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Reviews Categories | Keys & Paddles | Mercury Paddle - Original N2DAN Key Help

Reviews Summary for Mercury Paddle - Original N2DAN Key
Mercury Paddle - Original N2DAN Key Reviews: 11 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $400.00
Description: Handcrafted Paddle by Ex European Machinist to the highest quality standards.
Product is in production.
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WA0USA Rating: 5/5 Jul 16, 2017 18:49 Send this review to a friend
Exceedingly fine CW instrument  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Believe it or not I had serial #245 given to me by the original owner who was a guy that I met when doing electronics work on a boat. He was walking down the dock, said hello and we got to talking. Turns out he was an ex ham and pilot. We got to talking about ham radio and my interest in CW and he told me that he had a key that I should see. Said he bought it years ago then lost interest in the hobby. We walked to his house which was part of the marina development. He had a beautifully done 32 Ford hot rod in his garage and he took me inside and introduced me to his wife and dog. It was right at dusk and I had my prescription sunglasses on inside. He reached up to the top shelf of a bookcase and brought down a large shiny circular object. My first thought was "Mercury" which I had only seen pictures of. Nah, couldn't be. Sunglasses are making me see things.Sure enough when it hit the desktop, there was the trademark. I took off my sunglasses asked him if I could pick it up. I turned it over and immediately saw Made by N2DAN,245 and the date 2.94. The real deal. I just picked up a Unicorn. We talked about the key and when and how he bought it, ordering it and waiting for it to arrive. Dan, the owner, said that shortly thereafter the demands of his business were such that he didn't have time for ham radio and he gradually lost interest. I asked him if he knew what he had sitting on the desk, arguably one of the best if not the best CW paddle made. He did say that it wasn't cheap when he bought it and that by investing in it he would really have to get good at Morse. I thanked him for showing me something that I had only read about.He then asked his wife to get him one of " those cloth shopping bags". She brought it in to his study and he put the paddle in it and handed it to me. "Take it and give it a good home. It is only gathering dust here. It was made to be used." I objected immediately. Do you know what that key is worth? You can't do this. I met you an hour ago and you are giving me a Unicorn! He wouldn't take no for an answer. That is how S/N 245 has come to reside in my shack. Thank you Dan ex KE6DMS.It's reputation speaks for itself and I can't add anything that hasn't already been said about the key. I also just realized this is the section to review the Bencher version of the Mercury. If it is alright with Reviews Manager I'll leave it here. Other keys/paddles owned, J 38, Johnson Speed X, Vibroplex Lightning Bug, Brown Bros. BTL, Vibroplex iambic,Bencher BY 2, N3ZN ZN9A, N3ZN ZN QRP, N3ZN Mini Mite, Palm Radio Mini Paddle.
G0EML Rating: 5/5 Apr 4, 2015 07:51 Send this review to a friend
A wonderful Paddle with a great soft light feel  Time owned: more than 12 months
Having used a good number of paddle keys i can truly confirm that the N2DAN mercury paddle is a great performer,And that a good number of FOC Members have one, this key is superbly made i feel was due to the fact that its maker Steve Nurkiewicz was a fine Medical instrument Maker Whilst in Hodge-moor camp, a Polish Army resettlement Centre in UK,
He made keys under the Call WB2YBR, Then the Magnificent Mercury paddle, as N2DAN, He made all his keys himself by hand and assisted by his Wife Theresa(Terry) Should you get the chance to obtain one of these fantastic keys you would not be disappointed,
K3PA Rating: 5/5 Jan 3, 2012 08:41 Send this review to a friend
Wonderful  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had this paddle 25 years. It's great, and I'll keep it forever. This, much to the consternation of my XYL, since it has my ex wife's call engraved on it, along with mine. Oops....
G3VCN Rating: 5/5 Jan 3, 2010 12:08 Send this review to a friend
excellence.  Time owned: more than 12 months
n2dan made my chrome finish paddle for me in 2/94, s/no. 071.(if anyone has an earlier paddle with a later s/no he told me that is because he reserved some early s/nos for friends) I wonder if there is a list existing of s/nos to c/s.
As I am ex RN he customised it by putting a red magnet on the left and a green on the right. He said so that I would know which way to point it!! Quite a sense of humour. Have navy blue finger plates. I would have preferred a different design finger plate and Dan wud have done it for me but never got round to it. A superb machine, I can really push it and it just laughs at me. Never have to touch my original settings. Get an original if u can find one.Previously I had used samson keyers with inbuilt paddles. No comparison to this though. Been cw op for 46 years so guess know a thing or two about keys.
I have the mod fitted for memory buttons (four) which I have connected up to my samson etm 9cog keyer. Mercury also engraved by Dan with my call.
Will change the finger plates if I can find someone to manufacture to my requirements.Dan sent me details of his proto-type paddles, if anyone interested I can copy and forward. Hope this info useful.
K6JPA Rating: 5/5 Dec 23, 2008 19:50 Send this review to a friend
A True Classic  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I purchased one of these (#0193) several months ago after a long wait for one on to come up on the used market.

