About AF6L

The Story Behind AF6L and the Spirit morse key

AF6L is the FCC callsign licensed to David Oakes, an extra-level radio ham from N Idaho.


David started life in Brighton, England in 1967 and radio has been following him ever since.  His father Reg served in the Royal Corps of Signals, later becoming a telecommunications engineer until his retirement.  Reg also volunteered at the Amberley Chalk Pits radio museum which has its own working radio shack and he was never far from a radio.

David went off to college in Bristol to obtain a degree in Chemistry and then to South Wales for a Masters in Marketing. After initially settling near Cardiff, he lived for several years on the very cliffs where Marconi sent his first over-water radio message to Flat Holm in 1897.

In 1998, his life took a new direction and David moved to Michigan in the US and became a US citizen in 2001.  His wife Marty and son John then moved to north Idaho in 2008, where they still reside, running a small family business making custom cribbage boards.

David knew that ham radio was going to catch up with him eventually and after encouragement from friends in Idaho, he gained his license, AF6L callsign and started to dive into this amazing hobby.

While looking for the perfect cw (morse) key, he found it hard to find something modern-looking, consistent in action and at a reasonable price.  While meeting over coffee with his friend Erik, a plan started to formulate.  Erik used to work for Boeing as a designer/machinist and runs his own small business machining all kinds of high-end parts.




David decided to design and make his own key, building in all the features of expensive keys and avoiding all the pitfalls of the cheaper offerings.  And that is how the Spirit morse key came to be!