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Author Topic: Favorite portable paddle? Single lever preferred  (Read 698 times)
AE4RV
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« on: December 21, 2009, 09:45:27 AM »

I'm assembling a portable station. What's your favorite commercial single lever paddle for backpacking? I don't mind if it's heavy but it should be smallish and rugged enough to not break easily nor slip around on the table when used.
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VA7CPC
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« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2009, 05:12:48 PM »

My first reaction was:

. . . "There aren't any commercial single-lever portable paddles".

But there is the American Morse Equipment "Bushwhacker":

http://www.americanmorse.com/bushwacker.htm

It's a true "single-lever paddle", with a well-defined center detent.

The builder's manual is online.  AME uses plain bearings (dowels), not ball bearings.  If their machining is good, that shouldn't be a problem.  The advantage of that design: with support on both ends, those dowels aren't going to bend _ever_.  The paddle looks rugged enough to survive the inside of a knapsack, and it's light.

I haven't seen one or used one, and I'd be interested in anyone's opinion who has.

I've been thinking about bases for portable single-lever paddles.  I haven't seen anyone use a thin sheet of rigid plastic, long enough so that it's held steady by the weight of the hand and wrist, with the paddle bolted (or Velcro'ed) to one end.  But that might work as well as a hunk of brass, and be a lot lighter to carry.

If you _really_ don't care about weight, the Bencher SP-1 single paddle is easy to disassemble.  Open up the contact spacing, loosen the spring, and the paddles and contact arm assembly (the only delicate part) comes off.  Put that in a small padded box.  The rest of the paddle is pretty rugged.  [I would never backpack something that heavy, but you might.]

                Charles
           
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KB1OOO
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« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2009, 07:43:58 PM »

my own, of course Smiley if you have an iphone, then you haz a paddle:
http://iditdahtext.com

73,
kb1ooo
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AE4RV
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« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2009, 09:34:10 AM »

Thanks, I am looking up the "Bushwhacker" right now.

Re: iPhone
I've seen the iPhone thing - very clever. I wish my "dumb phone" had a Morse input of some sort - I HATE texting on the phone keyboard.

However, as a bug guy, I will want a real single lever paddle when I'm being serious. Thanks, though.
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AE4RV
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« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2009, 10:30:38 AM »

K - the Bushwacker and base would be perfect. I wasn't planning on the over $120 for the combo (incl. ship), however. I probably should have been, in retrospect. Anyway, you found a really good one with lifetime warranty, just what I asked for. Good job.

They have some iambic portable paddles that are much less in price - I might go that rout. Might also see about building something on my own and definitely need to comb over my collection for something I may already have. For instance, I have a TenTec single lever paddle/keyer combo box that I have never used - it might just fit the bill. Time to try it out...

Thanks again!
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W5ESE
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« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2009, 10:32:46 AM »

I use a Whiterook MK-44 iambic paddle when I go backpacking.
At 1.3 oz, it's perfect for that application.

They also make an MK-33 single-lever paddle.
73
Scott W5ESE
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KQ6Q
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« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2009, 12:15:55 AM »

Seriously consider getting comfy with a dual-lever paddle. As teen in the 50's I had a bug, then in the70's I used the TT single lever paddle with my century 21. then about 1980 I picked up a used Heath HD1410 at a hamfest, and have been a dual-paddle op ever since. I've even modified the 1410 with a switchable stereo jack so I can use just the paddles with the keyer in my rig, but the keyer is still useable by itself. Looking at lightweight paddles to go with a QRP adventure setup myself. Check out all the links on www.qrparci.org  - there's even a chap who makes lighweight plastic keys and paddles - 22 each - might inspire you to make your own!

Fred, KQ6Q
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AE4RV
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« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2009, 08:37:11 AM »

Thanks all for good responses. I'm still looking in to it.
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