Morse Key Review

Recently, I'd acquired a straight key off of Amazon for practicing for my amateur radio license. It's a United Scientific Supplies TGKY01 Telegraph Key, manufactured in India. Now, while I cannot testify as to the usefulness of said key in proper CW communication, nor can I make an objective judgement as to its quality, I will certainly tell you a bit about my experiences with it.

Without a pivot mechanism or return spring, the actual key operates by the means of a flat steel form - the workings of which I will elaborate on below. Two contacts provide the two terminals to which to attach one's signal generator, and a simple plastic cylinder serves as the handle. All of this is mounted with machine screws to a simple plastic base. Every expense was spared, but honestly, that's just fine!

Of course, the contacts are not adustable, but at an unbelievable price of only 9.57CAD, I genuinely cannot complain. Frankly, I'm surprised you can purchase anything that even resembles a key; doubly so, knowing that the shipping is free, and overnight, courtesy of the enormous scale of the machine that is Amazon's delivery infrastructure.

The design is rather clever, in the sense of the engineers having reduced the concept of a straight key to the absolute simplest form possible - a simple spring steel form, which, upon being pressed down, closes the circuit - two contacts on each end enable the user to wire it into their setup, but that's about all you get. In fact, I'm somewhat grateful that they'd at least gone threaded posts with knobs

With stubs left over from the process of turning the contact columns on a lathe, I cannot say that this key is ready for use right away. In fact, some fit and finish will be necessary - in my case, I only had to file down the machining imperfections,

I must say, I am still delighted with this key, and have been using it extensively over the past few days to prepare for my test.

A few years back, I'd actually practiced morse with another, slightly higher quality key, but I'd never ended up taking my examination. Nonetheless, there was a very amusing site which served as an internet chat channel for morse communications.

Unfortunately, the only means of using said site was by manually clicking a mouse; however, fortunately, it wasn't too difficult of a problem to solve, as I'd simply cannibalized an older mouse and soldered a pair of wires to bypass the click - pushing down the key closed the circuit, enabling me to use the key as I would in proper morse telephony.

All in all, I must say, this is a spectacular purchase of surprisingly pleasant quality (given the price). If you're interested in toying around with morse, I'd certainly recommend this over any other key - far too many times have I gotten too excited about a prospective hobby, overpaid for the actual product, and

If you are interested in buying one of these yourself, here is a link to the Canadian Amazon site. It is not an affiliate link - just helping out to those interested in it themselves.

Link to Amazon

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