A second life for dead hard drives

[AndyUU1CC] has put together directions on how he built an Iambic Paddle out of some old hard drives. The iambic paddle is a device for telegraphy. More specifically, it is that piece that you always see people clicking with their finger when they send a telegraph. We hadn’t seen an iambic or “dual lever” style before, but we now know that this is not an uncommon design. While it is ultimately just a fancy set of switches, we can’t help but be impressed with the looks of it.

[via instructables]


  1. Andrew says:

    That was a terrible instructable. Sheesh..a few pics does not and instructable make.

  2. kyle says:

    and instructable….

  3. PocketBrain says:

    I’m pretty sure that was an iambic paddle key you saw Forrest Whittaker using in the movie “Phenomenon.”

  4. fartface says:

    Why do people use the abortion that is “instructables”? I utterly hate that place, plus their whoring of everyone elses content by asking for subscriptions to access conten in a non-crappy way.

  5. Josh says:

    Iambic keyers are all right but what people should be building the shit out of are multiambic keyers, hand free chording keyboards. Steve Mann’s book Intelligent Image Processing has basic instructions and I think that section is available online too, just search for wearcomp keyer or multiambic keyer howto.

  6. Peter says:

    Instructables used to be good, before they required subscription/registration to see more than just the first picture.

  7. googfan says:

    why do people hate instructibles?

  8. Malcolm says:

    FYI: you have 2 paddles, one for a ‘dot’ and one for a ‘dash’. It makes it quicker to key, and keeps you from having to self-time dashes

  9. drew says:

    instructibles, one word greasemonkey (or does that count as 2)

  10. ricko says:

    @Peter, check bugmenot.com . I used a login from that site on instructables just a week ago or so and it worked fine. I completely agree with you though.

  11. svofski says:

    FWIW, a paddle is not exactly what makes a key “iambic”. “Iambic” has to do with rhythm, it is greatly explained here:

  12. Pete says:

    @Svofski Awesome video. At the end I was ready to run for cover.

    Also, instructables blows.

  13. NatureTM says:

    Though I won’t be building this project, I love articles that show me how to put my old junk to good use.

  14. Hi, it’s cool…

  15. osgeld says:


    Instrucatbles hate, “oh ill leave my email on a wordpress blog but sign into instructables? !HORSESHIT, 3rd party proxie, blah blah blah”

    I dont get it, quit being a lazy ass and sign in

  16. svofski says:

    @osgeld: if HaD required me to sign in just to read the entries I’d hate HaD too. Instructables just has to go.

  17. PReDiToR says:

    I have a perfectly good login for Instructables, but I can’t be arsed to use it just to read a story. I used to click around their site quite a lot just to see if I could find a nugget.
    Now I don’t bother unless it was reposted somewhere.

  18. Osgeld says:

    you hackers obviously have never seen an log me in every time i visit check box (i havent logged into my instructables account in more than 8 months but I remain logged in)

    Good job

  19. Scott says:

    here is HIS video! How did hackaday miss this?

  20. Richard says:

    He’s got a pretty good fist going on that key, his code is clean and clear so the key obviously works very well… he had a good idea and executed it well.

    And you Indestructable-haters… if you haven’t got the sense to log in there, then that’s your problem not theirs. *rolls eyes*

  21. Brad says:

    anyone else think this was a place where dead harddrives could create virtual avatars of themselves and fly around?

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