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Reviews Categories | Keys & Paddles | Brown Brothers -all OTHER models (btl,etc). Help

Reviews Summary for Brown Brothers -all OTHER models (btl,etc).
Brown Brothers -all OTHER models (btl,etc). Reviews: 15 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $30.00
Description: Brown Brothers-all OTHER models (btl,etc).
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KO0KY Rating: 5/5 Aug 3, 2012 18:56 Send this review to a friend
Got a BTL in my novice days...  Time owned: more than 12 months
Picked mine up back in 1981, a few weeks after getting my novice ticket (KA5LMR) and have used it exclusively ever since. I even bring it to field day rather than use any other paddle. The only other one I used was a Heath 1410 keyer, which is so spongy it's a joke.

I made an alternate, harder to move base a few years back, which made them even more fun. I recently obtained another BTL on Ebay, and have a bid on another one from the same ham. I can't wait to have three, one for the main shack, one for the go bag and a spare.

IMHO, there is no paddle that is significantly better, in feel, adjustment stability, and just plain simple beauty. BB came out with a winner for sure.
W7KKK Rating: 4/5 Jul 8, 2011 12:11 Send this review to a friend
Good basic key  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I saw these keys around while I was a Novice in the 1970s.
At that time all I did was straight key as it's what I knew from my Army days.
Just getting somewhat active again I saw this key for sale and picked it up.
It's a great key for money even at today's prices. And it's heavy enough that if you have a heavy hand like me that it's not going anywhere.
Solid build and what I consider to be a good buy today.
K9EX Rating: 5/5 Dec 19, 2009 19:08 Send this review to a friend
BTL Model - A True Classic!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Brown Brothers paddles were practically a cult item for knowledgeable CW operators back in the 70s. I can still remember the epiphany-like experience of trying the BTL paddles for the first time at the Indianapolis Hamfest back in the mid 1970s. They have a tremendous tactical feel to them. I always wanted to own a pair but I never got around to it until recently. I paid a slight premium for a near mint pair, but it was worth it. No, they are not as nice as my beloved K8RA paddles, but they are very, very good. The classic red paddles and black wrinkle paint finish can't compete with the high-tech gleam of today's high-end paddles, but there is sort of an understated elegance to these paddles that places them in a class by itself. Easily adjusted to perfection, I'm sorry it took me so long to rediscover this hidden gem. If you appreciate CW as art, then these paddles must be in your collection. Highly Recommended.
K1MLP Rating: 5/5 Nov 15, 2008 11:35 Send this review to a friend
BTL-A Review  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I picked up one at a Ham Fest in October in nearly perfect condition and for a good price. I have owned Begali,GHD, Kent etc and I feel the BTL-A is one of the best keys I have ever used. You adjust it once and it stays. I will never sell this key.
W7QU Rating: 5/5 Jan 9, 2008 11:04 Send this review to a friend
GREAT!!! Key  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought mine new in 1973. It is the only key, of many I've owned, that I still use. Well engineered and solidly built. Never an adjustment required. It just goes and goes.

Having said that, one of the side mount springs just fractured and I must replace it. Does any one know where I can obtain one?

VE7BGP Rating: 5/5 Jun 22, 2007 08:29 Send this review to a friend
BTL-A  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I recently locally picked up Brown Brothers BTL-A paddles from an old friend. These are great paddles one of a kind. I like if you set up the leaf springs correct you can set these up for a nice light feel. I found a set of nice rubber feet at our local Home Hardware store to replace the old feet. That solved the slipping around feeling a lot. Field Day is coming up this weekend and our Canada Day Contest weekend. I am looking forward to showing these Gems this Weekend. These are Classics because they like a lot of Paddles were made by one person in his basement in ST. Louis MO.I enjoy these Paddles.
Gerry VE7BGP
W3PH Rating: 5/5 May 3, 2005 17:45 Send this review to a friend
As good as any key ever made  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had my BTL for 35 years now, and even though I've added Schurr, Begali and March paddles to my collection, the BTL is still one of my all-time favorites. It's solid, with a 'stiff' feel like the Profi, easy to adjust, and seems to hold its adjustment forever. The only time I've had to adjust it is after cleaning the contacts by pulling a sheet of paper through - I've never had to adjust the contacts because they've 'drifted'.

Mine isn't so pretty now because it has seen so much mileage (wish they'd used primer under the wrinkle finish) but it works as well today as it did in 1970.
W9AC Rating: 4/5 Feb 20, 2005 05:14 Send this review to a friend
Good Iambic Key  Time owned: more than 12 months
The Brown Brothers BTL-A was my first iambic key and it was purchased in the mid '70s while I was still in high school. Given the available iambic keys at the time, the BTL-A was really first class. In fact, the only iambic keys available then were the HamKey, and HAL 'FYO' iambic. Even the Vibroplex and Bencher iambic models hadn't yet been designed -- Bencher based its design on the FYO iambic. Prior to the BTL-A, Brown made the BTL model which used sleeve bearings and was much better than the newer BTL-A model. Three problems exist with the BTL-A: (1) The base of the key is much too light and moves all over the desk-top; (2) The return force minimum is limited by the paddle leaf springs; and (3) The black wrinkled paint peels off easily over time. Brown should have used a primer coat before applying the wrinkle finish. I still have my BTL-A and several years ago, I stripped the base, primed it, then re-applied three coats of wrinkle paint. Placing the key in a kitchen oven at 150 degrees or so (with all other parts removed) greatly improved the wrinkled appearance. The BTL-A is a solid 4.
K8WV Rating: 5/5 Jul 9, 2003 00:04 Send this review to a friend
Keeper  Time owned: more than 12 months
In 40 years of hamming my BTL-A is the only paddle I have ever owned. It works well, never needs to be adjusted and there is nothing to replace. Are there better paddles out there? I don't know. I don't need to know.
W5CGH Rating: 5/5 Nov 25, 2002 12:07 Send this review to a friend
EXCELLENT  Time owned: more than 12 months
I currently own, or have owned, most models of the Brown Brothers paddles (BTL, BTL-A, CTL, UTL, ST-A), and my original model BTL, purchased new at LA Lektronix in 1971, is still my everyday paddle. Brown Brothers made an excellent key, but they tend to have quite a cult following today, and there are definitely better out there. If you get a chance to buy one at a decent price, I'd grab it as an excellent useable paddle.

72 es 73,

Brad, W5CGH (ex WB0CGH)
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