VARIOUS MARINE KEYS.

#024..... A late 1930's Marconi M.I.M.C. Co. Type 365A Morse Key (M.I.M.C.Co. = Marconi International Marine Communications Company).

Note the row of six connecting strips labeled TR TL BR BL AC AC.This grand key was available with either Sleeve or Roller bearings (See ref. MM No.74, page 12). Description as "Key, Morse. standard key designed as cheaper edition of type 365 key". Single main contact and two back contacts. Used with Marconi equipment - 550B, 386, 386A, 387/8/9, 533, 719, 558, 398/9, 381. (See MM 75, 2001).


 

#025..... A Marconi M.I.M.C. Co. Key Type 365A Key, serial number 4448, again late 1930's. Originally from the P&O Cruise Ship "S.S. Strathmore" ("R.M.S. Strathmore" 23,500 tons carrying First class & Tourist class passengers on the India & Australia Mail Service. R.M.S.= Royal Mail Steamer) callsign GYMS, 1930's. These keys were painted in various shades of greys and blues, but mainly found in "Battleship Grey". Marconi installed these keys along with all equipment, plus Radio Officers, in many ships radio rooms. All was rented to the ship's owners.
It is interesting to note that these keys with "same number" serial numbers (eg. 4448) were invariably supplied to passenger ships. P & O probably had all the 44** keys.

Also interesting is that this key has just one label and no provision for the second label on the side of the key. Also the one label is different from all others, in that it simply reads "TYPE 365 A M/C N/o 4448"

R.M.S. Strathmore 1935.

Old Ship Pictures.


 

#026..... A Marconi Key Type 365B Morse Code Key from the early 1940's.
A shorter arm and with just three connecting blocks, this model was fitted with two coils, two capacitors and a resistor to assist in key-click suppression. Again available with either Sleeve or Roller bearings. A similar design to the 365A, but with single change-over contacts. Used with Marconi "Oceanspan", "Trader", etc..


 
 
 

Marine Morse Recordings - Radio Officer Richard Monjure

516..... A Marconi Key Type 365D. No - It's not a 365A with bits missing! It is a 365D, assembled with the basic parts, eg. no lid, no key click supression etc. from the 1940's. The label reads: TRANSMITTING KEY. TYPE No 365D. MADE IN ENGLAND. THE M.I.M.C. Co. LTD. LONDON. (See ref: MM No.74, page 15).








Malin Head Radio EJM -The 500Khz Recordings Of Finbar Oconnor EI0CF


 
 
 

365c..... A scarce Marconi Key Type 365C. Owner Raoul Coetzee / ZS1REC notes that it is basically a 365B with one or two money saving modifications. The label reads: TRANSMITTING KEY. TYPE No 365C. MADE IN ENGLAND. THE M.I.M.C. Co. LTD. LONDON. Serial number 11569.

A Link To A Marconi 365 EZ and others.


 
 
 

A4084 EDN G.....A Redifon A4084 EDN G marine key with cover and Send/Rec. switch.
Many vessels, including deep sea trawlers were fitted with Redifon equipment. Indeed, most deep sea trawlers had the finest equipt radio rooms afloat. Including Redifon Receivers, Transmitters for MF, HF and VHF.


 
 
 
 

A4084 EDN G.....
An inside view of the Redifon A4084 EDN G.
As you can see - a morse key of high quality and featuring 3/4" Dia main bearings. The 1/8" Dia contacts are, unusually "press to make" both front and back. The key base measures 6 & 1/2" (165mm) by 4 & 1/2" (114mm).


 
 
 
 

A4084 EDN A..... A Marconi made REDIFON A 4084 EDN-A Marine Key. This key can be seen in all it's splendour on the cover of Morsum Magnificat magazine number MM56 - Feb 1998. Redifon formed in 1948 (part of the Rediffusion Co). The key is very much like the Marconi 365 keys but smaller. A rare key.


 
 
 
 

028...... ITT Marine Key.
A fine and most popular key with operators, the International Telephone & Telegraph Corporation (ITT) key. Designed and manufactured by I.M.R.Co..


I.M.R.Co. = International Marine Radio Company, London.


 

029....... This marvellous ITT Marine Key was used at Niton Radio (GNI) and was used right up to the final day on October 23rd 1987 when the CW distress watch ceased from Niton. This service was mantained by Lands End Radio to the west and North Foreland Radio to the east. Niton Radio, Isle Of Wight, U.K. opened in 1909 and finally closed in 1997. This very key can be seen in the news article at the hands of Radio Operator Martin Elson on Friday October 23rd, 1987, the final day of CW watch for Niton Radio.
  • Note the modification to this key with the addition of a round tension adjuster on the top, plus a personalised knob insert.

    NITON RADIO.



