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Reviews Categories | Keys & Paddles | Kent Vail Lever Correspondent Help

Reviews Summary for Kent Vail Lever Correspondent
Reviews: 2 Average rating: 4.5/5 MSRP: $125
Description: Fully functional brass reproduction identical to the first "real mechanism" hand key Alfred Vail made for Samuel Morse in his 1844 telegraph demonstration. The original is on loan to the Smithsonian Institute.
Product is in production.
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KZ4B Rating: 5/5 Sep 17, 2016 19:47 Send this review to a friend
Reproduction of a VERY RARE and historically significant key.  Time owned: more than 12 months
We collect land-line Morse as well as Marconi/wireless CW equipment. Therefore, we were grateful that KENT chose to reproduce such an impossible-to-find/purchase key with great historical significance. This high-quality reproduction is an excellent example of the original--so is a far better display item than daily use "straight-key". It is really not too bad for the very first commercially produced telegraph key. Cudos to Mr. Vail!
K6LQ Rating: 4/5 Jan 7, 2005 08:35 Send this review to a friend
Much more agile than it looks!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
No fancy bearings, micrometers or precious metals on this key. What you see is what you get. KENT Engineers, thank you very much, has machined a simple, honest 1800s classic to honor S. Morse and A. Vail. The solid, pin & pivot fulcrum works suprisingly well, with less play than expected. The straight, one piece metal lever communicates with the fingers instantly and directly. No screwed-on exotic woods, fossil invertebrates or sabertooth tusk fingerpieces to "color" the feel on this bad-boy. I did have to apply a "little" lubricant to lessen the friction and quiet the "sqeaky" leaf spring. was ready for SKN - was I? I have been sending morse for nearly 40 years and have used over 50 different straight keys. Result - after 4 SKN QSOs totaling about 45 minutes of 15 - 20 WPM sending, I can say that I was no worse for wear than had I been using one of my more modern straight keys. The Vail was easy to adjust, maintained its contact separation, and was light on its feet. There are even 2 screws underneath the base to connect to the line/jack, preserving its topside "uncluttered" appearance. Overall, I rate it a 4 - not bad for a 160 year old design - and a whole lot of fun too! It will now join in the regular rotation of keys in the shack.

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