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Author Topic: Your Favorite morse code keys !  (Read 19063 times)
VE1GA
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Posts: 30




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« Reply #15 on: January 15, 2013, 08:39:27 PM »

To really enjoy CW, one needs a good key otherwise it will never be fun. After pounding brass for 49 years, using and trying many hand keys, its no contest for this operator.  The Junker DBGM (as well as the DRP) beats them all. But, you'll never know this unless you've experienced one yourself.  You can view the Junker here:

< http://www.mtechnologies.com/junker/ >

Leigh, VE1GA




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KB2FCV
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Posts: 1141


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« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2013, 08:32:00 AM »

Of the keys I have, the three I really like are:
1. Begali Signature - These paddles are simply a joy to send with. They have a great feel to them. Real eye candy also.
2. Vibroplex Deluxe bug - I've had mine for 20+ years and it's an old favorite. I learned how to use one of these when I first got into the hobby back in the late 80's as a kid.
3. My new favorite hand key, the Bencher RJ-1. I needed a better key and after trying many out, this one won out. My wrist does not get fatigued really at all on this as opposed to others I've used.

As a runner up, I'll say my Bencher BY-1's. I've had these also 20+ years and never a complaint about them.
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KC0THP
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Posts: 11




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« Reply #17 on: January 19, 2013, 04:50:26 PM »

  I only have one key.  It's a Nye Viking Speed-X straight key.  I bought it on the recommendation of a friend and I really like it.  I really haven't tried too many other keys though.
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WY4J
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Posts: 110




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« Reply #18 on: January 24, 2013, 03:53:18 PM »

Own many but my favorite is anything made by Tony N3ZN. This guy is a master.
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KD8IIC
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Posts: 151




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« Reply #19 on: January 25, 2013, 03:46:34 AM »

Used my J-38 for the first time on the air yesterday and love how it works and feels...73 n8aft
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ZENKI
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Posts: 906




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« Reply #20 on: January 25, 2013, 04:29:41 AM »

My best straight key is the HiMound  HK702. The one with the big white marble base. This Key is just as good as the  Amplidan and Marconi Straight keys.
The himound is as smooth as butter. The best feature about it is when you adjust  the settings stay put even in temperature extremes. I like very close spacing  on my straight keys which I like for
high speed  straight keying. Many keys if you set the contact spacing too close and it heats up a bit  the contact expand and start keying the radios. I always had to unplug other straight keys for this reason.
Since I never turn my radios off, I always had this problem until I got the Himound.

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N4OI
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Posts: 200




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« Reply #21 on: January 25, 2013, 04:42:25 AM »

I have been a ham for ten years now and have: (1) the common Bencher BY-1, (2) a Palm Mini-Paddle, which is surprisingly nice to use for a small, flexy device, (3) a Begali Signature paddle with gold contacts, and (4) a Begali Spark straight key. 

Of these, the Begali Signature is the most incredible.  I set the spacing to be nearly undetectable and it just stays there... I can send for hours without even thinking about it. 

I have been forcing myself to work more straight key using the Spark, but I have no other straight keys to compare -- so your mileage may vary.  I do find that I prefer a very close spacing on the Spark and a very light touch.  I suspect some other keys may not achieve or hold that type of setting.  Conspicuously absent in my collection is a bug.  That gap will soon be filled with an old Vibroplex that is on its way...  I am a little concerned my CW worlds will collide when I start training my bug fist!

So back to answering the question: Begali Signature! 

73 ES GOD BLESS U ES URS DE KEN N4OI  Grin
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ZENKI
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Posts: 906




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« Reply #22 on: January 25, 2013, 04:48:54 AM »

Its like shoes, you need to try them on! Same goes for keys, feel is a personal thing.

One of the best CW operators that I know has been using 2 X J38s strapped as a paddle, this ham is HS club member and he has used the same pair of J38's for at least  40 years. No Begali or Vibroplexers in sight!

