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These keys were used by the Russian, Czechoslovakian, and Egyptian Armed Forces.

(The instruments are in approximate chronological order: Oldest first.)
* = (Items no longer owned.) ** = (Items in other collections.)

9707 RUSSIAN MILITARY WIRELESS KEY:(37KB) This key has heavy-duty contacts to allow it to key high current transmitter circuits. The key is enclosed within a metal box.

9710 * CLASSIC KM or KM-F RUSSIAN MILITARY KEY: (27KB) All plated metal key with large doorknob shaped knob integrated onto hollow plastic base with plastic cover which snaps over the key. Base contains Russian capacitor/filter & is screwed to grey crinkle finish plate. It was made in Ukranian Telegraphy Equipment Plant ZTA in Cherkassy. Some of its features were taken from the German Junker DRP key design.

9714 * RUSSIAN MILITARY KEY:(37KB) 5-1/2" lever mounted on a black plastic base. Mechanism is enclosed in a high grey metal box measuring 2"Wx3"Hx4"D. From the knob down, the lever is entirely enclosed in a metal shroud. It was used with the high powered R-102M radio sets. Earlier versions of this key were used with airbourne RSB-5/R-801/R-807/Danube/RSB-70 (Russian replicas of SCR-274, ART-13, and ATC/ATD) radio sets.

9714a Another well-used example of this key:(11KB)

9716 * HUNGARIAN MILITARY TELEGRAPH KEY:(40KB) This key was manufactured by the Mechlabor (Mechanical Laboratory) in Budapest during the Cold War (1946-1985). These keys were used in Hungary and other former Eastern-Block countries. The key has a heavy metal 5-1/4" lever mounted on a black plastic base. The mechanism is covered by grey stamped steel step- down swing-over cover. The key is mounted on a grey stamped steel base. the label reads Mry 597 1985, Jan. The key was used with the M104 radio set. A Russian collector suggests that this rado may be a German NVA (National VolksArmee (National Army of the People)) version of the R-104.

9716a Russian key with cover opened:(27KB)

9717 * RUSSIAN MINIATURE MILITARY KEY: Tiny metal 3" lever mounted on a black plastic base. Mechanism covered by 1"x1"x1-3/4" grey metal cover. All mounted on a grey stamped steel base. These keys were used with R-143, R-159, Angara and some spy radios and some special radios. The key is also supplied in a small green case.

9717a * The Miniature Russian Key with connecting cable:

9717b * The Bottom of the Miniature Russian Key showing the clip that holds the connector when not in use:

9717c * The Miniature Russian Key with cover removed showing the left side of the mechanism:

9717d * The Miniature Russian Key with cover removed showing the right side of the mechanism:

9717.gif * Another example of the Miniature Russian Key:

9719 * RUSSIAN RB/RB-M/R-104/R104M MILITARY KEY:(18KB) Light metal 4-1/2" lever mounted on a black plastic base. Mechanism covered by black metal swing over cover. All mounted on a black stamped steel base. This key was first produced before WW-2 in 1938.

9719a Another view with cover closed:(15KB)

9720 * RUSSIAN TRAINING KEY:(14KB) Black painted stamped metal parts with doorknob style knob integrated onto a narrow black plastic base. Many of these keys were made for use in training DOSAAF (MARS) and school children in the use of the code. Greg Ulsamer reports that DOSAAF represents abbreviations of the Russian words: Dobrovol'noye Obshchestvo Sodeystviya Armii Aviacii i Flota which means in German: Freiwillige Gesellschaft zur Forderung von Heer, Luftwaffe, und Marine. In English, it is: Voluntary Organization for the promotion of Army, Air Force and Navy, a pre-military organization to train children in these fields.

9721 * RUSSIAN TRAINING KEY:(12KB) Similar to number 9720 with grey base and red knob. (See description for 9720 above.)

9722 * RUSSIAN TRAINING KEY:(9KB) Similar to number 9720 with light grey base and black knob. (See description for 9720 above.)

9723 * A COLORFUL SET OF RUSSIAN TRAINING KEYS:(35KB) These keys were made in many colors as indicated by this picture. (See description for 9720 above.)

9723a This is the most colorful of the Russian Training Keys in the picture above. It is shown in high detail:(21KB)

9724 * THE WOODEN-BASED RUSSIAN KEY WHICH WAS USED AS A MODEL FOR ALL OF THE PLASTIC KEYS SHOWN ABOVE:(35KB)This is the original model of Russian key which was used as a design model for the training keys shown above as items 9720-9724. (See description for 9720 above.)

