I recently purchased a used FT-817 from a friend. I wanted something that was small, light (backpack-able) and able to do all bands / modes. But mostly I wanted a CW rig for portable.

The 817 already had the portable zero rails on it and the wincamp 3amh battery upgrade, so all I really needed to do was to pick up the Z817 autotuner (I really didn’t need this but I like to have the option to fine tune the sotabeams 20/40 dipole) and a CW key. I picked up the key on eBay because the price was right at $48 and the mounting to the rig was pretty clean.

So far I have been mostly using it for practicing CW with CWOps class, but I intend to bring it to the park the next go around and see if I can stir up some contacts QRP.