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.
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.
I decided to put the keyer into a Maplin box and make it match the rest of my equipment in my shack.
To finish off, I bought a couple of black guitar plectrums and superglued them to the spring brass paddles to make it more professional.
I’m very impressed with this little Iambic Keyer, it works well and is so easy to use.