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Pete's key, paddle collection

Here are some keys I’ve collected. Some came new. Others, such as the antique World War 1 key, have come “previously owned.” The most important thing? They all work!

Key Concepts SKCC Club Key, which I affectionately call my blunderbuss. It’s a wonderful key, but I used only for going after BIG DX! Just to give you a sense of scale, this four-pounder’s base is about nine inches long, roughly three times the length of the KK1, below.

The Shrimps

American Morse’s KK1 mini key, after an encounter with a Dremel and some polish. The hardwood finger piece comes courtesy of Gregg Mulder, WB8LZG

This key was made by WB9LPU, Richard Meiss, long a man of precision machining. He makes them, and sells them, but more often than not they are experiments.

Vibroplex’s Code Mite straight key

Soviet special-forces key. Another eBay pick-up, its base plate is designed to be used with a leg strap. Love the Russian design — not flashy, but it works.

World War 1 field-telegraph key, which I cleaned up and remounted during the summer of 2010. It was another eBay pick-up.

This marvelous key was handmade by a German amateur-radio operator, DK7UD, who passed away in 2004. This, too, was an eBay special.

It’s a gorgeous, working miniature J-38 key, shipped in its own small wooden box. Nice job, KA6IRL! 

American Morse Equipment’s new MS2, which debuted at the Dayton Hamvention this year (2011)

CT-1 mini key, serial number 076. I found mine on eBay for a fraction of retail. 

A Jardillier French special-forces key. It’s a convertible! The top slides back for connections and key adjustments. The snap attaches the key to a leg strap. 

British military field key from World War 2 — another eBay special.

The key is from an old field-test kit made for AT&T by Western Electric. The key itself was made by J.H. Bunnell. I mounted it on a piece of mahogany.

Standard Keys

This is a Baumuster T-1 key, used during World War 2 by the German Luftwaffe’s communications corps. It has the smoothest action of any key its size I’ve tried.

Another German key, a Junker. NATO used these. The folks who gave you BMWs and Porches also make some of the smoothest military keys out there.

A Marconi 365B, built sometime in the 1940s. Originally, these had covers, which some marine radio operators removed and used as ash trays. The base on this one has been stripped of its gray paint. But its ball-bearing trunion assembly make for mighty smooth keying! 

This is the hardy J-38, used by the US Army Signal Corps during  World War 2. I bought this Lionel J-38 at a hamfest a couple of years ago. The seller had several new-old stock keys from the 1950s in original boxes.

This is one version of a US Navy flameproof key. The mechanism is enclosed to ensure no sparks the contacts might generate ignite fuel fumes in an aircraft. This is another key with very smooth action.

During World War 2, the British Royal Air Force outfitted bombers with this “bath tub” key. If the aircraft went down, the operator moved the wire clamp up over the bottom lip of the key’s knob. This sent a continuous signal rescuers could home in on. 

Droid Serif features shorter characters that let you pack more text into the same space. It’s easy on the eyes for a small font, and good for mobile.

Droid Serif features shorter characters that let you pack more text into the same space. It’s easy on the eyes for a small font, and good for mobile.

Droid Serif features shorter characters that let you pack more text into the same space. It’s easy on the eyes for a small font, and good for mobile.

Droid Serif features shorter characters that let you pack more text into the same space. It’s easy on the eyes for a small font, and good for mobile.

Semi-automatic keys (bugs)

Droid Serif features shorter characters that let you pack more text into the same space. It’s easy on the eyes for a small font, and good for mobile.

Droid Serif features shorter characters that let you pack more text into the same space. It’s easy on the eyes for a small font, and good for mobile.

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