Hi .. back in the 70s, (1976?) I purchased all rights to, (including the
patent for the key) and hardware related to, the W8FYO CW paddles from HAL.
HAL, noted for their RTTY equipment, retailed the key and as a "step-up" you
could get the deluxe version that included a on the base for sending simple
messages. You had to have a burner for the chip, or order them from HAL.
Somewhere, I still have the original that was butchered up to change to
magnets, instead of springs. Three of us -WB6NHF - (myself, soon to become
AA6DX), WB6SXJ [SK], and WB6MYF formed the company HAMCO, and we were off
and running. With Rich Sweet, WB6MYF doing most (read, "all") of the
engineering, the HAMCO had been re-designed, using a brass & wood base and
magnet (THE SCOTIA), and an upgrade (THE CARSON), with keying done by a
Curtis chip in the wooden base and a speed control built a hollow in the
wood side. About that time, Bencher came on the scene with their version of
the spring return keying, and it looked different than the W8FYO/HAL device
but was in fact the same as the original design. As I had purchased the
patent rights, I wanted to stop their production, so I hired a patent
attorney ... our friend and fellow DXer-Contester, Rusty Epps .. W6OAT!
After duly researching the situation, it was decided not to pursue the
expense of the battle, as the HAMCO key had changed so much, and was doing
I remember that there was, back even further in ham history, antenna patent
rights with the spiral yagis, etc... And, are there not patents on tower
features .. fold-over, bracing, etc. ???
So -- point being .. should get Rusty in the mix!
73 Mark AA6DX
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