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Author Topic: Best QRP paddles for around $100-120?  (Read 11290 times)
GILGSN
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Posts: 207




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« on: August 24, 2013, 07:18:20 PM »

Hello,

I figure someone here would have a good suggestion...

Thanks!

Gil.
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K5RT
Member

Posts: 155




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« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2013, 07:32:44 PM »

Are you looking for a small paddle for portable/ back packing?

QRP has nothing to do with what paddle you want to use with your electronic keyer.

Paul
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GILGSN
Member

Posts: 207




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« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2013, 07:38:50 PM »

Quote
Are you looking for a small paddle for portable/ back packing?

Yes, portability is definitely a must. I don't mind a little bit of weight so that it can also be used on a desk without sliding, but I don't want a 5Lbs piece of steel  Wink

Gil.
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VA7CPC
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Posts: 2393




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« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2013, 10:23:58 PM »

Take a look at the American Morse Equipment paddles, both single-lever and double-lever.

They use plain bearings (not needles, not balls), but that might be a reasonable trade-off for low weight and moderate cost.

The "Black Widow" was a nice compromise, but I think it's out of production. 

If you want something different (and don't need high-speed operation), "piano-type" paddles work OK.  "Finger Tip Tapper" is a commercial version.  Home-brew is easy, just two microswitches on a piece of circuit board.  I wrote it up here (and the design isn't original with me):

http://www.eham.net/articles/13722

That'll only run about $5 in parts, and it's _really_ light.

.          charles
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G4AON
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Posts: 542




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« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2013, 01:02:34 AM »

I have used a Palm mini paddle for several years, they are very light and work well, but might not be what you are looking for.

The only problem I have had was a broken wire on the 3 pin connector. An easy repair, I carry a spare, the cable used a standard PCB connector.

I also have their code cube, which makes a nice pocked sized keyer.

73 Dave
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KC7YRA
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Posts: 256




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« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2013, 06:21:05 AM »

The Palm mini is a great key.

They also just came out with the Palm Pico key.  It is super small.  They also did away with the faulty 3 conductor connector.

They are very small (The Pico is about the size of a pack of gum) and easy to hike with, and they have super strong magnets in the base.  All you need is something to stick them to.

I use mine while hiking and just stick it to the top of the radio, and at home I have a small piece of steel cut.  I just set it on the desk and have a very solid base.
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AC4RD
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Posts: 1235




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« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2013, 06:52:52 AM »

I've bought a couple of light paddles for portable work, and none of them have felt as good to me as my homebrew ones.  The homebrew paddles feel good to me and work great, so that's what I use when I'm operating portable:

  http://people.duke.edu/~kuzen001/mousetrap3.html

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NY7Q
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Posts: 16




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« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2013, 10:32:26 AM »

I have made several paddles out of plastic and wood to fit my KEY.
$100 TO 120 is very excessive for pieces of wood or plastic.
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GILGSN
Member

Posts: 207




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« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2013, 12:54:57 PM »

Thanks guys, I do like the magnetic mount on the Palm Pico Paddle. My other choice is the Vibroplex Code Warrior Jr at $110.. Anybody using one?

Gil.
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K7MH
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Posts: 339




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« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2013, 01:52:54 PM »

The American Morse Bushwhacker would be at the top of my list for a good quality and looking smaller paddle single lever key.
They have some other small keys but the Bushwhacker looks like the best of the bunch.
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GILGSN
Member

Posts: 207




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« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2013, 02:54:59 PM »

I have an American Morse DCP. It works pretty well. The contacts do get dirty and cause trouble, but I guess that is part of regular maintenance.. I would prefer some silver or gold plated contacts for reliability...

Gil.
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K8GU
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Posts: 719


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« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2013, 07:23:19 AM »

I also have the Palm Mini.  It's better than my Bencher (BY-2) and near the equal of my Schurr Profi-2.  Really, it's probably the best price/performance key out there in any class.

The magnetic base works great if you have something ferrous to stick it to.  I've been contemplating other options for this...suggestions welcome.
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K3STX
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Posts: 1003




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« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2013, 01:55:14 PM »

i cut out a 6 inch diameter metal sheet from old cake pan and put electrical tape around the edges to make it smooth. My Bulldog paddles sit it IT with the magnets for me. It is great. My hand is still on the metal plate, so key does not move around. And I just throw it in my bag, after all it is only 0.5 mm thick!

paul
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NI0C
Member

Posts: 2408




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« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2013, 06:56:52 PM »

I have the Palm mini paddle attached to my Elecraft KX1 rig exactly as described by VE3WDM in his blog: http://ve3wdm.blogspot.com/2010/11/theres-new-key-in-town.html

Works great!

73,
Chuck  NI0C
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AD5X
Member

Posts: 1432




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« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2013, 05:02:21 AM »

Take a look at the Palm Paddle snap-on non-slide base I made from an electrical outlet steel cover.  It is in the Miscellaneous" category in the "Articles" section of my website at www.ad5x.com.  Works great.

Phil - AD5X
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