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Suggestions for a "nice" straight key (under $200)

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by N5BCN, Sep 14, 2021.

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  1. KK9W

    KK9W Ham Member QRZ Page

    N5BCN likes this.
  2. N5BCN

    N5BCN Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've never heard of a "half-cootie". Looks like it only swings one direction, kind of like a straight key on its side? How does that feel? Beautiful looking key.
  3. KK9W

    KK9W Ham Member QRZ Page

    How does it feel? I'm sure the torsion bar feels just as buttery smooth as his other keys. I own a torsion bar cootie paddle and while I can use it as a straight key I have been thinking about getting a dedicated straight key.
  4. KB1CKT

    KB1CKT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I hear you--my Bencher was given to me, he wasn't an Elmer to me, but he gave it to me when I found out I became a ham. Nice guy. Would love to meet up with him again... but he was the father of an ex-girlfriend... it was a great gift and I rather like it, but maybe I should leave the past where it is!
  5. WA1GXC

    WA1GXC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'd hold out for hamfests opening-up again, or any alternate market you might access (like "Swampmeet")--and pick up a 20th-century
    professional-quality key. Just like many tools of today, you can't rival the quality and build of older stuff.

    However, some to consider:
    (suggest you look up Tom Pereira W1TP historical website or many other Morse sites for pictorial/descriptions)
    Western Historic Radio Museum - is also a fascinating historical reference--scroll down to "Telegraph"

    Modern-day Nye key currently for sale at Surplus Sales of Nebraska, new-in-box with cord and PL-55
    Any new-old-stock or used key by:
    Signal Electric
    TAC (McElroy Telegraph Apparatus Company)
    Any WW II J-38
    Western Electric
    Made-for and stamped "Western Union" ["W.U. Tel. Co."]
    Any key stamped by contractor for a customer railroad
    Canadian Marconi
    British Marconi
    Royal Navy

    $75--tops--maybe $100 with historical value. I know others share a different view, which I understand. But I believe a key is a solid tool,
    not to be displayed in a glass case and taken-out and returned--but to be used and enjoyed. Tools get nicks and paint-stains and that
    increases, not diminishes their personal value.

    Last edited: Sep 15, 2021
    WN1MB, WZ7U, W5ESE and 1 other person like this.
  6. KC7JNJ

    KC7JNJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    51CA2ADE-5839-41B5-8F98-70268B1E6919.jpeg I have a Bencher rj2 it is really not balanced well feels very clunky. I have a Viking Nye-speed x with the navy knob that I really like.
    WZ7U, W5ESE and KD2RDG like this.
  7. W4HAY

    W4HAY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have several keys, including a Junker, but my daily driver is a Nye Viking 322-001.
    Morse Express offers it for about $90.
    W5ESE and KC7JNJ like this.
  8. W6MK

    W6MK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Morse Express has been essentially out of business since Marshall Emm died several months ago. The family may be selling off what stock remains, however.
  9. KB1CKT

    KB1CKT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I was wondering--I've been off-air for a number of months now, and found myself the other day looking at his site, and thinking, something seems off. Bummer. :(
  10. W4HAY

    W4HAY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I went through the steps of ordering a key and apparently their website certificate has expired.
    You might find them on eBay or Amazon.

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