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Author Topic: What's a really good Iambic keyer to use?  (Read 951 times)
W0QU
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Posts: 12




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« on: December 10, 2004, 02:14:03 PM »

After 20 years of being off the HF bands I recently picked up a TS-450 and plan to buy the Logikit CMOS-4 external keyer. I just got on the waiting list for a March R3a magnetic paddle but it will take 18 months before I'll get it.

In the meantime, is there a really good Iambic keyer any dedicated CW lovers would recommend that can be bought off the shelf?
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N6PEH
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Posts: 104




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« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2004, 03:12:51 PM »

Your question is a little confusing.  You say that you bought a Logikey and you have a March R3A paddle on order.  But, you ask if there is a good iambic keyer you can get off the shelf now.

I am assuming that you are looking for a good, off-the-shelf paddle to use until you get your special order one.  Based on that, I would recommend the Kent TP-1 Twin Paddle.  But I should caution you in advance, if you buy this paddle you may not want to part with it when your new R3A shows up.  It's really a very nice paddle and they just don't come any stronger.

The vibroplex line of iambic keyes are very nice as well.  The Bencher Hex is pretty cool too.  Hope that helps and have a nice holiday!

73,
Nils
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20574




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« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2004, 03:35:26 PM »

There's an 18 month waiting list for a paddle?  Geesh!

I have three Bencher BY-1s that work perfectly, are not expensive, and feel wonderful -- and you can buy them off the shelf and get one shipped same day, I'm pretty sure.

I did "borrow" a Begali Signature Edition paddle, which is a $300 paddle that a lot of people just love, and I admit it's a very nice paddle.  But my three Benchers combined didn't cost nearly that much, and in a "blindfold" test, I'd be hard pressed to tell the difference.  The Begali's better in both design and workmanship, but where the rubber meets the road, which is simply using the darned thing to make contacts, the difference is so small, I can be happy with my Benchers.  

I have three because I have three rigs I use on CW, and each has a keyer...long story.

WB2WIK/6
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W0QU
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Posts: 12




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« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2004, 06:50:46 PM »

Thanks Nils,

You're correct, my original post was confusing. I did it at work while trying to answer a question from someone in the next cubicle and typed "keyer" where I meant to type "paddle". That's what I get for being on a ham web page when I should be working hard for the multi-billionaire who owns the company that employs me. I also have to admit that once in a while I daydream a little about the ham "shack" and antenna farm I could have if I had three billion bucks.

I appreciate your tip on the Kent and will definitely check it out.

George
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K3QS
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Posts: 20




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« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2004, 07:50:20 AM »

George, I agree with Nils. I have a Kent TP-1 in the car and just bought another one to replace my Vibroplex in the home station. Very solid and stable.

73, Doug
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SERGEANT
Member

Posts: 23




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« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2004, 08:23:56 AM »

I was on the list for a March paddle for a year; have been using a Kent TP-1 for that time, but after using a Begalli Signature model I wrote Mike March and cancelled my order. You can get a Begalli in a week for about the same money; I can't see how there could be anything better.

FWIW,
73 & CW forever!
K0BHC
Brad
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N8CPA
Member

Posts: 87




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« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2004, 03:27:10 AM »

An 18 month waiting list for an iambic paddle?  I thought code was supposed to be dead!  That's what all the experts are saying.  They've even produced death certificates in the form of petitions.  Has a new use been found for iambic paddles and keyers, or might the pronouncements of death be hype?  A real ham can only wonder.
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KC2GOW
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Posts: 22


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« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2004, 03:45:25 PM »

BENCHER BY-2   That is all I have to say. For $120 you will be buried with it.

73
Andy KC2GOW
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AB3BK
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Posts: 30




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« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2005, 06:10:34 PM »

I'll cast another vote for the TP-1.  My flimsy Bencher is under the desk collecting dust.  WARNING!  You will not want to part with your Kent TP-1.

Dave
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NN2L
Member

Posts: 2




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« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2005, 09:13:22 PM »

Ditto with the comments on the Bencher paddle.  My BY-2 is a joy to look at and to operate. Have had it for many years and would never trade it.
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K3EY
Member

Posts: 52




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« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2005, 10:05:36 AM »

The comments on here are from the “casual” paddle users and not the hard core paddle enthusiast. I have owned just about every paddle under the sun and some more.  I have spent what a good rig would cost over the years on paddles. I have restored several different models, being a machinist helped in that department I must confess. I agree with the comments about the Bencher paddle, it works and accomplishes its job. I too have owned Bencher paddles, several in fact. I am now down to two paddles and on the waiting list for my second March, and in fact on the top ten now listed on Mike’s web site. As mentioned it’s a long wait to receive the March. My first March I sold only to regret it and why I am getting another March. Saying this or that paddle is the best for feel is arbitrary. The thing that is not arbitrary is the design and construction and the best of the best for construction, design and feel, “strictly IMO” is just about any Begali paddle made. I own the top line Vertical Begali modeled after the WBLV22 which I also owned three off. I also have the Schurr Profi. So my paddles are the Schurr Profi, soon another March and the best of the best “IMO” the Begali Vertical called the “Graciella”. Paddles are like cars and the Bencher is the Chevy while the Begali and others are in the Cadillac category. You do get what you pay for and some of the bargain homebrew paddles offered out there are pure junk through and through for both construction and feel. Of course and again this is only my personal opinion and like they say, everyone has one. My opinions on paddles are derived from a ton of money spent trying them all out and actually using them and in some cases taking them apart and redoing them. Like driving the Chevy Cavalier around for a few years and then coming into money and buying that Lexus, well then all of a sudden the Chevy Cavalier feels and seems like a piece of junk, that is how I would explain my paddle experiences. The important thing is to purchase any paddle and get on the air and make contacts carrying on the CW tradition and not letting other powers say it’s antiquated and taking the CW privileges completely away from us, use it or lose it.  

73

Curt/k3ey
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