Many thanks to Eric (WD8RIF) who writes:
Well, if K8RAT is going to tout Hermione, I guess I need to tout Levon.
My cootie/sideswiper was inspired by an article (http://sideswipernet.org/articles/w9ok-modernization.php) by W9LA about how hams in the 1930s might have constructed a cootie/sideswiper using a ceramic DPST knife switch. I didn’t have a ceramic DPST knife switch, but I did have a nice Leviton ceramic DPDT knife switch which I used as the basis for my cootie/sideswiper. Instead of using tape for the fingerpieces as described in the article, I used Fender guitar picks.
This cootie is the key I use most often for home-based operations.
While operating in the field, I usually use an inexpensive and lightweight Whiterook MK-33 single-lever paddle as a cootie key.
Levon is a handsome sideswiper, Eric! Thanks for sharing his story and your photo!
Thanks to both of you, I feel inspired to make my own “cootie” this winter. Perhaps I’ll try to find some historic context/inspiration as well!
Any other homebrew sideswipers, straight keys, or paddles you’d like to share? Please contact me and we’ll feature your creations!
I’ve got a very special one that’ll be featured later this week. Stay tuned!