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 Keys from cw Morse 
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Has anyone tried the small micro keys from MLS for portable....cheap enough I'm not to wanting to drag my himound in a bag in a field up a hill.

https://www.hamradio.co.uk/accessories- ... -10027.php


Tue May 26, 2020 9:56 pm
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 Keys from cw Morse 
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I've bought one at this price I don't expect a Rolls-Royce, should be fine :D


Wed May 27, 2020 11:25 am
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 Keys from cw Morse 
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Let me know how you get on with it and if they actually have them in stock. I'm interested, but only if I can get it in the shop (if I'm ever round that way) or if I can get it from somewhere else.

I've only ever once had a sale complete from ML&S (an Icom ID-31E+ which turned up a week late), every other time at least one item was out of stock, and with carriage charges to NI, multiple consignments simply isn't worth it...


Wed May 27, 2020 11:57 am
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 Keys from cw Morse 
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I've been good with MLS and others to be honest, yes once I get it hooked up and used I will let you know.
Those small American palm keys I think they were called were ideal but sadly not manufactured anymore.
I don't want a full size key for portable slipping off your knee etc, loads of colours and shapes isn't there.
For the money you can't go wrong and if you lose it you are not going to cry :D


Wed May 27, 2020 12:07 pm
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 Keys from cw Morse 
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I have always like these for portable use.
The one in the middle I bought new in 1982, learnt CW on it and used it for my first 200 CW contacts.

Because of carpal tunnel I need one that is low.

The one at the back is a more modern cheaper version (the original cost me the equivalent of £1.75 new), you can see the metal is thinner.

They are light and small, and never had a problem with them, and to me they feel OK

Attachment:
keys.jpg
keys.jpg [ 68.95 KiB | Viewed 576 times ]

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Wed May 27, 2020 12:09 pm
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 Keys from cw Morse 
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Sangoma wrote:
I have always like these for portable use.
The one in the middle I bought new in 1982, learnt CW on it and used it for my first 200 CW contacts.

Because of carpal tunnel I need one that is low.

The one at the back is a more modern cheaper version (the original cost me the equivalent of £1.75 new), you can see the metal is thinner.

They are light and small, and never had a problem with them, and to me they feel OK

Attachment:
keys.jpg


I tried a paddle just before lockdown at a mates and I've come to conclusion I'm happy with a conventional straight key Steve.
Yeah value they were :D
I think keys can be like over priced studio mics if you allow it all bling.


Wed May 27, 2020 1:51 pm
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 Keys from cw Morse 
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M0VMT wrote:
Has anyone tried the small micro keys from MLS for portable....cheap enough I'm not to wanting to drag my himound in a bag in a field up a hill.

https://www.hamradio.co.uk/accessories- ... -10027.php

As far as I am aware those keys are 3D printed, not moulded ones.

If you Google an image search for "3d printed micro morse key" you can find some higher resolution pictures of them.

https://cwmorse.us/product/red-micro-morse-code-key/

There's no mention in MLS's Ad to say what material has been used. If they are printed from ABS filament (think real plastic), then they should be stable, but if they are printed using PLA filament then you must keep them dry (PLA is water soluble and degradable).

73, Mark...


Wed May 27, 2020 2:07 pm
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 Keys from cw Morse 
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G0KZZ wrote:
M0VMT wrote:
Has anyone tried the small micro keys from MLS for portable....cheap enough I'm not to wanting to drag my himound in a bag in a field up a hill.

https://www.hamradio.co.uk/accessories- ... -10027.php

As far as I am aware those keys are 3D printed, not moulded ones.

If you Google an image search for "3d printed micro morse key" you can find some higher resolution pictures of them.

https://cwmorse.us/product/red-micro-morse-code-key/

There's no mention in MLS's Ad to say what material has been used. If they are printed from ABS filament (think real plastic), then they should be stable, but if they are printed using PLA filament then you must keep them dry (PLA is water soluble and degradable).

73, Mark...

All noted Mark I didn't know that cheers.


Wed May 27, 2020 2:16 pm
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 Keys from cw Morse 
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Sangoma wrote:
I have always like these for portable use.
The one in the middle I bought new in 1982, learnt CW on it and used it for my first 200 CW contacts.

Because of carpal tunnel I need one that is low.

The one at the back is a more modern cheaper version (the original cost me the equivalent of £1.75 new), you can see the metal is thinner.

They are light and small, and never had a problem with them, and to me they feel OK

Attachment:
keys.jpg

I have a few boxed examples of those keys, "Altai High Speed Morse Key" says the box... :D

I passed my Morse test using one of those keys.

