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Reviews Categories | Keys & Paddles | Begali Camelback Help

Reviews Summary for Begali Camelback
Begali Camelback Reviews: 33 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $96.00 plus $9.50 s/h
Description: A classically inspired modern straight key on a heavy cast iron base, with gold plated components and precision bearings.
Product is in production.
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K5EDI Rating: 5/5 Aug 28, 2016 19:22 Send this review to a friend
Bees Knees  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Picked up a Camelback from a local ham that was never used. New to CW so all I can give is a fresh perspective. I have the key setup very light so you can basically look at the key and it will work. Very fine adj is easy to set. Beautiful key and very happy with the quality. Heavy which I like..
KS4TL Rating: 5/5 Dec 17, 2014 18:24 Send this review to a friend
Smooth, solid, precise  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Nicest straight key I've ever used. Also the heaviest - you plunk this down on your desk, the cast-iron base makes sure it doesn't move around. A real pleasure to use.

Bengali customer service is pleasant and responsive, and shipping is fast. A first-class operation!
K6ELQ Rating: 5/5 Feb 15, 2014 23:53 Send this review to a friend
J-38 on steroids!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought this key when I joined the SKCC, wanting something better than my 60-year old J-38. Something that was comfortable and wouldn't move around on me. Well, the Camelback didn't disappoint. Smooth, easy to adjust and at several pounds, definitely doesn't move. I think the knob weighs as much as the J-38 (just kidding, but you get the idea). If you're familiar with the J-38 adjustments then you'll be right at home with this key. You can adjust it so there is no discernible clearance if so desired.

This is my fifth Begali key, the others all being paddles. Like all my previous Begali keys, the key was shipped very well packed. I ordered mine with both the standard and optional Navy knob. Bruna keeps you up to date throughout the whole purchasing/delivery process.

As for my J-38, it now sits on display in my living room.

Are there better straight keys? Well, yes, the Begali Blade, but at a different price point.

73 de K6ELQ Tony
SKCC 10250S
IZ1CLB Rating: 4/5 Nov 21, 2013 00:08 Send this review to a friend
Back to basics  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Some time ago I went to visit Pietro to buy a Magnetic Traveler Light; occasion I had tried for simple curiosity also other keys including, of course, the Camelback.
It' was a sort of love at first sight.

And to think, to tell you the truth, Pietro Begali is not famous for its vertical keys, which appear rather as a niche product, in places almost secondary to the well-known paddles, instead become - rightly - the world standard.

The Camelback is no exception, indeed. At first sight appears quite trivial, spartan, a key just sketched. Nearly a prototype, so stocky and solid.

For example: can not get used to that ugly threaded bar which supports the adjusting spring for the return, too protruding upward, and especially too close to the pin for adjusting the distance of the contact. It would appear an error in the project. Despite the presence of a 2 cm long spring, rebound adjustment is reduced to a few turns of the adjusting nut.
Again: on the back side of the base is made of cast iron ground where a small face is engraved with the maker's mark. It' a shame the lack of small holes in the sides of the oval, which perhaps could be fixed a plate with the name of the operator.
The vertical supports of the mobile arm is part of the same fusion of the base (therefore, no fixing screws) simplifying even further the construction of the key.
The mobile arm is pretty solid and has a big mass movement, however well balanced, this should be taken in mind if you want to use the key at high speeds.
On the bottom side of the key is present the opening for the cable connection, as always without protection (unfortunately a classic for Begali).

Few frills, short, but it is precisely this aspect that makes it very practical and preferable to others. There is only what is essential.
Often you end up appreciating things more simple and functional, compact bone, fed up with the excessive amount of devices, automation, and complications that you have available.

Of Camelback appreciate the knob rather low (6 cm . from the desk) that makes use very comfortable, and great stability, due to the considerable weight (1.8 kg) of cast iron base, detail rather unusual for a Morse key.
And most importantly, the disarming simplicity.

It is in fact a key easy, sincere, suitable for all traders, especially beginners, as well as all those who truly love the Morse handmade.
Highly recommended even in older people with possible difficulties in handling.

Although I own several other keys and paddle - some of which are very noble - often love to put everything in a corner and delight me with this very simple vertical. Back to basics.

A Camelback is all you need , just and advances.


Nota per gli acquirenti italiani:
A Novembre 2013 il prezzo indicato sul sito del costruttore era di 129 €.
A questi vanno aggiunte le spese di spedizione, con le quali si arriva a 149€.
Giunti al momento di pagare, ci si accorge che occorre aggiungere un’imposta statale del 22%, per cui alla fine il prezzo del Camelback raggiunge i 177,38€.

