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WWII
NL
OD
Morse
NSF
  
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OD Morse key
NSF morse key used by resistance

The morse key shown below, was made by Philips subsidary Nederlandse Seintoestellen Fabriek (NSF) in Hilversum (Netherlands) in the periode before World War II (WWII). During the war, it was used by the Ordedienst (OD) – one of three important resistance organisations – in combination with the so-called OD Transmitter, in a secret national underground communications network.

The key was made by NSF especially for use in airplanes, and was available in a number of variants: with a short or a long boom, with fixed wiring at the bottom and with a protective cover.

The version used by the OD is slightly different. It does not have a protective cover – the fixation bridge is missing – and its contacts are brought out to three banana sockets at the rear. The bare key has a 105 x 40 mm base and a 135 mm boom that pivots at 1/3rd from the rear. It is bolted onto a 95 x 50 mm aluminium base plate, which in turn is mounted on a wooden block.
  
Original morse key that was used with an OD transmitter. It was originally made by NSF for use in airplanes

The wooden block measures 170 x 100 x 20 mm and is padded at the bottom with a layer of 5 mm thick felt (185 x 120 mm). The latter was done to reduce the acoustic vibrations (i.e. the key clicks) when pushing down the morse key, which could easily be heared through the walls of an appartment building. As a general rule, not even the neighbours could be trusted at wartime [1].

The complete construction measures 200 x 120 x 80 mm, and weights 470 grams. Of the three sockets at the rear, only the outer two contacts are wired, so that the key can only be used as a normally open (n.o.) switch. The normally closed (n.c.) contact is bended out of the way, so that it could not be used my mistake – it would have turned the transmitter on when it was connected.

NSF morse key with wiring, as used by the Ordedienst (OD)
Morse key of the OD transmitter
Top view
NSF OD Morse Key, seen from the side
Seen from the top
Sockets at the rear
Top view of the contact busses
Pivoting point at 1.3rd from the rear
Contact busses at the rear
Wiring
Mounted on an aluminium base plate
Adjusting the spring
Connected to a transmitter
Cable connected to morse key
Short banana plugs connected at the rear
Cable
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×
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NSF morse key with wiring, as used by the Ordedienst (OD)
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Morse key of the OD transmitter
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Top view
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NSF OD Morse Key, seen from the side
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Seen from the top
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Sockets at the rear
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Top view of the contact busses
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Pivoting point at 1.3rd from the rear
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Contact busses at the rear
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Wiring
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Mounted on an aluminium base plate
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Adjusting the spring
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Connected to a transmitter
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Cable connected to morse key
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Short banana plugs connected at the rear
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Cable

Side view of the NSF morse key that was used by the OD



Related items
Complete OD radio set
OD transmitter
TX
OD receiver
RX
OD Wavemeter
Poem Code used by the Ordedienst (OD)
History
The morse key shown here, was used by the OD radio post of Region 13 (The Hague), that was alternately located (clandestinely) at the office of the Radio Monitoring Service (RCD), the house of RCD employee Anton van Schendel, the house of radio technician Dick Reijns at Torenstraat, and the attic of the CJMV building at the corner of Prinsegracht and Boekhorststraat in The Hague [1].

The CJMV building – shown in the 1943 image on the right [5] – was selected because of its strategic position. The radio station was located in the attic, whilst the windows at the top floor offered a good view of three surrounding streets: Prinsegracht, the corner with Boekhorststraat and, opposite the front door, Jan Hendrikstraat.

The building was also chosen because of the presence of electric overhead lines of the tram. It was assumed that these lines would cause inter­ference when the Germans tried to locate the transmitter by means of radio direction finding.

The transmitter was usually operated by wireless operators Adri van Mansum (of Delft) and Joop Ketting (of The Hague), and occasionally also by Dick Reijns, who had been appointed by wireless coordinator Anton van Schendel as the radio officer of OD Region 13 [3]. Reijns was a radio amateur (PA0RS) and had a radio repair shop at Jan Hendrikstraat, close to the CJMV building. He was responsible for the contact with London, as well as for the contact with other OD regions, via the secret national OD communications network.
  
The CJMV building at Prinsengracht 4 in The Hague in 1943 - one of the locations of the transmitter of OD Region 13

Close to the end of the war – on 18 February 1945 – during communication with the OD post in Eindhoven (Region 18) 1 Reijns and van Mansum were arrested by the German Sicherheitsdienst (SD) [3]. They were executed less then three weeks later, on 8 March 1945 at Waalsdorpervlakte [6]. Joop Ketting and Anton van Schendel both survived the war. The morse key featured on this page and a heldheld wavemeter, are the only remains of the OD radio post in The Hague [1].

 Further history of the OD equipment

  1. Eindhoven was already liberated at this point.

References
  1. Cor Moerman, OD Morse Key - THANKS !
    Received November 2020.

  2. Louis Meulstee, Wireless for the Warrior, volume 4
    ISBN 0952063-36-0, September 2004

  3. Verslag A.S.M. van Schendel
    Post-war debriefing.

  4. Jan Schulten, De radiopost van de Ordedienst in Rijsbergen
    - achtergronden van het drama op de Vloeiweide - (in Dutch language).
    Jaarboek De Oranjeboom 47, 1994.

  5. Photographer Ojen, Image of CJMV Building at Prinsegracht 4 in The Hague in 1943
    Collectie Haags Gemeentearchief. ID 0.58587.

  6. Oorlogsgravenstichting, Gerardus Bernardus Reijns (1907-1945)
    Retrieved December 2020.
Further information
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Crypto Museum. Created: Tuesday 29 December 2020. Last changed: Thursday, 01 April 2021 - 10:09 CET.
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