WA3WSJ's Keys etc.
Welcome to my Key Page!

I love to operate cw and I'm always interested in keys, paddles etc.  This page is dedicated to the history behind the keys and paddles that I own.

Small Morse Key - Field Fullerphone Telephone Set D.MK.V
This small key is part of a WWII Field Telephone Set D.MK.V. . The original field telephone called the “Fullerphone” was developed during the First Great War by Captain A. C. Fuller.  In 1943 a tropicalized version was issued. This Mk V model had a similar circuit but tropicalized components. The Mk VI Fullerphone, the last type built, was completely tropicalized and immersion-proof. Cases arose where a submarine cable circuit was available but the necessary telegraph terminal equipment was found totally destroyed or was not immediately available. To ascertain to what extent Fullerphones could be used on submarine cables of various lengths, trials were carried out in 1943 by Cable & Wireless Ltd. at request of the British War Department. The results exceeded any expectation; ranges of up to 700 miles were obtained with faint but readable Morse signals at a maximum of 20 words per minute.
So there you have it – a very interesting story about an innovative piece of communications gear developed almost 100 years ago and used in two World Wars.

I use this key every New years Day to operate pedestrian mobile. I walk across Skyline Drive overlooking the City of Reading, PA as WA3WSJ/pm.  This key is approximately 2 1/4" x 1 5/8" x 1 5/8".  It's small and built like a tank!  I bought it at the Dayton Hamvention a few years ago.  To view the wonderful story about this key, please clink the link.
WW2  German Junker Straight Key
The Junker key was a product of the Junker family, who were the militaristic land-owning aristocracy of Prussia in the early 1800s. The key was designed by Joseph Junker, a German Naval Radio Officer during the First World War. He patented his design in 1920 and the keys went on to be used by the German and NATO navies etc.

This key is extremely smooth to use. With a metal lid closed, it is also rather silent. I like using it a lot. it is unusual in that it features two large adjusters; one to adjust the contact spacing and the thumbscrew for the tension of the lever – it achieves this by actually raising or lowering the platform underneath the spring.
There are three connections at the rear of the key; they provide make or break keying as well as on/off keying. This means that the rear connections are kept closed until the key is pressed which opens the rear contacts and closes the front ones. All this means is that the key has its own form of Transmit/Receive switching.

Electrically the key has three connections, with matching silver contacts at the rear so that the key can be used for make/break keying as well as the more usual on/off keying.  In other words, the contacts at the rear will be held closed (for a receiver muting circuit, etc.) until the key is pressed, opening the rear contacts and closing the front ones a millisecond or so later.  Simple but foolproof T/R switching, with built-in QSK. 

WW2 Junker Key purchased at the York Hamfest 1990
Vibrokeyer Single Lever Paddles
The first single lever paddle released for use in Amateur Radio back in 1960.  Unlike iambic paddles that can be squeezed to send individual letters, a single lever paddle is a single arm that pivots between the dit and dah contacts for clean sounding code sent with the electronic keyer in your transceiver.  The Vibrokeyer has long been the go-to standard for DXpeditioners for the fastest, snappiest CW transmission.  The knob and thumb piece arrangement reminiscent of the "bug" keys is the most ergonomically correct for CW operation. I use this paddle for every day operation.
Vibrokeyer S/N  270,621 made around 1973 - year I was licensed!