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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: 25 Average rating: 4.6/5 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.
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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.
N7RR Rating: 5/5 Jan 9, 2013 10:33 Send this review to a friend
Fine Single-Lever  Time owned: more than 12 months
The Bushwhacker is the best AME paddle. It is very rugged, but still light enough for backpacking. The single fingerpiece may be oriented fin up or fin down according to an operator's preference. It can be adjusted (return force and contact spacing) very easily on the fly, which is an important characteristic for a portable paddle. In addition to those standard adjustments, during assembly the leverage ratio can be changed among three choices. This leverage adjustment is pretty simple and can be accomplished in a few minutes. After some experimenting, I opted for the ratio offering the least resistance. The Bushwhacker can be attached to other AME accessories using two stainless steel screws, so it mounts very solidly. The best accessory is the AME Quick Mount, with which the paddle may be attached, using matching 3M Dual Lock, directly to an operating desk or a transceiver or even on the top of the AME Leg Mount without unscrewing and re-screwing. The Leg Mount allows attachment to lots of things besides the operator's thigh: a picnic table, backpacking gear, a log, a transceiver or whatever. For dual-lever paddlers who want to try out single-lever techniques, the Bushwhacker is an excellent way to experiment before investing in a much more expensive single-lever paddle. It is well worth its price.
K0SIP Rating: 5/5 Oct 23, 2012 11:32 Send this review to a friend
Great first key  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Wanted to find a decent key with which to start my journey into CW. Read the reviews, and I have to say that I agree. This key is very easy to assemble, very well laid out for adjustments and well made to boot. Doug had the unit out to me very quickly after first sending out an email to clarify a mixup with PayPal on the order. I'm having quite a bit of fun already practicing with the unit, trying to get my CW sending up to where I'll feel comfortable on the air.
Highly recommend this unit.
NV7SY Rating: 5/5 May 5, 2012 09:02 Send this review to a friend
Wow...what a surprise !!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Ordered the Bushwacker and Base online and received it promptly. Upon opening the small package, I had to check it twice to make sure everything that was supposed to be there was, only because there wasn't as many parts as I expected.

Assembly and initial adjustment took about an hour, only because of my age, my vision isn't too good, so I took plenty of time. I constructed a cable to connect to my Logikit Keyer, and it worked!! It took another half-hour to fine tune my adjustments, and it is PURRFECT!! (Yes, I know how to spell perfect, but as a professional CW operator, my evaluation stands as PURR-FECT).

I prefer the single paddle and this baby performs like a finely tuned instrument as I hum along around 40-45 WPM.

The optional Base gives the Bushwacker the stability to sit solidly on my operating desk. I have to admit, at first I was skeptical, but after reading the reviews here, I thought it would be a good gamble for me.

Anyone wanna buy me is gathering dust on the shelf???
W6IZT Rating: 5/5 May 28, 2011 09:13 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding Value  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased my Bushwacker at Dayton 2011.I was looking for a high quality paddle that was small enough to take on DXPeditions and Contesting trips. I needed a single lever paddle that is rugged and has a good feel. The Bushwacker meets both of these objectives. For the price this paddle is simply amazing. It has a feel comparable to paddles costing 2-3 x as much. Assembly took about 30 minutes and the adjustments are straight forward. If you are looking for a high performance, low cost single lever paddle for home or travel use you cannot go wrong with the Bushwacker
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