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Reviews Categories | Keys & Paddles | LTA Model CRDO Paddle and Key combo Help

Reviews Summary for LTA Model CRDO Paddle and Key combo
LTA  Model CRDO Paddle and Key combo Reviews: 3 Average rating: 4.0/5 MSRP: $138.95
Description: Handcrafted paddles and straight key
Product is in production.
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You can write your own review of the LTA Model CRDO Paddle and Key combo.

KF0RT Rating: 3/5 Jul 4, 2004 22:12 Send this review to a friend
OK, but read on  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought this paddle/key combo about a month ago and thought it was time for a 2004 review.

My real impression is that the design is good, but the craftsmanship is lacking a little. When I first hooked it up to my TS-570S, the dah side of the paddle didn't work. This was fixed by removing the faux-cork bottom "sticky thing" and tightening all of the screws. It's conceivable that loose connections might be an issue with a wooden base. This fixed the paddle.

On to the straight key; connection problems there, too. This turned out to be a loose connection on the "tit" that the contacts when pushing down. This can be tightened from above with a pair of pliars.

With all connections tight, this key works. If you buy one, my advice would be to remove (gently) the cork sticky on the bottom and tighten all the screws, and also tighten the straight key contact point on the top.

There's more, though... The spring tension on the straight key feels too tight to me as-is, and will likely require removing a ring or two from the spring to make it adjustable. The paddle tension seemed pretty loose. I've run the straight key tension as loose as possible and the paddle tension as tight as possible. Paddles feel almost right, but the straight key still needs work.

This combo key has three posts for connection to your keyer. Ground, dit and dah. The straight key is connected to the dah side of the paddle. If your keyer can do 'bug' mode, the straight key will work without modification -- just have to change modes on the keyer. This works on my TS-570. If you want to switch from keyer to straight key with "no work" you'll have to rewire the CRD key; finding a way to separate the dah side of the paddle from the straight key.

I'm actually starting to love this thing, but if you're looking for a key that works out of the box, this is not the key for you. If you love to play and modify -- all the parts are there!

Good design, less than perfect execution.

KC8LTL Rating: 4/5 Sep 9, 2002 19:15 Send this review to a friend
Great deal!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I myself got the bare brass version to go with my K2. I wanted something that would be easy to take anywhere and allow me to use either a paddle or a key, depending on my mood.

I like the paddle very much. I am hardly the best judge of paddles, but I prefer it to my Bencher or my cheap Whiterook MK-44. It is fairly easy to adjust and I seem to like the feel. Unlike the key, the paddle spring tension is quite easy to adjust.

The key is OK, but I like my NYE better. My biggest gripe is that the spring tension seems too high on mine, so that I had to really pound in order to close the key. Pounding it this much made the key move around a bit. I took the spring out and tried to scrunch it down and it is much better now. I hope that as I break it in it continues to improve.

Like the privious reviewer, I had to re-wire my paddle in order to make it work with my radio. As it comes, the straight key is wired in parallel with the right paddle. I emailed Morse Express and they also told me that they were trying to get the manufacturer to add a terminal and told me a bit about how to rewire the key. Perhaps MorseX should include some documentation about how this thing is adjusted and its default wiring and how you can change the wiring.

I now have rewired the key using the circuit Elecraft recommended in their manual, and it works with the autodetect in my K2. I can now switch at will from paddle to straight key at anytime and the radio does what I want.

In summary, it is a GREAT deal for the money, and looks very good on the desk. It really needs an additional terminal so that it can work with any radio. Personally, I would like a spring that is not as stiff on the key. It needs an additional terminal so that the user can wire it however they wish.
K5DZE Rating: 5/5 Feb 4, 2001 16:44 Send this review to a friend
Looks Great - Works Great  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This Spanish made combination paddle and key is truly an eye catcher. Everyone who sees it says, Wow"! This includes folks who don't know or like CW. Of course looks are great, but the proof is in the operation, and the CRDO works very well. I did have to rewire the base to allow the switch on my TS-850 to toggle between the paddle and key properly, but this was easy and straight forward. (The folks at MorseX are going to ask LTA to add a 4th post, but for now rewiring is easy and fast if needed.
Made in the Balearic Islands of Spain, these keys are reasonable for such individual works of art. I replaced a Bencher paddle and key with this model and so far I haven't been disappointed.
The CRDO provides smooth positive keying, doesn't take up a lot of space and is easy to use. Did I mention they look great!
This model is assembled by hand on a Rosewood (Noble Wood) base, with key knobs of Teak, and paddles of Olive Wood. The mechanical parts are gold plated brass on the CRDO. There are minor scratch and polish marks in the brass and this gives it a very personal look.
There is also a lacquered brass model for about $20 less. For those of us who love CW, this is a real working conversation piece for the shack. Can't give up your Vibroplex or Bencher? Then don't...just get a CRDO to add to your collection!

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