldering the SMD components but with lots of patience,
a good magnifying glass and a small soldering iron it is not a difficult job.
In my case the power comes from a 3V Lithium Coin Cell battery and because the power consumption is no more than 0,75mA I think it will hold out a while.
Up to now, it is still a prototype but the next goal is to build it in a nice enclosure with one or two paddles. Not sure about the number of paddles this at the moment, but once this is done I will post the pics.