I have been a ham for ten years now and have: (1) the common Bencher BY-1, (2) a Palm Mini-Paddle, which is surprisingly nice to use for a small, flexy device, (3) a Begali Signature paddle with gold contacts, and (4) a Begali Spark straight key. 

Of these, the Begali Signature is the most incredible.  I set the spacing to be nearly undetectable and it just stays there... I can send for hours without even thinking about it. 

I have been forcing myself to work more straight key using the Spark, but I have no other straight keys to compare -- so your mileage may vary.  I do find that I prefer a very close spacing on the Spark and a very light touch.  I suspect some other keys may not achieve or hold that type of setting.  Conspicuously absent in my collection is a bug.  That gap will soon be filled with an old Vibroplex that is on its way...  I am a little concerned my CW worlds will collide when I start training my bug fist!

So back to answering the question: Begali Signature! 

73 ES GOD BLESS U ES URS DE KEN N4OI  Grin
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K3GC
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Posts: 113




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« Reply #23 on: January 25, 2013, 06:41:28 PM »

For me it's the Begali pearl iambic and for straight key the Begali Blade.
Pure perfection, both of them.
Gene JK3GC
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K8AG
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Posts: 349




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« Reply #24 on: January 31, 2013, 01:56:44 PM »

Begali Simplex.  Reliable contacts every time.  Adjust as you like.  Inexpensive.

73, JP, K8AG
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KB2HSH
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Posts: 216


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« Reply #25 on: January 31, 2013, 02:48:47 PM »

Well, after last weekend's hamfest, I found a decent 1966 Heathkit HD-10.  It's big, it's old, it's heavy, and it sends pretty well.  It's like driving a Model T Ford.
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2E0OZI
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Posts: 269




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« Reply #26 on: February 02, 2013, 12:51:13 AM »

I have only ever used one - my Czech Army R31 key. Its a bit weird looking, as tough as a brick dunny, and the gubbins are hidden away. No doubt next hamfest I'll be going to I'll be searching out any bargains.  Grin
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Men can only be happy when they do not assume that the object of life is happiness.
George Orwell
K3NPO
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« Reply #27 on: February 02, 2013, 05:30:21 PM »

I'm still reading heavily as I learn to copy before I buy my first key. I noticed the Vizkey's have a lot of excellent ratings on eham as well. So many choices, it's overwhelming!
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73,
Cat, K3NPO
N8NSN
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Posts: 283


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« Reply #28 on: February 03, 2013, 01:22:10 AM »

Favorite key getting most use here is 1941 Signal Corps / Vibroplex J-36, Casually set at 27 WPM
* for slower QSOs, a 1946 Vibroplex Blue Racer: home brew swing weight 12<20 WPM
* for faster QSOs, a 1953 Vibroplex Original : kept at about 36 WPM

I agree with what some say on "clunkers"... Adjusting any key to a speed comfortable with its imperfections is the ...well, key - to proficiency at any speed.

Adjustments to a bug key are quite personal. I would be a bit upset if anyone changed anything on any of my keys, but especially the bugs... They're "just right"!
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W7AIT
Member

Posts: 488




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« Reply #29 on: February 04, 2013, 02:41:39 PM »

My best key:  Scheunemann Morsetasten Einhebel.  Solid brass.  Doesn't move on the table and built to last 300 years.  Zero maintenance or adjustment after 3 years of heavy use.
 
Second:  Vibroplex paddle built in 1973 at the New York factory.  Darn good.  But "tinny feel" after using the Einhebel.  The "dot" and "dash" posts wear and the threads eventually wore requiring more adjustment.

Third:  Bencher straight key.  Simple, well built, no maintenance.

Fourth:  My Novice Speed-x 310-003.  Simple but requires maintenance.

Last:  J-38.  Won't stay adjusted, always fiddling with it. 

I operate about 80% CW so I use my keys/ paddles a lot.

It helps to fasten down a light key (Speed-x) screwed to the operating table, so it doesn't move.  The Einhebel is so heavy (almost 5 pounds) that it won't move.
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