News

June 15th, 2021

Erik has just delivered a new batch of single paddles, so we now have everything in stock.

I'll be putting both the singles and straight keys up on Amazon too, later this week.


May 20th, 2021

We now have the dual paddles listed on Amazon!




April 26th, 2021

Now we finally have the three styles of key in production, we can start to build up stocks so we have them continuously available.

Erik just delivered a new batch of dual paddle keys, so we're good on those for a while.

We have just a handful of single paddle keys and just one 3-Arm Set of the Straight keys left, although we have several of each of the three varieties of Straight Keys ready to ship.

They don't stay in stock very long!


April 21st, 2021

The straight key is now available in the Store and on the Straight Key page!





April 2nd, 2021

It was just a year ago today we launched on Kickstarter!

We now have three models: the original dual paddle, a new single paddle, and the straight key is now back from the anodizer and looks GREAT!



Here's the straight key with the three available arms - low, medium and high - with the black anodized finger pad.



And the Low and High arms with the tall and short knobs!

We just need a little time to assemble and test!



March 15, 2021

Straight Key Pre-Production Run

Here's a couple of sneak photos of the new straight key which is part of a small pre-production run:



The base, main body, and three different height/reach arms.



Arms and parts in different stages of machining



March 11, 2021

Paddles Available for Height Adjustment or Spares

We now have some sets of paddles available for the AF6L Spirit Dual Paddle Mk 2 and the AF6L Spirit Single Paddle keys.

If you have a taller version of these keys and want to convert it to standard, or vice versa, this is the set for you!

These come ready to slide into place, with magnets, contacts, and set screws already fitted.

The Single version is $60 and the Dual are $85 for the pair.  

If you order these along with your key, the prices are a little lower at $40 and $65 respectively.

Please email us at contact@AF6L.com if you are interested.




Dual Standard


Dual Taller


Single Taller


Single Standard


March 2nd, 2021

Single Keys are Available!

We have just eight three single keys available in a small pre-production batch.

You can read about the key here: AF6L Spirit Single Paddle



We have a few with the regular paddle and a few more with the taller paddle.

We're starting a much larger run later this week, but there may be a delay before they are ready for sale.

So if you want a first-run single paddle key, make sure to get your order in quick! 


February 22nd, 2021

AF6L Spirit Straight Key

Here's the first glimpse of a new prototype we are working on.  It follows our line of solid billet custom-machined keys with paddles, but this time comes in a straight key format.


So far, we have managed to fit fully-adjustable magnetic returns into the body, along with a range of lever heights, removable knobs (we should have a range available too!), and a base block. 


February 9th, 2021

The new single keys are off to the anodizer!

Once back, assembled, and tested, they'll appear in the store - hopefully toward the end of February.


November 19th, 2020

Over the last few weeks, we've been working on two projects following feedback from customers. 

Firstly, we have started the development of a single paddle version!  It's still in development, but we have a finished prototype and it feels great!





Secondly, we have created some taller paddles for those wanting to increase the height of the paddles above the desk.  These are currently for the Mark 2 version only.

Mark 2 Spirit Morse Keys with Taller Paddles are now available in the store





November 5th, 2020

Mark 1 vs Mark 2 

We have some pictures and a description of the differences between the original Mark 1 Spirit Morse Key, as developed for the Kickstarter campaign, and the new Mark 2.

Importantly, we would like to emphasize that there is no discernable difference in the performance between versions.  The changes were made to streamline production and to standardize parts.

From the top and side views, things look identical.

Inside the Mark 2, you will notice a change to the top of the paddles - the top of the pivot posts are now visible. The paddles are machined to such tight tolerances that the trapped air stopped the paddles from going onto the posts properly and so we drilled a tiny hole to relieve the air pressure inside. For the Mark 2, we took the main pivot hole right through instead.

The paddles are also set very slightly further apart to remove the machined indent next to the center post on the Mark 1 paddles. 

 


On the underside, we made the channels a little wider to allow for larger tooling to reduce chatter during machining and added radiused corners.

The magnet set screws have also been reduced in size to match the other set screws so make adjustment simpler.



We'll still carry Mark 1 parts should you need them, but please make sure to request parts for your specific model.




October 24th, 2020


We now have keys assembled, tested, and ready to ship out.



October 22nd, 2020


Great news!  The parts are back from the anodizer and assembly and testing has started.
We should have keys ready to ship out by the end of this week!

Over the next few days, I'll photograph and explain the differences in this Mark 2 version from the original Kickstarter model.


October 16th, 2020


We are waiting for the next batch to come back from the anodizer. Hopefully, we will soon have fresh keys ready for shipping!

We've taken all the feedback from the first batches and made a few minor tweaks to the design as part of our desire to continually improve the Spirt Morse Key.  More details to come soon... 


October 6th, 2020

Finished paddles




October 3rd, 2020

Paddles being machined




October 1st, 2020

New bases!




September 17th, 2020

The new Haas CNC is installed and commissioned and it is doing a great job!


September 2nd, 2020

The last few keys from the Kickstarter campaign shipped today!

Erik is upgrading his CNC and soon we'll be making a new batch of Spirit Morse Keys to keep ready for online orders here on AF6L.com


August 31st, 2020

Erik has been working hard to get the final batch finished and it looks like they'll ship out this week!
Once that is done, we'll be all done with the Kickstarter campaign.


August 28th, 2020

Five more keys went out today!


August 21st, 2020

Great news - all the newly-anodized keys came out perfectly!


August 17th, 2020

Still waiting on news from the anodizer about the latest batch.  Hopefully just a few more days.


