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Author Topic: Kent vs N0SA vs Begali  (Read 10725 times)
K2JF
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« on: August 24, 2011, 11:51:22 AM »

I've read through each and every review for these three dual lever paddle. I even have a Begali Simplex Pro that I like, but do want to add one more set of paddles - maybe one a tad more stable on the desk. Any of you out there use a Begali and Kent? Can they be fairly compared? Right now it's between the N0SA and the Kent. I can get the Kent sooner and I'm one impatient cw op, but would I be better off waiting for the N0SA??
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K3STX
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« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2011, 01:44:31 PM »

I bought a Begali Simplex dual, it sure is a beauty. HOWEVER, after one month I sold it and bought a Kent TP-1. I am now ecstatic. The Kent is not as beautiful as the Begali, but for me it sends better code. I found no matter how I adjusted the Begali I would occasionally get extra characters when I sent above 40 wpm. This had been noted by others. I got the Kent, never any such problem. I love the Kent and recommend it highly highly.

I know it is heresy to trash Begali, but that is my experience. I am sure I will now be told I don't know how to send CW properly and I do not know how to adjust paddles. I guess I am a newby; only been doing this for 30+ years.

paul
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K0RS
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« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2011, 02:32:18 PM »

Paul and I have had this discussion before, in private.  I couldn't agree with him more.  I think the Kent he is referring to is my old key!  I still have a Kent single lever, which sends very nicely.  I also have a Begali Mono Simplex which looks beautiful on the shelf.  However, it is listed for sale on my website.  So for any of you who don't engage in heresy, here's your chance.... Wink

The two keys that I have on line are the Kent and my crusty, trusty old Vibrokeyer.  Not exactly status symbols, but what works is what works.

The Kent needs a couple of minor mods to suit my taste.  First, I installed taller feet to raise the fingerpiece higher above the desktop.  Now I need to find an esthetically acceptable way to widen the fingerpiece so the feel isn't so drastically different between it and the Vibroplex when switching back and forth.  This probably wouldn't be a problem if the two keys were more ergonomically similar or if the Kent were my only key.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2011, 02:36:08 PM by K0RS » Logged
K3STX
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« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2011, 04:45:46 PM »

I think the Kent he is referring to is my old key!

True true, Larry.

By the way, I think you used up all the good DX contacts with this Kent! I want my money back!!

p

p.s. I'm surprised the Begali is still for sale after all this time!
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K8AXW
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« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2011, 09:07:15 PM »

I replaced the feet on my Kent single lever paddle with the square stick on rubber feet.  As long as I keep the desk glass clean the paddles stick to the glass like glue.  However, if I move the paddles onto dust, it will occasionally move.  The Kent does a great job for me.
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PA0WV
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« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2011, 02:21:38 AM »

When you have occasionally extra letters from your key, there are 3 orthagonal possibilities and a combination of them.

a) Man made.

b) Not your key but your key-er is producing them

c) your key is producing them

To find out I designed and build "the BugDebugger"
It has two possibilities to find out a) b) and c)

a) The device activates 2 solenoids, for left and right paddle activation. Two times per second all the day long.
Contact bounce of opening and closing the paddle contacts is measured, number of bounces and total duration for each paddle and for closing and opening of contacts. Hence 4 sets of a few hundred thousand measurements each are collected.
It turns out that erroneously one in an hour or so,  very long bounce duration take place, dependent on the brand of key. A PC accumulates the data and graphs  can be produced.

c) The BugDebugger generates "the quick brown fox", and put it on 2 DIL reed relays, with extreme short bounce time, Those relays are connected to your keyer. There is no error in those paddle like keying signals, hence your keyer may not make an error.  Eight  different kinds of keing signals are availabe, of course including iambic a and b.

You can find the article published on
http://pa0wv.home.xs4all.nl/zelfbouw.html
click on the 6-th link from the top of page.

Wim PA0WV
« Last Edit: August 25, 2011, 03:36:59 AM by PA0WV » Logged

Using an appliance without CW is just CB
PA1ZP
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« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2011, 09:32:39 AM »

Hoi Wim

I have tried the Kent and I have to say it is much to low at the desk for me.
I didn't like the feel of the fingerpieces.
And I did miss my light effects in the Kent , that are present in my homebrew paddles.
I prefer my fingerpieces at abt. 5 CM or 2 inches bove the desk.

