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Reviews Categories | Keys & Paddles | American Morse Equipment, Porta-Paddle Help

Reviews Summary for American Morse Equipment, Porta-Paddle
American Morse Equipment, Porta-Paddle Reviews: 26 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $ $69.95 + $4.00 S&H
Description: Miniature Size Iambic Paddle - 1 1/2 x 1 7/8 x 1 Inch, 2.5 Ounces.
Machined Aircraft Aluminum, anodized finish.
Gap and spring force adjustable.
Drilled & tapped base for mounting on Leg Mount or Desk Base
Product is in production.
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KN4DGR Rating: 4/5 Oct 8, 2017 13:06 Send this review to a friend
Great product with Manufacturing Defects  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Firstly, everything came packaged neatly. I used the box it came in with a little tape to make a tray for all the parts. They were all there. The pictures in the PDF were slightly different than the kit, but the instructions were fine and I was able to figure out easily how things should go together.

I bought the heavy base, which was expensive, but made for a neat looking install.

There were a couple of manufacturing issues:

The screws that hold the pin retainer in place and associated threads do not match properly. I'm a full-time RV-er and don't have access to a full tool set, so I brute-forced the screws into place in the aluminum and removed them about 20 times now have some pretty ugly looking screw heads, but eventually got them to bottom out and hold the retainer in place.

The second issue is that the retainer binds on the paddles when the retainer screws are fully tightened. I tried removing the washers and got rid of the bind, but left a little up/dn slop in the paddles. I also tried leaving the screws a bit loose and this kept the paddles from binding, but wouldn’t give a reliable ground. Next, I tried ‘polishing’ the washers on some rough paper, but this wasn’t making any headway. After studying the problem, I figured I could take away a bit of metal from the retainer where the pins go into the retainer and this would give a little more clearance and elevate the binding. Since this is a hidden area, I found a file and filed away a bit of the metal. After re-assembly, I now have functioning paddles.

Since this is my first paddle, I don’t have anything to compare it against, but it seems to work well enough. Any rough edges I’m sure are due to my fingers rather than the paddle. Looks like a quality unit.

If these 2 problems were elevated, assembly would be 30 minutes, including soldering on the leads and I would give this a 5* rating. I have emailed the manufacturer / owner so he can address them.

I'm looking forward to getting on-the-air with the fully functioning Porta-Paddle II
KD4ONT Rating: 1/5 Aug 7, 2016 01:21 Send this review to a friend
Crap  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
If you choose to have a desktop base, this is a disaster waiting to happen. Iron base, stainless, brass and aluminum parts. Kit had wrong length parts, and tolerances that would not allow free movement. Screws too long or too short.

I tried to build this kit on a weekend. True value was closed. Home depot and Lowe's had limited stock. I had to buy screws that were too long, and the wrong metal type, and cut them, in order to finish it.

That is just the tip of the ice berg. I also had to ream out female pivoting points to make the ss shafts fit. I was one step away from sending back this pos and demanding a refund until I stumbled across noalox at home depot. After tearing down the key, for the umpteenth time, I applied the noalox, and it worked like magic! For a key and company that is so highly rated, why do they use 4 types of metals for an electrical and mechanical device!?!
K7GMB Rating: 5/5 Feb 26, 2016 21:47 Send this review to a friend
Very slick !  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Needed a little key to go with the IC-703 in the Teardrop trailer. This fits the bill perfectly! Goes together easily in half-hour or so but you'll find yourself taking your time just the savor the build. Absolutely love the solid aluminum components. I don't believe you can go wrong with this one. Looking forward to getting the Quikmount as well.
W8RBT Rating: 5/5 Jul 15, 2015 17:54 Send this review to a friend
Very Good Paddle  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've had this paddle for about a month. I recommend it to others who want a durable, inexpensive, high-quality American made paddle for portable or shack operation. The metal base addition is a must have for desktop work.

I also have the Dirt Cheap Paddle (DCP) from them. I like it just as well. For those deciding which to buy, the main differences, IMO, are the contacts and the overall refinement. The porta-paddle is a much more refined, polished paddle with better contacts. They both can be mounted to the optional metal base. Either is a fine choice.

Finally, this is the third key/paddle I've purchased from Doug. He's professional, polite and courteous. The one problem I encountered on the DCP (short screws/bad base) was corrected by a simple email. He sent new parts promptly at no charge.
KC9PHX Rating: 5/5 Apr 28, 2015 09:04 Send this review to a friend
Amazing Simplicity, Performance and Service  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
What a great multipurpose Paddle at a great price!

