Favorite Mobile Key?

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by KK5JY, Jul 7, 2017.

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  1. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm looking for a keyer that can be used in a car. Preferably iambic, but that's not a must-have feature.

    Does anybody have any suggestions for mobile keys that they like?
  2. WC5P

    WC5P Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I like the Katsumi KM-23 for mobile use.


    Very stable. Heavy at about 2 pounds. Countersunk mounting holes for mounting it to a piece of wood or whatever. Easy to adjust tension and spacing. Has a bit of a clicky feel to it. A bit hard to find though as the builder went SK a few years ago.
    KK5JY likes this.
  3. K8JD

    K8JD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I tried mobile CW once, never-again , drove over a curb and that was on a side street, went QRT before I hit the busy main roads. If I was a passenger I would be able to do it but NEVER while driving.
    KE8EAS likes this.
  4. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    My interest here isn't really so much operating while driving. It's operating while parked under a shade tree in a state park. The constraints are the same, just no vehicle movement. ;)
  5. KD8EDC

    KD8EDC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Begali Adventure. Superb.

    KK5JY likes this.
  6. SP7Q

    SP7Q Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have Begali Traveller , it was perfect choice.
    KK5JY likes this.
  7. K5DH

    K5DH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Here's my novel mobile/portable keyer paddle solution. It's a 1960s vintage Brown Brothers UTL iambic paddle mounted to a Mil-surplus J-45 leg clamp! It's shown affixed to my right leg. The angle is perfect for this right-handed sender. Not nearly as elegant as a Begali Traveller, but if you've ever used a Brown Brothers paddle, you know how smooooooth they are! Plus I just like homebrewing things. . . :)


    Dean K5DH
    KE8EAS and KK5JY like this.
  8. K8ERV

    K8ERV Ham Member QRZ Page

    My favorite is an ignition key.

    TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
  9. AA4OO

    AA4OO XML Subscriber QRZ Page

  10. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Any paddle key you like will work fine mobile if it's anchored in such a way it can't move around and located so that your right hand naturally falls right about where it is.

    I worked CW/m for 30 years and still do, sometimes, just using a Bencher paddle (BY-1) held down to the center console with Velcro so it couldn't move even if I slammed the brakes hard and it was just about exactly where my right hand would naturally drop. For a southpaw that wouldn't have been a good place.

    I had this installed in three different vehicles, but they all had "center consoles" between the front seats. One was a Corvette with a 6-speed manual shifter and my hand could go from the shift to the paddle by just moving it a few inches and it was very comfortable. I found it was possible and pretty easy to actually send and shift at the same time, just sending AS to standby for a second while I shifted, then go back to sending.

    And keep in mind as I always did: Driving takes precedence over contacts, so be prepared to use both hands to control the car at all times when that's necessary and forget all about the contact.

    I wrote an article for 73 magazine back in about 1990 (you can find it on archives.org, just search for my callsign and it will bring up a bunch of issues, then search for CW/m) about CW/m operation; that was back when I did it every day. The article included photos of how my key was mounted in my 1988 Volvo, which was my vehicle at the time of the article.

    Always liked the Benchers: They're not expensive and work fine. I still have three of them.
    KK5JY likes this.

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