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Author Topic: magnetic return paddle ??  (Read 5808 times)
AF4XK
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Posts: 96




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« on: June 02, 2011, 03:56:06 PM »


Hello folks.

I'm considering getting another paddle.

I currently have a Bencher BY1 which has a nice feel but I prefer the single lever (tend to make less mistakes using one and it's just a little easier for a casual op).
I have arthritis in my thumb/fingers and the BY1 (with it's very light movement) keeps discomfort to a minimum.

I also have a Kent single lever but am not really satisfied with the thin finger piece (bothers my arthritis) and the adjustment seems to drift.

So I'm considered the N0SA single lever (price is a consideration) which has a 'magnetic return'. I've never used a magnetic return.

I've also thought about a Begali Mono and a K8RA single but both are spring operated.

So will the magnetic return provide a light feel similar to the Bencher ?

Also, is there much difference in feel or operation of a magnetic return vs. a spring mechanism?

Thanks for any advice.

chuck
af4xk
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KE3WD
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Posts: 5689




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« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2011, 04:08:23 PM »

Magnetic tends to have a "snap" action to it. 

It would be a very good idea, if possible, to try before purchase, perhaps there is a club in your area where you might contact a ham who has one and would be willing to let you visit the shack and give one a spin. 


73
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VA7CPC
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Posts: 2414




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« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2011, 06:02:15 PM »

Bencher is still making the SP1 single-lever paddle.  That would be an alternative.   

I didn't like the action, and traded mine for a Kent single-lever paddle (which I _do_ like).  But 'action' is a very subjective thing.  If you're happy with the Bencher BY-1 "feel", the SP-1 might be a good choice.

             Charles
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NK6Q
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Posts: 202




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« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2011, 06:23:45 PM »

I bought a used Vibroplex Square Racer; it wasn't too expensive.

I personally like the feel of the magnetic return.

Bill in Pasadena
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W9OY
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Posts: 1359


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« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2011, 01:20:09 PM »

N3ZN single lever  best paddle around
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AF4XK
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Posts: 96




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« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2011, 02:50:44 PM »

Thanks guys for the recommendations.
I'll consider each of them.

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VA7CPC
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Posts: 2414




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« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2011, 06:14:13 PM »

Quote
I also have a Kent single lever but am not really satisfied with the thin finger piece (bothers my arthritis) and the adjustment seems to drift.

I should have read the original post more carefully.   Two suggestions:

1.  The Kent single-lever paddle is a bear to adjust.  But once you get it right, with the long side-pieces _exactly_ touching the central round post, no play at the fingerpiece, and the locknuts tight, put a little silicone caulk, or a drop of Loktite, on the setscrews and nuts and side-pieces.   It'll stay put after that (I hope!)

2.  If you have some light scrap wood -- pine, balsa, etc -- whittle a piece that's the thickness you like, and add it to the fingerpiece.  That way, _you_ decide how thick it should be.   Attach with rubber bands until you have it right, and then glue or screw it on.

The previous owner of my Kent dropped it, and broke the fingerpiece.   He replaced it with a piece of fiberglass circuit board.  It's really thin, but quite stiff. 

              Charles



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K4XZ
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Posts: 82




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« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2011, 06:12:24 PM »

Everyone has there personell style when comes to Keys. The only way you will know is try some you like. Even after you have played with 5 or 6 keys for a short time, you really can't be sure until you you use the key/paddle for a couple of days. Try and borrow one, or go to another op's shack and try his.  Almost all paddles have adjustments on them. You can put 2 identical  side by side and with adjustments you will get 2 different feelings. If you like your Bencher, buy a new one. Most shacks have had a Bencher in them at one time or the other.There is one in mine.
It's really your personell choice. Good Luck.

73 Joe Patrick DE K4XZ
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K9MRD
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Posts: 333




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« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2011, 07:52:57 AM »

N3ZN single lever  best paddle around

I agree, but as many have pointed out, key selection is a personal thing. Don't concentrate only on the action. Also consider your keying style. If you tend to 'slap' the key, you may want a heavier Key.  As others have suggested, try them out if possible.

Wayne

PS - N3ZN has a 30 day money back policy so you can try his key with no risk.
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AF4XK
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Posts: 96




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« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2011, 03:24:53 PM »

Thanks guys.

Regrettably, I don't really have local acquaintances to try out the various models.

I know, it's all so subjective I hesitated asking the question to begin with.

I was primarily curious if there were some obvious characteristics that could be attributed to the magnetic return as opposed to the spring.

The N3ZNs do look like great paddles but the price is starting to climb higher than I wanted to spend.

tnx agn es 73.
chuck

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WD5ABC
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Posts: 37




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« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2011, 07:28:20 PM »

I'd hold out until I could try one.  If you've never used a magnetic paddle before you really should try it before you spend the money.  Some people love them, I tried the Vibroplex a while back and just couldn't get used to that snap action.  It's just the opposite of a spring, it gets softer instead of tighter the farther you push it.  It's adjustable by moving the magnets in and out but it's very different.  Or, get one from somebody who will let you send it back if you don't like it.

It's a matter of taste, nobody will know but you!  I see some of the guys like it, I just didn't.  I have an old Bencher paddle now, not the best but it's fine.  When I was a kid I had a Brown Bros. paddle, wish I had it back, it was a great paddle and better than my Bencher.

73,
Kerry, WD5ABC
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K0XY
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Posts: 70




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« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2011, 07:22:46 AM »

...I have had a couple of BY-2's for the past twenty or so years...I just picked up the Vibroplex Square Racer (for the fun of it) and that is a dual paddle, magnetic return...

...I like the BY-2's...very light touch...and the chrome is twenty years old and is perfect as the day I bought them...

...so the VSR has a similar mechanism to the BY-2, except that the return is magnetic...the BY-2 has a slight "spring feel" to the return  while the VSR has a "Snap" to the return...I like both

...good luck with your choice...it can be daunting !!! K0XY
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AF4XK
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Posts: 96




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« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2011, 12:10:08 PM »

I'm still considering all of this guys.

For those that have used both a magnetic return paddle and a BY-1, would you say that a magnetic return paddle could be adjusted to have as light of a touch as the BY-1?

Trying to be realistic given the arthritis.


thanks again.
chuck af4xk
« Last Edit: June 13, 2011, 01:13:20 PM by AF4XK » Logged
K0XY
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Posts: 70




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« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2011, 05:50:46 PM »

...yes !
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ZENKI
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Posts: 997




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« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2011, 02:47:18 AM »

I have a few single levers. The N0sa single lever is the best deal going at the moment. The Begali simplex mono is my worst single lever.  Even the Kent Single lever is more precise than the Begali simplex mono. The springs on the Begali are terrible. I checked mine with a Dynoamometer and it conforms my poor impressions about the action. Begali's 3 piece single lever movement is not as good as true single lever.
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