The Porta Paddle with the Steel Base works great on the desktop and it's size is perfect for portable work. I purchased the powder coated base and the leg strap. Both well worth the price compared to time and materials to make. I figured I could make a basic mount with Velcro easy enough so I skipped that option. I will be using that when mounted to a clipboard with my R4020 QRP rig.

Easy ordering with one email via Paypal...couple of days later I get email and USPS tracking number. Items arrived a few days later. Smooth.

I'm new to CW and rewarded myself with this paddle after finally venturing out on the air. I now know the joy of this mode and I'm hooked. My only comparison is with a CW Touch Keyer P6 that I bought when I got started. That is also a winning value paddle and silent so not to disturb the XYL.

So, I cannot compare to a Begali, Bencher or any other major manufacture yet this paddle is worthy.
Once I progress further as an OP I'll probably want a more expensive key in the family. For now no need for that what so ever, except perhaps the experience of a Begali.

I'm somewhat of a nit-picker about quality with high standards and expectations, and this paddle passes the bar.

Great machine work, easy to assemble(20 minutes) and while simple it works great. I wanted a mechanical feel without spending a lot of money. After sanding down the ends of the contact screws, the feel of the paddle can be adjusted very tight. I will say the instructions you download online could use an update. Overall, I'm impressed and totally satisfied with this purchase.

For around a hundred bucks(w/Base) you get a great feeling, nice looking desktop paddle(Blue looks cool). You can easily convert it to portable use and not have to worry about banging it around. The settings are easy to adjust and it's a tough little unit. Don't be surprised by it's size.
While on the small side it fits my medium sized hands very well. Rock Solid... Get One!

W3NCR Rating: 5/5 Jan 10, 2015 18:53 Send this review to a friend
money well spent  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Would I like a Begali Traveler if somebody gave me one? Sure. That'd be great. But at about one-third the price I'm sticking with this AME unit, which I think is a pretty great piece of gear. For me, the action is similar to the Elecraft KXPD3 but I like the fact that I can strap it to my leg or use it on my desk with the base (I've done both over the past few months). Anyway, I'm a fan. The build was easy. Doug, the owner, was responsive when I wrote him about a question on the order. They have become my go-to paddles for on the road.
AE0EE Rating: 5/5 Nov 23, 2014 09:05 Send this review to a friend
Great Paddle  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Building the porta-paddle from a kit was very easy, and with the base it works excellently as both an iambic paddle and a straight key (with no keyer).

Originally, I had intended to use it with no base to keep things light. However, the small size and light weight meant it was very difficult to key properly with it shifting around. The base fixed that easily.
W7JCK Rating: 5/5 Jul 28, 2013 07:56 Send this review to a friend
Good price and service  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I ordered mine by mail with personal check; it was here in 10 days. The kit was pretty trivial to construct. I tried mine built with paddles handles up and down, and decided the original design was best, even for large hands. I mounted mine to a block of steel for stability using the tapped 6-32 mounting screw holes; very solid.

No complaints at all. It's a much better set of paddles than my out-of-date skillset. It seemed like a best-in-class item for under $100.
AG6QR Rating: 5/5 Mar 18, 2013 11:39 Send this review to a friend
Smooth and sturdy  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
A couple months ago, I bought the Porta Paddles with the iron base, for use mostly at home and occasional car camping.

I'm new, learning CW, so I don't have many points of comparison. But I've used a top brand of paddles with jeweled movement in my club's shack. My club's paddles are prettier, with a shinier chrome finish, but with no significant improvement in action over the Porta Paddles that I can discern. And the Porta Paddles win in size, weight, price, and apparent sturdiness.

The action of the Porta Paddles is great, assembly was easy, the construction is solid, and they appear to be built to last a lifetime. The size is portable, and they should survive well tossed in a backpack. If you're very concerned about weight, you'll want a different mount than the cast iron base I got. You'll definitely want to mount the paddles to SOMETHING, because they're too light by themselves.
N7RR Rating: 5/5 Jan 9, 2013 09:47 Send this review to a friend
Fine Starter Dual-Lever  Time owned: more than 12 months
I began with the original dual-lever Porta Paddle, which I later upgraded to the Porta Paddle II level, with its improved return-force adjustability. Although the mechanics are rudimentary, the Porta Paddle II works very well over a wide range of adjustments and it's both rugged and light weight, making it a fine paddle for portable operation. It's designed to use two stainless-steel screws for attaching to accessories, making it very stable. The best one of those accessories is the AME Quick Mount, with which it can be attached to any surface with matching 3M Dual Lock, whether an operating desk or a portable transceiver or the back of an AME Leg Mount.
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