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Reviews Categories | Keys & Paddles | HI MOUND 802 STRAIGHT KEY Help

Reviews Summary for HI MOUND 802 STRAIGHT KEY
HI MOUND 802 STRAIGHT KEY Reviews: 9 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $$289
Description: Heavy brass and hardwood. It uses the Swedish torsion spring instead of a coil return spring. There is an adjustment for the knob that allows it to be moved toward or away from the pivot point.
Product is in production.
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WB5AGF Rating: 5/5 Nov 6, 2015 00:42 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Action Once Adjusted  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
In short order I recently ran across both the Hi-Mound version of the Swedish 'Pump' Key (Hi-Mound's Model HK-802) and an actual Swedish 'Pump' Key ... both on ebay. So all-of-a-sudden I have the opportunity to experience both designs.

This 'report' (of course) is for the Hi-Mound HK802.

First impression ... (yea, like you thought) it's beautiful ... a little more 'modern' than the actual Swedish key but its still got 'class'.

Now I'm going to make one less-than-positive remark (Please ! No tomatoes from the audience!).

The Hi-Mound Engineers (or was it the marketing dept ?) did something 'different' than the 'real' Swedish key. Instead of using a thin piece of blued steel (like a long piece of old style razor blade) as the Swedish key uses ... the Hi-Mound key has two lengths of (I'm guessing) piano wire tightly clamped between brass and it is those wires which act as both the 'pivot' and also (in the 'stock' key) provide the torque for key operation.

The 'problem', as I see it, is that those two short lengths of piano wire don't have the (reasonably) linear response when deflected slightly as compared to the piece of spring steel used in the actual Swedish key.

Other than using piano wire in place of spring steel the Hi-Mound key pretty much takes its cue from the basic Swedish design ... and that includes the 'torque bias' adjustment (that sets the closing tension). The problem I experienced when trying to adjust the Hi-Mound key is that the existing torque bias adjustment works by pressing on a 'U' shaped piece of piano wire (an extension of the piece of wire that's acting as the 'pivot' and generating the closing torque force). If you crank in very much on the torque adjusting knob it puts such a strain on the piano wire that the wire goes out of its 'supple' range and it suddenly doesn't want to allow much deflection of the moving arm.

My 'solution' (at least for now) was to take out all of the torque bias and, instead, I added some small springs (under compression) that generate the required closing force so the key functions correctly. The result is that the piano wire 'hinges' are sitting pretty much in the middle of their linear torque range (when a bending force is applied) and the sensation when using the key is almost as 'clean' as the true Swedish key (it makes me think of an old RTTY polar relay ... it's got to be either 'up' or 'down' ... no in-between).

- Paul, WB5AGF (06 Nov 2015)
GM0WEZ Rating: 5/5 Mar 1, 2013 15:43 Send this review to a friend
Legendary Long Lever Key  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The straight key aficionado is a rare breed. Most ops migrate to the paddle as soon as they hit the 'I can receive faster than I can send' barrier at about 18wpm. But a few - a very few - stick with straight keys, perhaps through a fondness of tradition, or maybe just iambic dyslexia. For me it's a bit of both.

And the HK802 certainly counts as one of the Seven Great Straight Keys Of The World, alongside the Marconi PS213, the Amplidan, the NATO/Admiralty key, the Swedish Key, the Marconi 365 series and the Junker. Some people rate it as the best straight key in the world.
My thoughts after a long trial with it:

1. It is a beautiful key. Looks magnificent on the desk. The XYL will like it. Has a sort of 19th Century look.
2. Very stable. I am prone to slapping keys around, and usually need a key with a large steel baseplate, or blu-tak/earthquake putty fixatives. Not so with this key. The wooden base is lead weighted and has high quality rubber feet. Stability is top notch.
3. Feel is obviously very individual. I find it sopmewhere between the NATO/Admirality and the PS213. Not as error-free and 'clicky' as the NATO, but faster and noticeably less tiring to use. Very adjustable but turning the contact or tension knob even a few degrees makes a big difference. The Kent key adjustments are better in this respect.
4. Wood base is lead weighted, nicely grained but no better than a good Kent base. Wood finish wears fast but can be replaced (or, more accurately, improved) with an oil finish.
5. Brass is lacquered but this wears and will eventually need polishing and re-lacquering.
6. No wonder the key is discontinued. It must have cost a fortune to manufacture. I count 76 separate components! This also means stripdown and polishing is a chore.

