After many years of not using CW and finally getting around to renewing my license I decided to brush up on CW. Easier said then done but regardless I bought a Bencher Paddle and have quite a few radios. Needless to say they have to share one key.
PROBLEM: I really do not want to keep moving cables, plugs, etc. between radios.
SOLUTION: See Below what I came up with. Cheap and simple!
I had this old RJ-45 (but wired for 6 pins not 8) switch box laying around. I decided this would be perfect for the project. So I took it apart and replaced the RJ-45 connectors with Phono Jacks. Note I painted the case with high temperature matte black paint such as that used in outdoor BBQs (I used Rustoleum) to not only withstand the beating it may take in the shack but also to match the rest of the gear.
Note the resitors and the LEDs. I drilled 4 holes and installed 4 different color (Important) LEDs to switch corresponding to the back numbers. Top=1, Bottom=4, I think you can figure out the other two. Another Angle for a better view:
And here is the back view. The Connector on the side is for the 12/13.8DVC from the bench powe supply to drive the LEDs. The Resistors (2 of them) just happend to be what I had on hand which would give me the closest operating voltage for the LEDs from 13.8VDC. Any single or combinaton works and can be figured out using Ohms law. Current draw is minimal fo course. Wire tied for good measure.
Here is another view with the over on. Right I/O connects to Paddle. A-D and to radios.
And the finished product from the front.
I hope this helps or at least gives someone in a similar situation some ideas. This super simple solution really cleared off a lot of cables off the bench. Since then I have retired this unit due to operating changes and gear changes but served me well while in use.
If you find something incorrect and/or have an update, I would really appreciate if you could let me know by contacting me. I like to keep things as up-to-date as possible. Thank you! - Lucas / W6AER