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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: 30 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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N2BTW Rating: 5/5 Jun 4, 2012 18:44 Send this review to a friend
Tickled to death  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This HST II key is FUN! I've haven't been able to let go of it since it showed up.. I've sort of forgotten about QSOs, I just sit around sending to myself all day.. Like I got a new Italian sports car and can't stop driving it around the block. Such a precision instrument, crafted from the finest materials, yet industrial solid.. Although the paddle came with a contact gap tool, I set the gaps by first adjusting the magnet sensitivity, and then turning the key over on it's side (first the dit side, then the dah side), and let gravity tell me how far out to adjust the contact (I adjust them just far enough out that when the key is on it's side, gravity doesn't pull the paddle down far enough to start sending). It looks like it belongs in the radio room in the Nautilus! Love it!
N7RR Rating: 5/5 May 3, 2012 15:57 Send this review to a friend
The New HST Mark II is much better. N7RR  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The HST Single Lever paddle was in the Begali lineup for awhile. I wasn't enamored of it. For me, the HST Single Lever action seemed sluggish. Although it was made from fine components, I think the principal source of my difficulty with its performance stemmed from its long lever. The HST Single Lever is now out of production. It's been replaced in 2012 by a new model. The serial numbers have apparently been continued, even though the new model seems to bear the same name. Mine is s/n 250. However, the new HST is headlined HST Mark II on the Begali home page. I'll call it that, since it is different enough to deserve a new name. It is considerable better than the original.
The HST Mark II sports a shorter aluminum lever, which, like with the original model, is integrated with the fingerpiece. The single lever/sideswiper switch has been moved back. Using that switch, the same key may be employed, in turn, to control an electronic keyer with dits on one side and dahs on the other, or it can be changed instantly to control a straight-key circuit with back-and-forth motion. The new fingerpiece is perforated and tall, like on the Begali Sculpture Mono. That means that either the whole pointer-finger knuckle or just the pointer finger tip can be used to oppose the thumb. A large vertical hole is available behind the lever which could be used to bolt the HST Mark II down onto the operating surface like old landline telegraph keys. I prefer to paste 3Mô Dual Lockô onto the base of all of my paddles to secure them to the operating desk.
The HST Mark II is simple and businesslike. Adjusting it is a snap: left and right thumbscrews control contact spacing; one front thumbscrew controls the magnetic return tension in both directions with a moving cam. At Ä218 plus shipping, the HST Mark II is pretty economical among fine-quality paddles.
KA2Z Rating: 5/5 Apr 23, 2012 22:52 Send this review to a friend
#251 HST Single Lever New Magnet / Cam Version  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I started out in CW on straight keys and bugs which served well for many years. By the time I started playing around with dual lever keys I was unable to adapt to the iambic squeeze technique of keying. For me personally, the iambic method did not make sense and I felt it was not worth my time to use. So I used a dual paddle like a dual action single lever key. This served me well for many years.
It never occured to me to maybe just get a single lever key. Not sure why. I recently got interested in getting an actual single lever after seeing the uTube videos of the HST.
I already had the Signature Key, and the Intrepid Bug from the Begali family, and I was completely satisfied with both. So I decided to go for the HST.
The HST I got is the new version where the single lever moves off a cam and return force is adjustable via a magnet. What a great idea!
How do I like it? Well, my ham brothers and sisters I have to tell you, this is the key I've been looking for all my life. It was so easy to set up and make adjustments to my personal technique. It is so smooth. I really love this single lever. It feels great operating it, the code flows cleanly, and I love the look of it-- big and solid. The aluminum finger piece is a perfect fit for me.
I have two stations set up in the shack here. I'm using the Intrepid on my 40 meter set, and this HST on my 80 meter set. I'm really enjoying CW so much more lately!
VK2BYN Rating: 5/5 Mar 12, 2012 03:50 Send this review to a friend
Beautiful to use.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
If you want a key to look nice on your desk near your expensive radio Begali make other keys that may suit you better. However, if sending nice clean fast morse code is your priority you should try the HST. It's beautifully balanced and weighted, a pleasure to use.
W8FA Rating: 5/5 Mar 5, 2012 16:47 Send this review to a friend
A pleasure to use.  Time owned: more than 12 months
This single-lever paddle is built for high-speed competition. As such, it has a higher tension range than most paddles. Using a dynamometer to measure force, I can set the tension on this paddle to as low as 40 grams of pressure required for activation at the paddle's fingertips. As a reference, I can set my Bencher Iambic down to 5 grams and my cherished N0SA single-lever Model SP2 down to 2 grams. I like a light tension setting, but even though the tension on this paddle is higher, it still feels good and is not tiring to use for extended periods. The workmanship and finish are first class and what you would expect from Begali. The adjustments are fine thread, so it's easy to set. The base is very heavy. Heavier than what you would imagine from the picture. It could be used as a weapon. It will not move even when used in hard-fist sideswiper (cootie) mode. The sideswiper option is available at the flick of the microswitch mounted on the paddle's base. This paddle has such a nice feel when keyed. The positive mechanical "clicking" vibration inherent in this unique design is positively felt in the large aluminum paddle fingertip, which is nicely grooved for a non-slip feel. Customer service and communication from Begali was professional and my paddle arrived safely packed in a week. In my humble opinion, most of the paddles out there are just "more of the same", with a little different twist, spin, or look of their own. Not this design. It has a beauty all it's own. It looks better than the pictures. It's one of my favorites. Very solid and functional. A real pleasure to use.
WD1V Rating: 5/5 Oct 8, 2011 05:23 Send this review to a friend
Coolest Cootie!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is a key that lets you create a style that is YOU. It takes some practice but all of a sudden, you are rolling with it and while you're listening to what it sounds like, you can elongate any dash just a bit for a mellow emphasis. Its a lot of fun and forces some new muscle memory so an even larger part of your brain will be adapting to your favorite mode. And of course, its typical Begali quality. Doesn't move and with a little extra pressure gives you metal clicks like a metronome. Now have a SPARK straight key, Sculpture paddle, and HST cootie all from Begali. I also have a LI Mercury. The HST is the new fun one. But they are all 5's.
WB2LQF Rating: 5/5 Jul 11, 2011 20:35 Send this review to a friend
A Simple Yet Sturdy Single Lever Paddle  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have not experienced the problems reported by some others. I am, in fact, totally pleased with my HST. I wanted a quality "cootie" key and that's why I purchased the HST. For 'swiping I enjoy wider spacing and some "clicking". The HST satisfied my sideswiper needs without reservation. I have a Sculpture Mono for single lever paddling, but, I tried out the HST just for the heck of it. It certainly did feel very different from the Sculpture Mono -- but I was still sending nearly perfect code as reported by the CW Trainer firmware in the Begali CW Machine. That machine is difficult to fool - screw up a single space and it reports you! The Begali HST isn't quite as "beautiful" as some of the other Begali offerings, but the price is not 'up there either'. I have found another way to use it too - I set my keyer to 'bug' mode and use the HST as a semi-automatic key. In my opinion, a person desiring to own a quality key for a reasonable price would do well to investigate the HST - it's a sideswiper, a single lever paddle, and a 'bug' if your keyer cooperates. Plus it's too heavy to wander and built like a tank.
LZ1BP Rating: 5/5 Jun 12, 2011 00:25 Send this review to a friend
Great!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have two models of Begali keys Ė HST and Sculpture for almost three years. As I have been a ham operator for over 35 years working principally in CW and Iíve participated in many HST contests, Iíd say that the Begali keys are very easy to work with and very easy for fine adjustment. Thanks to their excellent contact surfaces they donít give any parasite signals and are appropriate for QRQ as well as for ham amateurs.
The keys have excellent design, simple construction and are precisely manufactured.

