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Reviews Categories | Keys & Paddles | N3ZNKEYS Model ZN-8A Help


Reviews Summary for N3ZNKEYS Model ZN-8A
N3ZNKEYS Model ZN-8A Reviews: 1 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $see website for prices
Description: The ZN-8A is built on a 3 " diameter brass base
which has a beveled top edge and a grooved
side. It includes a total of 6 ball bearing, 3 per
lever arm.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.n3znkeys.com
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WA4F Rating: 5/5 May 20, 2008 10:40 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding Key  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I am happy to be the first to write a review for the ZN-8A paddles.

First of all, let me say that I have been a licensed Ham for 37 years and CW is by far my favorite mode. Over the years, I have used most of the paddles on the market. I have wanted a high-end key for some time, but could never justify the expense, so I soldiered on with my old faithful Vibroplex Deluxe paddles, which could easily qualify for membership in the QCWA. I thought they were the best I would ever have, that is, until a friend came back from Dayton last year with one of Tonyís little gems. He kept going on and on about how good it was and that I had to try it. I finally got my fingers on them at Field Day last year and it was love at first squeeze. Then, he told me how much it cost and I did not believe him. How could someone make a key that good for such a reasonable price?

I went to the website to look at what Tony had to offer and was drawn to the unique look of the ZN-5A and ZN-8A models. I ultimately decided on the ZN-8A because of its lower profile design, which places the finger pieces closer to the table and allows, at least for me, a more comfortable hand position. When I got the key, it was set with very close spacing, which I was not used to because I could never get my Vibroplex set that close. My friendís key was set with wider spacing because he has a heavy hand and only sends at about 15 WPM or so. I almost changed the spacing, but everything I have read about high-end keys talked about close spacing and that it was the way to go for QRQ. I am so glad I didnít go wider. The close spacing forced me to develop a much lighter touch, which makes for sending with a lot less effort and fatigue. Sending at 30 WPM is a breeze. I could do it on the Vibroplex, but not for too long, and I had to work at it.

You might be a little surprised at the actual size of the key and wonder if it will stay put. My mother always said dynamite comes in small packages. She was right! The base is heavy, is set on soft rubber feet, and stays where you plant it. If your shack is like mine, desk space is at a premium making the compact design an advantage.

The solid construction of the ZN-8A is craftsmanship at its finest. Tony is obviously a CW aficionado and master machinist who takes great pride in turning out high-quality instruments. The design is well thought out in form and purpose. The adjustments are simple and stay put once set. I donít think I would be remiss in calling them functional works of art.

This review would not be complete without some mention of the exemplary customer service Tony provides. From confirmation of the order, quick email replies for status updates, to shipping confirmation, you are never in the dark. The keys are adjusted to your preference, well protected in transit by double boxing, and ready to go as soon as you get it out of the box. The cable is attached and wired right. Just Plug and Play!

I hope Tony continues to innovate and produce his line of fine keys for a long time. With few exceptions, at a point where Made in America does not mean much any more, N3ZN keys are a shining example of what traditional American ingenuity and craftsmanship can produce. If you want a superb sending device at a fair price, you canít go wrong with anything he offers.
 


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