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Author Topic: High end Straight Key worth it?  (Read 42141 times)
PS7HD
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Posts: 12




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« Reply #60 on: April 24, 2014, 07:32:59 AM »

- I agree that collectors and speculators promote the increase of the price ..
- A good tool should be used ..
- What is good or beautiful does not need another reason to be there ..
- Pay 300 USD for a 213 Marconi or Amplidan is free, have a good key to life.
- Different people, different choices, this is normal.
- There are things that the tools (functional and practical) box, others are the toys (emotional - fun) box,
- Many artifacts ham belong both boxes.
- I also like to use single lever paddle key, but
- Straight key for QRS and QRP operation.
- We do a lot of hard work for fun, if not entertaining exchanged hobbie ..
- It's true, you can have bad QSD with any key.
- Learn how to send good QSD with a straight key is rewarding ..
- We are amateurs because we have time for it ..
- I love CW, I like to use various types of morse keys ..

BEST 73

Nathan, PS7HD
SKCC  # 8094
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WO7R
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Posts: 975




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« Reply #61 on: April 25, 2014, 09:33:51 AM »

There's nothing wrong with collecting.  People do it; you can't stop 'em anyway.

If we're going through another "Collins phase" for certain keys, then so be it.  If you attitude is utilitarian, skip the collectibles and use the best, reasonably priced key you can.  It's not like there aren't plenty of usable alternatives.

Me, I use off-the-shelf Bencher paddles and I'm very happy. I have a couple of straight keys, admittedly seldom used, but nothing special.

I even have a couple of "Bulldog" keyers (used 'em in fly-in DXpeditioning quite effectively, too, even though I'm sure some purist will gasp at their "heretical" McGuyver-style design).
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W2BLC
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Posts: 60


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« Reply #62 on: April 28, 2014, 02:30:24 PM »

For a straight key, my favorite is the Czech hard shell straight key (about $50 delivered). It is a folded long arm design that feels great (when properly adjusted).

I had a VizKey right angle bug - it was the best bug I ever used. Sadly, I gave it away and now they are no longer available. If anyone wants to sell one, let me know.

Want to see all kinds of keys and CW history? Look at www.radiotelegraphy.net

Bill W2BLC
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NY7Q
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Posts: 16




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« Reply #63 on: April 30, 2014, 02:29:29 PM »

I BOUGHT AN OLD BRASS HAND KEY BACK IN 1954 AND IT HAS DONE ME GOOD. STILL SITTING HERE AND I USE IT DAILY. I THINK I PAID $1.50 FOR IT....
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K8JD
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Posts: 51




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« Reply #64 on: June 16, 2014, 10:37:43 AM »

  I thought everybody knew that the price of a key is directly related to the proficiency level of a CW operator.
It's more likely to be inversely proportional !!!!!!!The more experience you have makes it easier to send good code on a J-38.
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73...John
SKCC 1395T, FISTS 3853
Official US Taxpayer
WA7PRC
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Posts: 295


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« Reply #65 on: June 16, 2014, 02:28:43 PM »

  I thought everybody knew that the price of a key is directly related to the proficiency level of a CW operator.
It's more likely to be inversely proportional !!!!!!!The more experience you have makes it easier to send good code on a J-38.
A parallel comment was made in an article in a skiing magazine. Paraphrasing, "...you often find people with big budgets skiing very badly on the latest expensive equipment while those without the budget ski very well on inexpensive (but still good) very old equipment..."

As a Novice, I was able to produce good Morse using an Ameco K4.  Eventually, decades later after I lost the Ameco, I replaced it with a $25 Nye key.  More than a few times, I was asked what kind of electronic keyer I was using. I learned from a retired Navy Radioman.  I called him "dad".  Grin

vy 73,
Bryan WA7PRC
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KA5PIU
Member

Posts: 446




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« Reply #66 on: June 16, 2014, 10:45:00 PM »

Hello.

First off, a disclaimer, learned the "drum code" pounding on a signal drum to produce one of 2 tones, it has nothing to do with Morse code.
With that said, in places like Saudi Arabia, a set of paddles and keyer are cheap, press on side and you get a low tone, depress the other and you get a high tone, depress both and you get both tones.
There is no dot or dash, short or long, none of that, emulate beating on a drum.
With that said, the paddles are very common, and the steel arms and plastic grips are made in some factory but you can get brass, aluminum, etc.
This is fabricated into everything from something of utility to a thing of beauty.
All parts interchange.
The very early ones used 2 buzzers and a spark gap (Damped wave), later tubes, later transistor.
I can send well over 60 WPM with any one of them, as can just about any Islamic culture kid.
Some people can exceed 100 WPM, and the keyers just do not matter.
It is like using a pencil, the device itself does not matter.
Just like you can buy a fancy pen, you can buy a fancy key.
You can buy a cheap kit in the shops and later buy a cut and polished granite base and plated brass parts, they go together in exactly the same way, and all of the parts interchange.
With that said, I have a heathkit uMatic keyer and this very standard set of paddles for this "Foreign" code".
And if connected to a radio that does FSK, I am right at home.
And by cheap key, I mean as in under a dollar US, much like cheap plastic prayer beads.
The cheap transistor "tone box" will also cost under $1.
But, be cautioned, they do not do Morse out of the box, it is this 2 tone code.
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W1JKA
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Posts: 1822




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« Reply #67 on: June 17, 2014, 03:25:25 AM »

Re: KA5PIU  reply # 66

Wow, a two toned key, that must be quite a trip. I have my great grand dad's spark xtmr. and as soon as I figure out how to get two tones out of the Gap using my camel back key it would be fun to have a QSO with you, BTW do you QRS?
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KA5PIU
Member

Posts: 446




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« Reply #68 on: June 17, 2014, 07:49:15 AM »

Hello.

The way to get 2 tones from a spark gap is to modulate it.
Think of a Tesla coil, a spark gap transmitter.
Across the spark gap, add or remove a capacitor.
This changes the rate of the arc.
Once you think about it, it is easy. Roll Eyes
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KB2FCV
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« Reply #69 on: June 17, 2014, 08:15:13 AM »

When I was in the market for a new straight key a year or two ago, I tried some out at a friends house who had a range of them. I tried a QSO with each key. The ones he enjoyed using were completely different than the ones I liked. He had one key he kept telling me was great and the key I want to own. I didn't like it very much, I would up liking the Bencher straight key the best - which is the one I decided to go with. Bottom line is.. everyone's fist is different. The best thing to do is try out different keys if you can before you buy and see what you like. For me, I found the Bencher to be the least tiring after a long rag chew QSO. I'm sure it has something to do with how I sit and use the key - which will vary from operator to operator. The Bencher is by no means high end.. but for me it felt the nicest to send with. Is a high end straight key worth it? Perhaps.. if its the key that you can send with comfortably. If it's not nice to use.. than its just an expensive paperweight. If you can.. try before you buy!
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WA8UEG
Member

Posts: 400




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« Reply #70 on: June 17, 2014, 12:20:14 PM »

I used a Speedx for a few decades and a couple of years ago my wife bought me the Vibroplex Deluxe that matched my paddle.
Big difference.
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KE6EE
Member

Posts: 458




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« Reply #71 on: June 17, 2014, 02:33:28 PM »

For those of you looking for something new in the high end of the high end, there is evidently a new Begali straight key called the Sculpture Arrow. It's not shown on the Begali website but someone has bought one and reviewed it on eham.

Price is a bit north of $500 not including postage.

I don't think it will improve anyone's sending. But it looks really good on your desktop especially if your rosewood desk features extensive pearl inlay and gold drawer pulls.

 Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy
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