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Reviews Categories | Keys & Paddles | W5JH Black Widow Paddle Kit Help

Reviews Summary for W5JH Black Widow Paddle Kit
W5JH Black Widow Paddle Kit Reviews: 36 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $57
Description: This paddle is of all brass construction with a 3 inch x 3 inch base. It uses computer controlled machined parts for excellent fit and accuracy. The paddle has both spring and magnetic return force. The paddle arms ride on precision ball bearings for an extremely smooth feel. The contacts are Silver Plated for low resistance. Each arm has a Silver Plated wire ground to prevent intermittents. Almost everything is adjustable including bearing tension, contact spacing, and magnetic return force. Set screws lock everything down once you set the paddle the way you like it. A small allen wrench is provided for the set screws. Knurled nuts are provided to connect your cable to the paddle. Soft plastic feet keep the 1 lb 7 oz paddle from sliding around your table.
Product is not in production.
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K7DD Rating: 5/5 May 15, 2009 10:56 Send this review to a friend
Best Bang for the Buck and you will have fun putting it togethe  Time owned: more than 12 months
When Jerry put together the first ScQRPion paddle I got one of them and thought he was on to something good.
When I saw the prototype of his Black Widow Paddle I asked to be first on the list. He was gracious enough to sell me SN 001. I took me a few weeks before I got time to put it together and I did it on the cheap. Orbital sander with various emery papers and then a toss in a tumbling barrel to knock off the points and a finish with just 400grit emery paper on the random orbital sander left an interesting finish which I left uncoated. I added the round red plastic paddles he sells and it has been my primary key in the shack ever since.
I LOVE the feel of the key and I think for the price you can't do better without spending several times its cost. Smooth, easy to adjust and inexpensive all make this a winner.
I own three of his designs and I don't see myself spending the big bucks for the spit and polish of other key builders when I custom taylor this key to suit my needs. Like the old car commercial use to say, "If you can find a better key for the money, then buy it." I hope Jerry keeps up the good work for a long time.

Check out his new key, the Baby Black Widow! Best key on the planet for $39 and most of the finish work is already done for you!
KX2S Rating: 5/5 May 7, 2009 15:51 Send this review to a friend
Great Support  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased Jerry's kit on EBay. I followed the directions finished off the brass in a nice shiny state. I assembled the product and when completed I had a few issues. I had problems with the left paddle sticking and causing strings of dots. Well I figured that I did not de burr the holes properly. Well my big mistake I disassembled the unit and de burred the holes again. When re assembling I found I had gone to far and the bearings were sitting to deep and could not be adjusted. Well I was very frustrated and sent an Email to Jerry. He offered to look at it and see what could be done. I sent it off to him and he repaired my blunders. Sent the key back in perfect condition. I find his support to be excellent and a credit to the hobby. Please be very careful when de burring the holes. Very little brass removal is required.
Thank You Jerry for your great support.
NZ0T Rating: 5/5 Jan 28, 2009 08:24 Send this review to a friend
Excellent  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This little paddle is easy and fun to build and works very well! Amazingly low cost too. It compares very favorably to my Bencher and blows away my old Ham-Key HK-1. It takes some fiddling to adjust it but once there it stays. Mine looks great with some minimal sanding and a couple of coats of spray lacquer.
KC0GLA Rating: 4/5 Jan 10, 2009 17:30 Send this review to a friend
Good Kit but Needs Improvement  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought this 2 or more years ago. I liked the kit, instructions were good and all the parts were included. I also bought the optional round finger pieces. I just do not like the end result so much. It looks great but does not function so great.

First the paddles are to far apart. Second the magnets are to large. I had a hard time adjusting them to give a light pull. I also magnetized a few tools trying to pull the magnets away from the arms when the set screw was loosened. The only easy way to get the magnet away was to use something that the magnet wanted more. Third the silver plating seems to be oxidizing. I have problems making contact some times.

