a division of Milestone Technologies, Inc.
"Everything for the Morse Enthusiast!"
GHD Keys, Paddles and Bugs
|GHD keys, made by
Ujiie (JA7GHD) in Sendai
City, are beautiful, practical, and innovative. |
The "D" models use optical sensors in place of physical contacts (see below for more info).
For a discussion of dual levers and optical sensors in bugs, see "Bugs: Want some Technology with That?"
A note about the photography-- that much chrome is tough to photograph! What may appear to be smears or blotches in the photographs are often reflections, and sometimes diagonal lines result in a jagged or "aliased" appearance. Please rest assured, the base of each GHD chrome key has a superb mirror-finish, at a time when OSHA and EPA restrictions have made good chrome plating almost impossible in the US. Larger upper parts have what GHD calls a "pear" finish which is a flawless satin chrome, much more resistant to fingermarks. The black-based keys are a heavy, durable multi-layer powder-coat which will resist wear and marking for many years. The black-based keys are more expensive than the chrome versions, because the powder-coating process and associated handling are more expensive than electroplating in Japan.
Referring to the top keys in GHD's line, we're often asked why anyone would want a micrometer for contact adjustment, or a machined ceramic contact insert, or aircraft quality ball bearings. Experienced operators are extremely particular about the adjustment of their keys. They demand precise adjustment that is easy to achieve, repeatable, and stable. The Mitutoyo micrometer makes it possible to adjust contact spacing to within a fraction of a millimeter, and if you have to open the contacts up for cleaning, or insertion of a bug wedge, you can dial right back to where you were with no trial and error.
The machined ceramic insert evenly distributes the impact applied to the lower contact, without the obnoxious "clunking" sound of more traditional contact mounting methods.
Aircraft quality ball bearings provide frictionless trunnion movement with zero side-play and since they are permanently lubricated, and will not wear, you can look forward to a lifetime of regular use without ever needing to adjust the bearings.
JA7GHD'S GHD operation was featured in the August 2006 issue of CQ Ham Radio. Click here to view a scan of the article (pdf, 150Kb) and here for a scan of GHD's brochure (April, 2019 pdf 1225Kb).
There is a wealth of information on the GHD web site, including several fascinating videos of GHD keys in use, and a brief demo of bug and cootie-key sending).
may take awhile for the
thumbnail images to load...
please be patient!
the best keys in the world, the GT501A and GT501MIL keys are
as good as it gets. Weighing a massive
3.5 lb (1560g) model GT501A has
micrometric contact adjustment,
machined ceramic contact insert, aircraft quality
a massive lever with two tapped holes for
the knob, allowing for a half inch
difference in lever
length. The positive, silky
action of this key is almost beyond belief!
|Replacement knob for GT501A (black)|| |
|For those who prefer the American style, GHD's new GT501MIL offers all of the features of the 501A with the lever bent down to within 3mm of the base at closure. Overall the lever is a little bit longer so there is a slight increase in leverage and mass. The knob is specially designed for comfortable "disk grip" sending. The base is finished in merror-polished hard chrome, while the lever and trunion assembly are finished in GHD's trademark "pear" finish..|
|Replacement knob for GT501MIL (red)|| |
|Model GT502 is virtually identical to the GT501A, on a smaller base and with two mounting positions for the knob. The base measures 5x3-1/4" and it weights 2 Lb 13.5Oz. (1290g)|
GT502MIL is the "American Style" version of the 502, with bent lever.
and it weighs 2 Lb 15 Oz. (1330g)
"intermediate key" is a solid
with machined ceramic contact insert, hard silver contacts,
"oil bearing" and
The base is 5 x 3-1/4" and it weighs 3 lb (1350g)
"standard key" as above, with "bent
lever" perfectly suited to the
style. GT504A was changed to GT504MIL and the key
has a red two-part knob like the GT501/502MIL keys.
The base is 5 x 3-14"
and it weighs 3 lb (1350g)
|Model GT705A is an entry-level key for GHD, but it has all the hallmarks of GHD precision engineering including aircraft quallity ballbearings and silver contacts. Base 50mm x 100mm, weight 600g.|
Lever Paddle, Chrome
3-15/16 x 2-15/16
1lb 15 oz
5 x 3-1/4
2 lb 10 oz
Paddle, Chrome -- "DX version" of GN607A with
position of contacts and springs reversed.
