Fix for Chinese key heavy spring tension

Discussion in 'Homebrew and Kit Projects' started by WD8QXP, Feb 7, 2010.

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  1. WD8QXP

    WD8QXP Ham Member QRZ Page


    Went to Harbor Freight, bought a pack of super magnets and a package of suber glue, each cost a dollar.
    I then took the spring out of the key and forced a nut onto the spring adjusting screw, grinding away any protruding tip. Then one of the magnets was glued to the nut and one to the base plate cavity where the spring used to be. I then added three more magnets to the base, not glueing these, just letting them snap into place.
    The reason for not glueing the last three magnets is that they can be removed one at a time to give a different adjusting range. You must make sure that the magnet on the key adjusting screw and the base repel each other.
    After adjusting all settings the key works very well and the hard required down pressure of the spring is gone.

    73 WD8QXP

    Last edited: Feb 7, 2010
  2. K9ZMD

    K9ZMD Subscriber QRZ Page

    Nice. Over the years, I've read several complaints about the stiff spring on the Chinese military keys. This is the most innovative fix I've seen. I can see a similar J-38 mod in the future; might even make that key as smooth as a J-37. ;) 73

    Gary, K9ZMD/6
  3. WD8QXP

    WD8QXP Ham Member QRZ Page


    This modification should work with just about any key. I applied the mod to a sounder key combo. It had an great key on it. I just put the magnets where the spring was and it turned out to a super key.

    Thanks WD8QXP
  4. W2KS

    W2KS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Interesting arrangement, but I just cut the bottom 2 wrungs on the spring and the tension is fine. Hope to hear you on the bands.
    --... ...--
  5. W0NHH

    W0NHH Ham Member QRZ Page

    I just stuck the spring in a bench vise and mashed 'er down a smidge. Cured my carpal tunnel syndrome and increased my speed from 5 to 10 wpm instantly. Doubled my speed, it did.
  6. WD8QXP

    WD8QXP Ham Member QRZ Page


    Here is my final key modification. I added a rubber pad underneath the back stop screw using super glue. I am using just two magnets in this key. The addition of the rear rubber bumper realy cuts down on the noise generated by the key. It is quiet, solid and smooth. Very easy to adjust and if more tension is desired just add one magnet to the base.
    I enjoy all the responses. I am getting on the air now, using low power.

    Thanks Helmut


  7. KB4QAA

    KB4QAA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks for the tip on the rubber back stop. I've got a Kent straight key that has been getting on my nerves with the double clacking. Was just looking at it Friday. Problem solved. :)

  8. N8MME

    N8MME Ham Member QRZ Page

    I would love to see some pictures of this modification. :cool:
  9. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page's only in recent years with those screaming powerful little rare earth magnets that you could use them in the repusive mode! Very different and cool feel as opposed to the traditional magnetic key. :)

  10. N8MME

    N8MME Ham Member QRZ Page

    I just did the same thing and it made a world of difference. That is one tough spring though. :eek:
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