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Collectors' Corner 



Occasionally we obtain small lots of unusual and collectable keys-- too few to offer as a regular stock line, so here they are on a page especially for the collector.  Supplies are very limited-- first come first served!  To verify status of an item you are interested in, please call us on (303) 752-3382.

 


 

(Click on the pix for full-size view)


Soviet Special Forces Leg-strap Keys $59.95-$79.95

These miniature keys were made for Soviet special forces (spetznaz) towards the end of the 1980s but were never delivered. Recently recovered from the factory that made them in the Ukraine, they are in mint unused condition.  The key measures 1-7/8" x 1-3/8" at the base by 1-1/8" high.  The knob extends a further 1-1/8" forward from the base, and the thumbscrews extend outwards about 1/4" on each side.  The cover is metal, as are the mechanical parts, on a composite sub-base.  The knob is a single plastic piece that slips over the lever.  Note THREE adjusting screws. Like many European keys, this one is designed for separate rear contact (circuit closed) operation as well as normal front-contact keying.  The supplied cable is attached to the front contact and the lever, with a link to the rear contact.  It has a surprisingly nice feel, and is very well made.  The key weighs a tiny 3 Oz.  The "keyed" shape of the base locks into an aluminum plate, which can be strapped to the operator's leg, putting the key at a comfortable angle for operation. The plate has mounting holes so that it can be screwed onto a table or other base if required for stationary operation.

As of January, 2008, the TKF Keys have sold out.  We are trying to locate a new source, meanwhile we do have a few mounting plates and straps available.

 

Soviet Special Forces Key with Plate and Strap $79.95
Soviet Special Forces Key (bare) $59.95
Mounting Plate (No Strap) $18.00


Sorry!All of the following items have been sold.  We'll leave the pictures and info on this page for reference purposes.

(Sold Out!  But we'll leave the info here for awhile for
reference purposes)


Collectable D117/K4s
(Sold Out)

A small collection of older Chinese D117/K4 telegraph keys.  Some are variations that we haven't seen before. The keys are offered individually, that is, the key you see in the photo is the key that you will receive. Price is relative to scarcity,  See our PLA page for current production models.  We identified 11 highly collectable varieties,  and if you order one you will get the actual key shown in the photo.  The keys will be removed from this page as they are sold, so if you want to keep a copy of the photo please save it when you place your order.

The keys have heavy chrome plating, machined needle bearings for the trunion, hard silver contacts, and a felt pad on the base.  They weigh around two and a quarter pounds each.  The approximate dimensions of the base are 2-3/4 x 4-3/4 inches.  They're  2-1/2 inches high  and the center of the knob is forward of the base about an inch. 

(Click on the pictures for full-size view)
K4 No 1 Sub-base: Ivory 
Cable: Molded, wrapped plug
Knob: Ball & skirt
Label: None

Price: $110

(Sold)
No. 7 Sub-base: Black 
Cable: None
Knob: Flat
Label: Chinese & English

Price: $80 

(Sold)
No. 8 Sub-base: Black 
Cable: None
Knob: Flat
Label: Chinese & English

Price: $80

(Sold)


(Click on the pix for full-size view)


Hi-Mounds' first new key in some time, the new HK908DX didn't last long-- it was introduced and discontinued in the space of less  than a year.  The 908 represents several refinements on the 802 theme.  The mechanical design has been simplified slightly, with a lot  of attention to silencing the action.  The oak base has been replaced with a large, heavy block of natural marble, which adds weight to the key and rigidity to the mechanism.  The large "navy" knob with skirt provides for a comfortable grip, and the overall result is the possibility of hours of effortless sending.  The last HK908DX in captivity was sold for $400.

 


Johnson Speed-X Navy Contract Keys  $85
(Sold Out!  But we'll leave the info here for awhile for
reference purposes)

About two years ago the Royal Canadian Navy decommissioned two mine sweepers and auctioned off a warehouse full of spare parts.  Among the "spares" were some telegraph keys, Speed-X model 320-001, in their original contract packaging.  The 1967 contract date on the box indicates that these are EF Johnson keys (Wm M. Nye didn't acquire EF Johnson until 1974).  The keys are mint unused, and the packaging is in generally excellent condition.
 

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