5 x 3-1/4
2 lb 10 oz
4 x 4 x 2-1/2
2 lb 10 oz
contacts and springs reversed,
4 x 4 x 2-1/2
2 lb 10 oz
quality at an entry-level price. The GN807F dual paddle has a
hard-chrome plated base with satin chrome parts, and silver contacts.
3" x 4"
2 lb 1 oz
|Dust Cover for GD507|
|Dust Cover for GN507|
|Dust Cover for GN407, 607 etc|
|Special Purpose Paddles|
Double-speed Key, Cootie Key, Single Lever Paddle
100mm x 80mm (4" x 3.25")
2 Lb 1oz
Solid GHD engineering in a portable
package with fully retractable levers. The attached cable has stripped/tinned ends for easy installation of a plug or direct connection to your equipment.
(click here to see under the cover)
3"x1.5"x1"(to top of retraction knob)
4.8Oz Instructions Comments
It's here! The world's first user-reversable bug!
The classic semi-automatic "bug" key with mechanical contacts and double fingerpieces for a wider grip. The devil is in the details, and GHD's choice of materials, dimensions, and other technical features, results in a bug that has an unusually crisp and precise feel over its entire speed range. N1FN says it feels a bit like the Speed-X 501. Fingerpieces and weight are packed separately, but easy to install. Dot speed adjustment over the entire range (about 18-32WPM) is a breeze with minimal dot dwell adjustment required.
Base: 3" x 5"
Weight: 2-1/4 Lbs
with Optical Sensors!
The classic fully-automatic "bug" key with mechanical contacts is the first "autokey" GHD has made in a decade. The devil is in the details, and GHD's choice of materials, dimensions, and other technical features, results in a bug that has an unusually crisp and precise feel over its entire speed range. Fingerpieces and weights are packed separately, but easy to install, and there is a third weight that can be installed on the dash lever to bring the speed down farther. The GN209W weighs 2-1/4 Lbs and the base measures a tidy 3" by 5".
with Optical Sensors!
"Autokey" Bug with Optical Sensors!
Click on the picture to view in full size.
The GHD SUPERAutobug Keyer is a state-of-the-art electronice memory keyer with some unique features. All controls are on the front of the enclosure-- no "programming" is required. Flip the switch on the right and your electronic keyer becomes an "E-bug," or electronic semiautomatic bug key. Many modern keyers can be operated in bug mode, but this one will record your messages with whatever "bug spacing" or rhythm you use. You can even record message memories with a straight key, and all of the details of your "fist" are preserved for instant sending.
There are standard 1/8" phone jacks on the back for connecting your paddle, bug, or key to the keyer, and your keyer to the transmitter. Cables are included. The enclosure is metal, so the keyer is fully shielded. Current consumption is very low, and the internal batteries should provide over a year of use, even if you forget to turn the keyer off once in a while. The GK609A measures 3-1/4 x 2-1/2 inches and weighs 7.9 ounces.
Morse Training Unit
Click on the picture to view in full size.
CPO And Practice Keyer!
GHD's "Morse Training Unit" goes so far beyond the traditional Code Practice Oscillator that it really needs to be called something else!
As a CPO it is superb-- the electronics are built into a tidy package featuring volume control, and enough clean audio to fill a classroom.
But the MTU is so much more than a code practice oscillator! It has an electronic iambic keyer (similar to to GK509) built in, so you can connect a single or dual paddle and practice Iambic or traditional keying without needing a separate keyer. The keyer has 600 characters of message memory, so while you are practicing your paddle work you can record the output for later playback and verification. Great for checking the quality of your sending, and incredibily useful if you are doing a demonstration or teaching a Morse class. The speed range of the keyer is approximately 7 to 50WPM.
But wait, there's more-- the keyer supports GHD's famous "E-bug" mode, in which a paddle can be used just like a semi-automatic "bug" key. It will even record your text in a somewhat unusual way. Each press of the dash lever will result in the recording of a pefectly formed dash in the message memory. If you mess up the timing of dashes you will hear the result when you play it back. Or to put it a more encouraging way, if it plays back good code then you know you have figured out how to send well with a bug.
