eHam.net - Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) Community

Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net


Reviews Categories | Keys & Paddles | March Magnetic Paddle R3a Help


Reviews Summary for March Magnetic Paddle R3a
March Magnetic Paddle R3a Reviews: 73 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $250. and up
Description: Handmade Brass Paddle with Excellent "Feel"
Product is in production.
More info: http://sites.google.com/site/marchmagneticpaddles/
Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to this review.

Subscribe!
My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

You can write your own review of the March Magnetic Paddle R3a.

<— Page 2 of 8 —>

N2AUR Rating: 5/5 Apr 29, 2011 20:31 Send this review to a friend
2nd R-3A - and still the greatest  Time owned: more than 12 months
In Sept. 2009, I reviewed the R-3A paddles I got from Ebay. I was so impressed that I had Mike March build me a custom set (S/N 0446). I am even more impressed with the new set than the old. Why? He has made several subtle improvements that make it more stable, more quiet,and more responsive. And, he sends pictures of your key as it progresses through the building process. Mike even graciously incorporated my personal preferences. I'm totally satisfied.
 
W9CPI Rating: 3/5 Apr 4, 2011 05:34 Send this review to a friend
Beautiful . . . but  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
First of all, the paddle is visually stunning. It is a work of art worthy of a master craftsman. Mike was a perfect gentleman to work with and answered every email in a timely manner.

I've had several paddles (Bencher, Brown, MFJ and others) and been a CW op for 51 years now. I really wanted the March to be my final paddle. Had my call engraved on it!

So why only a 3 rating? Two factors: From the beginning I couldn't set the contact gap as close as I wanted. The paddle kept "falsing" -- either closing unexpectedly or failing to open one or the other contacts on release. I played with the magnetic resistance, but no joy. I wiped the contacts with a business card and a dollar bill -- no change. So I gave up and opened the clearances more than I wanted. It is still a beautiful piece of equipment.

Today's pileup on 20 for the P29 station was the final straw. I couldn't send my own call! The closure of the contacts was intermittent! I moved the feedline, the key, the K3 -- I yanked the RTTY cables out of the back, thinking I had RF feedback problems. Finally I flipped the March on its back and jumpered the solder lugs. Perfect operation -- the problem was the contacts. As the band started to fail, I clipped the cable to the March and jumpered in my old MFJ-564. It ran fine, but to make a bad day worse, I missed the P29.

So the March is in my closet and the MFJ is back on-line. I really wished the story ended happily.

Steve, ZP9EH/W9CPI, Paraguay
 
W3ST Rating: 5/5 Feb 22, 2011 17:01 Send this review to a friend
Superb Craftsmanship  Time owned: more than 12 months
The R3A key - made in America - is without a doubt the best key that I have ever used. Mike, K4QU, has produced a product that the Collins Radio Association is pleased to endorse. His key is prominently displayed in the CRA Collins Radio Center that visitors often move away from the Collins equipment to inspect the R3A key. Their remarks range from "simply amazing" to "it must have been produced by Collins Radio" to "is it for sale!" I have spent hours on CW using this key and it always works flawlessly and effortlessly. Great product that should be on everyone's operating table.
 
WY4A Rating: 5/5 Feb 12, 2011 16:34 Send this review to a friend
A GREAT WORK OF ART  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
WOW!!!!! I JUST TOOK PERSONAL DELIVERY OF A R3A PADDLE AT ORLANDO HAMCATION FROM MIKE MARCH HIMSELF,HE HANDED IT TO ME AND LET ME TELL ALL, IS THE BEST PADDLE IVE EVER USED.THE QUALITY IS SUPERB,THE FINEST KEY IVE EVER OWNED IN MY 31 YEARS OF HAM RADIO .IM 99% cw AND IVE HAD A LOT OF PADDLES AND LET ME TELL YOU ITS SIMPLY THE BEST ... MADE IN THE USA..MIKE MARCH IS A GREAT MACHINIST AS WELL AS AN ARTIST AND A TRUE GENTLEMAN, THANKS FOR THE BEST BIRTHDAY PRESENT MIKE... PEDRO WY4A
 
NB3O Rating: 5/5 Jul 12, 2010 15:31 Send this review to a friend
A Work of Art  Time owned: more than 12 months
I own two R3A paddles and neither have any machining flaws. They have a great feel and do not suffer from "lock down" dahs when adjusted properly. The Contact points have never required cleaning in the 4+ years of ownership.
Mine do not have any visible defects, and have carefully-aligned parts and magnets. Each of my R3A's have two different styles of finger pieces which are spaced just right for my fat fingers.
I have been very satisfied with the quality of these paddles over the years and feel they were absolutely worth waiting a few months instead of paying a much higher ebay price for a used set.
Mike promised to fix any problems which might arise, however I have never had any to date.
I sold my HIGH END paddle collection, because the others were collecting dust.
I must admit the R3A paddles feel better than some of the more expensive sets I have owned.
To quote another satisfied customer, "MARCH keys are a work of art to be sure".
 