Overall, it deserves it's reputation. I am still swithering between this beautiful brass and wood key and my ugly, cheap but error-free NATO and my very fast G3YUH 'Improved PS213' Marconi clone. When new the HK802s were a hefty $280 or so. I bought mine for about 90 on UK Ebay. A steal at this price.

AA2SM Rating: 4/5 Feb 26, 2011 10:54 Send this review to a friend
Excellent in performance  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Jusr recieved my key and after adjusting was completly satisfied with its performance. Brass looks great. I would had given this key an easy five but decided not to for the following reasons, The wood finish could have been a great deal better. Really poor finish. Also buyer beware, when I saw the key advertised, it showed a pretty brown knob. When I recieved mine it was black.
N7AG Rating: 5/5 Nov 5, 2010 00:18 Send this review to a friend
GREAT!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Bought this used on ebay. Unique mechanics & absolutely the most fluid motion of any straight key I have used. When I think of all the years I pounded away, when I could of tapped. Yes, the $20. ball bearing key is a bargin & well made. However, this is THE KEY.
VE3WMB Rating: 5/5 Jun 19, 2009 13:04 Send this review to a friend
A thing of beauty  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I just got mine from Morse Express yesterday (it is a father's day present). I have long been a fan of big keys and more specifically Swedish keys, as I have a Swedish Military Straight key that was given to me by friends a few years ago (it has a very similar design and feel).

The HK-802 is an excellent implementation of the classic Swedish key. It is both very functional (sending is nearly effortless) and is also very nice to look at. I suspect that for fans of the European-style of sending (arm off of the desk) that it doesn't get much better than this, with the possible exception of the Amplidan Key.

My only words of caution are if you need to make adjustments and have to loosen any of the brass screws, do so very carefully as the heads are rather soft. Use the biggest slot screwdriver that will fit and apply a slow constant pressure until the screw starts to move, otherwise you risk deforming the head of the screw slightly as I did. The good thing is that once you have it adjusted you will probably never have to do it again.

As Mary Poppins said, "A thing of beauty is a joy forever".

SKCC, NAQCC and FISTS here I come !

Michael VE3WMB / VA2NB
N6VL Rating: 5/5 Aug 13, 2007 20:59 Send this review to a friend
Feels as good as it looks!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I bought this key as few months ago, back in the spring sometime. This was after trying many many different straight keys. I can only wish others I personally know, would try this key. The torsion bar leaf spring has a unique feel unlike any other. I can really tighten the tension, if desired, and the feel is still very smooth. When properly adjusted it has the feel of a diving board. The lever actually assists in springing the fist back upward, really reducing fatigue.

This key is designed for European style sending, where the entire arm is unsupported. Those who are unfamilar with this technique may be initially turned off by the HK-802. Once you change your mindset and transition your sending style, this key will reward you with a smooth yet precise operating experience.

I mainly use the HK-802 for SKCC (Straight Key Century Club) work. I hardly use any other straight key. That speaks for itself.

Don't let the sticker shock scare you off. At $260, this is a welcome key for any op wanting a good high end straight key you can enjoy for years.
W8ZNX Rating: 5/5 Aug 26, 2006 09:37 Send this review to a friend
very good  Time owned: more than 12 months
finish is ok
not anything to write home about

after a few years
the surface coating varnish
wears off in places

own many keys
this is the straght key
i use the most

WB8DQT Rating: 5/5 Feb 18, 2003 14:34 Send this review to a friend
A work of art  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This key is fantastic to look at and is finished to perfection. The only term I can think of to describe the action is "fluid". Keying is absolutely effortless. After a few days with this key, I put my keyer in the closet! It costs more than most of my QRP rigs and is worth every penny.
KI6YN Rating: 5/5 Dec 17, 2001 08:05 Send this review to a friend
WORKS AS GOOD AS IT LOOKS!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Finish is flawless. The action is absolutely unbelievable; it almost feels like my original Mercury key that uses magnets instead of springs. The knob is comfortable and the range of adjustments give a lot of flexibility. It is absolutely beautiful as well as funchional.

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