I read a book about ham radio when I was in high scruel. I didn't know anyone that had one, but I was always interested in it. Met my first ham in 1985. He was a go getter and had all the awards you could want. He wound up cutting his coax feed lines and disassembling his station in a fit. High strung I guess. I told him I was interested, but he said "not interested".
FFWD to fall 1987, second semester at LeTourneau College. I met a yankee from MA. He was a ham, had a Technician license. He invited us over for Thanksgiving. After a fine meal, he took me to a deadbolted closet. That was a bit weird, but he was a yankee. I didn't know how they lived in a foreign country, so I held my peace. He opened it up, and there was a radio, and some other stuff in there. Kenwood TS520 as I remember. He fired it up, and let it warm a while, then tuned it up. (peak and dip, vacuum tubes for the win!)
He started speaking in tongues: "CQ CQ CQ Hello CQ this is Kilo redacted..........." And some voice calls back, FROM MONTANA!!! We were in Longview, TX. So I was kinda impressed. He let me "third party", or take the mic and talk to this guy. Suddenly, an Aussie breaks in, and my buddy grabbed the mic, and I got to watch for a couple hours.... It was pretty heady stuff.
I bought some code practice tapes and started working on the 5wpm morse code to pass my first tests to get a novice license.
The other day, my daughter told me that the oldest granddaughter is learning the code. That is too amazing. I remembered I had something that might help her when she gets to that point. A code practice key. I got it for cheap because it was not working. So, some disassembly was required.
The internals were glued down, and that is old enough to be worthless, so a reglue is necessary. I also found corrosion under the two screw posts on the key base. Copper and Aluminum don't play well together over the decades. I need to clean that up. There were felt feet on the bottom. Only two are there now. Need to fix that, too. Won't do that have it skidding around. Can't send CW when you are chasing the key across the desk....
At first I thought there was some electrical problem with the board, the circuit is simple and robust. And it's fine. There was corrosion on the two silver contacts. That circle at the bottom of the picture above is real silver. It was black with corrosion. I used a bit of baking soda and water with a rag to get that off. Very little effort to do that.
Touching the black and red wires together gets a nice tone. But I want to put some spade lugs on the wires so there isn't the dissimilar metal issue. Solder doesn't seem to worry the aluminum like copper does.
The arm contact is in the center of the picture, real silver. Good for another 50 years or so. It's old, but still serviceable. I gotta get some better glue than I have right now to reattach the speaker to the bottom of the enclosure. I'll get some more pictures when I'm done with it.
Fun little quickie project. I hope she likes it. I'm having a ball getting it back to useful.