I took my Extra exam on Guam in 1963. The nearest FCC office was at Honolulu and there was no way you could "walk through the snow drifts up hill both ways" to take an FCC test, so the FCC "contracted" the testing out to the Naval Area Commander on Nimitz Hill.

The examiner was a Navy Chief Radioman who was a friend of mine, Gary Dial (now SK). He called me the evening before the scheduled exam and said I could bring my own key if I wanted, but he'd have one wired up already. Next morning, just as an afterthought, I put my Vibroplex in the car "just in case".

When I walked in for the test he had a hand key and a Vibroplex both wired up for the sending test --- said I could use either one. Well, my hand key skills topped out around 20WPM, so I opted for the speed key.

But for the life of me I couldn't send decent code on Gary's key. No matter how I adjusted it the code was choppy and poorly formed. Thinking I'd do better on my own familiar key, Gary let me go out to the car and get it.

As soon as I set it on the desk, I saw the problem. Gary had reversed the thumb and finger plastics on the exam key, and in my nervousness over the exam I hadn't even noticed. We had a good laugh, and I went on to pass the test.

73, de Hans, K0HB