Author Archive

Master Control for the CW Operator

If you’re an avid CW buff like me, you have accumulated a collection of paddles, bugs, hand keys and keyers. You like to switch off keys and keyers when operating CW. However, it’s such a pain to pull gear off the shelf to plug-unplug keys and keylines.

Here’s a neat solution that only requires hooking everything up once. Using a stereo source selector box (about $30) you connect up four paddles, bugs, hand keys, and keyers to one or two rigs. You can connect one key at a time or all four at once. You can even patch one or all four keys to both rigs simultaneously.

You can appreciate the convenience this offers. Select one of four paddles, keys, or keyers and start sending CW. You can change from one to another just by moving your hand.

Here’s how it’s done. Phono Preamps offers the TCC TC-716 6-Way Stereo Source Selector:

TC-716 Front

TC-716 Front

TC-716 Back

TC-716 Back

The selector has a row of six push buttons on the front. On the rear are two mini 3.5mm (1/8″) stereo phone jacks and four pair of RCA phono jacks. Any combination of rigs and keys/keyers can be plugged in. I used simple 6-inch “Y” cables with 2x RCA male plugs to 1x 3.5mm stereo female jack for “Audio 3 through 6”. The selector box and y-cables are available here:

Locate the selector box centrally on your desk as you’ll use it often.

73 de Jim KM5M

Subscribe FREE to's
Amateur Radio Newsletter

We never share your e-mail address.

Do you like to write?
Interesting project to share?
Helpful tips and ideas for other hams?

Submit an article and we will review it for publication on!

Have a ham radio product or service?
Consider advertising on our site.

Are you a reporter covering ham radio?
Find ham radio experts for your story.

How to Set Up a Ham Radio Blog
Get started in less than 15 minutes!

  • Matt W1MST, Managing Editor