Key WT 8 Amp No.2 MKll
Morse code keys are similar to electric guitars. They're the one piece of equipment in the rig that the operator touches most of the time and quite often gets emotional about. Possibly the most affordable and abundant straight Morse key with a 'glamorous' provenance is WT 8 Amp. Primarily used in WWll this ubiquitous key is often available on eBay for just a few pounds albeit in a sorry state but a little TLC goes a long way. We are blessed with a free online PDF that explains in great detail the many variants of WT 8 Amp:
p.s. TLC = Tender Loving Care.
This beautiful little key above is a WT 8 Amp No.2 Mkll Morse key manufactured by Whiteley Electrical Radio. This was a classic design of key used during WWll and there are many examples of these. This particular key was originally nickel plated, but it has been cut back to the original brass and has been highly polished. These keys are rugged and a pleasure to use. It has been mounted on a hardwood base with quality brass screws.
This key had dual contacts to facilitate easier switching TX/RX. The receiver was separate from the transmitter, so if the receiver was left running, it would blast you in the headphones. This key 'sorta' provided full break-in. To close the sending contact, you had to open a receiving contact. With the receive contact closed, you would hear, but when you sent, it muted the receiver before keying the transmitter. Basic, but saved the effort of working a separate send/receive switch. Setting up a station was a lot more challenging in the days of separate transmitters (and VFOs) and receivers. Electronic TX/RX switches were a big deal when they came out in the late 50's or early 60's.
Thank you to KQ6Q and other Internet sources.
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