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Reviews Categories | Keys & Paddles | Taylor Magnetic Paddles Help

Reviews Summary for Taylor Magnetic Paddles
Taylor Magnetic Paddles Reviews: 4 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $295
Description: Simple elegant iambic paddle along the lines of Brown Bothers BTL series.
Product is in production.
More info: http://
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W0JOE Rating: 5/5 Mar 16, 2005 14:59 Send this review to a friend
Awesome!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I love my Taylor Magnetic Paddles! I bought a set that are red and black. Year of production was 2000 and the serial number is 73. Just had to get that serial number!! :)

These paddles are best adjusted for a light touch, that being a very small paddle movement. You can operate these paddles with very little hand movement and with the weighted base they stay put on the bench.

73, w0joe
AB2EZ Rating: 5/5 Dec 13, 2004 15:02 Send this review to a friend
An excellent, compact paddle  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought one of these as NOS on eBay (serial #90). Mine uses a pair of magnets for the return force. It feels very smooth (no noticible friction), it can be adjusted to a light touch (which I prefer), and it has a nice "click". It works great for me at 25 WPM. I have a small collection of paddles, including: a Begali Signature, a March R3a, and an Alberto Frattini magnetic iambic. I have used those superb paddles as benchmarks for evaluating the performances of the other paddles I have collected. On that basis, I would say that this is a great paddle. This paddle has a small footprint (the base is 3" x 3"), but it is reasonably heavy (1 lb 10 oz), and the corrugated rubber pad on the bottom holds it firmly in place on the table.

Best regards
GI0RQK Rating: 5/5 Sep 4, 2004 12:36 Send this review to a friend
W0LPR Paddle  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I happened to be browsing the product reviews when I discovered the review by W9OY of the Taylor paddles. It immediately caught my attention.
There was a picture of the Taylor Houston paddle key. At once I recognised the design style of the key. I read the review with great interest.

By chance I had bought a couple of these paddle keys, at various times, on eBay and only had limited information about them. My sketchy information was pieced together from the people I had bought the keys from.

An e-mail to Lee (W9OY) followed and we exchanged information. Our information correlated. Lee was able to inform me of the maker’s call sign, W0LPR, which I did not previously know. Apparently Houston Taylor had read Lee’s review and sent him a QSL card. The “pieced together” information to the best of my knowledge, apologies for anything incorrect, is as follows.

These American Morse paddle keys are handmade by Houston Taylor (W0LPR) in Springfield, Missouri.

Houston Taylor is a retired, Professor Head of the Department of Industrial Education at Southwest Missouri State University.

He is a really talented craftsman and demands near perfection in the items he makes. These are absolutely fantastic, custom made keys which are practically works of art.

The paddle keys are stamped with the year of manufacture and a serial number.

There are spring and magnetic versions of the paddle key. Later versions appear to be magnetic.

All adjustment screws and lock nuts are brass screw stock and are individually made. There are 60 parts, 44 of which are handmade for the individual key!

Only a limited number have been made, less than 100 in over 25 years.

On the QSL card received by Lee (W9OY), Houston Taylor (W0LPR) states:
“The key has evolved over a period of 25 years which I like and will not change. I am not in production, just like to make them.”

This really sums it up. These paddle keys are the result of one man’s pursuit of his ideal design and handcrafted, without compromise, with attention to detail. They were not made for commercial gain but just for pleasure. I would say that this makes them quite unique.

So that is the background about these keys, now for my review.

Finish – the key is made from steel, brass and plastic with all the parts well machined. With the brass parts buffed up the key is quite pretty.

Size - The footprint of the key is quite small, about the same size as a G4ZPY paddle, a lot smaller than a Bencher. It has a flat base with most of its surface area in contact with the bench. The base is covered with a non-slip textured rubber. This keeps the key from sliding about.

Weight – The key is heavier than a G4ZPY but lighter than a Bencher.

Mechanism – The key uses adjustable trunnion bearings as on the Vibroplex. This has the usual compromise between being too tight with high friction or too loose and a lot of slack movement in the paddle arms. This takes a bit of fine adjusting to get right. Once adjusted operates well and does not seem to be temperature sensitive.
The aluminium arms are quite light, this combined with the opposing magnets / spring positioned just forwards of the pivot point give the key a nice light feel.

Adjustment - The key has adjustment for the contact spacing and also for the return force. Although this could be improved a bit by using finer threads on the screws. There is no adjustment for the paddle spacing. Another improvement would have been to use a cam mechanism for the back stop as on the Jones Keys.
The spacing of the finger pieces (approx. 20mm, outside edge to outside edge) is a bit wide for me.

The “sound” of the key is like that of a Jones key with a similar “clattering” noise with a wide contact gap setting.

As with all designs there are compromises and it is always easy to find picky faults with things in retrospect. Different people have different ideas.

These paddles are neat to look at and more importantly very nice to use.

Some of the other paddle keys I own/use are (in alphabetical order) Begali, Bencher, G4ZPY, Jones, Palm, Schurr and Vibroplex.

This review is intended to complement the one by Lee (W9OY) by adding the since discovered background information. Hope it has been of interest.

Thanks to Lee (W9OY) for providing me with information about the key.

If you have any further information I would like to hear from you.

W9OY Rating: 5/5 Jul 9, 2004 23:52 Send this review to a friend
Nice little paddle  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought this paddle on a lark. I wanted another paddle that uses magnets as mechanical resistance to play with. I had no information, and have not found any about the manufacturer. My paddle is #76. Its design is along the lines of a Brown Brothers BTL, except it is a about 2/3 the size of the BTL and about 3/4 the weight. It uses needle bearings, brass, aluminum, plastic and steel as its component parts. The paddle arms and the frame the holds the paddle arms are machined aluminum. The contacts are machined brass and the base is plastic and steel. The paddles arms are quite light and have a nice feel to them as you ripple the dits. The magnets replace the spring and are in the same spot are they are on the BTL, forward of the pivot. They are adjustable from each paddle, however the arm tension is not independantly adjustable for each arm. That is to say the magnets act as a unit across both arms, so adjusting the dit tension also adjusts the dah tension. I do not find this to be limiting in the least. The key sets up very easily using brass knurled knobs, and brass screws. It seems to hold its setup just fine.

The fit and finish is not it tne least fancy, but it neither cheap not production line-ish in its presentation. It holds the table well, and does not move around even though it is the lightest paddle I own. (BTL, Vibroplex iambic, and the N2DAN Mercury). I have it set up for a moderately light touch, though I would call my fist average in terms of "touch". It is fun to use and sends accurate code, with a light touch or with a more heavy setup.

All in all this is no Mercury paddle, but it is on a par with the Brown Brothers and Vibroplex in terms of the set up, and similiar in feel though this key seems to have a little lighter touch (I presume due to the aluminum lever arms, and magnetic tensioning) than these other workhorse paddles. I would have no problem packing this off to feild day for many hours of CW (- . ... -). In my opinion, it cleans the "Bencher's" clock. I have had several Benchers over the years, and would choose the Taylor in a heartbeat, given the choice.

If anyone has any more info on this bird I would be interested in hearing it. I thought I would post this so there is at least one bit of data available on this fine little key.


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