For me the problem in keying good and neat is in my fingers not in the key I use.
I also tried the Vibrokeyer (sort of bug paddle used with electronic keyer) and I liked that very much. but that is no Iambic paddle.
Advantage is that I do not have problems when going back and forward between bug and paddle because finger pieces and finger action hight etc. is exactly the same as on my Vibroplex bug.

When I really get fed up with the bouncing contacts in my homebrew Iambic Paddles I will go for the Vibrokeyer deluxe.
Or build a nice copy of the Vibrokeyer myself.
Maybe I will design one myself.

succes Wim met de zoektocht in het grote paddle woud
Het ontwerp van de N0SA minipaddle lijkt veel op mijn ontwerp van mijn homebrew paddles.
Al is het ontwerp van N0SA veel mooier en beter uitgevoerd

73 Jos
« Last Edit: August 25, 2011, 09:38:21 AM by PA1ZP » Logged
PA0WV
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« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2011, 10:29:12 AM »

Hi Jos,

It is not me, it is K2JF that is the topic starter. And K3STX that generate spurious characters now and then.

I don't spent money on keys. Having here 2 brown bros paddles, bought in 1968 mounted on a metal coffee tin top. filled with molten lead and a disk of rubber of the inner tire of a car, very old, to prevent moving by friction. But I am not a slammer, so meant for slamming hams that want to make a qso at my rig.

Picture at http://pa0wv.home.xs4all.nl/pdfbestanden/a63j23nr9mei2011.pdf

Also having a set of pressure sensitive resistors, that outperforms any key due to no bounce at all, stable over time, and no movement.

You mention a point, but k3STX assures it is not him, it is the key or the rig that make the mistakes. However over 20 years he will, when alive be a trembling old man, so may be this is, the yet denied, start of that process of degeneration we all experience when we don't pass away pretty young.

73 Wim PA0WV
« Last Edit: August 25, 2011, 10:32:19 AM by PA0WV » Logged

Using an appliance without CW is just CB
K3STX
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« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2011, 10:43:34 AM »

... but k3STX assures it is not him...

I did not "assure" anyone that the problems I experienced were not my fault, I only pointed out that I have problems with the Begali key. I suspect if I changed the way I send CW I would not have the problems anymore, however it was easier for me to sell the key than re-adjust the way I send.

Thousands of Begali customers are happy. The original poster asked for opinions, and I gave mine. It is my opinion, not a fact.

paul
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PA0WV
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Posts: 141




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« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2011, 10:51:38 AM »

OK Paul, sri, I have to read more carefully.
Wim
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Using an appliance without CW is just CB
K0RS
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Posts: 788




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« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2011, 02:23:23 PM »

”To find out I designed and build ‘the BugDebugger’”

Wim,

Interesting approach to objectively quantifying key performance while controlling variables.  Hard to dispute the facts, eh?  But, I would argue, at least in the context of this thread, technological overkill and wholly unnecessary.

First, if I plug two different keys into the same keyer and experience different results, the keyer is eliminated as a variable.  The difference is in the key, not the keyer.  Is it the human factor?  Perhaps.  But it is also possible that there is something about the mechanics or ergonomics of the key that encourages human error.  This is the case with my (I emphasize my, because as K3STX pointed out, there are many satisfied owners) Begali.

I am not ashamed to admit I make as many human errors in my sending as anyone.  (Well, perhaps not anyone Cheesy.) Rarely, however, do I make an error and not be fully aware that I did so.

Pietro supplies a .3 mm feeler gauge with the Simplex Mono key in order to correctly adjust the contact spacing.  This indicates to me that the man fully understands the mechanical limitations of this particular key.  The problem for me is that gap feels too large.  That is my personal taste and opinion, not to be represented as absolute fact or transferable to anyone else.  I also prefer a light return spring tension.  When set to my tastes, the key does insert extra elements into a Morse character.  An elaborate electromechanical device wired to computer is not required to ascertain what is happening here.  It is my understanding that many European operators, including QRQ champions, prefer larger contact gaps and stiffer return spring tension on their keys than some of their North American counterparts.  There isn’t a right or wrong, only personal taste.  Unfortunately, some operator’s personal tastes are incompatible with some key manufacturer’s mechanical limitations.