Thank you, Pietro!

73 Todor LZ1BP
K0ACP Rating: 5/5 Jun 3, 2011 07:24 Send this review to a friend
Wow -- fantastic single lever paddle  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I was going to hold off writing a review for a bit, but after a couple of weeks of operating -- felt it had earned a 5!

I am a relatively new cw op and have to admit that it a bit of a struggle with my old paddle -- in the spirit of full disclosure, I might not have had the paddles properly adjusted...

No matter, I picked this paddle up at Dayton -- Piero IT IS AWESOME!. My sending instantly vastly improved, the fit and feel
is incredibly natural, with little or no effort the code just seems to flow. I have enjoyed several 40+min rag chews with no fatigue and ready for more. I have not tried sideswiper or cootie mode yet but have that on the list of things to try.

The key is well built and the materials and retro styling really make it pop out. This key will be a part of my shack from now on!

I never got the feel for squeeze keying, so a single lever is the best match for me. As an engineer, I have a great appreciation for the craftsmanship in this key. It is an investment, but if you are interested in more than just a casual cw operation, either this key or one of the other Begali keys should be on your list of equipment to acquire.

Hope to work you on cw.


SM5HUA Rating: 5/5 Jul 30, 2010 14:53 Send this review to a friend
Sweet it is!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Got my HST a week ago together with the Stealth and Intrepid. Real nice key and works good for me...

One wish for the future is a magnetic tension system instead of the spring.

73s de Peter SM5HUA
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