August 8th, 2020

The third batch is packed, labeled, and ready to ship!  The new pins arrived and they worked perfectly.



August 4th, 2020

The second batch is ready for shipping!  The missing lid screws came early and it's so great to get a whole batch on their way to their new homes!


July 31st, 2020

The first batch of Spirit Morse Keys shipped out today!




July 30th, 2020

We had a great assembly day today, with a batch finished and tested, packed and ready for shipping.

More await some lid screws and a yet another batch awaits some correctly-sized pins.

We'll continue to finish up batches and get them shipped over the next few weeks.




July 21st, 2020


We have the key components back from the anodizer and most are excellent, but about a dozen have been damaged, some slightly and some more so.

This is pretty disappointing, as we had enough to fulfill all our Kickstarter pledges and website orders, but not too many extras before we start a second production run.

The anodizer is going to strip the finish, allowing Erik to complete some minor reworking, and re-anodize those we can save.

The rest will enter what we have called our "loaner program", where we will send them out for customers to use, to be replaced with fresh keys from the second production run.  If the minor cosmetic faults are not an issue, we plan to refund $40 to those wishing to keep them instead of returning them for replacement.

I anyone would like to volunteer for the "loaner program", please contact us!

Meanwhile, we are starting final assembly, testing, and packing for shipping!


July 10th, 2020

The first run of Spirit Morse Keys is now being anodized and we expect them all back next week!

We then have pins to press-fit, wiring, and assembly, followed by packing and shipping.

We're almost there!




July 4th, 2020


Happy Independence Day!

About another week and we'll be done manufacturing for this batch!




June 21st, 2020

I'm working on cutting the wiring to length, soldering on terminals, and getting ready for when the machining is complete.




June 6th, 2020

The Spirit Morse Key is now available to preorder on the Store menu above!

Once we have all the Kickstarter orders fulfilled and shipped, we'll start shipping out orders taken through this website. 

The order page uses Paypal and accepts most every credit/debit card as well as many other payment methods.

If you would prefer an invoice emailed to you, please contact me and I'll have it arranged.


June 2nd, 2020

The Kickstarter campaign is complete and we closed with almost 250% funding, 80 backers and 70 keys pledged!

Thank you to all you pledgers and supporters of our campaign!


May 15th, 2020

Bases after the first machining operation!




May 3rd, 2020

We're now 178% funded on Kickstarter!

The threaded magnet-holders are drilled:




The paddles are machined:


And Erik has purchased a deburring machine to make the parts extra smooth before anodizing:






April 27th, 2020

Josh from Ham Radio Crash Course showed the prototype key again!

Here's the link for the clip:
https://www.youtubetrimmer.com/view/?v=NRC08yOWJYE&start=1875&end=1900

Josh said: "It's fantastic!  It's not going to move on your desk at all."




April 22nd, 2020

We launched a press release today!

Modern Morse Paddle Design Taps into the Passion of Covid-Quarantined Radio Hams 


April 20th, 2020

We are now at 150% funded!


April 19th, 2020

Supplies are turning up fast - today the 3 foot long 3.5mm audio connection cords and 1/4" adapters arrived.  We will be including these with each key so they truly will be plug and play!


April 18th, 2020

The Spirit Morse Key was featured on Ham Radio Crash Course!
From his email: "I got it all setup tonight, it is AWESOME.  Nicely done!  Josh"

Here's the link to the clip:  https://www.youtubetrimmer.com/view/?v=VFKLiowjNpo&start=581&end=695




April 17th, 2020

Production continues apace! We now have over one hundred paddle arms completed - enough for more than 50 keys.


April 12th, 2020

Good news from Erik - he has completed 60 key lids already, despite the campaign not closing until June 1st. 


April 7th, 2020

We continue to monitor with amazement.  We are now 135% funded and there are still 55 days to go!


April 4th, 2020

Our Kickstarter campaign is a success!

49 hours after launch, pledges flew through the 100% funded level and we are a go for manufacture!  Such great news - thanks to you all for your support!

We did set it up for a 60-day campaign though, so there is still a while to go.  In hindsight, a shorter campaign would have got things going quicker, but we erred on the side of caution to give the project its best chance of success.


April 2nd, 2020

Everything happened very suddenly and we launched the Kickstarter!
Here's the link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/af6l/the-spirit-morse-key?ref=727ayz

There are new photos, some video and every detail we could think of there.
Early-bird pricing too for early backers!


March 21st, 2020

The anodizing test on the prototypes was successful so we are ready for final product photos.  

The design has been updated with magnets under the lid to make absolutely sure it stays in place!

"AF6L" has been registered as a business in Idaho, so that opens the way for all the financial reporting, bank/Paypal accounts and such.

The Kickstarter campaign is looking to start earlier, maybe as soon as early April, and probably as a 60-day campaign.

Live testing continues with cw contacts with an Icom 7300 on hf.



March 10th, 2020

Took the prototype key to our local KARS radio club meeting where it was met very positively. Our local "Mr. Morse" with over 50 years of CW experience gave it a good testing and a "thumbs up!" 

Elsewhere, the Kickstarter preparation process is moving forward, with most of the writing work completed.  I'm aiming at May 1st as the launch date.

The Spirit Key page was rewritten with more information.


March 7th, 2020

First public release of prototype pictures on r/amateurradio (Reddit) and Ham Radio Crash Course (FB Group).  724 page views in 2 days!


March 5th, 2020

Most of the content is now uploaded and many photos are in place.


March 1st, 2020

Today, the bare bones of this website are published!  Over the next few days, I'll be filling in the content, adding photos and more...