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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: 20 Average rating: 5.0/5 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 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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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
K5RIX Rating: 5/5 May 20, 2011 23:30 Send this review to a friend
my first single-paddle key  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I prepped and built/painted/waxed an American Morse Equipment iambic paddle (reviewed elsewhere) that I just love. So, when in the market for a single-paddle finger switch, I chose this one.

It's all finished, except for smoothing the end of the contact screws. You just put it together. I also purchased the heavy base. I'm amazed at how much it is the same as other, really expensive keys/paddles. But that could be me. This is a fine paddle. Again, it needs a strain relief that fits, but that is minor.

This paddle is not for you if you're looking for ball bearings and magnets. But for me, it's a really good everyday key which functions perfectly even if I knock it around. It's on the operating position as I write this. I like it.
KE6EE Rating: 5/5 Feb 3, 2011 12:10 Send this review to a friend
Excellent paddle  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've been a bug user and was curious about sending with a keyer and single-lever paddle. So I assembled a keyer using an inexpensive circuit board and chip and got a Bushwacker. I set up the Bushwacker with bug-like lever throws and the keyer to use bug mode (I also can use full-auto keyer mode, but I prefer the expressiveness of bug mode).

Now I understand why ops usually go with keyer rather than bugs. They're significantly easier to use. But much less fun.

The Bushwacker works great--with a precision feel and it does not move on the desk when mounted to the heavy base (optional). I installed the lever upside down so that it's closer to the desktop. The lever is made of aluminum so it's very light and the Bushwacker is very responsive and adjustable to whatever lever throw or spring tension might be desired.
W2RST Rating: 5/5 Jan 28, 2010 02:36 Send this review to a friend
Actually Works Better Than Expected  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This was a fun little paddle to assemble, and I do mean "little."

Purchased and built mine about 3 or 4 months ago, and it has proved to be a pretty neat paddle, both functional and in it's "coolness factor." I did get the base option, and found when you mount the Bushwacker on it, it stays put when keying and does not move. It also dresses up the look of the Bushwacker creating a nice contrast between the brass look of the Bushwacker and the jet black base.

I discovered that the paddle lever/fingerpiece can be mounted as shown or reversed (with the "flag" pointing down) like a Kent and other paddles. This allows (if you desire) for the paddle fingerpiece to be closer to the operating table should you mount it on the base as I did. It's just an option that was not written up in the instruction manual that I tried, and it worked.

I adjusted the contacts just as the last reviewer did, and also found it surprisingly quiet when keying. I was impressed with the smoothness of the action for a key in this price range.

I have many keys and paddles, but had to have one of these in my collection, and available to use. It performs better than I expected, so I will be using it frequently.

It's not the caliber of a N3ZN ZN-SL1B or a Schurr Einhebel, but you don't have to mortgage the farm to get one, and it works very well, plus it's small, and looks pretty cool at the operating position. It's definitely a keeper...
W0UHU Rating: 5/5 Dec 28, 2009 20:39 Send this review to a friend
good solid key  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Just got one of these for Christmas. Kit arrived by priority mail a couple of days after ordering. Quite a few tiny parts in separate plastic baggies, but I had no difficulty in figuring it all out. Assembly took about an hour. I got the desk mount base also.

After adjusting the contact gaps so a piece of paper will just pass through, the key is quiet, friction-free, and quite solid. There's a YouTube video that says it's a noisy key, but I think that would only be if you had the gaps set pretty wide.
AJ8T Rating: 5/5 Jul 28, 2009 14:25 Send this review to a friend
Sturdy, very precise.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This single lever paddle is very precisely made and has a sturdy, heavy feel to it, even though it's not especially big.

It also has either an accessory Desk Base or Leg Mount, which are both extra cost options. When used with the Desk base (a heavy slab of well finished metal), there is no tendency to walk across the desk. When used alone, without the Desk base, it has to be held down by hand or mounted some other way. Without the base, it is small enough to be carried in a pocket for field use, but tends to be a little on the heavy side compared to say a Palm Mini Paddle, but it should hold up well on an extended wilderness trip, which could be quite important.

I replaced the adjustable thumb screws on the sides with headless set screws and lock nuts to minimize snagging the inside of my pocket, at a cost of about a dollar from the local hardware store.

Goes together quite easily (about an hour the first time). Pay attention to the size of the washers - difficult to tell by looking at them. The bigger ones just fit over the metal pins - keep them separated. Everything but the cable and plug is included. Initial adjustments are a bit fiddly, but once it was set up and locked down there was no need to change much.

I have not used the leg mount much yet, but find that it needs to be positioned as close to the knee cap as possible to be stable - which is probably true of all such arrangements. The skin and muscle further up the leg introduce a significant amount of instability otherwise.

There is also an optional Quick Mount, using a special 3M mounting material for attachment to to the side of a rig, but I have not tried it.

Overall, it's good system which should withstand a lot of abuse outdoors, but still do a good job everyday indoors.
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