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Wednesday, 26 February 2014

German Morse Key

When I joined the Royal Navy in 1960, I wanted to train as a Radio Operator, mainly because my dad had tried to teach me morse code, and also gave me an interest in radio as a hobby.  He had a German Morse key which he said was from a  German Tank in WW II, However, since owning this key, and doing some research, it turns out to be a BAUMUSTER T1 which was used by the Luftwaffe ( German Air Force)  ( Signal Troops ). .. ground stations, and mobile vehicle radio stations,.... When I passed out from training, he gave me the key, which I took with me on ships and shore establishments...... until... I loaned it to a "mate"  ( huh!).. who did not return it...

I missed that key quite a lot, and had many happy memories of using it, and so, I have been looking on Ebay to try and buy another.... Lucky Me !... I won an auction, and here it is....



It is exactly the same as the one I had, Except, my original had a metal plate on the base, that reached under the knob to give it stability....

There isn`t much to refurbish on this key.... the casing is Bakelite, and all I needed to do was to give it a spray of WD40, and use an old toothbrush to clean off the mess of 80 years.!.. Inside, it is relatively clean... just a little bit of rust, but not a big problem.... The parts are all steel, and remarkably clean of rust, however, I did use my rotary wire brush on the rocker arm, to brighten it up... then I sprayed the whole lot with some spray-on lacquer, to give it a nice "new" shine. The old wiring was cut off, as I needed to put a 3.5mm jack on the end, to connect to my USB/Serial connector and my Laptop, so I can use it on CWCOM, and talk to the world for free!...









A couple of points about the pics... There is a "date" mark, on the bottom  with " 8. 116  1934/36 " , and a "logo" .....  inside the top of the case, there is another date mark " 9. 140 1934." ( and the same logo). .. So I am assuming it is "of that age", making it 80 years old...

I don`t know what the other marks refer to...  so if anyone has any information, or ideas ? ? ?   please contact me and let me know.... I would like to know what the "logo" represents too... Also the Ta.P on the lid.... The other German on the lid, says " Remove the plug, before opening"... ( health and safety ! ! !)..

Here is the key... cleaned and ready for action..  I made a wooden base for it, which I will probably paint black, in the near future...






Here is a video of me telling part of the story..... There is no "crib" on here.....I will let you read the morse!!!




Just remember to click on the "full screen" icon, bottom right... and also have your speakers or phones on..!.

Sorry about the "light" on the video.... I could not get my desk lamp to light up the key properly, but you can see that it works well....  and it is a nice addition to my other four keys.....



From Left to Right....

German Key. Baumuster T1. (1934) ..
Hi Mound HK-705 (1970`s?)
Admiralty Pattern 7681 (1943) 
Ward & Goldstone, Pendleton, Manchester, England. (1905)
Rebuilt A.P. 7681
( my original key, rebuilt by a friend who made the base, as reward for lending him the key to sit his morse exam - he passed !) ...

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