Straight Key

The AF6L Spirit Straight Morse Key




Individually Made for You in the USA!


The Spirit Morse Straight Morse 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 Straight Morse 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 solid blocks of billet 6061-T6 aircraft-grade aluminum, the Spirit Straight 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 key has a black anodized finish with a clear anodized lid, base, and arm 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 arm 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 of the pivot are magnet adjusters, so you can dial in the force needed to move the arm, 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 2lb 10oz, the Spirit Straight Morse Key anchors firmly to the table with its silicon rubber feet, providing a stable experience even during enthusiastic keying. For those requiring even more stability, the base is already drilled to facilitate bolting the key to any surface.

The base measures 4" wide by 6.25" long.

The mono-block concept of the body 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. 


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 Arm


The arm itself is fast and smooth moving, with gentle dimples on the pad to facilitate positional memory.

Erik really delivered on the engineering of the pivot, allowing the key to almost float.  Many high-end keys use bearings, but the Spirit Straight 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.

When you consider the fraction of an inch of movement at the end of a long arm, 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!


Range of Arm and Knob Configurations 


The Spirit Straight Morse Key comes as standard with a flat dimpled aluminum pad and also 2 custom-machined Delrin knobs, in both tall and short styles.  This easy-to-swap combination allows you to see which style suits you best.

The tip of the arm is drilled ready for aftermarket knobs, allowing for an even wider range of options.

We also offer three different arm styles - low, medium, and high.

The low arm sits at 1.190 inches above the desk surface, with the medium a half inch above that and the tall another half inch higher.  The taller arms also increase in length as show below:


The Delrin knobs are, of course, taller than the flat pads - The short knob adds 0.900 inches and the tall one is a quarter-inch taller again at 1.150 inches.



With nine combinations, we are sure there will be one that works perfectly for you! 


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 AF6L Spirit Straight 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.

Whether starting out in cw, or an expert with years of experience, the AF6L Spirit Straight Morse Key represents an excellent choice at this price point.


What's In The Box?


Everything you need is included in the box!

The key itself in your choice of arm configuration, the base, flat arm pad, two extra Delrin knobs in tall and short sizes, a knob skirt and bolt, the 1/8"connection cable, 1/4" adaptor, and four adjustment hex wrenches.





If you choose the 3 Arm Set, you'll also get two extra arms, loaded with all their parts, an extra knob skirt, and a pivot removal tool!
  





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AF6L Spirit Straight Morse Key Adjustment Instructions

AF6L Spirit Straight Key Arm Change Instructions

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AF6L Spirit Straight Morse Key





We now have AF6LSpirit Straight Morse Keys in stock and ready to go!

Order your AF6L Spirit Straight Morse Key here:

$335

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




AF6L Spirit Straight Morse Key - 3 Arm Set





We now have AF6L Spirit Straight Morse Keys with 2 extra arms in stock and ready to go!

Order your AF6L Spirit Straight Morse Key 3 Arm Set here:

BACK IN STOCK!

$395

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