K8TJ Rating: 3/5 Jun 7, 2010 19:58 Send this review to a friend
Not as GREAT as it's made out to be  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This paddle has many machining flaws resulting in a poor feel and occasional bouts with "lock down" dahs. Contact points require constant cleaning. It has MANY visible defects, crooked parts, magnets don't line up with each other and the finger pieces are too close together. I was very disappointed with the quality of this paddle after waiting many months for it. I paid for a FULLY ENGRAVED model but I got a HALF ENGRAVED where only the base was engraved. The side paddle arms were NOT engraved like the picture I was sent by the builder ahead of time. I was promised to be sent the fully engraved arms and still have seen nothing in the mail. I was hoping to add this paddle to my HIGH END paddle collection but I think I'll peddle it instead and chalk it up to lesson learned. I have a Schurr Profi II and a Begali Simplex that just blow the MARCH away in quality and feel. And as much as I hate to admit it, even my old beat HAM-KEY with plastic parts feels better than this MARCH. One thing I will give it though is it ranks a 5 in appearance. It's "pretty" but that's about it.
 
N2AUR Rating: 5/5 Sep 10, 2009 17:19 Send this review to a friend
The search for "my" perfect paddles is over.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've been 98%+ on CW for over 45 years, and I'm extremely sensitive to the mechanical feel of a key (the less the better). Being a key collector, a key has to work its way into the collection. If I find it balky, klunky, or irritating, it goes to a new (probably more tolerating) home. I personally have used Ham Keys, Benchers, Vibroplex mechanicals, and they have all gone to new homes. This brings me to magnetic keys. The Vibroplex magnetics all have a place. The Brass and Square Racers are quite good with a light feel, but they lack mass in the arms and thus are a bit indistinct. Surprisingly, my favorite Vibroplex has been the Code Warrior. I changed the finger pieces to homemade wooden pieces, and that plus the mass in the arms seems to work quite well.
However, I recently was able to get a set of March R-3a paddles on Ebay (S/N 0224). I have stopped looking for the perfect paddles for me. I think the answer is in the fact that the pivots are at the rotational center of the paddle arms which gives them balance. The feeling is as light as you care to adjust the magnets, and there is no irritating mechanical klunking.
I suspect that I would probably find the other top end paddles to be equally proficient mechanically, but I have always admired the design of the March paddles
 
K0FTC Rating: 5/5 Mar 7, 2009 04:49 Send this review to a friend
Fine workmanship and a work of art  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I recently received my R-3A from Mr. Mike March. This is my second, I had found a used one some time ago, bought it, and have appreciated its form, function, and workmanship. (If you ever see one offered for sale my recommendation is to get it if you can.) This new one is perfect, is engraved, and has brilliant blue paddles. There are only a handful of men in this world that can build fine keys and paddles. Mike is one of these select few artisans and his paddle is beautiful to behold and a joy to operate. It may take a bit once you have ordered it from Mike, but like many fine things, the wait is well worth it, as it takes a while for the master builder to individually build each one.
 
K6JPA Rating: 5/5 Nov 11, 2008 20:07 Send this review to a friend
A True Class Act!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have three of Mike's paddles, and recently asked to have one of them, previously finished in the S-series gray, refinished in Collins St. James gray (A-series green) to match one of my sets. Mike, being the gentleman that he is, insisted on doing it for the cost of return shipping only. Needless to say, the Collins green paddle with the brass parts is absolutely stunning, and perhaps my favorite of the three of his paddles in my collection. I imagine few builders take such care and pride in their products, and work so hard to insure the happiness of their customers. A true class act.
 
KD5TLC Rating: 4/5 Aug 25, 2007 17:40 Send this review to a friend
A great addition to the hobby  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Bought s/n 0361 at Hamfest in Joplin MO today... need to pick up an adapter plug to connect it to the HF rig, but using it on the practice keyer is a real smooth op, Looks GREAT also. Looking forward to setting it up parallel to my bug, and straight keys.
 
<— Page 2 of 8 —>


If you have any questions, problems, or suggestions about Reviews, please email your Reviews Manager.