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Reviews Categories | Keys & Paddles | N3ZN KEYS Model ZN-SLR Help


Reviews Summary for N3ZN KEYS Model ZN-SLR
N3ZN KEYS Model ZN-SLR Reviews: 17 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $see website for prices
Description: This is the round version of the ZN series single lever paddle. It it built on a 4" diameter brass base, 3/4" thick and weight around 3 pounds 6 ounces. It has 4 large diameter feet for maximum stability. The ZN-SLR can be built with one or two fingerpieces.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.n3znkeys.com
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WC1I Rating: 5/5 Jul 28, 2011 17:51 Send this review to a friend
Like a Jewel  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Even better than I expected, the key is precise and built like a fine watch. It's capable of holding a *very* close contact setting. I bought the bronze special edition with black-painted upper parts and every last part is finely made and finished. According to Tony, the paint is an automotive paint, applied over primer, and after proper base surface preparation. I.e., this is no cheap spray job, and it shows.

Tony's communication was flawless, from my initial inquiries, to the order, though the 6-week waiting period (which was communicated in advance), the billing, and delivery. Prompt, polished, and professional.

Finally, the packing was superb, with the key packed carefully in foam in its own box, in turn centered in a larger box packed tightly with foam peanuts. Tony's attention to detail shows in the packing also, right down to how labels are applied and tape applied ... seriously.

This was one of my best purchase experiences in a quite a while and, again, the key is superb.
 
W9OY Rating: 5/5 Feb 15, 2011 19:10 Send this review to a friend
Best Ever  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I own a ZN-SL1 and have been entirely satisfied except for one detail, I wish it weighed more. I was at the Orlando hamfest over the weekend and saw Tony and his wife selling their wares. I was especially interested in what he had in the SL variety. He had tucked away the SLR in a slightly new variation. My paddle is on a 3.5 x 1 inch base, and the paddle mechanism is centered on the base as opposed to slightly forward. The look is excellent. The paddle has the same wonderful feel I fell in love with in the original SL1. Super low lever arm mass and super tight bearing design means no mush to the touch. I meant to have the new bronze version, but Tony didn't have one with him. The new layout and the smaller diameter base and the hamfest special price sold me. He included a nice soft bristle brush to wipe away dust.

I'm a big fan of single lever design. In my opinion the design forces you to send better code with fewer mistakes. I have had all the single lever paddles Kent Vibroplex Begalli Bencher and without a doubt this is the best of the bunch. I own several high end iambics as well N2DAN Graciella etc and this key blows the iambic competition away entirely. My advice: buy this key

73
 
AB4KJ Rating: 5/5 Jan 19, 2011 06:19 Send this review to a friend
Simply awesome single paddle key  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The ZN-SLR is a smooth and well balanced single paddle key. I'm impressed with the craftsmanship and precision that has been put into the design of this key. It performs like it looks. Simply awesome! Smooth,snappy, and fluid. The weight of the base is impressive at over 4 lbs. I highly recommend Tony's line of keys. I have several of the more popular ones that are made in the states and abroad. They are fine. However, this key raises the bar. One other very important factor for me is the customer service. Tony is super responsive and was able to meet my turn around needs and shipping requirements. The communication through the entire process was great.
 
WB2LQF Rating: 5/5 Oct 20, 2010 16:09 Send this review to a friend
Simply Superb!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I'd like to report that the Tony Baleno (N3ZN) model ZN-SLR single lever paddle has exceeded my expectations in every respect. Foremost, it is
giving me that "special feel" that I've been searching for since I tried out a real Mercury key at W1AW a few years ago.

My impressions are, of course, mine, and perhaps not everyone will agree but that's OK. My report is within the following context: I've been a
Morse-only operator for over 50 years and I am "fluent" with straight keys, bugs, a sideswiper, and the paddle. I "don't do" iambic and I
copy my own code (code readers are about as welcome as microphones in my house). I prefer sending and receiving code somewhere in the
neighborhood of 18-22 wpm.

The main problem that this ZN-SLR solved for me was the random "extra" dits and dahs that came from my Scheunemann-Morsetasten SP-1 which was
also a single lever paddle and made in Germany. The SP-1 was indeed a beautifully machined key with an integral dust cover. I just could not
get the spacing close enough for my personal style. When I did, the random characters would start to appear. The SP-1 was not a magnetic
return key but used springs.

When my new ZN-SLR arrived, I plugged it into the K2, set the keyer speed to 18 wpm and sent an entire page of QST with not a single error.
I continued to test it out at speeds from 12 wpm (I'm presently makingdigital files at this speed for a ham to whom I've teaching Morse) up to
30 wpm (the fastest speed at which I can reliably send and receive). Solid performance throughout this range!

The "feel" of the ZN-SLR is "silky-smooth" for want of a better term, and it makes me feel very confident that each character I'm going to
send will come out just as intended. Once again, this is difficult to describe in words, but a cw op will know what I'm talking about.

There is no annoying "clacking" - the ZN-SLR actually makes very little
noise. This was a great relief for me because my previous SP-1 was quite loud at the spacing I needed to use to avoid the extraneous and random
dits and dahs.

