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Author Topic: Looking for a very high quality paddle.  (Read 6290 times)
KB2FCV
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« Reply #15 on: January 26, 2011, 08:49:39 PM »

If you can, do try to try out different keys. I was fortunate enough to try out a few either at hamfests, Dayton or other friends and chose the Begali Signature. There are many nice high end keys to try out there, choose the one that feels the best to you.
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K3TN
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« Reply #16 on: January 27, 2011, 03:27:02 AM »

I'm a N3ZN paddle user and love it, but I've been primarily CW since I was 12 years old - the $$ was worth it.

But if the major issue with the BY-1 is it moves around, spend about a dollar and pick up a package of BlueStik reusable adhesive putty. A dab on each foot will keep the BY-1 in place no problem.

If you do decide you want to go to a fancier paddle, look on eBay or the eHam buy/sell forums for a used one - there are lots for sale pretty cheap.

73 John K3TN
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John K3TN
VE3GNU
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« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2011, 09:48:15 AM »

Before my Begali Simplex Pro I worked with a Bencher BY-2---a very nice paddle providing one uses a fairly 'light' touch---essentially finger-activated and not wrist-action as we tend to do---especially those operators with a 'bug'-background.  The manufacturer on their website even advises prospective buyers to be cognizant of this. 
73---Ernie
VE3GNU
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NU1O
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« Reply #18 on: January 27, 2011, 10:04:20 AM »


Pricey at $299 but worth every penny!  Built like a tank and will outlast me!

Based on the top of the line prices for keys by the likes of Begali et al, I would not call $299 very pricey.  It's more like an entry level price based on what I have seen.

Chris
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NU1O
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« Reply #19 on: January 27, 2011, 10:10:00 AM »

But if the major issue with the BY-1 is it moves around, spend about a dollar and pick up a package of BlueStik reusable adhesive putty. A dab on each foot will keep the BY-1 in place no problem.

If you do decide you want to go to a fancier paddle, look on eBay or the eHam buy/sell forums for a used one - there are lots for sale pretty cheap.

73 John K3TN

John, I have tried some things like putting it on a mouse pad but as my first post stated, I am looking to buy a top of the line key, not a cheap key. It has been my experience that there are no free lunches and we get what we pay for.  I might buy a second hand book off eBay, but that's about it.

73

Chris
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KE7TPA
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« Reply #20 on: January 27, 2011, 04:14:14 PM »

Chris, when I started my quest for a "fine" key, I was not unlike you in that I was without knowledge about what was really out there. I spent a career using CW, high speed, low speed, day in and day out. At that time, the Brown Bros. CTL-A was our standard station apparatus for sending CW. They work very well for that task and still do. I never wanted anything to do with amateur radio, when I was doing it every day for a living. A few years ago, about 10 years after I retired, the urge to get back into CW made me take a second look at the Amateur side. I began to look into what was what in regards to gear I might want. I really got hooked, and started going after some nice vintage amateur gear. I was looking at the standard fare of keys available through places like HRO and such, but was not thrilled at what I was seeing. I then discovered the Bencher Mercury, after reading about the original N2DAN version. I was pretty sure this was what I was looking for so I ordered one. Upon it's arrival I was immediately certain that I had made a wise decision. This key is superb for CW work, very heavy, adjustable to very fine tolerances, and beautiful to look at. As happy as I was with this key, I soon found myself searching further to see what else might be out there in key nirvana. I have now accumulated a nice variety of keys from some of the best builders in the world. I have never been to fond of bugs like Vibroplex, but that hasn't stopped me from picking up a couple and recently I purchased Alberto Frattini's new J-36 bug, as well as one of his Semi-Magnetico bugs. His devices are what I would call "surgical precision". You have to see one, but once you do you'll know what I mean. For best all around performance, I think an iambic key is far superior to any bug. Bugs are just plain fun and neat in design. Alberto also makes hand keys that are simply out of this world. Do not underestimate GHD as a source either, I have their optical bug and hand key....same thing.....the best of the best. I feel like you do regarding having to tie down my key, I just don't want to have to do that. Back to the Mercury.....I really think you could be totally satisfied with this piece...if, IF you were to limit yourself to just one. I really don't hold any one of these in higher regard than the other, each is entirely different but they are all built to please someone who LOVES CW. Also, take a look at Scheunemann keys via Morse Express (Marshall Emm). The Dirigent is a beautiful key....and a good value at around $350.....a little cheaper than some of these other pieces, but second to none in his build quality. Yes, I am certifiably insane because, "My XYL says so". 73 John/KE7TPA
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K3TN
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« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2011, 03:00:14 AM »

It has been my experience that there are no free lunches and we get what we pay for.  I might buy a second hand book off eBay, but that's about it

Agree 100% - that's why I went with the N3ZN key. Great quality, fun to use, locally made - and purty!

73 John K3TN
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John K3TN
NU1O
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« Reply #22 on: January 28, 2011, 08:27:23 AM »

Gentlemen, I do appreciate all of your replies.  We have a discussion going and that is what this is all about. Boy, am I glad I found this site - and use it.

John, KE7TPA:  You remind me of a retired astronomer who is net control for the HHH Net. I am also interested in Astronomy and one night when I checked into the Net, the OP (sorry, can't recall his call) read my bio on QRZ and said to me I may find his bio interesting as he is a retired Astronomer having worked at JPL for decades. I wrote back to him and said being a Astronomer would have been a dream job for me, but he replied that as much as he loved his work, it is still work and he values his free time as he can do what he pleases. So, I really do understand your unwillingness to become involved in Amateur Radio when your job revolved around radio. I will take a look at the Bencher Mercury. I am also adding the Elecraft P3 Panadapter and a 2meter internal transverter to my K3 and if I save $300 or $400 on a key it frees up cash for another purchase.   


73 de NU1O Chris
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KE7TPA
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« Reply #23 on: January 28, 2011, 09:01:16 AM »

Chris, I am also an amateur astronomer....Questar 3.5, hopefully one day a larger Astro Physics! 73 John KE7TPA
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LB3KB
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« Reply #24 on: January 29, 2011, 02:59:54 PM »

Try the Bencher Hex.  It's heavier and sturdier than the BY-1, yet allows finer adjustments.
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W9OY
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« Reply #25 on: January 29, 2011, 08:23:57 PM »

I have the n2dan, begalli graciella, begalli simplex mono,
 kent sp, brown brothers, vibroplex and n3zn sl-1b.  The best in my opinion of this group hands down is n3zn single lever
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S51M
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« Reply #26 on: January 29, 2011, 09:33:22 PM »

I had bencher BY4, Schurr Profi and now about 4 weeks P1PAD touch paddle.

In my opinion, the P1PAD touch paddle is the best choice.

73 DE S51M, Bruno
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NU1O
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« Reply #27 on: February 03, 2011, 12:59:53 PM »

I got off the phone with Bruna a few hours ago. I ordered a Sculpture in Stainless Steel with the black finger paddles and a Spark straight key.

73

NU1O, Chris
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W6UV
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Posts: 540




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« Reply #28 on: February 03, 2011, 01:16:09 PM »

I've tried a number of fine mechanical paddles over the years, but my current favorite isn't mechanical at all. It's a touch key made by http://www.cwtouchkeyer.com.

No moving parts, no adjustments, just two fixed, gold plated paddles that respond to the slightest touch. Nothing to go out of adjustment or tarnish. Ever. And silent--no clicking noises.

They come in two models: with and without build-in keyer.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2011, 01:18:21 PM by W6UV » Logged
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