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eHam Forums => CW => Topic started by: AF4XK on June 02, 2011, 03:56:06 PM



Title: magnetic return paddle ??
Post by: AF4XK 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


Title: RE: magnetic return paddle ??
Post by: KE3WD 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


Title: RE: magnetic return paddle ??
Post by: VA7CPC 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


Title: RE: magnetic return paddle ??
Post by: NK6Q 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


Title: RE: magnetic return paddle ??
Post by: W9OY on June 03, 2011, 01:20:09 PM
N3ZN single lever  best paddle around


Title: RE: magnetic return paddle ??
Post by: AF4XK on June 03, 2011, 02:50:44 PM
Thanks guys for the recommendations.
I'll consider each of them.



Title: RE: magnetic return paddle ??
Post by: VA7CPC 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





Title: RE: magnetic return paddle ??
Post by: K4XZ 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


Title: RE: magnetic return paddle ??
Post by: K9MRD 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.


Title: RE: magnetic return paddle ??
Post by: AF4XK 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



Title: RE: magnetic return paddle ??
Post by: WD5ABC 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


Title: RE: magnetic return paddle ??
Post by: K0XY 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


Title: RE: magnetic return paddle ??
Post by: AF4XK 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


Title: RE: magnetic return paddle ??
Post by: K0XY on June 13, 2011, 05:50:46 PM
...yes !


Title: RE: magnetic return paddle ??
Post by: ZENKI 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.


Title: RE: magnetic return paddle ??
Post by: PA0BLAH on July 01, 2011, 09:45:24 AM
Chuck wrote:


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

Chuck, when you press a paddle with a return spring the force INcreases with the path of the paddle
When you press a paddle with a magnetic return the force DEcreases with the path of the paddle.

73
PA0BLAH


Title: RE: magnetic return paddle ??
Post by: VA7CPC on July 01, 2011, 05:41:30 PM
. . .

Chuck, when you press a paddle with a return spring the force INcreases with the path of the paddle
When you press a paddle with a magnetic return the force DEcreases with the path of the paddle.

73
PA0BLAH

That depends on whether the magnets are attracting each other, or repelling each other.

For the N0SA single-lever paddle:

http://n0sa.com/?page_id=56 (http://n0sa.com/?page_id=56)

the magnets are repelling, on the _outside_ of the moving arms.  So, as you press the paddle, the force (acting to keep the contacts open) increases.   That's what happens with a spring.

For some other designs -- for example, the Vibroplex Square Racer:

http://vibroplex.com/square_racer.html (http://vibroplex.com/square_racer.html)

the magnets are attracting.  The space between the magnets increases as the contacts close, and the force decreases.  There's a distinct "clicky" feel with that arrangement  (with wide contact gaps) -- not bad, but different from a spring.

With really narrow contact gaps, both springs and magnets have "nearly constant" force as the contact go from "open" to "closed".

              Charles





Title: RE: magnetic return paddle ??
Post by: PA0BLAH on July 02, 2011, 01:49:50 AM
Charles,

You are right, I didn't notice the repelling use of magnets.

I should not prefer the repelling type  for three reasons.

1) As you remark: for the usual small pathlength of paddle movement, the return force is nearly constant just as with a mechanical spring.
2) permanent magnets are losing H force in time, especially with air gaps in the fieldline path. And "stored" in a repelling position, I expect  that effect will  happen considerably faster.

Another disadvantage of magnets is probably  that the repelling or attracking force is not linear increasing with the setscrew position, but in a kwadratic way.

PA0BLAH


Title: RE: magnetic return paddle ??
Post by: KA2DDX on July 09, 2011, 03:41:42 AM
I have the Begali Magnetic Classic and the MFJ. The MFJ is a Bencher knock off. The Begali runs circles around any spring return paddle, imho. There is a huge difference between the two. If you are thinking about a magnetic paddle, bite the bullet or ask Santa to drop one off in December. You'll be happy, I bet. In between these two on the price scale, I also have the Kent tp-1, which is a very nice and affordable paddle, much better than the MFJ and about 150 bux.

73s - Larry


Title: RE: magnetic return paddle ??
Post by: N0UY on July 10, 2011, 04:49:30 AM
GM Chuck,

I have both the BY-1 and the Mag Classic.  I use the Bencher when portable, and the Begali in the shack.   The magnetic return is by far my favorite.  I have used the BY-1 for 10 plus years until buying the used Begali at a reasonable price.  As far as light touch, I can adjust the magnetic return to send a character anytime I blow on the finger piece.  It is a double paddle not a single like you have suggested you want.  I have a similar condition in my hands that you described with yours.  I don't use my fingers as much when sending as I do just a slight movement in my wrist.  Setting the paddle for a very light touch has made sending for hours quite comfortable for me.  I don't know what this snap return others have mentioned is but I assume it is something that may occur if the contact spacing was set very wide.  I have mine set so you don' feel or hear any contact movement at all.  I love it.

GL with your choice.  If you buy one and don't like it there is always someone wanting to buy a new or different paddle for their shack.

Ray