Another VERY important discovery I made was that the ZN-SLR CANNOT BE PUSHED AROUND ON MY DESK! This was a grand discovery for me. I'm an
ex-Navy radioman and, although I prefer closer spacing, I sometimes like to slap my bugs and paddles (and even the cootie!). All my other keys
required some of that rug anti-skid material under them to stay put. With the ZN-SLR just sitting on my wooden desk, it didn't budge, not
once, and no matter how hard I whacked it. The four rubber feet that Tony installed seem to be made of a nice soft rubber material. I suspect that the round base design and the center of gravity also may play a role in the key's superior ability to stay put. Although I've
stated that I like to "slap" my keys sometimes, when using my wrist and elbow, I also like to rest my hand on the desk and stroke the
finger piece with my thumb and forefinger in a sliding motion. The ZN-SLR responds equally well, with comfort and accuracy, to this
technique.

For a non-iambic operator, the single lever paddle, in my opinion, is a better choice and substantially reduces sending errors. I asked Tony Baleno to double the finger piece thickness for me and it turned out to be a great idea. Tony advised me that he now intends to make this a standard feature on the ZN-SLR.

The construction of this key is very impressive. It easily, in my opinion, competes with the German SP-1. I never could find a single
fault with the SP-1 and I can't find one on the ZN-SLR either. I tend to be a stickler for precision, having built a couple of experimental
airplanes. There are no tooling marks to be found on my key; no unfinished edges, no skimping on the workmanship and finish on the bottom! For example, there are three tiny setscrews on the front, above the finger piece. I measured them and they are perfectly spaced and the middle one is dead center on the finger piece seam. It also lines up with the exact center of my callsign plate which is just above. These are the sort of details which, in my opinion, distinguish the true
craftsperson from the rest of the pack.

Did I mention that the WB2LQF callsign plate was a no-charge item, as was the nice soft brush to dust the key?

The key arrived in an oversized box densely packed with peanuts. Inside was a smaller box in which the key was packed with hand cut foam to
protect it. More evidence of a total quality approach.

In my opinion, I really got my money's worth. I cannot imagine ever needing or wanting another paddle. The ZN-SLR's performance and
workmanship is a fitting companion to my all-Elecraft station. I now feel like I'm totally surrounded by "Made in America" quality.

 
K2SG Rating: 5/5 Aug 23, 2010 12:34 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Choice  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I recently purchased the ZN-SLR key from Tony N3ZN after seeing one at the Dayton Hamvention this year. Tony's service is excellent in all regards and he is a real pleasure to deal with. The key is the finest one I have every used, it is extremely smooth operating, heavy as a horse and easy to adjust. I currently have three other custom made keys and this one is in a class of it's own. This is the only key that will stay in place when I slap it around. After 54 years of operating CW in the Navy and Amateur Radio, my hands are not as steady as they used to be but I find this key easier to use than all the others that I own. I was also pleased to see that N3ZN has a 30 day return policy if I was not completely satisfied with my purchase, I really doubt anyone would return one of the wonderful keys.
 
K4HNO Rating: 5/5 Dec 3, 2009 06:29 Send this review to a friend
Simply the best....  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is by far the best paddle I have ever owned or used. The construction and attention to detail are excellent. Adjustments are very precise and repeatable. Once set everything stays in place. This thing is as heavy as a bowling ball! Maybe a little bit of an exaggeration, but you won't have to worry about it moving during use.

I have owned this paddle for a couple of weeks and I can tell a big improvement in my sending speed. I have always been able to copy faster than I could send. This paddle solved that problem.

Tony's service was excellent during this purchase. The paddle was ready when he told me it would be ready and he shipped it very promptly. Packaging was outstanding.

I am very happy with this purchase. This is definitely a keeper.

 
W2RM Rating: 5/5 Jun 13, 2009 14:00 Send this review to a friend
OUTSTANDING !!!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
AS AN AVID CW OP I CAN PLAY WITH A NEW PADDLE FOR 5 MINUTES AND KNOW WHETHER OR NOT IT"S
WORTH IT. 2009 DAYTON I MET N3ZN TONY BALENO WHO IS A MANUFACTURE OF CUSTOM CW PADDLES. AFTER TRYING OUT ALL OF THE OTHERS AT DAYTON I KEPT GOING BACK TO TONY'S TRUCK AND I WAS AMAZED AT THE EASE OF OPERATION. I ENJOY A SINGLE PADDLE, AND HIS IS JUST A PLEASURE TO USE. AS AN EX-NAVY RADIOMAN AND A LIC HAM FOR 45+ YRS (USING VIBRO KEYERS ALL THAT TIME), I CAN HONESTLY SAY "GREAT JOB TONY"! I NOW OWN MODEL ZN-SLR, IT WAS WORTH EVERY PENNY I PAID FOR IT! AGAIN, TNX TONY FOR A FANTASTIC PRODUCT AND "CW FOR EVER"!
DE RAY MARTIN W2RM SNJ .- .-.
 
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