Recommend a straight key?

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by KG7BYJ, May 16, 2019.

ad: L-HROutlet
ad: l-rl
ad: FBNews-1
ad: Left-2
ad: Subscribe
ad: L-MFJ
ad: OK1UUad-1
ad: Left-3
  1. KG7BYJ

    KG7BYJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I want to get into CW, but the key I have does not match the radio. A FTDX 3000. They key has a 1/8 pin which will not work. So, what is recommended, OR, how to I find the appropriate size plug?

    KG7BYJ Kenn Blaine, WA
  2. KG7WGX

    KG7WGX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    The FTDX 3000 requires a stereo plug, so you can use something like this -,aps,269&sr=8-21

    if your 1/8" plug is a stereo type (aka TRS) and if the key is wired using T and S.

    If the 1/8" plug is mono, the adapter will pass the RS short to the radio. In that case, you can get a 1/4" stereo patch cable and cut it in half, then use two of the three wires to connect to the terminals on your straight key, making sure you use T and S and leave R not connected.
  3. N8TGQ

    N8TGQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    My manual shows the connections on page 12.
  4. KG7BYJ

    KG7BYJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Manual? Didn't see that. I have an adapter, but not stereo I guess.

  5. K5TSK

    K5TSK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    It's a little bit of a hassle using the larger stereo adapters, but if you will take time to obtain and use them, and use the advice already given, you will find the FTdx3000 will let you use about anything you want. Right now, I have a Begali paddle on the front jack, and on the back jack a Vizkey vertical bug plus a Vibroplex SK. I use a stereo splitter to strap two similar keys together. What I use varies daily or even while in qso. Can be a very versatile setup once you get used to what you need. Good luck.
  6. K8JD

    K8JD Ham Member QRZ Page

    My favorite key is the WW2 era J38, and I have tried many others.
    Unfortunately they are "collector priced" $$$ today where In 1960 you could get them still in original box for 50 cents !
    Last edited: May 17, 2019
  7. K8JD

    K8JD Ham Member QRZ Page

    The cable and connector are not part of the key, you should be able to get a 1/4 inch , stereo, "phone" plug from any catalog dealer in electronics.
    They may need a dab of solder to get them on the cable end but you should know how to solder !
    K7TRF likes this.
  8. K8JD

    K8JD Ham Member QRZ Page

    If So You should Check out the SKCC website
    the Straight Key Century Club promotes the use of hand sent Morse on the air and encourages new CW ops.
    W1BR likes this.
  9. N6MST

    N6MST Ham Member QRZ Page

    KD1W likes this.
  10. WB9YZU

    WB9YZU Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have a Signal Electric that I like.
    They were essentially toys when they were produced and were either alone or with a code practice set.
    When you can find them at a hamfest, they are inexpensive and by radio shack or plastic nye key standards, are awesome :)
    You may need to do some work. My 1st one was mounted to a piece of door trim...

    Speedex and old Mil keys (J38, J47...) are good too. Look for the ones at the bottom of the estate pile where they only want $15 for them.

    Can't help you with the wiring... Looks like you're going to have to RTFM :D
    I can't be too tough, we all dealt with it. Also when you get the right plug, etc, your rig may have a menu setting to tell it what kind of key you installed, I know mine does.

Share This Page

ad: ProAudio-1