The new "/er" model of the GR301 includes an earphone jack for private practice.
The GHD Morse Training Unit is powered by two AAA batteries ( included). Dimensions are 3-3/4 x 2-1/2 x 7/8" and the unit weighs 5 Oz. Click to view the GR301A/er documentation.
$139.95 GR301A/er Morse Training Unit
$16.00 GOP301 Adapter cable, straight key to GR301A/er
Morse Code Reader / Decoder
Click on the picture to view in full size.
$169.95 CWD2014M Morse Decoder with Monitor
cover off Closeup of Mechanism
GOP1003 "Home Base"
|Clear Plexiglass Dust Cover
for the GD907 Auto Key
Plexiglass Dust Cover
for GD507 Optical Paddle
|Clear Plexiglass Dust
for GN507/507DX Paddle
|Clear Plexiglass Dust
for GN407/607 Paddle
|High Speed Weight for GHD Bugs|
Box for Negative-Keyed Rigs
(use with optical devices) see docs
The "D" models use an optical sensor arrangement which eliminates the need for physical contacts and results in extremely smooth operation. The sensor requires an external power supply of +10 to 15VDC, connected via a pre-attached pigtail lead with socket. Matching plug and a power cord are supplied. The images show the base of the GD105MKII bug, and a closeup of the sensor arrangement. To view an image of the circuit diagram, click here. One might think the sensors themselves should be relatively inexpensive, but in the bug or paddle application the sensors have to be extremely fast. In fact, the cost of the sensors themselves accounts for 80% of the price difference between the optical and mechanical models, with the balance being the electronics to support them.
The WS series is a
applied to several paddle and bug models. It
levers, with six bearings, and can be configured easily for dual or
lever operation (dual is standard). The ends of the levers,
the fingerpieces, are detachable from the levers. To convert
dual to single lever opereation, you simply remove the ends of the two
outer levers and re-attach one of them to the middle lever.
fingerpieces can be attached to either side of the levers, so in dual
operation there are four possible fingerpiece spacings, and in single
operation there are two (one or both fingerpieces can be used).
or call 303-752-3382 for more information
It's been more than a week now and the romance continues! My new GN107WS
is fabulous. Took almost no time to adjust it to the Goldilocks point
(just right) and it's been great ever since. The overall quality is as
good as the other GHD keys and that is high praise indeed! I had a bug
from another manufacturer and it just never felt right. Now the GHD Bug is
so much fun to use that I'm re-arranging the shack to feature the new toy.
Thanks for the great advice and 73,
I was so anxious to get the GN507 that I canceled my "out of town" trip,Just received the new GM-701 travel paddle and it's fantastic. Like my
to be able to meet the DHL man. WOW! Am I ever glad I waited.
The GN507 IS everything I always hoped a paddle could be. For the last
few years I've been drifting from paddle to paddle. Some have been pretty
decent, some real dogs. My opinions don't always agree with the published
reviews, so it's interesting to see what others have been saying. I don't
think I've ever heard anyone say anything negative about a GHD key, and
now I know why.
It only took a few minutes to get it adjusted just the way I've always
wanted to ( but never been able to ) adjust a paddle... gap down to just
about imaginary and just barely enough spring tension to guaranty a
positive break of contact with no falsing if a big butterfly should happen
to fly by. ( wish someone made feeler gauges that small... any
I had to spend a couple hours sending pages out of the local phone book to
get used to the new feel, then went on the air with it. WHAT A JOY to
send with. I may have to buy another one for my other operating position
so that I don't have to put my fingerprints on that fantastic chrome job.
10 THUMBS UP! ( all 5 on both hands )
73 and THANKS THANKS THANKS
73, Lonnie NY2LJ
Just a note to let you know how enjoyable it is to not only use my suite
of GHD keys; also the enjoyment I get just seeing them there in front of
the rigs. The finish is absolutely perfection and is equal to their feel
of operation. I have the 501, 907, and the Cootie key. I've gotten to the
point where I'm almost comfortable of being on the air with the 907; never
used a bug before and it does take some getting use to. My next purchase
will probably be a standard bug. It is fun to use different methods of
sending code and I try to use each device at least once a day, depending
on how many QSOs I have. Sometimes I hookup with an old timer that likes
to change keys during the QSO and I follow along with them! The Cootie key
is taking awhile to get the hang of but I am almost to the point where
I'm going to try using it on the air. I practice off the air using a code
reader to insure that I'm not too sloppy.
