Just finished my Cricket 40. Neat kit, thanks for the design. I made a modification that 4SQRP may be interested in.
You have the option of an integral straight key or an external key jack. I wanted both available at anytime. So I used the external key jack adapter and mounted it beside the straight key. I isolated a small pad from the ground plane and soldered a heavy wire over this pad to support the adapter strip and connect to the key pad.
I drilled holes through the ground plane to connect the other end of the adapter. I used washers to elevate the strip and keep the jack pins from shorting to ground. As this jack does not short when empty, this allows me to use the straight key (which I generally will do) and add an external keyer when I want. I used the space between to store my crystals.
You could modify the PCB to integrate the external key jack onto the board in a similar position to where I mounted mine. This would also eliminate need for the extra PCB strip.
I have attached photos showing my work.
Sent from ARS: NM3A