Dual Paddle

The AF6L Spirit Mk3 Dual Paddle Morse Key!

Individually Made for You in the USA!

The Spirit Morse Dual Paddle Key is designed, custom-machined, assembled and tested here in north Idaho. 

Each key purchased helps support my family and provides work for Erik the local machinist too.

We're both self-employed and reachable, and you're much closer to the creators than just purchasing a box off a shelf.

Modern Design

Rather than follow the traditional, "steampunk" designs in brass and wood that make up most of the current market, the Spirit Morse Dual Paddle Key was designed to be modern-looking from the outset, individually custom-machined to exacting dimensions.

The design is heavily inspired by the B2 Spirit Stealth Bomber, known for its dark, sleek lines, and a shape born from function rather than tradition.

Machined from a solid block of billet 6061-T6 aircraft-grade aluminum, the Spirit Dual Paddle Morse Key represents the culmination of modern design and development efforts to create a crisp and consistent key that looks at home with your modern radio equipment.

The final design is the result of the experience of master-machinist Erik, who spent many years working at Boeing, designing and making all kinds of classified parts for military stealth programs including the B2 itself.

The production version has a black anodized finish with a clear anodized lid and paddles to match the B2 and, of course, most modern radio equipment.  

Consistent Performance

Many keys drift out of consistent feel as they are used, some even after just a few minutes of use and often in the middle of a treasured QSO.

The driving aim of the Spirit design is the ability to finely adjust the paddle movement and pressure.

Each fine adjustment is easy to achieve, yet locks firmly into place to avoid changes during use.
The clean, simple design is also free of external knobs or screws to bump, misalign or catch to upset the adjustments once made.

Magnetic Return and Dampening

For this key, we developed an innovative arrangement of rare-earth magnets, using two pairs to provide the necessary adjustment.

On each side are magnet adjusters, so you can dial in the force needed to move each paddle individually, from barely a touch to quite stiff.

Some experimentation may be needed with the magnet and contact adjustments to make it perfect for you, but the range of adjustments provides a very wide range of possibilities.

Magnets deliver like no spring system ever could, and once locked in place it stays that way!

Stable and Solid

Weighing in at a healthy 2lbs, the Spirit anchors firmly to the table with its silicon rubber feet, providing a stable experience even during enthusiastic keying. For those requiring even more stability, tapped threads are hidden under the feet to facilitate bolting the key to any surface.

The mono-block concept means that all parts are anchored firmly within the same solid metal block.  There are no wooden parts to expand and contract with the seasons and no subassemblies to come loose.

The key is just under 4 inches square and the top surface sits around 1.5" above the tabletop.

The paddles protrude just over 1.3 inches, giving plenty of room to grasp with ease. The paddle surfaces are just over 0.65 inches apart (16mm apart), designed for efficient and comfortable use for most average to large male hands.

Flexible Design

The new Mk3 design adds the flexibility of swapping the paddles over, making for a taller grip area if needed.  Previous designs were available in both Standard and Taller options - the Mk3 can be configured in both! 

Dust Control Built In

Many keys need the extra purchase of a cover to keep dust from getting into the mechanism. These never seem to fit right or look good and as dirt builds up, it can quickly change the feel of the key.

Careful consideration has been made to minimize dust entry, with the lid sealing the top and helping keep the internal key parts free from dirt and dust.

The lid is held in place by four small 4-40 stainless screws to ensure it stays put.

Floating Paddles

The paddles themselves are fast and smooth moving, with gentle dimples to facilitate positional memory.

Erik really delivered on the engineering of the pivots, allowing the paddles to almost float.  Many high-end keys use bearings, but the Spirit Dual Paddle Morse Key goes a step further.  By using a post and hole pivot with a large contact area, machined to within 0.0005 inches and lightly lubricated with copper grease, we have reduced the drag and response time. The quicker key movement comes from lighter paddles, made thinner by not having to incorporate bearing pockets.

When you consider the fraction of an inch of movement at the end of a long paddle, the minute rotational and stress forces do not justify the loss in performance of building in bearings, which often have more slop too. For the technically minded, the rotation is 0.38 degrees with a 0.001" contact gap, approximately 0.0006" at the edge of the pivot post, less than the take-up clearance in regular ball bearings!

Again, with an eye to consistent feel, rare-earth magnets are used to regulate paddle pressure rather than springs which are prone to wear and develop a sluggish response, with continuous pressure adjustment.

The standard paddles are 1.36" to the top and 0.16" from the table surface.

The taller paddles are 1.68" to the top and 0.48" from the table surface.

Stainless Steel Contacts

The electrical contacts are stainless steel and hemispherical in shape to permit a clean contact and break.  When considering the choice of materials, both silver and gold are far softer and are less likely to stand up to hard use.  The quick paddle movement and contact shape make for a clean, crisp make and break, allowing the key to maintain this performance in the long run.

The 18-8 stainless contacts have a hardness of Rockwell B80, around 6 Mohs, whereas silver and gold are around 3 Mohs.

Easy Connections

The output is found in the form of a standard 3.5mm stereo socket on the back, recessed to continue the smooth look.  This allows the use of any standard 3.5mm stereo cable for connection, without being tied to proprietary connections or irreplaceable fixed and soldered cabling.

Competitively Priced - Great Value

The workmanship of this key really stands out, with every edge lightly chamfered, accurate radii, and smooth surfaces.

Quality engineering, design, machining, material, and service are not cheap, but the Spirit Dual Paddle Morse Key is certainly good value.  Small quantity, individual manufacture, and testing mean that you get a high-quality key without the usual fuss and problems.

The key is available below and in the store here at www.AF6L.com following the successful Kickstarter campaign here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/af6l/the-spirit-morse-key?ref=727ayz

Whether starting out in cw, or an expert with years of experience, the Spirit Morse Key represents an excellent choice at this price point.


AF6L Spirit Dual Paddle Adjustment Instructions


Spirit Dual Paddle Morse Key - Mark 3 Version

We now have Mark 3 Spirit Dual Paddle Morse Keys in stock and ready to go!

Order your Mark 3 Spirit Dual Paddle Morse Key here:


Includes shipping within the US
(Please contact us for international orders)