I have the Bencher Mercury version to compare it with, and am actually surprised as to how well Bencher reproduced it. Sitting side-by-side, cosmetically, they appear nearly identical. There are some minor differences in the adjustment knurling, and the magnet mounts are just slightly different.

Both versions are excellent keys. The operational difference, however, comes from the lighter feel of the original while using, and slightly tighter bearings controlling lever rotation with the original (there is a very slight amount of vertical play in my Bencher version, not present in my N2DAN original).

I would like to add that I have yet to personally experience the reported temperature-related setting issues mentioned by some regarding either of these key designs.

The N2DAN key is a classic, and is a wonderful testament to it's creator's love of the art.
AB4PP Rating: 5/5 Jul 29, 2006 12:13 Send this review to a friend
Awesom Paddle  Time owned: more than 12 months
I got my MERCURY from Steve/N2DAN when we communicated on 20 meters. He heard me using my old bug and persuaded me, with the help of Ursula/VP2MD to try an iambic paddle. I used a Vibro paddle for years in the miltary and as a ham and needed convincing that it was better. I have had the #158 since the early 80's and have had it on my desk since. I have some stories written about Steve in People magazine and from RSGB that I got when he made the paddle for me that others have asked about. It is an original in brass with silver rhodium contacts and silver screws. It has only been taken apart twice by me for cleaning and recoating. It has lost the original luster both times and I had to use some polish to get the luster back and then put a coating on it. Mine came with the cork bottom (circular) and a clear
plexiglass cover that has a piece of foam around it to keep it tight. I have rarely had to clean the contacts and when I do, I simply use a piece of kimwipe lintless paper and slide it over the contacts. An avid CW op I use my paddles all the time on the desk and have taken it to several field day operations to show off and when I do a QRP forum or demo I will take the MERCURY along for others to see, feel and enjoy.
They rarely if ever get changed and it is nice to sit down and operate without having to readjust my paddles like some others I have and have gotten rid of. If you have a chance to use and operate with one you will notice the difference. There are several copy cat models now available and after Steve's wife sold the patent and it was remarketed it came in a similar form and design. I have used two of those and they were nice but not the same.
JohnPaul/AB4PP, Raleigh, NC
K1AJ Rating: 5/5 Mar 29, 2005 06:18 Send this review to a friend
the best  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned my N2DAN Mercury paddle for about 8 years I guess. I also own a March paddle, a Zedder, a Hensley (copy of the Merc), a Kent (use it mobile - best value I think), a Begali and a Schurr. Of the bunch the Mercury is still The Best. Heavy weight, heavy contacts, adjustments that stay put and no vertical movement of the paddle arms. A few years ago I replaced the plastic finger pieces with a pair made out of ivory (old ivory). Nirvana!
WY3X Rating: 5/5 Oct 25, 2004 13:50 Send this review to a friend
A dream come true!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have wanted one of these for many years. It took me about two weeks to convince the original owner to sell it to me, and I am now the proud owner of #48, an unchromed brass version. It must have some sort of protective clear finish on it, as there is extremely minimal patina in a couple of spots on the brass. I will proudly use it whenever I have the opportunity! I have to agree with all the other reviews, this one's a keeper!
N3HQB Rating: 5/5 Aug 4, 2002 14:02 Send this review to a friend
QRQ with style  Time owned: more than 12 months
Several years ago, I made the pilgrimage to Steve's shack in Port Charlotte, FL for an eyeball, and now own S/N 0152. During his retirement, Steve (N2DAN/4) kept improving the design, experimenting with different threads, paddle materials, cork base ring, and applied all of his experience from a life's work as a machinist and a CW op. The result is a genuine CW tool. Keeping up with the CW keyboards was impossible with other paddles (e.g., Bencher), but a pleasure with the N2DAN Merc. Beautiful, heavy chrome plating, smooth operation, precisely adjustable, right height off the operating table. Base is so heavy it rides my center console for CW/mobile. God is probably using one. Bless you, Steve.
KI6YN Rating: 5/5 Oct 1, 2001 14:10 Send this review to a friend
CAN'T BE IMPROVED UPON!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought my Mercury in 1991, serial number 126. It was everything N2DAN claimed it was. It is solid and responsive. I've read reveiws about copies that claim the original had temperature problems, no way have I experienced that. My paddle has remained 'precise' without re-adjustment for over 10 years of heavy use. It is a thing of beauty and a fitting memorial to a great craftsman. If one becomes available, buy it, you will have endless hours of pleasure using it.
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