Originally mounted inside a metal case. The decal on top reads: P405. It is likely that this key is similar to the ones that follow. However, a Russian collector suggests that this key may have been used in ground stations of the Russian Air Force.

I have been told that this key was used in Russian Helicopters or other aircraft.

9727a A closeup of the label on the key: (23KB)

9727b The inside of the Russian Key: (27KB)

The mechanism of this key is similar to that of number 9726 but the key is enclosed in a protective cover with the spacing and spring force adjustments protruding through the top of the cover. A russian collector suggests that this key may have been used in ground stations of the Russian Air Force.

9728a * The key with cover open: (16KB)

I have been told that this key was used in Russian spacecraft and/or space capsules. More specific information would be appreciated.

9729a A closer view of the switches on top of the Russian key: (40KB)

9729b A closeup of the label which reads: P13AK with serial number: 210866. (21KB)

9729c A view of the key with the cover removed. The connector on the bottom of the key is missing. (38KB)

9729d A closer view of the unusual key mechanism: (28KB)

9729e A further disassembly of the switch mechanism and the transparent panel which lights up at night: (30KB)

9729f A closeup of the transparent lighted panel. You may use this photo to print a replacement panel if yours is missing: (30KB)

9729g A closeup of the transparent lighted panel with dimensions. (33KB)

This Russian telegraph key was apparently designed to snap onto a military belt for use while in action. It consists of a long plastic case with an oval key knob. There are two snap-fastened stretch bands which are used to attach the key to the uniform or radio belt straps. The key comes with a cord and the typical 2-prong plug found on most Russian and German radio sets. The key was found attached to a very small belt-worn Russian two-way radio but it is not clear whether it was for keying CW signals or for push-to-talk operation.

9730a A view of the underside of the belt key:(21KB)

9735 RUSSIAN AIRCRAFT (?HELICOPTER?) TELEGRAPH KEY:(16KB) This interesting key is part of a series of similar keys such as number 9736 that differ only in the number and labeling of the control switches on top of the key case. I am still looking for more information about where these keys were used. Several people have told me that they were used in aircraft and, since they are made with very light metal materials, this sounds reasonable. Others have told me that they were used in Russian spacecraft.

9736 RUSSIAN AIRCRAFT (?HELICOPTER?) TELEGRAPH KEY:(20KB) This key is similar to 9735 above but it has no control switches on top of the metal cover.

9740 WW-II CZECHOSLOVAKIAN MILITARY KEY:(13KB) This interesting and unusual key has a clamshell cover with a disconnect which opens the circuit when the cover is open. Lifting the knob of the key up acts as shorting switch and can switch a radio set into the receive condition.

9740a A view of the key with cover closed:(13KB)

9740b A view of the key and cable assembly:(13KB)

9743 * BULGARIAN TELEGRAPH KEY:(24KB) This Bulgarian key is marked on the top of the cover 'G. Damjanov' and 'Razgrad'. G. Damjanov was the name of the factory and Razgrad is the city in which it was located. George Parvanov Damjanov, 1892-1958 was a hero of socialistic work. In 1992 the name of the factory was changed to han Krum (han=king).

9743a Another view of the Bulgarian key:(35KB)

9745 * ROUMANIAN TELEGRAPH KEY:(12KB) This recent key was produced in large numbers in Roumania.

9747 YUGOSLAVIAN TS- TELEGRAPH KEY FOUND IN EGYPT:(23KB) I purchased this key in Cairo in 2000. It is the first key that I have been able to find in Egypt. It consists of a telegraph key mounted on a bakelite base, a metal cover, and a metal sub-base which has the remains of canvas straps which were used to strap it to the operator's leg. The mechanism of the key is very well made and quite unusual. An operator has scratched his name in the cover in Arabic letters. In 2001 I was informed that this is a Yugoslavian Army telegraph key and not Egyptian, that the letters ''TS'' stand for "Taster" (or push-button) "Switch", and that it is model TS-1. In 2006, I was informed that it is an Italian Military telegraph key made for the Army by an Italian company named IRET in Trieste which is no longer in business. In 2013 I was informed that IRET sold equipment to the former Yugoslavia so the TS-1 could be a copy of some Italian key. Egypt had close ties with the former Yugoslavia and was supplied with Yugoslavian-made Army equipment especially in the 1960s - 1970s. This is presumably how it came to Egypt where I found it.

9747a Another view of the key:(20KB)

9747b A view with the cover closed:(13KB)

9747c Another view with the cover closed:(14KB)


Professor Tom Perera
Montclair State University

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