Sunday, 5 March 2017

Helios Straight Morse Key


This is my latest addition.  Called the "HELIOS" key, by its Japanese maker, JA1CQJ/Katsuyuki Ii, Also known as Vic...

 (Website -     and specifically  ---   )

Vic has been making morse keys for about 10 years, but this one, number 937, is the first one to be sent to the U.K. !...and so, I feel very proud &  privelidged to own and use the key.

You will notice that the key on Vic`s website, has a wooden base, and slightly different configuration/design, as mine has a Perspex Base, onto a very heavy  Stainless Steel block, with three rubber pads underneath.... This makes the key very stable and it does not move about on the desktop.  (no need for blu tack  !! )

The key is very well constructed, and the quality of workmanship is very high.  It takes a little time to get used to the way that the spring adjuster works, because, adjusting it to give more "pull"  also increases the gap at the rear contact point. The spring itself is quite unique. ( see pic below )

Helios Key - showing the spring & adjuster

Originally, my key had a short copper plate for the rear contact tongue, but because of the way that I send morse with the key ( see video at end )... after a few lines of text, the gap would slowly increase, due to the copper plate bending slightly.  To solve this problem, I found a similar thickness of stainless steel plate, in my junk box, and fashioned a new tongue, which has been working perfectly ever since.

The key is a delight to use... it has ball race bearings on the fulcrum point, and this gives a really slick and quick response to the pressure on the key, and also the return spring action does not need to be set in the "heavy" mode to effect a quick release from the contact.   This enables me to easily transmit at about 22 wpm to 25 wpm, for long periods if necessary, without getting tired or cramps.

Overall, I am very pleased and happy with my HELIOS KEY. and it has become a proud member of my collection .

Click on the square box on the video for full screen, and have your volume turned up a bit ! !