    030.Scarce Danish Marine Key made by AMPLIDAN of Copenhagen, Denmark. One of the finest pounders around!
    These Amplidan model 50713 keys were supplied with installations on Danish vessels and shore stations, and are regarded by many operators as one of the best long arm keys in the World.

  • Harder to find is the Amplidan supplied to Radio Holland. It does not have an Amplidan label, it was fitted with a Radio Holland (RH) label that read: "RADIO HOLLAND. BV. type SL-8. Nr . . .".
    Ex Radio Holland Radio Officer Herman Willemsen states: "Radio-Holland (RH) did not make keys, but used Junker keys, Amplidan keys and Marconi keys on board Dutch ships. RH put their label on the key. Amplidan was supposed to be their type SL-8, meaning Sleutel-8 = Morse key type 8. BV stands for Besloten Vennootschap = private company with limited liability. Herman".


     
     
     
     
     
     

    031..... Norwegian EB Marine Key "a/s ELEKTRISK BUREAU OSLO", circa 1950s. A joy to use and fine looking with its clear plastic cover. In my opinion one of the finest straight keys in the world. See this magnificent key on the cover of Morsum Magnificat MM54 October 1997.
    Examples are known without the round black arm guide, and I suspect few keys still survive with their plastic cover. I know of only one other with a cover, that cover does not have the black "EB" emblem.


     
     
     
     

    032. .... Japan Radio Company (JRC) Marine Key Type KY-3A. c 1940's


    These are fine keys, and well worth looking for are the pre WW2 versions described by Paul / G4BNU (See Below)


     
     
     
     

    032b. .... Pre WW2 Japanese Spark Keys.


    Paul/G4BNU sent me this picture of two pre WW2 Japanese Naval Spark keys.
    "Forerunners of the JRC key and pre WW2 have these differences: --- rounded not sharp edged trunnions --- tommy or torsion bars on contact terminals not screwdriver slots ---- removeable contacts, these keys are Japanese military (Naval) wireless spark type keys with large diameter contacts". 73 paul/G4BNU.


     
     
     
     
     
     

    033..... Royal Navy Key Type AP7681 Serial No. LM 220. Complete with cover. Not many were made with the cover as it was found to be almost as costly to make the cover as the key!


     
     
     
     
     
     

    034..... Royal Navy Key Type AP7681 with the fantastic Serial number of LM 2182 ( 2182KHz is one of the main maritime Calling/Distress frequencies).


     
     
     
     
     
     

    035..... Royal Navy Key Type AP 7681. Late Model, no serial number.


     
     
     
     
     
     

    038b. .... Royal Navy AP 65485.
    These keys were designed and made by Marconi owned companies in the UK, as were many other military keys such as the AP7681's the RAF "D" types etc.. On the front edge of the base is "ADMIRALTY PATTERN 65485 KEY MORSE SERIAL No. STR. 930 KG".
    Identical in design to the APX.691 shown below.


     
     
     
     
     
     

    522. .... Royal Navy AP No X. 691. This is a scarce Navy AP X. 691 key. The identification on the front edge reads "ADMY PATT NoX.691. KEY. MORSE. W.G. YEAR 1943" ( W.G. = Ward & Goldstone Ltd. Salford, Manchester, England). Designed and made by Marconi owned companies in the UK in the 1940's and featured in Morsum Magnificat magazine MM40 page 41.
    Identical to the AP 65485.


     
     
     

    504..... Naval Masthead Signalling Lamp Key circa late 1800's. There is a letter "W" stamped on the underside of the main arm that is possibly Western Electric pre-1925. A boxed one of these keys has "Player & Mitchell, Bham." stamped on the box, so perhaps the W is an "M" (?)
    What an impressive key this one is ! A bone handle, bakelite base and skirt with all parts in beautifully formed brass. The base measures 5 & 1/2" long by 3" wide and 5/8" deep, the key has 3/16" Dia (4mm) contacts.

    In use up to and including WW1 by the Royal Navy on surface vessels, and one example was recently salvaged from the Royal Navy Submarine "E50" that was lost in 1918.


     
     


     
     

    047/48. .... Two American WW2 Flame Proof Navy Keys with US Navy Logo.
    A CMI-26003A and a CJB-26003A.
    "CMI" denotes the maker Moulded Insulator Co.
    "CJB" is the maker J.H.Bunnell.


  • These keys were once believed to be copies of German Luftwaffe keys. However - a recent blueprint has surfaced showing they are a progression of the Navy _26000 flameproof key. This document is dated Jun 2, 1919 and could be the earliest recorded use of the _26000 numbering scheme. It is now suggested that the Germans copied the Luftwaffe key from the _26003A.

    The All Important Blueprint. "J.H.BUNNELL BLUEPRINT".


     
     
     
     
     
     

    "BK"