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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: 18 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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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.
W5LXG Rating: 0/5 Jan 11, 2007 11:50 Send this review to a friend
Horrible excuse for a paddle  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Occasionally, I enjoy torturing myself within ham radio. I am an avid and competent CW operator and decided I would waste some money and buy this product. I wasn't disappointed. It is built in the true tradition of MFJ: Light, flimsy,sloppy fitting,etc. Better hacksaw paddles have been made. After operating it for about 6 contacts, a lever arm broke. Completely out of character, their service dept. send me a free replacement. "Duh...them things bust all the time, they do, we gonna send you a free one, we are". So, if you too want torture, to waste money and end up with throw-away material, have at it.
AA2LD Rating: 5/5 Jan 4, 2006 19:21 Send this review to a friend
perfect  Time owned: more than 12 months
I use this paddle with my Elecraft K2 and have consistent reports of a good 'fist'. True, it is not a heavily weighted Bencher padde (I have one of those too) but for a light weight paddle it can't be beat. Very durable and fun.

I bought another to be used with my KX1 Elecraft.
W6TH Rating: 5/5 Jan 4, 2006 17:44 Send this review to a friend
I Find No Faults  Time owned: more than 12 months
I do as well with this small lightweight paddle as well as I do using my Bencher BY-1.

I must admit that I have a very light touch when using paddles do to my many years of using cw, I do not bang it around. I enjoy using this paddle and will continue to do so as it goes well with my portable setup I take with me on vacations.

I easily can send up to 45 words per minute with no problem and have no complaints with the fellow on the other receiving end. I assume that experience in the use of cw operating pays off to be able to use many different kind of paddles..

I give this paddle a 5 as I have found no fault that it does not perform well.

73, W6TH... 67 years of cw using a nonvanity call.

WA3VAT Rating: 0/5 Nov 1, 2005 15:39 Send this review to a friend
Trash  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Save your time and money and buy something you will be happy with. The paddles are unusable period.
WB6I Rating: 4/5 Jun 19, 2005 05:56 Send this review to a friend
Good for what it was intended for  Time owned: more than 12 months
This key works well for what it was intended for. When I first purchased the MFJ-561 I quite frankly didn't expect it to work very well or last too long. I was looking for a temporary and inexpensive solution to a lightweight portable key for my FT-817 until I could research the market and buy a better key. I've had this key now for over 2 years and plan to keep it. Because of it's weight and size it does take a little getting use to and requires a light touch to use.

The main advantages (besides low cost) and are:
1) probably the smallest on the market
2) very lightweight (although this requires two hand operation)
3) simple but durable construction, basically made of two main parts, the base and a single piece of metal bent into a "U" shape to form the paddles. You can tossed it around, drop it or cram it into a bag without much risk of damaging it.

I wouldn't recommend this for base use but it's been a great little companion to my FT-817.
WG7J Rating: 1/5 Nov 8, 2004 11:36 Send this review to a friend
small but not stable  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I was(am) looking for a small travel paddle to go with my ft-817 /p setup. So I decided to give the Kit version a try. Instructions were clear and it was easily put together in about 20-30 minutes with minimal tools.

However, came time to operate, my fears became true: the base is not nearly sturdy or heavy enough to operate this keyer with one hand. The force of pushing the paddles is enough to shift the base around all the time. This makes it impossible to operate with one handle.

I did make one qso with it with the ft-817 outside setup on a patio table, holding the paddle down with my free hand, but after that I quickly took the good old bencher back out from the shack...

A fun building project, but no use in the field. Still looking...

Johan, WG7J
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