I think it’s interesting that no equipment review (or other internet post) from me ever generated so much personal email as my review of my Begali key.  I actually had the audacity to give it a 4 (not exactly a slam), rather than a perfect 5, and suggest there was room for improvement.  The general tenor of the emails was:  “Hey, mine does that too!  The reviews have been so good that I thought it was just me.  I didn’t want to say anything.”  People were afraid of being accused of heresy as K3STX noted.  For reasons of pride they are also slow to admit that they spent a good deal of money on an apparently  beautiful product only to have the actual performance not live up to their expectations.

Marshall, N1FN, is the proprietor of Morse Express ( http://www.mtechnologies.com/ ), a popular supplier of keying equipment in the USA.  His store is a relatively short drive from my home.  One day he passionately explained to me why Vibrokeyers are simply impossible to use, the physics of their design being all wrong and outdated.  I listened with a polite smile.  What can I say?  They work for me.  Perhaps the key has conditioned me over the years to work around its inherent shortcomings?  Is this a case of the subjectivity of the human element being positive rather than negative?  The human brain is amazingly adaptive.  Then again, maybe Marshall just wanted to sell me a new Scheunemann? Wink
« Last Edit: August 25, 2011, 02:42:36 PM by K0RS » Logged
K2JF
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« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2011, 03:45:29 PM »

Paul

you;re not alone.. I've been using the Begali Simplex Pro for a couple of weeks and I'll be damned if my cw is just not doing all that well. And I've been a cw op for 25 years. I had good success with the k8RA P-2 paddles but wanted something heavier. So now I'm waiting delivery on the N0SA and I hope to hell I'll like them!!!




... but k3STX assures it is not him...

I did not "assure" anyone that the problems I experienced were not my fault, I only pointed out that I have problems with the Begali key. I suspect if I changed the way I send CW I would not have the problems anymore, however it was easier for me to sell the key than re-adjust the way I send.

Thousands of Begali customers are happy. The original poster asked for opinions, and I gave mine. It is my opinion, not a fact.

paul
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ZENKI
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Posts: 989




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« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2011, 03:21:22 PM »

I own both  N0SA and a few begalis. My view is that magnetic return paddles requires a lot of re-training of your fist if you come from a conventional spring movement. The magnetic paddle click introduces another element to the timing of your sending fist. I am starting to drift back towards spring return paddles for this reason. I personally think the advantages of magnetic return is highly hyped and overrated. For example I have W5BIG Black Widow which use both magnetic and spring return, and  in my view I can send better on this paddle  because it has so much slop and  that the magnetic click timing is more accurate when assisted by a spring. Its for this reason you will find that in the HST championships magnetic paddles are not preferred you can make more errors with them. When you see the simple  paddles used at the HST competition you will understand what I am talking about especially when you want to send above 50wpm. This is my anecdotal experience of 40 plus years of CW operation.

Anyway I would not become obsessed by name brand paddles, sure they have nice workmanship and use good quality materials. However its amazing when you  go back to  the very good spring CW paddles how good they feel. Magnetic returns are very sterile and stiff and they dont have   the ability to develop a sending flair. They almost produce CW like when using a  CW keyboard because the magnetics require training of the fist to be precise. Try sending high speed when you have  had a few beers, its tough but on  a spring return it can accommodate you!





I've read through each and every review for these three dual lever paddle. I even have a Begali Simplex Pro that I like, but do want to add one more set of paddles - maybe one a tad more stable on the desk. Any of you out there use a Begali and Kent? Can they be fairly compared? Right now it's between the N0SA and the Kent. I can get the Kent sooner and I'm one impatient cw op, but would I be better off waiting for the N0SA??
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K2JF
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« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2011, 04:24:32 PM »

Hey Zenkey (nice name) - I'm having all this disappointment with the Begali's and I've been a damned good cw op for years and years. Are the N0SA's the same as the Begali's in terms of mechanism? What about the venerable K8RA? I had those and loved them. I thought it was time to go to an upscale designer Italian key and I ain't happy!

I own both  N0SA and a few begalis. My view is that magnetic return paddles requires a lot of re-training of your fist if you come from a conventional spring movement. The magnetic paddle click introduces another element to the timing of your sending fist. I am starting to drift back towards spring return paddles for this reason. I personally think the advantages of magnetic return is highly hyped and overrated. For example I have W5BIG Black Widow which use both magnetic and spring return, and  in my view I can send better on this paddle  because it has so much slop and  that the magnetic click timing is more accurate when assisted by a spring. Its for this reason you will find that in the HST championships magnetic paddles are not preferred you can make more errors with them. When you see the simple  paddles used at the HST competition you will understand what I am talking about especially when you want to send above 50wpm. This is my anecdotal experience of 40 plus years of CW operation.

