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Reviews Categories | Keys & Paddles | American Morse Equipment KK2 Help

Reviews Summary for American Morse Equipment KK2
American Morse Equipment KK2 Reviews: 13 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $$65
Description: Iambic Paddle Kit
Product is in production.
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You can write your own review of the American Morse Equipment KK2.

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K2IZ Rating: 5/5 Jun 26, 2016 20:09 Send this review to a friend
owned 6 years and still working  Time owned: more than 12 months
My last review of this key was back in 2010, I cannot believe I've had it for six years and still using it, just finished using it for the 6th year on Field Day, no problems, still comfortable to use to send. My only regret was not knowing how to paint or plate metal when I first got it, now I just wipe it down and polish the brass.
This is the kind of key you can put in your equipment bag and not have to worry about something breaking or getting out adjustment.
W6JHB Rating: 5/5 Oct 29, 2014 09:21 Send this review to a friend
Great inexpensive paddle!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
OK - time to put in my 2 centavos about this paddle. I've had it long enough to give an educated/experienced review. First off - assembly was a piece of cake; the instructions were clear and understandable, and the kit did not have a bazillion parts to it. Before assembly I spray painted mine with a high gloss, dark green enamel from Ace Hardware after sanding and cleaning it off. The green is a nice contrast to the shiny brass arms.

After assembly, it was fairly easy to adjust to my liking, although I did have one issue. The amount of pressure needed to make contact on either side was too much for me. I've used a Bencher BY-2 in the past and replaced it with a Begali; in both cases I had the pressure set to very light. On this KK2, even with the main thumbscrew all the way out, it required too much pressure for my keying style. I emailed Doug TWICE about it, asking him what he thought I might be able to do about it. Unfortunately, he never answered me. Not sure what was going on there, and I was a little miffed about his lack of concern for my problem.

Anyway, I took the bull by the horns a couple days ago. I removed the center spring and, using a pair of wire snippers, clipped about 1/4 inch off of it. Put the spring back into the housing and - bingo! Got as little or as much tension as I needed. Before that "adjustment" I would have given the paddle a rating of 3-4, now it's a solid 5.

One other point - this paddle is NOT a lightweight. If you are concerned about using it as your "home" paddle because of it's size/weight - not a problem. It is heavy enough that even my big meat hooks don't push it around on the desk. My operating desk has a 1/8" thick sheet of plexiglass on it, and with the weight of the KK2 and it's four rubber feet - it stays in place.

Yes, I'd recommend this paddle to anyone wanting a nice home paddle or a relatively heavy one to take portable.
KV4VE Rating: 5/5 May 8, 2014 03:30 Send this review to a friend
Nice Key!!!!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Just got mine assembled, and used it for a QSO. Easy to finish with a Scotch-brite pad for knocking the burrs off. I painted the steel base and the aluminum top piece with a satin black spray paint. I then just coated the brass with Johnson's Paste Wax after the Scotch-brite treatment. The brass has a nice brushed look on the black base, and is pretty darned sharp if you ask me!! With the supplied rubber feet and heavy enough base, I don't have to chase it all over the desk. Also seems to stay in adjustment well.
It took about a week and a half from the time it was ordered until it was delivered. So far, I am very happy with the key, and highly recommend it. It replaces a major brand key that had magnets instead of springs. That key was impossible to keep in adjustment, way too easy to bump and move the magnets and sometimes they just moved on their own- which is very frustrating when on the air. And I found that the magnet feel was sort of mushy, and generally not for me.
ON6AB Rating: 5/5 Mar 19, 2014 21:58 Send this review to a friend
Compensation  Time owned: more than 12 months
I wrote a negative review back in 2009 about this key. Construction left a lot to be worried about.
This "thing" (sorry) however sends surprisingly well morse with unusual ease and control. I never had to adjust spacing in these 5 years and I never had to clean the contacts so I give it a "5" to compensate from the previous "1". The truth is somewhere in between I guess.
Despite the fact I have a bunch of other much more expensive keys, it's still fun to use the KK2 now and then.
WK3J Rating: 4/5 Jun 22, 2012 15:01 Send this review to a friend
Great key for portable use  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I would rate this 4.5 if possible.

I got this to use when I operate portable.

The parts are well made and go together easily. I painted my base black, so the silver of the aluminum T, brass of the arms, and black of the base looks great! I'm glad the design was changed to use compressed springs to hold the adjustments rather than set screws. This makes adjusting much faster. Though its small and the arms are not parallel the feel is quite good. Not as good as my Vibroplex but not bad for the size and price.

