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Reviews Categories | Keys & Paddles | Military J-38 Help

Reviews Summary for Military J-38
Military J-38 Reviews: 15 Average rating: 3.7/5 MSRP: $(missing—add MSRP)
Description: Basic straight key used by U.S. military
Product is in production.
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W4DON Rating: 4/5 May 13, 2002 23:19 Send this review to a friend
My first J-38 Key  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought my first J-38 key in 1955 at an Army Surplus store in Kannapolis, NC for $1.00. I could have bought dozens that day. I still have the key and it has served me well. I have used it many times in code classes and have loaned it to trainees. I always have to beg to get it back. At present time, May 2002, I'm instructing a code class and have loaned it again and student the wants to buy it. I'm sorry but my first J-38 key is not for sale folks. You might check my Will later and see if it is available. "Don"
N1IRZ Rating: 4/5 May 9, 2000 22:42 Send this review to a friend
Lionel-Made Ones the Best  Time owned: more than 12 months
J-38s were made by several different manufacturers, and the quality varies among them. By far the best are the ones made by Lionel, the toy train company. I have used J-38s from other manufacturers that were servicable but not great. However, my Lionel-made J-38 is the straight key that has served in my shack for several years. (It doesn't get a lot of use; my straight key time is limited to SKN or if I really want to answer someone who's really slow! -- the rest of the time it's paddles for me.) If you find a Lionel J-38, you have found a smooth, solid straight key that will withstand years of use. As a bonus, it's also a piece of history.
K3VO Rating: 2/5 Mar 10, 2000 17:18 Send this review to a friend
Why would you want one  Time owned: unknown months
We use to buy J-38 for 50 cents at Arrow in Newark, N.J back in 1955. They had them in a barrel. Maybe one out of 10 worked well. There are a lot of better hand keys out there. Go for a Speed-X . Used they are only $5 to $10
KF4OUA Rating: 3/5 Mar 7, 2000 13:55 Send this review to a friend
history looks good  Time owned: unknown months
have found a j-38 disassembled. new to this part of ham radio and need some info on how to assemble
W1GFH Rating: 3/5 Feb 13, 2000 03:37 Send this review to a friend
Army J-38 Straight Key  Time owned: unknown months
These are still available through surplus outlets on the web and show up at many swap meets too. Price varies. I got mine (unused) for about $35. Simple, straightforward, nicely machined and finished, comes on its own base. Plus, it's a piece of history. Unsung Signal Corps ops pounded J-38's from the battlefields of WWII. Everyone should have at least one of these babys!
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