I found out the hard way that they are not brass, but brass plated(?). The core material is zinc maybe, tin, or else 'white metal'(?) which has a very low melting point. I had one (my original one as (bad) luck would have it), where the lacquer had become all chipped and worn, so I had the not so bright idea of warming up the key frame so as to 'burn' off the lacquer ready for polishing and refinishing.

The frame was barely warm when what looked like a very large solder splash came out of the unit. I found that whatever the core material was had simply melted and run out of the brass outer 'shell'! :shock:

Pretty well everything else is steel (apart from the plastic control knob and a couple of fibre insulators), but the base is another story...

I have some very early examples, not Altai branded ones, and they do have solid brass bases. It is also possible to see how the arm of the key evolved from being quite a solid piece of steel down to some flimsy pressed item of the later ones.

At a glance they all appear the same, but they aren't :good:


Wed May 27, 2020 2:24 pm
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 Keys from cw Morse 
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I have one of the Bamatech Magnetic paddles. You can actually detach the mechanism from its heavy base at which point its about the same height as a Palm II but about 3x as wide.

A lot more expensive than the ones MLS is fronting though. The base unit is optional.

I thought the Palm was well engineered but rubbish to use. The Bamatech one genuinely can be used as a shack key and a portable key. You can see from my pics the relative sizes of Palm, Kent, and BamaTech.

http://www.g3zpf.raota.org/articles/BaMaKeyTP-II.pdf

Makers website is here https://www.bamatech.net

He even makes a clipboard to put the paddle unit on when you're out & about.

Markus (DL6YYM) has good english and I found him a great guy to do business with. I've no connection with him other than as a happy customer. He runs a precision engineering company and this is a personal side-project.

I've had mine a couple of years now and I have neither had to adjust the spacing/tension or clean the contacts. Which are solid gold, not just plated. With the Kent I found myself regularly compensating for spring 'creep' or cleaning the contacts.


For the money though, those ones MLS is fronting are a bit of a bargain.


Thu May 28, 2020 6:05 pm
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 Keys from cw Morse 
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G3ZPF wrote:
I have one of the Bamatech Magnetic paddles. You can actually detach the mechanism from its heavy base at which point its about the same height as a Palm II but about 3x as wide.

A lot more expensive than the ones MLS is fronting though. The base unit is optional.

I thought the Palm was well engineered but rubbish to use. The Bamatech one genuinely can be used as a shack key and a portable key. You can see from my pics the relative sizes of Palm, Kent, and BamaTech.

The Bamatech key is a nice looking one, I must admit to never hearing the name before.

The only concern I would have using it portable is transporting it without damaging the paddles. The Palm Radio one does, as you know, close down in to itself to protect the arms. Does the Bamatech key have some kind of travel case or cover?

73, Mark...


Thu May 28, 2020 9:32 pm
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 Keys from cw Morse 
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No it doesn't, unfortunately, but without the base it is quite light so it wouldn't take much to find a sturdy box to put it in.

The one thing I'm not keen on is the lead being 'captive'. I'd have preferred a plug & socket arrangement on the key body. I did mention this to Markus but he doesn't seem to have taken it up.


Sun May 31, 2020 10:08 pm
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M0VMT wrote:
Has anyone tried the small micro keys from MLS for portable....cheap enough I'm not to wanting to drag my himound in a bag in a field up a hill.

https://www.hamradio.co.uk/accessories- ... -10027.php

I forgot to mention Mark, when you started this thread the other day, there are some nifty little straight keys on eBay from Russia, and assorted other eastern areas.

I have a few of these kicking about, you can often pick them up for as little as £15.

There are slight differences in the case colour, and the lead length (all of them seem to have a two pin plug on, easily changed though), but otherwise identical. Really solid little keys!

A couple of pictures below of one of mine. The coin next to the key is a 10p piece to give an idea of scale.
Attachment:
rusky_1.jpg
rusky_1.jpg [ 23.36 KiB | Viewed 337 times ]

Attachment:
rusky_2.jpg
rusky_2.jpg [ 22.49 KiB | Viewed 337 times ]


73, Mark... :wave:

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Sun Jun 14, 2020 11:08 am
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M0VMT wrote:
I've bought one at this price I don't expect a Rolls-Royce, should be fine :D

Did it arrive? Do you like it? How's the build quality?

:wave:

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Sun Jun 21, 2020 11:41 am
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