morse keyer

MFJ Morse Key Paddle

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To go with my new Ft 450D I wanted to use the in-built morse keyer. My FT 817 also has a keyer built in too. It has been a long time since I did anything with morse code, but I can still send and receive and with a bit of practice, increase my speed. Morse code is like riding a bike…you never forget!  Years ago I used to have an Iambic Keyer that I bought new at a rally, it was quite expensive I remember and had a plastic base and was quite flimsy. I used it occasionally for contacts and built a morse keyer to use with my old Yaesu FT 101E. Eventually, I sold it at a rally along with some other stuff at a time when I had lost interest in radio.

I looked on Ebay and other sites to find a source of a key paddle to use with my new rig, but found that they were very expensive. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on a paddle. Then I came across the MFJ Travel Iambic Keyer, a little kit that you can build yourself. It is very small and relies on a piece of spring brass to create the paddle on the keyer. It is mounted on a small piece of bright steel and measures only two inches square. Cost only £22 from Waters and Stanton.

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The kit is very easy to build and comes with full instructions. When completed you can use it as it is, very small and easy to handle.

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I decided to put the keyer into a Maplin box and make it match the rest of my equipment in my shack.

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To finish off, I bought a couple of black guitar plectrums and superglued them to the spring brass paddles to make it more professional.

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I’m very impressed with this little Iambic Keyer, it works well and is so easy to use.