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Straight Key Selection?

Posted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:13 am
by wc5b
I have been a ham for 15 years. Even though I was elmered in by one of the best cw operators I have ever known (My uncle WC5P) I have found it hard to learn code due to it being hard to break away from the electronic aids. Until now.....

My friend and I (who I have elmered in the hobby in recent years) have discovered a way to learn code not only fast, but also fun as all get out. We are both having a blast with the limited code we know already and both see it becoming our mode of choice.

Over the years I have had a couple paddles, each better then the last. Unfortunately they all suffer from the same problem (Which means its operator error for sure HIHI) by making many mistakes with extra dits or dahs being sent unwanted. I am sure there is a well known term for this, but I can only describe it as it swinging too far past center and its momentum swinging past to send the opposing dit or dah. This has lead me to trying to use it with the keyer turned off and tapping it sideways as a str key. It feels SOOO much more natural and I have total control of my OWN mistakes.

This leads me to my question.... If its going to be str key's for us.... what do we get? I see there is options ranging from 10 bucks to 500 smackers and more! I am sure we will both get something fancy later on, but with budget in mind, I would love to keep it on the low end. My biggest concerns are these: 1. Sturdy- I am a truck driver and will be mobile. It will be bounced around a bit. 2. Heavy- I would like something that can sit in place and not fall every stroke. (Not impressed with the mini's, at least not yet.)

I would love to find something under 50 bucks, but if feedback tells me forget those, then 150 would be a high cap for me currently I would imagine, and I really would hate to go that high for now. I have been looking at what I can find on the web and everything seems really cheap or really expensive. So.... whats everyones feelings on the subject?

Posted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:47 pm
by NT9K
You have lots of choices and will probably get lots of different opinions. To get you started, take a look at all the keys on this page:

You might check out the Junker. Its 100 bucks and a very popular key. Another nice one and a very popular key is the Navy Flameproof:

The big difference between the flameproof and Junker is the height of the knob. The Junker is higher than the flameproof. So, for those that like to send with the wrist on the desk, a flameproof might be better?

A bit less expensive key, but still a good key is the Speed-x:

Take a look at those and let us know if you have questions. Good luck finding your perfect key!