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Reviews Categories | Keys & Paddles | WK4DS Paddles Help

Reviews Summary for WK4DS Paddles
WK4DS Paddles Reviews: 7 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $$350.00
Description: Here are some of the criteria that I based my design on:

* Bearings - Precision shielded ball bearings was the only route for my paddle
* Light weight arms - Aluminum was the material of choice, as it is very light and strong.
* Springs - I use only Neodymium Iron Boron Magnets for zero friction springs with maximum magnetic force, in a small package.
* Contacts - I offer gold plating as well as natural brass.
* Adjustments - I chose to make the contact, spring return force, and bearing tension.
* Weight - I tried to make this paddle heavy so it would stay put on the bench even with my heavy fist!!
* Paddle Height above the desk was another requirement that I was concerned with, as well.
* Good looks were also thrown in by the XYL's (KG4WHE) request.
Product is in production.
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K8RBW Rating: 5/5 Jun 18, 2010 13:59 Send this review to a friend
Wonderful Paddle and People with Whom to Deal  Time owned: more than 12 months
I normally try to wait a fair amount of time so that I can write a review based on extensive experience.

Amateur radio has many fine people providing excellent products. David and Teresa are clearly are among the very best. I purchased one of David's paddles used. Although it had another call engraved on it, I felt most fortunate to acquire one of his precision instruments. While recovering from major surgery on both of my legs, the paddle provided me with many hours of great contacts from my living room chair. It is a true masterpiece that loves to run like a thoroughbred race horse, clearly indicating that top quality workmanship is still done in the USA. Unfortunately, the paddle fell from my lap and the finger pieces broke. As a consequence, I contacted David to see if I could purchase replacements. He responded that I should send him the paddle to obtain proper finger pieces, which I did. He not only replaced the finger pieces, but he engraved my call on the paddle and returned it to me looking brand new. As luck would have it, the finger pieces broke again because of rough handling during shipment. I sheepishly told David and Teresa what had happened and he replaced them a second time. I insisted on paying him, but he refused. As I explained to some friends the other night at dinner, it is wonderful to know there are people like David and Teresa in the world. They are a real credit to amateur radio and have a friend for life.
73 de Dick, K8RBW
KA0W Rating: 5/5 Feb 10, 2007 10:51 Send this review to a friend
Top Notch!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Not much more to add to what the other reviewers have already mentioned. An excellent & very precise paddle, excellent movement. A pleasure to operate.
W7MAP Rating: 5/5 Sep 3, 2006 10:23 Send this review to a friend
Superb!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Following the previous reviews will find my notes meager. I could not help writing a short review to add my "5" to the rest. David has crafted a wonderful instrument. I have had the pleasure of owning a lot of paddles and I use this one the most. If I had to make one comment that would mean the most to active cw enthusiasts it would be the balance between low moving mass and zero contact bounce is perfection. Thanks David!
WE5O Rating: 5/5 Jun 19, 2006 13:24 Send this review to a friend
MY FAVORITE PADDLE  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had my WK4DS paddles for more than a year, but have been lax in commenting on this fine instrument. I am a collector of paddles and keys. Most reside in a large collection case, but this is the one that sits on my desk in my shack. I have had a chance to use many different keys and paddles on the air: from Brown Brothers to Vibroplex, but this is my favorite. It is smooth as silk, with the cleanest action I have ever found in a paddle.

David is a cw operator so he knows what to build into his paddles for serious operators. This is a business unit for fast cw. The hefty weight of the base keeps it glued to the table and the action can be set so light that you could blow on the paddle and send cw if you wanted. (My old fist is a little heavier than that, but it could be done. hihi) The paddles can be adjusted to any desired feel. That means a lot during long contests. Overall the workmanship is a masterpiece of flawless function and beautiful finish. While these paddles can be adjusted to a delicate touch, they are also a clear statement of strength and power.

This is an expensive instrument, but like a fine violin, you get what you pay for. David works hard to ensure that each customer is satisfied. We had several telephone conversations to discuss my wishes for the paddles. I asked him to have my callsign engraved on the base and I asked him to sign the bottom for future identification. Every pair of WK4DS paddles must meet a high set of quality standards. He tests each set personally before it is shipped and the finished product is something to please an operator for a lifetime.

I was thrilled when mine arrived and I am even happier now that I have had a chance to use it on the air. I think for my lifetime it is likely to remain my favorite.

Ron Langston
W2ST Rating: 5/5 Mar 4, 2006 11:11 Send this review to a friend
Absolutely outstanding!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Ulrich, in his eHam article and review, has about said it all. Still, since very few of these keys are out there, a few more words can be added.

First, this is a beautifully made and outstandingly engineered key. It has a smaller footprint than most paddles, smaller than -- for example -- the Graciella, but it still weighs enough to stick to the desk like glue.

The design is elegant: the entire metal (aluminum) portion of the paddle assembly is about one inch long and extremely light. Result: extremely fast, with near zero inertia and lag-time. Adjustment is by very fine-threaded screws, which make fine adjustments of gap and tension (as well as bearing loading) very easy.

I chose the polished brass finish, and I expect it will age over time to a classic brass-key patina. I suppose you could polish the brass regularly, or even clear-coat it, to maintain the shine, but brass ages very well if left alone.

David has lavished a lot of effort and thought on this paddle, and he has produced a real winner. I have used and owned most of the paddles out there, and IMHO this one stands right at the top of the hill.

These are custom-made, and if you want one, you will need to order it and wait patiently. It is worth the wait!
N3CW Rating: 5/5 Feb 25, 2006 11:26 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Design & Workmanship  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
In the bicycling world, riders talk about a frame "disappearing beneath" them as they ride. A cliché certainly, but how else to describe a cw paddle that does what David's design does? This paddle is a magic device, allowing a direct connection between the operator and the keyer. One merely has to think the letter and out comes the RF. The operator/keyer interface seems to be eliminated. No slop, no unwanted tension, no resistance. Nothing that is except this beautiful brass object that somehow knows how to reflect things - excellence in design, functional simplicity, and even the lights and switches on your rig. This one should have a warning label attached: "Do not use under 18 WPM." Although you could drive your Ferrari to Safeway to pick up the groceries, I suppose.
N2DE Rating: 5/5 Jan 14, 2006 23:06 Send this review to a friend
A Beautiful Top Performer  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
To sum it up in a nutshell: David has produced a paddle that can see eye to eye with the best paddles on the market, and with legends that are no longer being sold.

He uses an architecture that takes minimizing moving masses about as far as technically possible, and he puts it into a package of beautiful elegance.

Precision bearings, super-fine adjustments, flawless workmanship – this paddle has it all. On the air performance is second to none, regardless of price.

It’s not inexpensive, but you’ll be hard pressed to find a better performer at any price. This clearly is one of the most exciting new paddles that I have touched in recent months.

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