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Reviews Categories | Keys & Paddles | Ameco K-1 Help

Reviews Summary for Ameco K-1
Ameco K-1 Reviews: 8 Average rating: 4.0/5 MSRP: $10.95
Description: Low cost, general purpose key with with a molded phenolic base and 1/8" contacts. Easily adjustable spring tension and contact spacing.
Product is in production.
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KI4YSP Rating: 4/5 Aug 23, 2016 14:01 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Value  Time owned: more than 12 months
The Ameco K1 is an excellent value for a key with more adjustments that I had expected for what I paid. In my opinion, for the price you can't beat it.

I used this key to practice off and on for several years, then I finally got it on the air at maybe 15 to 18 WPM. I used it exclusively for my first ~20 contacts, but eventually the only intrinsic fault of the key got the better of me and I retired it in favor of a key without the fault: on the K1 (and on keys of similar design) the stamped construction of the lever causes a perceivable flexing and reduction in tactile feedback on keydown. (You could call the feeling a mushy or springy one.) On the plus side, this design allows for quieter operation in conjunction with the plastic base.

I find the knob to be very comfortable. I've had no issues with the cleverly designed trunnion, which is simply an extension of the stamped lever. No issues with intermittent connections. I'll note that the lever does not seem to be easily removable so cleaning may take a little longer, but this does not impact my rating.

Would recommend. Purchased new around nine years ago, but I've just recently replaced it with a Nye Viking Speed-X 320-001.

KD2IRP Rating: 4/5 Aug 26, 2015 00:10 Send this review to a friend
Not a Bad Beginner's Key  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I own the K1, the black plastic key on the right in the picture above. This is my first key. It has a plastic base and will certainly need to be screwed to something heavy for any practical use. With the proper adjustments, you can send fairly accurate and precise code on this, especially if you're a slow beginner like me.

I recommend this key to any Technician, be it new or frugal, that would like to dabble with 80/40M CW. It's a good performer that won't cause the user to hate sending code and give up. Just be sure to take a rest from it every other contact!
N3IG Rating: 4/5 Jun 19, 2012 08:11 Send this review to a friend
Great for Qrp  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had the K1 for 20 years and to be honest had not been used in 15 or so. That was until I caught the Qrp bug. This key definitely does not have the feel of my Speed-x but with its plastic base, cheap price and only two adjustment screws it was perfect for my 817 go bag.
I mounted it on a piece of 1/4 plexiglass about the same width and a little longer than the key itself. The whole thing weighs only a few ounces and is rock solid. If it does break, I think I can swing the $11 to buy another without breaking the bank.
DL7ISA Rating: 5/5 Oct 1, 2009 23:49 Send this review to a friend
Reduced to the Max  Time owned: more than 12 months
This key doesn't come with a Board but there are two Holes left and right for assembling it with Screws on a Desk but an extra little wooden Plate to put the Key on was a better choice rather than ruining my Desk.

I adjusted the Lift of the Key Years ago, after Years the Lift of the Key is still very short (maybe 1mm) but without any unwanted Key locks. Turning the Screws HARD back then it is the same today, there is nothing shaky, no Problem whatsoever.

Someone had a great Idea how to match the Cable to the Key: there are 2 little Cylinders staying in front of the Key each with a Hole in the Side, simply stick the Wires in the Holes and fix them from the Top with the Screw on each of those Cylinder, no Solder needed.
Another fine Idea is the Lever, pulled towards the Key, that Lever locks the Key for continuous Transmission, such is useful when adjusting an Amplifier for example, you get both hands free to do so.

How practical and useful at same time, I emphasize this: Indeed reduced to the MAX !
WD5CCW Rating: 5/5 Jun 3, 2009 16:47 Send this review to a friend
Good key for the price  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I got my key on Ebay,(from an estate sale), but I have always wanted a straight key for "Nastalgic reasons". I have it hooked up to one of my rigs and it works ok. I just need to get a better base for it!
W8WLC Rating: 5/5 Feb 9, 2005 04:38 Send this review to a friend
For the price great  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had mine now for 38 years. I got it for around $6 from Lafayette radio right after getting my novice license and I still use it once in awhile. To a young kid back then it was every inch a top shelf key. For $11 what do you expect gold?
ALEX_NS6Y Rating: 0/5 Feb 9, 2005 03:19 Send this review to a friend
Junque!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I got one in a box of stuff, and was having great fun putting it on a nice wooden base, and the ball bearings fell apart! The ball bearings will probably work indefinately as long as you never look crossways at them, I made the mistake of taking the key apart to remove the shorting bar. BIG mistake! The way the thing is built..... the bearings don't have any containment, they're just kind of .... in there, and depend on the very crudely tapered ends of the crosspiece to hold them in, it's really Flintstone engineering.

Do yourself a favor and get a "real" key at a hamfest, on Ebay, somewhere, a good streight key is forever!

The "metal" this key is made of reminds me of the really junky "jewelry" we used to get out of gumball machines (yeah, I'm old).

My "new" Navy flameproof key which may have served in WWII will be in my hot little hands as soon as I can get my MO into the hands of the Ebay seller and he gets it into the mail to me, I messed with one of those once, they feel SWEET.
KC5QFE Rating: 5/5 Feb 20, 2004 00:44 Send this review to a friend
Excellent low-cost Morse key!  Time owned: more than 12 months
The K-1 is the key on the right side of the picture.

--Hi, all. I've had this Ameco K-1 key for a little over a year now, and it has never failed me. It's my first and only key. For $11 or so, you can't beat the price. I don't know what else I can say about's cheap in price, pretty good quality, and does the job for me! If you are looking for a key that will get the job done, check out this Ameco K-1!


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