My main issue with the kit is having to paint the base. The manufacturer provides at least one of its bases powder coated which is the way this base should be provided. Powder coating is so much more durable than the spray paint that can be applied at home.
W3HI Rating: 5/5 Apr 26, 2012 05:48 Send this review to a friend
Nice paddles!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I wanted small rugged paddles for QRP field operation. There was no way I was going to take my Bencher into the field as it likes to fly into pieces now and then. So, I looked at American Morse and bought the KK2 paddle as I was very happy with my experience with Doug's KK1 key.

The kit went together quickly with no problems. I used Birchwood-Casey gun bluing to treat the steel base and am happy with the results. I haven't experienced any up and down movement in the arms as other reviewers have, but I did snip a turn or two off the spring to give a slightly lighter touch to the paddles.

I will not hesitate to take this set of paddles to the field, as I believe I could step on it and not hurt it! On top of its solidity, it makes a decent set of paddles for the shack as it has a tiny footprint on the desk.

Doug Hauff, you did good!
K5RIX Rating: 5/5 Mar 27, 2010 03:47 Send this review to a friend
What it is  Time owned: more than 12 months
Finding a satisfactory paddle has been a years-long hassle for me. I find most of them too big, complex, and expensive in relation to their function. The KK2 is a refreshing change. The parts in my kit were fine, and required not too much cleanup and finishing. After the base was prepared and cleaned, I painted it with low-sheen black "stove" Rustoleum. The arms were polished with a Dremel buffer and then waxed, and everything else smoothed and cleaned prior to assembly. The KK2 went together easily and looks pretty sharp.

The mechanical and electrical design is elegant. The only adjustments are tension and spacing, both of which are locked in place with tiny set screws after adjustment. The vertical play on my assembled KK2 is very small, less than 1/32" at the finger pieces. Electrical contact on each side is made between the end of a screw and a brass post. The screws each have a serrated plastic cap and can turned with the finger/thumb. At first I was skeptical about the reliability of such a contact design, but time has proven it to be completely adequate. The fussiest part of final assembly was securing the plastic cable clamp in the machined slot on the base bottom; the cable I used is a bit stiffer than it needs to be.

In use, the KK2 is wonderfully transparent. It stays put on the operating desk, and you don't need to rearrange your station to accommodate the paddles. The action is smooth, and the adjustment range works great for me. I am highly satisfied with this product. It does its job competently despite the lack of ball bearings, magnets, and sculptured marble. The KK2 can be personalized by the builder without violating function in favor of form.
TOPPER Rating: 3/5 Jul 21, 2009 23:39 Send this review to a friend
bomb proof  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Purchased kit from fellow machining was a bit off, correctable with a dremel. Simple kit, well thoughtout, stout, lacks some 'feel', for my taste, perhaps because arms/paddles are not parrell. Best for travel.
N5YFC Rating: 5/5 Mar 27, 2009 14:11 Send this review to a friend
KK2 vs Bencher  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have used a Bencher paddle for at least 16 years and thought it was the best key.
I bought the KK2 key when it was featured in the April 2008 World Radio magazine. When it arrived I put it together and tried it out. I was not satisfied with the paddles that was so close together, but I thought I would give it a try. After about 2 days, I was hooked on the little paddle. I took it apart and painted the base dark blue (only because it was the only color I had in a spray can), I shined up the brass and alluminum on my buffing wheel. When I re-assembled it - it really looked sharp. I took it to the USS KIDD (W5KID) when we put the ship on the air. Every one that used it was impressed with it.

It's the best $65 ever spent on a key. The Bencher is now retired to the bottom drawer in the closet.
K2RNY Rating: 5/5 Feb 5, 2009 08:41 Send this review to a friend
Great Value, Great Paddle  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I am getting my QRP station in order for this summer and wanted something small, rugged, yet solid. After reading the reviews, I decided to "take a chance". Wow. What a great paddle.

The fit and finish is great. Machining is top quality and everything fit as it should. I decided to give the steel parts a clear coat of finish to protect them somewhat. I followed the directions and had no problems with the arms making contact. I had it assembled and adjusted to my touch in an afternoon. It doesn't skip a beat and has a great feel to it.

I also had to slide a couple of precision washers on the pivot arms to reduce the up and down movement. No big deal.

All I can say is, if you want something inexpensive and solid with a good feel to it, this is the paddle to buy. Looking forward to a great QRP summer. Thanks to Doug and the folks at San Luis Machine Company for making a great product.
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