Thursday, March 7, 2013


     In years past, J. H. Bunnell (the firm that developed the standard form of straight key used in North America) has occasionally done production runs of the miniature telegraph key they first manufactured as a souvenir for the 1905 reunion of the Old Time Telegraphers' Association; at some point, Bunnell even made a tiny sounder as well.  No mere watch-fob, both items work.

     Bunnell is not the only maker of very small, "Triumph"-pattern telegraph keys.  KA6IRL made "QRP J-38" keys for several years and when one showed up at a well-known auction site, I was the winning bidder.
     Here it is between two full-sized keys.  Just the thing for when you only want a short QSO or smalltalk!


  1. It's so small, it only sends dit, no dah.

  2. The feel is pretty nice, despite the hardware not having scaled threads -- I think it's 32-pitch (6-32), which would be like, um, 20 pitch or coarser on a full sized key. I need to take it apart and reseat the fixed contact, however, as it is somewhat askew. That's a job for a morning after a sound sleep, I think.

    W. R. Smith has built at least one *much* smaller straight key (two would fit on a penny! See here, scroll down) and becuase he is who he is, I suspect the threaded hardware is scale, or close.