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Reviews Categories | Keys & Paddles | MFJ-561/MFJ-561K Miniature Travel Iambic Paddle Help

Reviews Summary for MFJ-561/MFJ-561K Miniature Travel Iambic Paddle
MFJ-561/MFJ-561K Miniature Travel Iambic Paddle Reviews: 16 Average rating: 3.2/5 MSRP: $19.95/$14.95
Description: Miniature, lightweight Iambic paddle tiny enough to fit in an Altoids tin.
Product is in production.
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N7ISS Rating: 4/5 Sep 7, 2014 18:53 Send this review to a friend
Great for SOTA  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
For the money it can not be beat. I put it together in about 4 minutes and it works fine. I later stuck it in a RS mini box. Now its even better. I really wanted to get one of those cool keys you see in all the you tube vids, but I didn't want to drop over $100.00 on one. This is all the key you will need. It is a bit light but when you are climbing up a mountain thats what you need.
N4MJG Rating: 5/5 May 28, 2014 15:13 Send this review to a friend
great for my 817ND !  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I'm ok with 561 keyer for my 817ND i don't want to carry something heavy key for 817 i'm ok with 2 hands to work with !! i needed something small and light weight easy to carry around ! that is what design for light key when camping or backpack there is no way to carry heavy keyer now would it? now you see my point !! great key for me ;)

K5TTE Rating: 5/5 Jun 28, 2013 16:11 Send this review to a friend
So you need a "heavy base"?  Time owned: more than 12 months
This cheaply-made paddle fits my back-packing needs perfectly: it's feather-weight, and I'm quite happy using both hands. Reliable? Four campIng trips to Montana, each time
hooked up to my QRP rig inside the tent.
I'll agree with other commenters: it lacks a heavy base.
As for me, don't want no heavy base! No camper wants to
lug around an extra brick in his pack.
I did a little hack-mod when I found the paddle arms uncomfortable: I removed the little rubber feet from each side
and replaced them with heavy Fender guitar picks . This little primitive paddle now feels better to send and looks kinda cool!
Don't want to compare the MFJ with my precision Palm Paddle---- apples and oranges.
M0JHA Rating: 5/5 May 1, 2013 03:07 Send this review to a friend
Great /p paddle  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Ok it's not a vibroplex or Begali but then it doesn't claim to be . I bought 2 kits for my /p bags and wasn't dissapointed . Took 10 mins to build the second one and about 20 mins to build the first .straight forward and anyone should be able to put these together .

The spacing between the paddles and the centre paddle stop can be centered easily as the hole holding the back end to the base has a little play in it so the it can all be centered .OR at least that was my findings.

Took one out/p with me and had no real issues using it , a little stiffer than i'm used too and i had to hold it in one hand and key with the other but this took all of 10 seconds to get used to . Great little idea for cheap very light travel paddles ..
WA4JM Rating: 2/5 Feb 16, 2012 15:34 Send this review to a friend
OK...My expectations Too High  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The kit was easy to put together. The documentation
Was poor with regard to adjusting the spacing for the contacts. The key is too light so you have to use both hands to operate. Why MFJ would not build heavier base is a mystery.

This is a pos product.

WB2VEN Rating: 4/5 Aug 1, 2011 11:08 Send this review to a friend
Very good QRP 'go-pack' paddle  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I'm not sure what people are expecting with this paddle, but after a few weeks of using it in portable ops in the north woods, I am quite happy with its performance. The construction is mainly metal, so how anyone can break this without being outright abusive is beyond me.

It is small, lightweight and while a bit more utilitarian than some other 'travel paddles', it does its job well and is a fair value. Sure, it won't compare to a Palm or Bengali, but it isn't pretending to be in that market. I have a Whiterook as well for portable work, and for me it compares favorably to that - which has good reviews here.
N4IBG Rating: 3/5 May 12, 2011 14:35 Send this review to a friend
Not Bad  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Yes, it's not the ultimate paddle but, I needed something that I could store in my HTX 100 portable box that was light and small. It works just fine with 2 hands. The connecing cable was more than enough. I found that the rubber feet on the paddles was not a good feel, so I took them off and glued on a couple of stiff guitar pics, and that made a world of difference.
NZ5L Rating: 4/5 Aug 5, 2010 10:45 Send this review to a friend
Has potential  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I think some reviewers of this little paddle are missing the point. This was not intended to be an "end product" used as provided. If you want that, buy a Begali or Vibroplex. If you want a basic mechanism to build upon, this little gem is very promising.
You will need a sharp bit to drill a couple of holes in the tough alloy base - then it can be firmly fastened to a piece of hardwood, or to a keyer cabinet. Also, drill a small hole 1/8" to each side of the contact points. Put in a small 1" machine screw and slip a plastic sleeve over each one. Now the lever has "backstops" and feels much more like a normal key. Adjustable tension would be nice, but the key would have been heavier and more complex, not to mention more expensive. Mine is now stable, reliable, and highly usable.
The point is" for this amount of money, you get a bare-bones item. Make of it what you will - that's the Ham way.
WA8MEA Rating: 1/5 Mar 29, 2007 17:46 Send this review to a friend
Try the other MFJ....  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is a cheap spin-off of the Travel-Keyer by MFJ. They took the same "paddles" and put 'em on a miniature piece of metal. You really can't use it as is. It won't stay put! I used cable ties to secure it to a board. But it looked funky. Sent it back to MFJ.

Spend a few more bucks and get the MFJ Travel Keyer instead. You can use that as a key OR keyer. It has more weight and area, making it much more operational on the table. And I think they took more care and weren't as sloppy in assembling the copper paddles and attaching the pads as they did with this key. The Travel Keyer we kept and use regularly.
WB7AVF Rating: 3/5 Feb 7, 2007 18:19 Send this review to a friend
You get what you pay for gents!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Hey--it's keying my Norcal. Bit flimsy but I mounted the little thing on an old desk weight. WOrks okay.
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