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Reviews Categories | Keys & Paddles | Whiterook MK-44 Help

Reviews Summary for Whiterook MK-44
Whiterook MK-44 Reviews: 24 Average rating: 4.3/5 MSRP: $16.95
Description: Pocket Mini-Paddle. Low cost & highly portable.
Product is in production.
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KC8LTL Rating: 3/5 Sep 9, 2002 18:54 Send this review to a friend
You get what you pay for  Time owned: more than 12 months
I am glad that I bought the MK-44, but have found that it leaves much to be desired as far as paddles go. On the plus side, it is cheap and basically works. There are quite a few minuses however.

1) It is very hard to adjust and comes out of adjustment somewhat easily. Take a look at the picture... The clear plastic block can turn just slightly, causing it to send continously on one side. Even if it isn't this bad, there are times where it somehow manages to add elements, just from rebound off the OTHER side. Since this is a PORTABLE paddle, it easy to just throw it in the pack, where something else can hit it and knock it out of wack.

2) The feel is very soft and mushy. The levers are simply thin pieces of plastic which you bend to touch the center - there is definitely nothing solid about the feel.

These two things definitely help me to have errors in my sending, and I need no help with that. However, I will use my MK-44 for every Spartan Sprint, since they are so light and will probably keep them in my car so that I can use them with my FT-100 when parked...
K3NG Rating: 3/5 May 19, 2002 00:39 Send this review to a friend
OK  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
These are inexpensive minimalist paddles. They work, but I find myself making alot of mistakes. These paddles don't in any way "blow the chrome" off other paddles. They're simple paddles that you can throw in your backpack and have short QSOs with at moderate speeds while in the field.

I was able to improve the feel and accuracy by changing the round center standoff contact thingy with a hexagon standoff which provides a flat contact surface.

You can't beat the price, but realize it's basically a little red box with some plastic parts cleverly put together. It works, but you'll be eventually longing for a more expensive portable paddle. The MK-44 will always be in my backpack, but as a secondary backup key.
N2XE Rating: 5/5 Mar 25, 2002 16:18 Send this review to a friend
An All American Classic!  Time owned: more than 12 months
This paddle will soon become a ham icon. Great example of American engineering. I use these puppies for backpacking, mobiling and just plain fun at home!
KM0U Rating: 5/5 Jul 5, 2001 09:34 Send this review to a friend
Quality product - high value for the cost.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've been a ham since '78 - the MK-44 is the best new purchase bargain I've made - lightweight, quality construction, low cost (under $20), works well - it is truly portable it fits the niche of replacing keys that weigh as much as the rig. . . 73's km0u
KC4TXR Rating: 5/5 Apr 23, 2001 09:35 Send this review to a friend
A Mobile Must Have!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I've already posted my opinion of this paddle as a fixed station piece of equipment but after several months of mobile duty, I feel the need for an update.

They provide good, clean, positive contact. The tactile feedback is uncompromised by the flexibility of the paddle arms, and it's impossible to get a backlash causing extra dits and dahs over bumpy roads. I have no plans to modify them in the least. Their light weight means they're perfect for mobile operation especially with the optional leg strap. In fairness, any portable paddle has deficiencies but not this one.

Just so you're not suprised, this key is essentially non-adjustable and made from plastic. It performs the job it was designed to do with great aplumb and acumen. If you simply gaze at the photo of the key, you can see exactly what it is and what it is not. It would be really kind of silly to buy a non-adjustable plastic key and then complain that it's not chrome plated brass and adjustable... duh. It is remarkably suited for QRP and mobile operation. I mean, what kind of fool would pack a Bencher paddle anywhere in the outback?

Priced at $16.95, I feel like I'm stealing from Whiterook. The design and engineering of this key is simply astounding. If you bought two of them, you would feel like a kid on Christmas morning.
KD1JT Rating: 3/5 Apr 21, 2001 22:03 Send this review to a friend
Adequate but not much more  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I bought my paddles a little while ago, and have used them portable several times. I'm a CW only operator, but have never owned a "luxury" paddle, just the usual assortment ... Bencher BY, Vibroplex Iambic and Brass Racer, etc.

The Whiterook is well constructed and the design is beautiful in its simplicity. Very lightweight.

In operation, though, they fall short of what I expect from a paddle ...

They do not provide good, clean, positive contact. The tactile feedback is compromised by the flexibility of the paddle arms, and it's much too easy to get a backlash causing extra dits and dahs. I plan to modify them slightly by putting a spring between the arms, but I'm not really confident that'll make much of a difference. Their light weight means I have to hold the entire paddle in one hand while sending with the other. In fairness, any portble paddle has this deficiency, though. I'll probably just carry some of that sticky "gum" stuff with me to plant the base on the table.

In no way do I regret the purchase ... I got my money's worth, to be sure, since the price is astoundingly low. But whenever possible, I'll sacrifice the weight and lug along my trusty Brass Racer.
N2PVS Rating: 5/5 Mar 26, 2001 16:42 Send this review to a friend
amazing  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Just received my mk-44 a few weeks ago and i love it. It functions flawlessly, its well constructed, its nice looking and , well, the price is unbelieveable.
KM5N Rating: 4/5 Mar 13, 2001 13:15 Send this review to a friend
Excellent mobile paddle  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is an excellent, low-cost choice for a mobile paddle. I use it daily, strapped to my right thigh with a velcro strap.

The feel is pretty loose, and if this were a stationary paddle you would probably want something a lot tighter. But on the road, the looseness prevents a lot of keying errors, and is very forgiving when you are (properly!) concentrating on the road instead of the paddle.

For the price, it is a very good deal. I have not found anything else I would use mobile.
WP3GN Rating: 5/5 Mar 5, 2001 15:25 Send this review to a friend
Big Bang 4D Buck  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
If you ask me, get two. For the price it can't be beat.
AA1UY Rating: 4/5 Dec 28, 2000 17:10 Send this review to a friend
Work very well for what they are  Time owned: more than 12 months
Simple little paddles that work remarkably well for what they are. Very light in weight so they require two hands to operate unless strapped or stuck down but that's no big deal. There's no "clickety" paddle mechanism (ie springs or magnets), the paddle return is achieved purely by the elasticity of the "plastic" material each paddle is made from. I had concerns that the "plastic" paddles might warp (or lose elasticity) over time, but that hasn't happened in the year or more that I've owned them. They work as well today as they did when new.

Although I like them, I can't agree that they're a *fantastic* bargain though. Yes $16.95 is very cheap for a set of paddles but it's only a small plastic box with a few screws and bits of plastic stuck on. The guy who dreamed up this use for a truck-load of surplus plastic boxes is obviously a real entrepreneur though Hi Hi
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