KD0OPN Rating: 5/5 Mar 15, 2013 14:10 Send this review to a friend
Worth Every Penny!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
As an recent Extra-class who didn't have to pass a 20wpm exam, I was feeling guilty about my license status. So I decided to take up CW. I started learning on a MFJ iambic paddle, but I found that it wasn't "old-school" enough for me. I still had that small sense of guilt associated with using it. I then set out in search of a classically designed, high quality straight key. I looked at the so-called navy flame proof keys, the J-38s, and a bunch of junkers along the way as well. I finally came across the Begali Camelback while perusing some online forums.

"Wow!", I thought. "That's what I've been looking for."

Then the price tag. ~$200US with shipping. Ouch! The many rave reviews online and the bold look of the key just barely convinced me to drop the cash.

I placed my order, received a personal email from Begali telling me of their shipping policies. Groovy. Then another a few days later informing me the key was shipped and to expect it shortly. A few days later DHL was on my doorstep with the extraordinarily well packaged....umm...package. Awesome. Great personal customer service, quick shipping. Score one for Begali.

"Ok, maybe that's why it's pricey", I thought.

Nope. It's pricey because it's a very high quality, very stable, solid straight key that's an absolute joy to use. A few minutes spent soldering the cable on and I was on the air. Tapping better CW that I ever did with the iambic paddle and having way more fun. Not to mention it looks gorgeous on my desk.

Besides, isn't having fun and looking good while doing it what it's all about?

Yup, I don't feel so guilty about having an Extra anymore now that I've got a straight-key and a few CW QSOs under my belt....just don't ask me my top-speed....

AB6OJ Rating: 5/5 Dec 19, 2012 19:33 Send this review to a friend
very easy and confident  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Very nice and stable. The spark and postal model must be same but I took this because of its camel back design. The metal sheet for adjustment(0.03 inches) is additionally helpfull to adjust.
The spring is above the key and long so you have to be carefull when you drop this if it may happen..
The performance of this key is the best one among my stocks. I am really enjoying and confident with this. The price is 129 euro Plus shipping totalling over $200, you know,. I ordered the signature yesterday and will see in other review section.
W8IJN Rating: 5/5 May 23, 2012 07:28 Send this review to a friend
Marvelous! Meraviglioso  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
1. A couple ten years ago my hands started to shake. Doctor called it “essential tremor.” I asked him if it was so essential, why didn't everybody have it. He was not amused.

2. I can last about 20 minutes with a set of paddles at about 15wpm. Down plenty speed from when I was a pup radioman in the USN. Twenty & up I was good for.

3. Because of #1 & #2, I've found that a straight key at about 10wpm or less is about it for a stretch of ragchewing QSO.

4. I've tried many different paddles, including Piero's. They're nice but I can tell puttin' my fingers on 'em that I'm gonna end up all shakey-fisted quick enough. When I do go paddle & keyer, I have a very much appreciated Brown Bros. Machine Co BTL-A that goes back to bein' a sailor. The BTL-A & I have a relationship.

5. I have a collection of keys, a couple Soviet-era Eastern Bloc, two British/Canadian, the usual clamp-on-your-leg J37, a JRC KY-3A & some toy keys I had when I was a kid. All work well as pumpers with ol' shakey-paws.

6. I've had this Camelback key for about six days. Wiring it up was another lesson in age & humility. It now sits on the bench next to the BTL-A and the KY-3A, the former usual pumper.

That said, I can say this: When I tried out this Camelback at the recent Dayton Hamvention, I knew immediately that this was something I could not afford to pass on. It was smooth, comfortable to my wrist & fingers and a lot less toil than the KY-3A. The knob/button for my paws is much lower than the KY-3A, which, I am sure, has something to do with the comfort level.

Hooked up to my station set-up, my using it in a couple QSOs on the 40m “slow” end was a pleasure. My paws didn't wear out as quickly & I was able to send some pretty decent straight key.

That and it looks beautiful on the bench. So pretty, in fact, that I had to clean off the crust & detritus from a winter's worth of cussin' at parts & burning myself with a soldering iron. (Some old guys never give up. Never give up! It's the only way to survive.)

Quindi, grazie al mio caro amico Piero per un tasto meraviglioso! Hai salvato la gioia di CW per questo vecchio!
IN3ACV Rating: 5/5 May 3, 2010 01:50 Send this review to a friend
Camelback it's ok !!!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The great surprise for me.
This key is wonderful.
It's smooth and accurate.

This is my 2 cent's.

73 de in3acv
N5IVZ Rating: 5/5 Nov 30, 2009 12:02 Send this review to a friend
price has changed...  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
It has been a real joy to use on the air... i just disconnected one of my paddles and plan to go straight key...

One drawback, the price, because of our falling dollar, brings this key close to $200.00 now... still very much worth it!
N5IVZ Rating: 5/5 Nov 21, 2009 12:18 Send this review to a friend
Super rugged !!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Got it in the mail yesterday with a regular and navy knob...

LOVE The feel and smooth operation

Tested on the air ...will give a complete test next month...

So far, very happy!
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