For the price and the fact that it is a kit and not factory assembled I gave it a 4 just in case it was a problem of my doing.
W1UJ Rating: 5/5 Dec 28, 2008 12:20 Send this review to a friend
Custom-Awesome  Time owned: 0 to 3 months

Purchased by my wife for Christmas, and getting DXCC CW.

Fun Kit, needed modifications.
The challenge per XYL;
"Get rid of red knobbies on all of the screws"
"Replace 80's guitar pick finger pieces."
Finish the brass details.

I assembled the key immediately without any finishing and damaged a couple of screws during the vise press-on red knobbies.
***Be sure to thread the screws into the stand off all of the way before pressing***

Here is where I'm at;
$67 for the key, shipped
$99 for a Dremel
$40 for Sandpaper/compound/extra Dremel felt attachment kit & miscellaneous hardware.

-buffed up all of the brass with fancy new Dremel.
-I replaced the 2 magnet return housings' mounting screws with same size zinc.
-I used the 2 brass screws on the top bearing hold-down.
-Popped all of the red caps off the 4 small Allen-head screws, and silver contact screws
-**Used old crystal housings' covers for finger pieces. They were brass all cleaned up!
- I did not clear-coat the key since it may give me an excuse to fire up the Dremel again in the future.

My XYL wants to get the bearing hold down piece engraved with my call. Awesome.

It was a little 'loud' with clicking away with on-air tests, but the spacing can be set really precise so that was resolved quickly.

A fun project, I will use it as my main key now, if anything new to report I will.

Thanks W5JH!!

Jay W1UJ
ERIC Rating: 5/5 Sep 23, 2008 13:06 Send this review to a friend
My first key.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
It was fun to build and I can't wait to use it.
K4RH Rating: 5/5 Jun 22, 2008 19:01 Send this review to a friend
Great !!!!!!!!!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Little work but pays off in the end. Its a great Paddle key. You will not be disappoint with this one. Its a keeper.
K2JAY Rating: 5/5 Jun 14, 2008 17:35 Send this review to a friend
Its a winner.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Finished #474. I bought this based on the reviews I found here. It looks like all the previous reviews say it all. I had fun building it and it works great. Thanks W5JH for the good work.
KB1LHY Rating: 5/5 Feb 10, 2008 08:03 Send this review to a friend
Great Paddle  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Just finished building #552 - WOW. The paddle is everything the other reviews have already stated. The kit arrived in 2 days just like the ordering said it would. The paddle is easy to assemble and the part quality is very good. I spent a few days working on the brass finishing to my liking. I put the parts into my polishing tumbler and the parts came out really nicely polished. (Hint - maybe the kit could be ordered with pre polished parts for an extra $ charge.) I have used several paddles, the most recent a Bencher, and I like the Black Widow much better. The magnetics are finely adjustable so you can get that really fine feel or a heavy long travel feel. The setup has a wide degree of variability. Once the setting is locked down - it doesn't move.

Really nice Paddle. Thanks for paying attention to the fine details that make this paddle a great investment. I would recommend this paddle to anyone.
KC0YVW Rating: 5/5 Dec 18, 2007 13:11 Send this review to a friend
Fun kit, Nice key  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is a fun kit to put together and works surprisingly well for its simplicity. I was a tad bit skeptical at first as I already own a few Begali keys that are simply beautiful and definitely set the standard, however, I thought this would be a fun project for me and my son to work on. I figured he could learn how to finish and assemble an easy project, help him learn code and take pride in owning something he built himself that looked really cool as well. Not only was I not disappointed in these assumptions but I was very impressed with the attention to detail in the machining as well as the documentation. Very clear and concise instructions, well documented with photographs and helpful finishing suggestions.

Junior will one day inherit my highly lauded Begali keys but this one will be cherished as the one the he and his old man got to build when he was a kid, long after Iím gone. Itís also helped inspire him to keep studying for his license so he can have his call engraved on top of the tensioning bar.

In short; Jerry has done a great job in putting this kit on the market and you simply canít find a better product in itís price range (or keys costing much, much more for that matter).

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