As one of my regular readers of the blog, you would know I am a CW buff and the main part of CW is the CW key. For some time now I have been at odds to get the one that works for me. The first key I ever had was the Bencher BY-1 key. It is a very straightforward spring tension key that worked great for me, so what happened to it you ask? As with most of you, I got married, had kids, a job and all the activities that go along with that portfolio. Ham radio was put to the side and things got sold including the Bencher paddle.
Fast forward to now when the kids are grown, work is no longer and retirement is here. I started to get back into radio again about 4 years before I retired as life did at that point start to slow done. It was time to start looking for a key again. I had read about Begali keys and looked online and decided on their Contour which was magnetic return and not sprin. Me and the key were not getting along very well. I thought it was a matter of adjustment, I had adjusted the contact spacing more than I can remember and I became over time more and more frustrated. I ended up selling the Contour key.
I then move to a solid-state touch key made by 9A5N. This is a very well-made key which is very solid and works as advertised. For me, I could not get the electronic touch adjustment done in a way that would work for me. Seemed it was either too sensitive to touch or not enough, now there was nothing wrong with the key it was just me. With this key, I tried adjusting and adjusting but never could get what I was looking for. I found myself sending extra dits or dahs.
It was time for me to come full circle and move back toward a spring key as that was the only one that worked for me. I ended up going back to Begali and purchasing their Simplex Basic Iambic key. It is their least expensive key but not at all poorly made. The key arrived about a month ago and I have been reacquainting myself with a spring key again. In a nutshell, it seems I have found my happy place again with keys.
It's very odd as in the past I would have thought a key is a key is a key but not so there is a feel to each of the types of keys and I just had to find a type with the correct feel for me.