Two variations of the CJB2600-3A Fireproof Key

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Two variations of the CJB2600-3A Fireproof Key

Postby ys1rs » Sun Oct 09, 2011 5:39 am

Guys,

I inherited, from my grandfather, a US Navy Fireproof CJB2600-3A Straight Key. He was a telegraph operator and radio technician; who installed some of the very first AM radio stations in my country. He was one of our local pioneers.

Well. Back to the key.
This key has got a small knob.
Because of this, I always thought all similar keys were all like this one.

A few weeks ago, I got bitten by the CW bug and decided to learn and go all the way to the top in Ham Radio: CW. The best way to do it is with a straight key.
Decided to go into the internet to investigate and found my straight key there with the difference that all of them, all of the CJB2600-3A had the big knob so characteristic in this model.

My questions....
Is this special small knob key a transition model from the J-38 to the newer fireproof?
An older model?
Which is best... the small knob or the big one? (I guess is individual preference)
Are this rare? I have not seen a single photo of one like this.

Here is a picture of both of them together:
Image

Please, kindly comment.

Rob.
YS1RS
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Postby N6EV » Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:30 am

Hi Rob.. I think you may have already gotten an answer on the email reflector.. but I'll provide my two cents.

I don't believe the smaller button on the flameproof is original to the key. All original versions I've seen have the larger knob style. The only variation I've seen is white lettering going around the lower flat part warning not to key down for longer than 2 minutes (I think).

It wouldn't surprise me that some operators would swap out the knob for a button. You'll notice all vintage / classic / antique american telegraph keys have this small button style finger piece. This only changed when the days of spark gap arrived, a lower disk was added to protect against the high voltage/currents at the contacts. The "Navy Knob" was born. On the other hand, all vintage / classic / antique telegraph keys from outside America have the knob style finger piece. While the Navy Flameproof is most definitely an american key, the use of the knob style finger piece may have more to do with how it was used then sending style. Many of these keys were used as signal lamp keys. I'm not up on exactly how they would be oriented on the ship (vertically / horizontally).. so hopefully some of our US Navy Veterans will enlighten us.

Aside from that, the 'American style' of sending has the entire forearm resting on the desk with the index through ring finger on the top edge and the thumb either to the side or slightly below the button. The 'British style' has the forearm hovering in mid air, fingers grasping the knob equally around the knob circumference. I'm sure there are some youtube videos showing the two styles. So again, it wouldn't surprise me that someone used to sending 'American' style would swap out the knob for the button. There's no 'best' version.. just two styles.

By the way.. congrats on your first CW contacts with T32C! I can't say my first CW contact was that exotic.. but just as thrilling!

Hope to work you on the air some day.
73
Paul N6EV
SKCC 3358T / FISTS 1407 / NAQCC 2247 / CWOps 380
http://www.N6EV.com/
Code Elmer
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Postby ys1rs » Tue Oct 11, 2011 4:01 am

Paul. Thank you very much for your response.
Yes, I am convinced now that the small knob may be from an older key swapped due to preferences purposes.

I have been reading the information on your web page and it is very useful.
Also the info on the Elmer's page too.

I find easier to use the board rather than the email reflector. Sometimes the email is kind of confusing.

Just worked out T32C again on 17 and 20. Hope they will add me on their log correctly. Early stages for me but is coming.

Yes, it will be nice to work together soon. Not good at ragchew though. :wink:

Thanks again.

Rob.
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Postby kb4qqj » Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:43 am

Hi rob,
i wee you got the correct answere so I'll only add my opinion. I have several of the Navey Flameproofs, at least one of each manufacture. The very first thing I do is swap out the original knob (round top with skirt) for a flat top knob with a skirt. I prefer the flat top knob since I rest my index finger on top of the knob and grasp the sides of the knob with my thumb and middle finger resting on the skirt. Traditional method. The next thing I do is remove the connection cover so Have quick access to the connection posts. While testing for stray RF I try many different types of cable to the rig and it just makes it much quicker for me. So there you have it eh? I've been making a 120 mile drive each day and working t32c on the 817 in my mobile. I learned quick to not sign /m.... that's how they log it and now I have to open a new call in LoTW for kb4qqj/m. :-( I've worked them on 10, 15 and 17 form the mobile and on 24 meters signing as kb4qqj/m. Makes it confusing. That is a great start for you though. A lot of big stations haven't made the first contact yet. Catch you later in an email about the cw tutor.

Randy_KB4QQJ
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Postby ys1rs » Sat Oct 15, 2011 1:03 am

Thank you Randy.
Yeap. I feel lucky to have worked them and it was a fantastic experience too.

Thank you guys for your response.
Hope to improve enough to start making contacts with you.

Rob
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