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Reviews Categories | Keys & Paddles | American Morse Bushwacker Sideswiper/Single Lever Paddle Kit Help


Reviews Summary for American Morse Bushwacker Sideswiper/Single Lever Paddle Kit
American Morse Bushwacker Sideswiper/Single Lever Paddle Kit Reviews: 19 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $99.00
Description: Innovative new design with unique features! Exclusive variable paddle lever ratio provides unparalled adjustability from feather soft to rock hard. (Patent pending). Fully finished and Mil-Spec anodized, with slightly textured flat finish on paddle.

* Incredibly solid, fully adjustable feel; Gap, Spring Force, & Lever Ratio!
* Small size, only 4.5 ounces – 4 ¼ x 1 1/5 x 1 1/8 inches
* CNC machined from Aircraft Grade Aluminum
* No machining required – fully finished
* Stainless Steel fasteners throughout
* Simple, Reliable, in easy-to-assemble kit
* Base drilled & tapped for mounting, fits Leg Mount, Qwikmount, and BW Desk Base
* Desk base weighs 2 pounds for solid mounting
Product is in production.
More info: http://americanmorse.com/bushwacker.htm
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W2CKL Rating: 5/5 Nov 9, 2014 15:50 Send this review to a friend
Very Nice Feel  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Purchased the Bushwacker with heavy base for use at my QTH. About 1 year before I purchased the Mini-B for use on SOTA hills, and found I was using it all the time. HA. The workmanship is top quality, and the feel is outstanding. I originally went with the single lever over a duel lever because I wanted to mimic the feel of a bug, and that's exactly how I use it. Hold for dits, tap for dahs. It improved my sending in no time, and when I do go back to the bug for SKCC it is a natural transition. I think it even gave my bug sending a little less of a swing. The directions are easy to follow, and the parts fit perfectly, a very good key.
73 - Bob W2CKL
 
N7AG Rating: 4/5 Jul 18, 2014 16:29 Send this review to a friend
great 4 $  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Always wanted to try a cootie key, & single lever iambic thrown in. Several adjustments. Found some vertical wiggle, fixed w/shim. Not a n3zn, but 1/3 less. Great buy. Bill n7 ag
 
AC4NS Rating: 5/5 Mar 28, 2014 10:24 Send this review to a friend
A kit builders delight!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
OK, I'll admit to being a klutz with paddles. For more than 20 years I've tried to master them but to no avail. Fortunately I'm as good with a straight key as I am bad with paddles. I get lots of compliments on my straight key fist but I'm still limited to just under 20 WPM. For a couple years now I've wanted to try a single lever paddle and decided on the Bushwacker as an inexpensive way to get my feet wet. So far, so good. Everything you've read about the parts quality from AME is right on the money. The kit arrived on a Saturday afternoon so I jumped right in and assembled it in about an hour. I've built dozens of kits both audio and ham related over the last 50 years but this is the first time building with the manual displayed on a 24 inch monitor. Wow! The descriptive text and color photos are excellent. Who needs paper manuals anymore? So far I'm doing pretty well with the single lever paddle. My speed is getting better and with each passing day I'm making fewer and fewer mistakes. To put it another way, in about ten days I'm doing better than I ever did in all those years of trying to master the paddles. The Bushwacker is a lot of fun to use and I'm looking forward to taking it with me on my QRP kayaking journey's and the usual park bench ops.Here at home it's used with the optional heavy base. If you want to try a single lever paddle I think this might be a good one to try first.
 
K9FXR Rating: 5/5 Mar 7, 2014 10:08 Send this review to a friend
Excellent even for beginners!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I'm fairly new to CW and I really haven't tried enough to have a preference. I do know quality when I see it and this is a quality device. I can't comment on it's function at high speeds because I am still plodding along at 12 wpm. However, I feel that I am sending quality code with this little key. I really can't see myself wanting more.
 
K9FXR Rating: 5/5 Dec 31, 2013 07:18 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Product!!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I'm new to CW but I can recognize quality when I see it. The kit went together perfectly thanks to excellent machining and instructions. This key is extremely easy to use even for a beginner.
 
W1SFR Rating: 5/5 Nov 18, 2013 13:28 Send this review to a friend
Incredible value  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I just finished my Bushwhacker and fired it up on 15m. I have to say that the fit and finish are fantastic and rival other keys costing two to three times as much.

No problems with the build at all except the screws for the base were about 1/8 too short, but I had a couple of longer screws here and just substituted them, so no problem for me.

The action is really superb. I can easily send faster with a single lever. I'm very comfortable with 25 WPM but usually start making mistakes at 30+, but with this paddle, that seems to have gone away.

