[CQ-Contest] Foot switch recommendations

Dale Martin kg5u at hal-pc.org
Mon Mar 29 19:25:05 PDT 2010


The simplest thing you can build for your shack.....and you want to buy one?

Get two momentary pushbutton switches. 

Go to Home Depot (or similar): 

Get a piece of aluminum to be the bracket for the switches. 

Get a 3' length of piano hinge.

Get a couple of 1"x6"x3' boards

Get a couple of fairly stout springs.  They will keep the boards separated
when no foot pressure is placed on the top board. 

If you are on a carpeted surface, get some velcro and attach the hook side
of the velcro to the bottom of the bottom board in a few places.  If you are
on a wood or linoleum or tile floor, get some rubber mat and cut and glue it
to the bottom of the bottom board. 

At home:  
Sand at least one flat surface and the edges of the board that is not the
bottom board.    

Attach the hinge to one long edge of each board. 

Counter sink a couple of holes to support and hold the springs in place.

Make the mounting bracket for the switches so that it fits between the
boards and when the top board is depressed, it causes the momentary switches
to close.  When foot pressure is release or reduced the board comes up and
the switches go off.  

Get some wire cabling and wire the two switches in parallel on one end of
the cable and attach an appropriate connector to the other end. Why two
switches?  Redundancy.    

Paint, cover, or do whatever to the top board.  

I did this and it took me all of two hours.  Best foot switch I've ever
used...I never have to feel around for it, move it around so it's oriented
properly for my foot, etc.  You can have the commercial stuff. 

Dale, kg5u

> I need to buy a foot switch.  One handed logging isn't 
> cutting it anymore and is cutting into my rate.
> Most ham radio stores have the choice of the Heil or the MFJ 
> foot pedals.
> Is that really the only two choices we have?  I have a heil 
> headset and it has not impressed me with its build quality.  
> Therefore I'm a bit reluctant to buy another Heil product.

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