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Reviews Categories | Keys & Paddles | MKIII British Military Hand Key Help

Reviews Summary for MKIII British Military Hand Key
Reviews: 4 Average rating: 4.3/5 MSRP: $(missing—add MSRP)
Description: Small, black hand key made of a very hard bakelite material.
Product is in production.
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K3WYC Rating: 5/5 May 31, 2017 06:10 Send this review to a friend
A blast from the past  Time owned: more than 12 months
According to this reference
there were over 100 varieties of the W.T. 8 Amp. I owned one as a teenager (G3WYC) and wanted to get another when I got back into amateur radio as K3WYC. I bought a collection of 6, all different versions. The one that was most similar to the one I used as a teenager is now in use at my station. In my opinion the construction and "feel" of any version of WT-8 Amp is far better than any J-38 I ever saw. A well adjusted WT 8 Amp is a delight to use. It does not need a heavy base but the base needs to extend forward of the key knob to make the key stable in use.

Andy, k3wyc

WB5AGF Rating: 5/5 Jul 13, 2009 10:21 Send this review to a friend
My First Key  Time owned: more than 12 months
(These are personal comments - not a technical review.)

A 'W.T. 8 AMP' was my first CW key (and still at my operating position, attached to my Tentec Paragon) and I always smile when I think about it as it reminds me of being a kid in central Texas in the 1960s (how hot it was during the summer and going swimming in the river at the San Marcos city park).

I purchased the key at Academy Surplus in Austin for 25 cents (really), in 1964 (I think), and it would be 5 years before I took my Novice exam from Mr. James Hodge (W5AEQ, SK) in San Marcos. (I'd learned about Amateur Radio while a shortwave listener and there was a period of several years where I fussed-and-fumed about having to memorize the Code before I finally got serious and did it.)

From what I have read (and seen) since then there were some variations in the design but once you're familiar with the W.T. 8 AMP key you recognize them when they're seen at hamfests.

They are a very basic key (you'd expect that for a key made during wartime), they don't have bearings or a shiny finish, but they work well and are quite robust.

- Paul, WB5AGF (13 Jul 2009)
KI4SDY Rating: 3/5 Nov 15, 2008 02:16 Send this review to a friend
Good portable QRP key!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought one of these off ebay for $18.00 plus shipping for my low power portable MFJ 10 meter rig. Mounted it on a small square wooden base from a craft shop I paid $.59 for and painted the base flat black, my favorite no fuss color.

The black bakelite key has a typical war time military rough finish with contrasting brass contacts and adjustment bolts. The large round English knob is useable, but not desireable. It is a piece of history, but not a work of art. From a distance, though, it is kind of cute.

After cleaning, oiling and adjusting, the very short straight arm and roubust spring will only produce a stiff action, that is easily beaten by the inexpensive Ameco K-1 or K-4. Increasing the throw will help some, but will slow down your sending speed. A lighter spring would fix it.

This key makes a good rugged small unit for that QRP rig for field events. If someone steals it, no big loss. I would not buy it for my only key!
N2UGB Rating: 4/5 Mar 21, 2008 07:41 Send this review to a friend
Very nice key  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I recently purchased this on e-Bay where they turn up from time-to-time. The product ID is rather long. W.T. 8 AMP N. 2 MKIII. A mouthfull. It has the British round knob and the key itself is fairly small and stubby. I understand it was manufactured during WW2 and for sometime after.

The key has a very nice feel to it. Adjustments are not difficult and it can be fairly well fine-tuned. It must be attached to a heavy base as it is light and unbalanced. I have it screwed to a metal electrical box the sort that you find in one of the building and supply chain stores.

On the air, it is comfortable to operate and makes good contact. No scratchy side-tone note.

I think I paid $30.00 for it and believe it worth every penny. If you manage to come across one at a good price, take a chance. If it is decent condition, you won't be disappointed

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