I also makes a fantastic sideswiper and I can really fly in swiper mode. So much fun! I had a great QSO today with another op using a sideswiper so we had no problem copying each other.

It took me about 1/2 hour to put together and adjust so the build is simple and quick.

If you ask me this is a great buy for a little over $100 with the base. I expect it will be around for a long time in my shack.
 
KE6YX Rating: 5/5 Oct 22, 2013 11:15 Send this review to a friend
Very smooth & Crisp  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have owned a few other single lever paddles including a Begali, which I never was able to adjust the slop out, so I sold it. I next tried the K8RA which I could adjust the lost motion out, but the adjustments were a real kludge operation. I sold it too. Up until now I have been using Kent Single lever paddles ( I owned two of them), and they are OK, but not great.

I recently purchased the Bushwhacker to set up a portable station thinking I would leave it in a pelican case with the rig, and antenna. When I ordered it I also purchased the steel base, and I am glad I did.

The paddle went together easily, and everything fit perfectly. The only change I made was to snip one turn off the return spring to allow a greater range of tension adjustment. In operation, it beat all the other paddles in ease of adjustment, smoothness, and had a nice crisp feel which brings me to two rants on paddle construction.

I think “hand crafted,” went out in the last century. Hand crafted means you don’t trust your machine tools, design, and measuring instruments, so you need to hand fit everything later to make it work. The British used to call it selective assembly.

I believe the main between the Bushwacker, and other paddles are the main components are CNC machined, which means that once it is engineered, and the data loaded into the machining center, all the parts will fit perfectly without variations or binding. All they need to do is send you a few bags of parts knowing it will work first try without filling and fitting. This is the way things are done in modern Industry once you get past the prototype stage. It allows you to produce a better product at a lower cost.

My second rant is the used of sealed ball bearings in keys or paddles. It’s a dumb idea.

Ball bearings are meant for devices which are rotating, which spreads the wear evenly around the races, and balls, while keeping the grease in constant motion.

What happens when these bearings are used in a paddle which only moves a few degrees? All the wear is localized at tiny spots under each ball which stay in one place, and the grease is pushed out of the way and is never redistributed inside the bearing assy. In many cases the seals can be a source of excessive drag which you can actually feel in the paddle.

I sold Both Kent paddles, and will probably buy another Bushwhacker. The one I have now never made it to my portable station. It is on my desk being used every day.

“Hand crafted” is old school, and CNC machining is today!
 
KI4ECU Rating: 5/5 Sep 28, 2013 19:23 Send this review to a friend
WOW  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have been new to cw,only about a year now.I have tried many keys and havent found one i could say has found a home.I have even tried homemade keys that work but i must say i wouldnt want to run them every day.I have been wanting to try a single lever key for awhile and ran across this one at a hamefest,what can i say that the other guys havent,this thing has found a home.The biggest thing that i cant belive is the smooth action and really fine adjustments.I really would like someone to a&b this key to a begali on youtube,i think alot of serious cw ops would have a surprise.I have always wanted a begali but not now.I am very pleased with this key and will probably buy another new before the price goes up.
 
N3ZJ Rating: 5/5 Apr 1, 2013 19:46 Send this review to a friend
What a relief  Time owned: 0 to 3 months

There are so many iambic paddles around and so few single lever! Wow, what a relief it is to use a paddle that doesn't let you confuse the two. This design is clever, solid, last-a-lifetime good. For anyone reared on bugs or non-iambic keying, this is the best one. I've tried a lot of alternatives.
 
AF9W Rating: 5/5 Feb 1, 2013 16:08 Send this review to a friend
A great price/performance ratio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought this paddle because I am trying to increase my code speed. The CWOPS CW Academy Level 2 requires us to learn to send characters at 30wpm. I learned CW on an original Bencher iambic paddle. Trying to send at 30wpm on those paddles was frustrating because I kept trying to use iambic keying. I wanted to try a single lever paddle without breaking the bank if I didn't like the single lever. The reviews of this key sounded good so I ordered one. It came quickly and was easy to assemble. One screw hole had not been tapped but I quickly solved that with a tap set. Once assembled I was amazed at how much easier it is to send high speed Morse on a single lever paddle. The key also stays put on the desk as I ordered the optional desk mount. It is easy to adjust and stays adjusted. A great key for a great price.

Regarding the un-tapped hole. About a week after I ordered the key I got a shipping notice from American Morse. I wondered what it was and when it arrived it was a new base plate with all of the holes tapped. It came with an apology note and the postage to return the untapped unit. Since I had tapped it myself I sent the replacement back. A great key with great service.
 
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