Again, thanks for being so helpful when I've inqured about specifics prior
to ordering. GHD is unmatched in quality. There might be some custom
builders that can match it, but I'm positive that they can't be beat
because they are perfection with respect to operation and quality of
Thanks es 73, KI6YN
GHD Model 501-M Key is *GORGEOUS* That key I ordered from you is worth
every penny I paid for it. It is absolutely the most beautiful straight
key I have EVER seen, and is solid as the Rock of Gibraltar. The picture
on your web site simply does not do it justice (no picture ever could).
Thanks and 73, Bob WA4FOM
Received my GHD GT501M straight key via FedEx quickly and safely here in
the UK. The build quality and mirror like chrome finish on the key is
outstanding. The micrometric stop adjustment is as far as I know unique on
a key like this and with the supplied arm extension fitted the feel of the
key is positive yet smooth. In short it is a superb key and is probably
the best straight key now in my collection.
73 David Murrell G0KQY
[GHD GT501M] I am not easily impressed. However, the build quality of this masterfully crafted key became immediately apparent upon initial inspection (one glance at its gleaming chrome finish and its phenomenal structural design will surely capture *any* CW operator's attention!)-- and... I can state, unequivocally, that I was impressed beyond belief!
No other straight key comes close.
from an eHam review by Clive, AA6TZ
!!!!! WOW !!!!!
I just this minute got in my new GD105 Mk II from GHD Keys
via Morse Express. I repeat: WOW!!! Not only is it the best
looking bug you've ever seen, but the feel is incredible. Instead of the
click-click-click you normally feel with a bug, and the contacts hit and
rebound, instead-- with it's optoelectronic "contacts" and rubber
dampening pads-- the only thing I could think of as I felt the
"contacts" was the mellow tones of a xylophone... you have to feel it to
believe it!!! It is not inexpensive, but honestly, it is amazing.
Ed Tanton N4XY
I purchased a GH-GD347WS several months ago and now have a pretty good
feel for the paddle. I also have a Bencher [BY-1 iambic] and a Vibroplex
[Vibrokeyer deluxe - single] and a pair of straight keys [limited to SKN].
The GH-GD347WS is, without question, the smoothest paddle I have ever
tried. I have set it up in single paddle mode, which I definitely prefer,
and find that it is an easy and friendly key to use. Interestingly, the
position of the dual paddles in single paddle mode provides just the right
amount of spacing for a truly comfortable feel. I do not tire of it and it
remains comfortable to use in relatively long cw sessions. It always gives
feedback of a sense of precision and control. The setup is quite easy and
the people at Morse Express and Milestone Technologies were quite helpful
when I misread the instruction sheet. Since seting it up, I have not had
to adjust it even when I have taken it to local amateur radio club
meetings as part of demonstrations. This attests to its quality and
durability as I take no special care of it in transport. Routine cleaning
is a simple matter of dusting. I shall have to try the plexiglass case to
store it when not in use ! The quality of the machine work and the finish
is very high which makes it a pleasure to look at as well as to use. I now
use it exclusively and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a
high quality, beautiful and very usable key.
Received my new Optical Sensor paddle via FedEx as
promised; thanks! This key is FANTASTIC! The first
night I headed off to bed, only to get back up and
work a few more Q's!! Once you get started you can't
put it away...the velvet touch is addicting!
Now I've got 3 other paddles here...getting V E R Y
73 John Nicholson K7FD
I just received my GD205MKII from UPS. I hooked it up and, "HOLLY COTTON
PICKEN SMOKE.!" This is what a semi-automatic key should be! The optical
sensors make absolutely perfect dots and dashes. No matter how diligent I
was with the adjustments of my old semi-auto key I could never get it to
make what I considered to be perfect dots. My old one was also noisy.
Well, no more. This 205MKII is as quiet as a church mouse, extremely light
to the touch, and has a very wide speed range. On close inspection I can
also see that the quality and workmanship of this key it absolutely first
rate. To say that I am ecstatic with this new key is an understatement.
73 - Patrick - AC6YD