Got my first license in October '09 with a Tech ticket and upgraded to General in February '10. I have a Yaesu 857D and a Kenwood TS-2000. Several hand helds including Duet, Baofeng UV-5R. I've built several HF antennas and currently have a fan dipole for 80, 40 and 20 meters suspended about 40 feet from my antenna tower.

I wanted a foot switch without spending a lot of money and brought home one from a resale shop for three dollars. It was a foot switch for a Singer sewing machine.  However, when I got it home it didn't work.  Trying to get it apart proved to be too much without breaking it beyond repair. Sitting there I began to wonder how I might be able to make one. Went out to the garage, grabbed a 2x6, split it in half for two 3/4" or so planks. Of course I couldn't find the small hinges that I knew I had. Really need to clean up. I grabbed a large cable tie, about a 1/2 inch wide, cut two short pieces for the hinge and a longer one that you can see in the pic for the spring return. Luckily I was able to find a micro switch, cut a small piece of wood for mounting and I was done.

A head set with boom mic is attached to the front of my Kenwood via a junction box so that I can switch between the headset or external speakers. My computer is attached to the radio through a SignaLinkUSB controller which keys the radio via the accessory port on the back and passes audio through the same port. I did have to modify the SignaLink just a little so that it would work the way I wanted.

First I added a toggle switch, seen just above the power switch, to disable vox keying while using the head set and disabled the monitor jack on the back of the SignaLink to plug the foot switch into. This was done simply by cutting the trace on the pc board. The tip of the foot switch is connected to the ground side of the ptt relay since battery supply is always connected when the power switch is on. The vox switch just opens or closes the trace feeding the ground of the ptt relay.

Along with the radio I bought a MFJ-564 paddle.  Learning the alphabet to be able to send is one thing, although I'm still really slow but being able to receive without falling way behind is something else entirely. Still haven't got the courage to attempt a QSO on the air yet. I've been using Just Lear Morse Code as part of my practice. You can have the program 'read' a text file and of course choose the desired speed.

The radio is powered by a single deep cycle battery. To keep it charged I have a trickle charger attached. I cut a piece of copper bar for separate positive and negative connections with eight tapped 10-32 threaded holes each. The picture is my old battery setup, power connections are the same.

I added a couple of shelves in the corner behind my desk for a little more room.

Well, that's about it for now.  Hope you enjoyed your visit.  Take care and 73's.