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Reviews Categories | Keys & Paddles | Begali HST Single Lever Help

Reviews Summary for Begali HST Single Lever
Begali HST Single Lever Reviews: 34 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $250
Description: An innovative high-speed single lever key that can be switched to sideswiper mode at the flick of a switch. Cast iron base, precision bearings, and gold plated adjustment screws.
Product is in production.
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S58WW Rating: 5/5 Dec 21, 2017 08:35 Send this review to a friend
Great  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
State of the art : poesia
K9TYR Rating: 4/5 Mar 9, 2017 08:26 Send this review to a friend
Shocked - Why Has Nobody Mentioned You have to Wire It?  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is a great key and I would easily rate it a 5 if it would have come ready to use like all the other keys Iíve ever bought. It has a great feel and heavy weight so it will never move around on my shack bench.

My other primary key is a N3ZN-SL and I switch back and forth between the two keys. Iíll always keep them both because they are both great keys. But, though I can highly recommend the N3ZN-SL, I suggest you do your homework on the HST before deciding to purchase.

The HST comes with a dual male plug 3.5 mm stereo cable. But, there's no place to plug it in!!! Nothing is wired in the key. It comes with a switch and a soldering lug at each key post-But, NO WIRE. You'll have to wire the switch and attach a cable yourself before you can use it.

The lugs on the switch are quite small and the only thing I had on hand that would fit it was some 24 gauge wire. Then I had to check the switch with an ohm meter to insure that it was oriented correctly to match the top label prior to reinstalling.

To get the soldering lugs out of the post terminals I pulled the long screws out one at a time because I didnít want the top keying assembly to come loose. With the lugs out I was able to solder a stereo tipped cable while soldering in the switch wire. Again, use an ohm meter to insure tip and ring are soldered to the correct lug.

If you donít mind going through this hassle with the corresponding worry that you will mare the finish of your new key while working on it then by all means consider this key. Itís a great key that feels great to operate. But, if you want a great single lever key ready to go out of the box look elsewhere.

I should add one additional piece of information. Iím a retired engineer. Ten years in design and 15 years in testing mostly in R&D for new product. I would never have approved a product like this as consumer ready. Sorry, Iím an engineer and we tend to be a bit anal like that (doesnít mean marketing wouldnít declare the deficiency a ďfeatureĒ and go into production anyway-BTDT). Guess thatís why I feel a bit touchy about this purchase.
K9TYR Rating: 4/5 Mar 6, 2017 12:29 Send this review to a friend
Need to Wire and Solder Myself?  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
It's a very nice key and I paid for having my call sign engraved since I plan to keep it. But! I'm a bit amazed that I need to wire this up myself. They didn't even ship an appropriate wire cable to do the job with. Yeah, I can solder and I have supplies in the shack to do it with but I refuse to give a 5 rating for this.

The key itself if fine but I'll be using my ZN-SL for the time being till the soldering bench frees up from the current project.
N5GKV Rating: 5/5 Jan 26, 2017 10:37 Send this review to a friend
Begali mark 2  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Best thing ever. I have had almost all of the keys produced in the last 50 years and my favorite up to now has been a Kent. It was very smooth but as I get older and now have diabetic nerve damage in my hands, I have become a slapper. I rewarded myself with a HST for Christmas and its my new fav. I wish I had had this key for my entire hamming career. YES, its that good. I can't imagine anyone ever making a better key, period...
KQ4E Rating: 5/5 Jul 25, 2015 22:01 Send this review to a friend
Great Key!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Love this key. The Kents are very nice keys but they do not compare to the quality of a Begali.
N3HEE Rating: 5/5 Dec 28, 2014 05:54 Send this review to a friend
Great Key  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Got one for Christmas. Very large key. Weighs in at 3 pounds 13 ounces. Very solid feel. Very smooth operation. Can be adjusted to extremely small tolerances. Probably one of the best keys I've ever owned. I can send faster with this key than anything else I own. I have both Kent single and dual lever keys. The Kents are nice keys but not nearly as heavy and solid feeling. The Kent single lever just has too much play for my liking.
9V1VV Rating: 5/5 Nov 3, 2014 20:12 Send this review to a friend
Excellent  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
HST MK II. An excellent high-quality single lever key. Simple adjustments from stiff action to very loose, with gaps individually adjustable on dits and dahs. The mid-point is always in exactly the same place. The heavy base stops it moving around the desk even for a slapper like me. It would be difficult to find a better design.

Begali keep a small stock of keys in the USA in case they run out of stock in Italy. Mine came from USA very quickly.
P43R Rating: 5/5 Sep 12, 2014 18:49 Send this review to a friend
Best key I have ever use  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Whatís your favorite coffee?
Whatís your favorite tee?
Whatís your favorite beer?
Whatís your favorite wine?
There will always be another brand to try out tomorrow.
How can one truly decide on a favorite key?
This Mark II is the best key I have ever used.
There is no chance that a better key would be better than this better key.
Ferrary Red it is not. Ferrary performance, I will say yes.
K6TTD Rating: 5/5 Apr 13, 2014 16:34 Send this review to a friend
Lamborghini, Maserati, Ferrari & Begali  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is a follow-up to the review I posted after my first few weeks of using my Begali HST. It has now been well over 18 months since I first went on the air with the HST. I rated it a "5" then. I would rate it a "10" today if would let me. I am like a number of hams that enjoy CW, but did NOT enjoy working with iambic keyers. Tried several, but they never felt natural, reduced both my accuracy and speed, and always lost adjustment after a few hours on the air. My HST has been the polar opposite. Once I found the right spacing and tension settings, my speed and accuracy have increased dramatically up to about 25 WPM comfortably, from a dismal struggle @ 14 WPM with iambic. Once set, the HST stays where you put it, period; and The action is absolutely honey butter smooth. Even after being bumped, jarred, whacked, packed, moved and unpacked. While the HST isn't the most aesthetically appealing of the Begali lineup (a tall order given the incredible visual art of others in this line) it is a true mechanical work of art. It belongs on the altar of Italian art and industrial design, along side Lamborghini, Maserati and Ferrari. Bravo, Begali, e grazie mille!
N2CN Rating: 5/5 Oct 21, 2013 20:19 Send this review to a friend
Precise, sturdy, good value  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
The Begali HST 2 is utilitarian in appearance, but is battleship solid and has a nice, precise feel. The handle has no vertical or horizontal play, the adjustments are simple, and the contacts have a nice, solid click to them.

The mechanism is surprisingly simple: a bearing attached to the bottom of the handle, riding horizontally against a bell-curve-shaped track or cam. The handle is centered when the bearing is resting at the center of the bell curve. The curved track pivots on one side; tension on the other side is provided by an attracting magnet. The tension keeps the bearing centered in the bell curve. (It's hard to describe verbally -- a picture does it better, but there's nothing published by Begali.) Some minor wiring is required after delivery.

I am not a high speed CW op, but after 38 years of sending CW, this paddle is the best single paddle that I've used.

I bought the HST 2 after using two other single paddles for an extended period: the Kent, which I found has an overly flexible plastic handle, giving it a mushy feel, and the American Morse Bushwacker, which has more vertical and horizontal play (looseness, actually) in the handle than I would have preferred.
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