Anyway I would not become obsessed by name brand paddles, sure they have nice workmanship and use good quality materials. However its amazing when you  go back to  the very good spring CW paddles how good they feel. Magnetic returns are very sterile and stiff and they dont have   the ability to develop a sending flair. They almost produce CW like when using a  CW keyboard because the magnetics require training of the fist to be precise. Try sending high speed when you have  had a few beers, its tough but on  a spring return it can accommodate you!





I've read through each and every review for these three dual lever paddle. I even have a Begali Simplex Pro that I like, but do want to add one more set of paddles - maybe one a tad more stable on the desk. Any of you out there use a Begali and Kent? Can they be fairly compared? Right now it's between the N0SA and the Kent. I can get the Kent sooner and I'm one impatient cw op, but would I be better off waiting for the N0SA??
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ZENKI
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« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2011, 02:47:43 AM »

I am not happy with my Begalis either, they certainly well built.  It depends on the begali key. I dont like  begalis  3 piece split mechanism, its a very error prone mechanism in terms of my sending style. The N0SA paddle is very nice crisp mechanism that makes it a best buy and keys well with my high speed fist. It certainly is as good as the N3ZN mechanism. The only thing I dont like about the N0SA is that you need to use a wrench to  adjust the spacing and magnet adjustments.  If you want a very good magnetic the N0SA is highly recommended. I just dont like the clicks of the magnets and the sudden make or break of the keying action. You can see this when you use a Dynamometre to adjust  your paddle.

http://www.morsekey.net/dynamometer.html

A spring return seems to produce a smoother more predictable make and break action for high speed work. I would say however that you can of course send high speed code with any key. Its just what you prefer, and thats why the best option is too try all these different models. I only own  my begali HST Key, N3ZN, N0SA and Kent paddles.  I also have a HIMound MK701,  and despite its age i like it more than the Begalis that I owned which is weird for such a low tech cheap key. There is something about this Himound in my hands that sends wonderful code, I just cant figure why this is so!

Good luck with your key shopping.

    Enlarge

Sell one like this
   
Dynamometre tI have no experience with the K8RA.

The Begali HST is a very good key. Its just very ugly and overpriced. Maybe one day they will produce a magnet version of it. You only interested in iambic keys.

I was referring to the W5JH black widow paddle. W5BIG I think produces a VNA!

Hey Zenkey (nice name) - I'm having all this disappointment with the Begali's and I've been a damned good cw op for years and years. Are the N0SA's the same as the Begali's in terms of mechanism? What about the venerable K8RA? I had those and loved them. I thought it was time to go to an upscale designer Italian key and I ain't happy!

I own both  N0SA and a few begalis. My view is that magnetic return paddles requires a lot of re-training of your fist if you come from a conventional spring movement. The magnetic paddle click introduces another element to the timing of your sending fist. I am starting to drift back towards spring return paddles for this reason. I personally think the advantages of magnetic return is highly hyped and overrated. For example I have W5BIG Black Widow which use both magnetic and spring return, and  in my view I can send better on this paddle  because it has so much slop and  that the magnetic click timing is more accurate when assisted by a spring. Its for this reason you will find that in the HST championships magnetic paddles are not preferred you can make more errors with them. When you see the simple  paddles used at the HST competition you will understand what I am talking about especially when you want to send above 50wpm. This is my anecdotal experience of 40 plus years of CW operation.

Anyway I would not become obsessed by name brand paddles, sure they have nice workmanship and use good quality materials. However its amazing when you  go back to  the very good spring CW paddles how good they feel. Magnetic returns are very sterile and stiff and they dont have   the ability to develop a sending flair. They almost produce CW like when using a  CW keyboard because the magnetics require training of the fist to be precise. Try sending high speed when you have  had a few beers, its tough but on  a spring return it can accommodate you!





I've read through each and every review for these three dual lever paddle. I even have a Begali Simplex Pro that I like, but do want to add one more set of paddles - maybe one a tad more stable on the desk. Any of you out there use a Begali and Kent? Can they be fairly compared? Right now it's between the N0SA and the Kent. I can get the Kent sooner and I'm one impatient cw op, but would I be better off waiting for the N0SA??
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