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


Reviews Summary for March Magnetic Paddle R3a
March Magnetic Paddle R3a Reviews: 77 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/
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K8TJ Rating: 0/5 Jul 11, 2012 18:33 Send this review to a friend
Ham-Keys are Better  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
If you want a REAL paddle, buy a Bencher Mercury Paddle OR a any model BEGALI. I have had the unfortunate experience of wasting a WAD of money on TWO these March Paddles not to mention having to wait for 4 months for delivery on the first one which was NOT what I paid for. I paid for a fully engraved paddle and what I got was only partially engraved. I was assured by Mr. March that I would receive the engraved paddle arms soon that I paid which never arrived and it has been over 2 years. Both paddles I owned had mis-aligned parts with contact's that could not be properly set to less than .003 or .004 inches without falsing. I had to add washers to the contact posts so they properly aligned with the magnets. It was like a blind man was at the machine! Of course I got no support other than excuses and shortly sold these things and moved on to REAL paddles like the Italian made Begali's and N2DAN Mercury paddle. MARCH paddles are pretty but the machining quality leaves MUCH to be desired for what he charges. Sorry folks...
 
KG4USN Rating: 5/5 Dec 19, 2011 17:57 Send this review to a friend
Fine paddle  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased my March paddle from a sk in FL about six years ago. I operate cw half the time. It is nicely engineered and machined. I have contacted Mike a few times and have always received a quick response.I would recommend this to anyone in the market for paddle of this quality.
 
W2CQ Rating: 5/5 Sep 15, 2011 14:30 Send this review to a friend
Superior Customer Service  Time owned: more than 12 months
I wrote a review on this Fine Paddle back in 2002. This year in Dayton I saw Mike in the Swap area and we spoke about the paddle and other things. Mike mentioned that my Paddle may not have some changes that the more recent models have. He asked me to send it to him.

Mike actually replaced parts and polished the Paddle for me. He refinished the base and top plate. He installed the new bearings and adjusted everything.

He said No Charge. I had to insist. He wanted to make sure his Paddles were, the up to date Best Made. This kind of Customer Service is Rare in any business. My Paddle is back in the shack and all I can say is I consider it an honor to be a customer.
 
AD7GB Rating: 5/5 Jun 6, 2011 10:00 Send this review to a friend
Unbelievable craftmanship  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This key is not only aesthetically beautiful, it is functionally the best key I own. Smooth, precise, VERY stable as I have a fairly heavy hand and not only is it minutely adjustable it holds it's settings. If I could only have one key this is the one I would choose, hands down, no exception! If you are looking for the best, look no further than the March R3a
 
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.
 
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