Morse Keys

Over the years I have built up a ‘small’ collection of Morse keys, which is listed below. It has been noted I have a soft spot for Morse keys, which may well be true. I only keep this page updated with current keys, any that are sold are removed.

Photo Description
Begali Intrepid Begali Intrepid This was a very special key to mark my 30th Birthday. This bug is unusual in that the swinging arm faces the lever. The speed range is perfect for casual rag-chew operating and the lever is very light. Rather than bashing the lever it is possible to use a light touch, like a double paddle.
Scheunemann Key Scheunemann Morsedirigent This is the new kid on the block and replaced the Begali Magnetic Classic. This is such a smooth key. I was finding the Begali was too 'clicky', I think it's to do with the straight vs. right-angle levers.
Begali Traveller Begali Traveller This is a marvel. Not as small as I had imagined, but perfectly engineered and provides the best movement of any paddle I have ever used, even the Simplex – which has been passed to M0GEJ. This is primarily for use when portable, or at least while not in the shack. I love the way the legs fold in to protect the paddles. It's been in use with the Elecraft KX3 on the bench, an excellent combination.
TW TWanger Cootie Key TW Radio TWanger This is a fine example of a Cootie, or sideswiper, key. The premise is that you can move the lever to either side and make contact, but each side just closes the circuit in the same way a straight key does. Thus you need to construct the dits and dahs by hand on each side. I decided to challenge myself to learn to drive one properly, and am now comfortable to around 18wpm using it. Made by Tom G3HGE and very popular.
Eddystone S689 Bug Key Eddystone S689 This is a lovely bug key, procured from a local collector who is downsizing (and providing me with much temptation). It's British and was made in around 1948. There were only something like 4-500 of these ever made and it's a joy to use. Very quiet and very sleek looking.
McElroy 1940 Bug Key McElroy 600 model bug This key was acquired from the USA and is a 1940 model. The last of the T-bar models and seemingly the first to carry a model designator rather than just the year of manufacture. This is quite a fast bug, and is in remarkable condition given its age.
RSGB Centenary Key Vibroplex Iambic – RSGB Centenary Key This key is the same movement as the standard Vibroplex Iambic keys, and is a great key. I ctually won this one, serial number 008 of 250 ever made, at the RSGB Convention. It was a prize draw for all entrants to the Commonwealth Contest in 2013. I was the lucky winner.
Vibroplex Blue Racer Deluxe Vibroplex Blue Racer Deluxe Bug This is a 1954 model, around 2/3rds the size of the original with a shrunken pivot, it's a beauty. A joy to use and a very comfortable speed range with the weights that were with it.
Vibroplex Iambic Standard Vibroplex Iambic Standard A rather lovely looking key, the only key that I desired but did not own. This was acquired to celebrate the 10th anniversary of M0PCB being on the air. Some say that the new name plates are not as good as the old ones, but I like to think that this is the start of my own piece of history, alongside my 1947 Bug key.
1947 Vibroplex Bug Vibroplex Original Bug I set myself the challenge of learning to use one. I got this key when I was on a visit to Texas in 2008, the exchange rate was favourable at the time and I'd been looking for one for a while. The serial number dates from 1947 according to the Vibroplex records.
Vibroplex Champion Vibroplex Champion Bug This key is a 1961 Champion with grey finish base. It's pretty much as different as you can get from the Vibroplex Original. I got this from a local key collector, who has tempted me into the world of bugs. I like the simple plate construction, and it feels a lot lighter to use than the Original does.
Vibroplex Code Warrior Junior A nice little key for travelling with, quite light but when put on some non-slip mat and the magnetic tension set quite low it doesn't wander around the bench.
G4ZPY Paddle G4ZPY Paddle When my folks asked me what I wanted for my 18th birthday I couldn't think what to ask for, then it hit me. I contacted G4ZPY and he kindly upgraded the standard key for me and engraved my call sign on a plaque. Very smooth key to use.
Palm Paddle Palm Mini Paddle An excellent key for travels and backpacking.
M0PCB Homebrew Paddle I built this key from a piece of double sided circuit board one afternoon. Sadly I can't remember where I found the inspiration, though I do recall I found a similar single paddle design and modifying it to be double paddle.
G0WUY Wander Key G0WUY Wander Key I got this directly from Alex G0WUY while I was living in York. An excellent key for backpacking, very light indeed. This one lives in the Peli case with the Elecraft KX1, shack in your hand!
RAF D-Type Key RAF Type-D Straight Key I picked this key up from a well known auction site as a restoration project. The tension spring bolt had broken and it was very dirty, however with a bit of time and elbow grease I managed to get it cleaned up. It looks great, though doesn't get much air time.
RAF E-Type Key RAF Type-E 'Bathtub' Straight Key Very nice WW2 key. I first used one when learning Morse at my local club. The spring is quite stiff but I always quite liked that.
Kent Straight Key The first key I ever owned, and it got me through my 12wpm test. I find them a little clunky for prolonged use, but it's got a special place because of the Morse test.