Saturday, July 19, 2008

Let Geeking Be Unrestrained!

I just got this box in the mail. It's packed like the Crown Jewels or the Maltese Falcon or somethin':It's a handmade telegraph key from Jerry Pittenger:
Gaze upon its beauty! Ball-bearing pivots! Two pounds! Way, way shiny!
And here it is all dressed up:
Now, as impressive as this is, Roberta X has built a straight key, not out of brass bar-stock, but out of square brass tubing! I s**t you not! It's hollow.

Something tells me that for an encore, she may someday make one with the contacts hidden INSIDE the tubing. Just a guess.


Carteach0 said...

In my head, the code is just another language to learn.

Thing is..... I have yet to be able to learn a second language. I am just barely past 'Bang the rocks together' in English so far.

I've sat there while old farts conversed over dinner with a spoon on the table..... and felt like an utter moron. Sigh.

Carteach0 said...

Oh.... that key looks fantastic! I'd own it just for the beauty, and it might shame me into learning code.

BobG said...

Nice lightning bug.

Roberta X said...

It's not a language, Carteach, it is an alphabet -- or a musical instrument. The sounds are letters; the letters are sounds (not dots and dashes but dits and daahs).

Fast users often apply short-form abbreviations, most of which are not unfamiliar to anyone who's seen texting or some forms of lolcat.

--My brass-tubing straight key is the result of having the material and an excess of free time. It'd take bigger tubing to hide the contacts, though a magnet and reed switch would be a good start in that direction...

Roberta X said...

PS: that's a faboo keyer, Turk!

D.W. Drang said...

Looks like a key that, when you pound it, will pound back. At two pounds, I think it will!

Thank you, Roberta, I've been trying to tell people for years that code is NOT a different language. Why is Braille, for instance, an alphabet, but code is not?

Turk Turon said...

This is an iambic keyer, which means that if both paddles are held down simultaneously it will produce a series of "dah-dit". So for example, you could send the letter "C" by simply holding down both paddles for two "cycles". And you could send the letter "Q" (dah-dah-dit-dah) by pressing right-both-right. Very confusing. I wonder if people can actually adapt to this?

"Bugs" are much more complicated and elegant: they produce "dits" using a vibrating reed, spring or other ingenious mechanical method.

phlegmfatale said...

Wow. Super cool!
Lovely machine.