Wednesday 3 April 2024



I already have a
Begali Simplex Basic, so that's up for sale to pay for this new replacement. Why change?? Well because this replacement was so cheap I'd have been crazy to turn it down. How often do you see these come up for sale on the used market??

The Blue Traveler Light (aka Magnetic Traveler Light) is something which will better suit me in the long term because of its suitability for outdoor work. Why they call it "Light" at 700g though, is beyond me - it's far from light.

Thankfully, the item arrived pretty much as it was shipped to the original purchaser, complete with all the bits and bobs including the feeler-gauge, qsl card, beer mat, etc. It also included the telescopic storage box which I'm really pleased about, since it offers great protection for virtually no weight penalty.

That plastic storage container had me looking a bit stupid at first, because I struggled to open it. Eventually, I discovered that you've got to give it a bit of a twist and then it slides apart 😂

When you see the paddle for the first time, it's a nice feeling! This is a beauty for sure! Begali gear is just so wonderfully put together and this one in particular is very, very nicely finished. 

The Traveler is available in black or blue and to be honest, I was especially pleased to find this blue one. 
The Traveler is fitted with two swing-out wings to give the key stability and they double-up as protective shields when in storage.

There's also a couple of belt-brackets for those who wish to strap it to their leg. Personally, I think that's a bit silly given the weight of the thing. Far better to just use it on a table-top, although there's probably some who would disagree with me.

This key has no springs - it uses repelling magnets and it feels fantastic. The barest touch of the paddles produces a clean, sharp dit or dah. Gold contacts, sealed precision bearings and superb engineering will see this key outlive its owner by quite some margin!

Unlike the Basic, the Traveler has a 3.5mm TRS socket built-in which makes life easy. As you can see from the photo above, there's a matching blue lead.

Underneath the key it looks every bit as well finished as it does from above and you can see in this shot that there are four rubber feet to aid stability on a desk surface. Having said that, with a heavy hand I find that it still moves about quite a bit if it's sat on a polished, smooth surface. Best to use a little non-slip mat with it.

As for my progress learning morse, I have to admit that it's going slowly! I've been trying to take the advice of others by focusing on listening rather than sending, which is what I was foolishly doing originally.

I find myself being drained of energy at work (mentally, not physically) and then when it comes to leisure time, I feel like I've got so many things to do that it's a constant battle to find spare time.

I've been trying to commit to 15-30 minutes a day to make progress and finding it hard to do. Maybe it's time to tell myself to just commit to a smaller timeslot of 10-15 minutes and let it grow from there.

At the end of the day though, I know I'll get there in the end. I should just chill out and it will be what it will be 🌝

73, Tom, M7MCQ.


QRP - When you care to send the very least! said...

Nice, Tom! Begali keys are the best! I'm sure you'll get many years of enjoyment from it.

72 de Larry W2LJ

PE4BAS, Bas said...

Looks like it is very well crafted as all Begali keys. I'm interested in your Begali simplex if it's still available? 73, Bas

MadDogMcQ said...


73 Tom, M7MCQ.

VE9KK said...

Good morning Tom, a very good investment for sure. The magnetic keys may take some time getting used to but as has already been said you can't go wrong with a Begali key. Keep going at the code at your own pace and as time allows. Don't get upset if you did not meet the time goals you set. In the end no matter how much time you spend it is time spent learning.

Neil said...

Well done Tom getting on the CW journey, same here. Morse Ninja has been a great help to me, I wasted plenty of time learning characters at slow speed. I wish I had taken on board advice given to me by experienced folk to learn them at 28 or 30 WPM which I do now and it has accelerated my progress. I honestly never thought it would be possible for me at my age to get to the point where listening to a sound pattern would produce a letter or number in my head but it magically does now 98% of letters and numbers. Yes it’s a real ball ache to learn but I now think the fact it is hard is part of the appeal. Hope to CW QSO on the bands one day Tom. Neil. G1AAD

MadDogMcQ said...

@G1AAD Thanks for stopping by Neil and thank you for your words of encouragement - appreciated!

73, Tom, M7MCQ.