Kent Straight Key review

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by AA4OO, Sep 9, 2015.

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  1. NN4RH

    NN4RH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Not the ones with the top conductor strap. But the ones with the bottom strap which appear to be identical otherwise are sold at DXEngineering, HRO and can be ordered directly from Kent-Engineers in the UK.
  2. AA4OO

    AA4OO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Kent keys are no longer made in Preston England.

    Kent outsources the work to a shop in Germany but it should be basically the same design excepting for the difference in the continuity strap placement and badge design. As he told me, you never know what kind of wood will be used for the base; it's just whatever they could get hold of. There is a metal base version of this key but the wooden one has great charm.

    I haven't had a chance to see the German made keys. Mr. Kent has been very quick to answer my emails about the key I purchased second hand so I'd expect any sort of issue with a new key to be responded to quickly (apart from time for postage across the Atlantic).
  3. WB5YUZ

    WB5YUZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm still using a cheap "Radio Shack" key. It's a brass one, made by Ameco for RS; I bought it for practice when I got my Radio Shack code course LP in my own novice days. I've been using it for forty years next spring. It's never "fallen apart" on me, although the shorting bar would not stay on and I lost it during the first Reagan administration. I get along pretty good on it from about 15-20 WPM. Any faster than that, and I have to switch over to the bug.

    I also use an Icom '718 and drive a 2009 Ford Ranger. Obviously, I don't like spending money.

    But using an inexpesive key didn't stop me from learning code and becoming proficient at it and enjoying it for forty years; and I hope others reading this thread won't let it stop them, either, if that's all they have.
  4. WB5YUZ

    WB5YUZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm not sure where you got that idea. I was never taught to rest my forearm and send with my wrist; I was taught to rest my elbow and keep my wrist elevated. So were United States Army radio school students; the relevant part starts about 15:25

    W5BIB likes this.
  5. AA4OO

    AA4OO Ham Member QRZ Page

    I got the "idea of forearm" on the table when using American style keys from this article:

    And in the video you posted, the giant arm has it's forearm resting on the table.
    W5BIB likes this.
  6. NN4RH

    NN4RH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    That was the expensive Radio Shack key. The brass one was almost $ 2 in 1970 !!! Way out of my budget as a kid!

    No, I had the cheap one - the 75 cent sheet metal and plastic one.[/I]
    WB5YUZ likes this.
  7. NN4RH

    NN4RH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Actually 69 cents ... From the 1970 Radio Shack catalog:

    RS Keys 1970.jpg
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2015
    AA4OO likes this.
  8. AA4OO

    AA4OO Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have that 69 cent key... Unfortunately I paid considerably more for it :(

    Here's that cheapo key next to my Kent...
  9. NN4RH

    NN4RH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I just noticed another difference between the older Kent key you have and the more recent version like I have. The bearings are mounted differently.

  10. WB5YUZ

    WB5YUZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    We won't be able to come to an agreement about that. What I see is a fake arm with the elbow resting on the table, but the wrist is elevated. The only contact between the fake arm and the desk is near the elbow, not along the length of the forearm.

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