Sunday, November 9, 2014

1938B Theodore R. McElroy Deluxe Model Mac-Key

I did not expect to post another blog entry so soon, but..., I just won an eBay auction for a 1938B Mac-Key!
I have wanted one of these since before I was licensed as a HAM.
As I mentioned on my QRZ page I am in the process of learning CW, and as someone that has always appreciated vintage radios and equipment the famous Mac-Key is one I learned about early on, and have always wanted.

So, when I saw this one on eBay in good working condition along with a very interesting story of the history of this key, I knew I had to have it!
Here is the history of this key as posted by the seller on ebay;


This MAC-KEY example is the top of the line Deluxe model sporting a simulated black marble finish and chromed upper parts as well a locking bar to “tune” your transmitter.  It bears Serial Number 2000.  It is well used but is complete, clean, operable and with the exception of the “dot” paddle it is original. 

These keyers have a solid and heavy 4 lbs plus base.  Practically everything you can imagine is adjustable in terms of spacing, tension and feel.  The speed of the dots is set by moving the brass colored pendulum.  I have always kept the adjustments a bit loose as it was fun to adjust but I am sure a pro telegrapher would have it locked down.

I have had this key in my possession for over 35 years and have used it at length.  I originally got it from the estate of a retired amateur radio operator who I understood served as a civilian telegrapher before and during WW2.  I do not know the age of the key but I would estimate it was made in the 1940s maybe earlier.  

He did not know the age of the key, but from looking at the pictures and comparing it to the pictures posted on the following website, I am 99% sure it is a 1938B key. I have sent pictures to the author of the web site to register it in his data  base of Mac-Key serial numbers, and to confirm with him that it is in fact a 1938B. More on his response later.

http://artifaxbooks.com/mcelroy/mackeys.htm

Here are a few picture of the key from eBay, I will do a future post on the key when I get it;
Finally; here is a YouTube video of this key being demonstrated by the seller himself. I downloaded it from YouTube because I suspect the seller will delete it from YouTube, since the key was sold;

video

Can't wait to get it and post more about it!

Until then, 73!
Tom, K2BEW

No comments:

Post a Comment