[CQ-Contest] [WriteLog] Do Keycaps Still Exist?

Don Hill AA5AU aa5au at bellsouth.net
Mon Jul 20 19:48:59 PDT 2009

Like Ed, I use a single strip of paper with labels.  Instead of using PowerPoint, I use Excel.  You can download keyboard templates
in either Excel for Microsoft Works from the rttycontesting.com Downloads page at:


or download the zipped file directly:


Just print them, then cut them out with scissors and tape them to the keyboard.  Cheap and works great.

73, Don AA5AU

-----Original Message-----
From: writelog-bounces at contesting.com [mailto:writelog-bounces at contesting.com] On Behalf Of Ed Muns
Sent: Monday, July 20, 2009 3:50 PM
To: 'Eric Rosenberg'
Cc: cq-contest at contesting.com; writelog at contesting.com
Subject: Re: [WriteLog] [CQ-Contest] Do Keycaps Still Exist?

> I set up all sorts of shortcuts and macros with Writelog, and am 
> frustrated with sticking labels than can be removed that invariably 
> come off at the worst possible time.
> I'd like to use old-fashioned keycaps, as prying keys off a keyboard 
> is a bit dicey!
> Do blank keycaps exist anymore?  If so, where an I get them?

This is not an issue for me and I change key definitions for every contest.

1.  For the Fn keys in the top row of the keyboard, I customize a single strip of paper with labels.  I have a PowerPoint file with
a slide per contest.  To the extent that I use different keyboards with different physical dimensions, then the slide per contest
will be specific to the keyboard being used.  But the basic slide is a template of text boxes centered on each Fn key.  Often, I
include a background rectangle to group keys for easy location at a glance ... Kind of provides a graphic tree structure so Fn keys
can be logically grouped.  If the software allows shifted-Fn keys then there are two rows of text boxes.  There is an overall
outline box around the template that is used for cutting out the strip of labels with a paper cutter or simple scissors.  By now, I
have slides for all the contests I do and can tweak the one I need for the next weekend.
For a new contest, I just duplicate one of the slides and edit the text and color backgrounds.

Then, from a craft store I buy a cassette that dispenses removable adhesive for rolling onto the back of this paper strip.  It is
adhered to the keyboard above the Fn keys and easily removed and replaced for the next contest.

2.  For keys within the keyboard array where I've defined a short-cut, I use 1/4" colored dots that are available from office supply
stores.  Again, get the removable type.  Often the colors will give me what I need for identification, but if not then I write a
character or two on the dot.
Tweezers are handy for applying and removing the dots.

Alternatively, some contesters use one or more of the various X-key configurations to have a customized keypad or strip separate
from the main keyboard.  They have removable keycaps under which you can insert/remove labels.  That's too complicated and takes up
to much operating space for me, but they are popular with others.

Ed - W0YK

WriteLog mailing list
WriteLog at contesting.com
WriteLog on the web:  http://www.writelog.com/

More information about the CQ-Contest mailing list