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Reviews For: ZACH Magnetic Iambic Paddle

Category: Keys & Paddles

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Review Summary For : ZACH Magnetic Iambic Paddle
Reviews: 10MSRP: 170
The ZACH Magnetic Iambic Paddle summary: Short arms with a 1:1 leverage ratio, made from a lightweight alloy, four precision 624Z ball bearings, 925/000 silver contacts, finely adjustable contact gaps, magnetically controlled return force (repelling neodymium magnets used). Micro-threaded screws with position fixed using another security screw are used for all adjustments.

This twin lever iambic paddle is manufactured using NC machinery for excellent precision. The base is a solid (3.937" x 2.362" x 0.393", 2.2 pound) chunk of brass, topped with sanded finish, patina and a protective coating. This key uses a fully encapsulated construction, a separate block of 1.574 x 1.574 x 1.181" houses all mechanical elements - contacts and bearings are completely protected from dust and moisture. There are no separate posts to hold the precision adjustments for the contact gap and the magnetic tension - just one block of metal which will not vibrate no matter how hard you hit the paddles, and which won’t slide around on your table. The connection is accomplished with a cable with standard flat USB connector. An oval insert plate with engraved call sign is standard option (to be placed into the oval slot on the top). The ZACH Magnetic Iambic Paddle comes in a neat custom made wooden case with cable and two (1/4" and 1/8") jacks.
Product is in production
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# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
VA7MN Rating: 2021-01-29
Top notch! Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I ordered a paddle from Slavek 8 days ago. He responded right away to my queries, and when I ordered it let me know what was happening with it. He had some in stock but had to wait 24 hours for the brasscallsign plate. It was shipped right away and Slavek sent me a photo of the shipping manifest and the tracking number. It was here after 8 days. I was impressed. The key itself is absolutely top quality in design and workmanship. Mine did not come in a wooden case, but I guess that was adding to the cost and shipping charges. It came very well packaged. There is also a lightweight model made from aluminium according to the website.
It's very nice in appearance but not as flashy as other keys costing much more. After using it for 24 hours I would say it rivals or even betters my Begali. The action is light, crisp and precise. The key is compact and solid and does not move. The wooden finger pieces are lovely and your fingers seem to melt right into them. This is a keeper! If you are a dedicated CW operator I highly recommend the Zach magnetic paddle. Jan 28 2021 - There have been some comments on the peeling and discoloring paint. Mine started to discolor after a few months so I thought it would be possible to remove it. I tried rubbing it with some scotchbrite in an inconspicuous place and it came off easily without scratching the brass. So I partially disassembled it and removed the paint this way. Here's how to disassemble it. 1. Remove the finger pieces 2. Remove the grey plastic ends 3. Remove the base by unscrewing the 3 screws underneath. Optional - remove the adjustment screws but DO NOT remove the tension screws! If you do you may lose the tiny magnets within, or they may become misplaced. Use a plastic abrasive like scotchbrite to carefully remove the thin layer of paint. Then you can use a metal polish to bring up the sheen on the brass. It will have a nice antique brass look and look great. You can polish all sides of the main body and the sides and top of the base. I think it looks much better this way.
K7FD Rating: 2020-04-20
Best kept secret Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Slavek, OK1TN, makes a beautiful paddle. It is the crown jewel in my collection. The pictures on the website do not do the key justice. You will be amazed when you see it! The order process is painless and Slavek is happy to keep you updated during manufacture. The paddle arrived safe and secure from the Czech Republic, very well packaged. Keying action is crisp and snappy; I would rate it as excellent for the 20 - 25 wpm ragchewing I enjoy. Weighing over 2 pounds, it stays put. The wood paddles are smooth as silk; every aspect of the key is machined to perfection, every component shows expert craftsmanship including both wood and metal. HIGHLY SATISFIED; excellent value for a prized possession.

John K7FD

Update: the gold finish is starting to flake off. Otherwise, the key functions as it should.
K6LP Rating: 2020-01-26
The Best Paddle Nobody's Heard Of Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I was attracted to this paddle because it looked like it was designed/engineered well. Totally enclosed, shafts fully supported on both ends in a solid block of brass, magnets instead of springs, easily accessible but secure adjustment screws. Ordering with PayPal was easy. Immediate response, quickly shipped. Your call is on the paddle at no extra cost. Comes in a nice wooden box. The key is already wired, just plug it in. The resistance of the magnets has a wide range, they just need a lot of screw turns to get to the right setting (a good thing). I was able to set the paddles so that a light touch is all that is needed, with no discernible "click". The wooden paddles are very comfortable. Stays in place while keying. Very compact, yet massively constructed. Everything about the transaction, communication and the actual product was superb. I am surprised this key is not more popular.
W0CP Rating: 2016-09-13
superb quality and value Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I have collected eight quality paddles over the years. This one is very cool and it has been in use since I got it. Here's what you need to know. The feel is excellent from slow to very high speeds, the design is unique and interesting, the quality is high - this is a precision paddle. The value is very high. The paddles I own that are comparable are double the cost of this one. The only negative for me was the payment process.
WB0OEW Rating: 2016-05-16
Excellent Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Nothing new to add really, just wanted to say mine arrived today and I like it very much. About 20 days from order to arrival. This is my first magnetic paddle and this was a nice way to try one out. It is small, classy, smooth action, easy to adjust and sturdy weight. I like a very light touch and this one does the job. The contact gap has a wide adjustment range and stays in place when locked. I can't tell much effect from adjusting the return force but it's fine. Included a nice bonus wooden case, wooden paddles, both 1/4 and 1/8 inch plugs and my call engraved on name plate. Excellent value for the money.
N9SW Rating: 2016-02-08
Excellent paddle Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
solidly built, just heavy enough to not easily be moved on the operating table. Adjustments stay put, and do allow very close spacing for QRQ work with some finesse in adjusting, easier for more normal spacing. Comfortable to use for long periods, and an attractive addition to a paddle collection. Worth the money!
OK1DTM Rating: 2015-10-03
Excellent Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
These paddle is better as any I have ever used. They have a very solid feel and are infinitely adjustable with the magnetic "springs".Connection is also very simple and the adjustment is very easy, all adjustable parts can be fixed in its position with the security screw. Is beautiful just looking at them sitting on my desk.
KD5HEH Rating: 2015-09-21
Expertly Engineered Paddle Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
What first grabbed my attention was the super high tech look it had, which is unlike that of any other key. It feels ergonomically perfect. My middle finger latched onto the narrow but solid base, putting my thumb an index finger at the perfect position and height to operate the natural wood paddles. The paddles do not get slippery like plastic or coated paddles. There are 4 thumb screws for adjustments, and 4 more to lock those adjustment screws in place. I was able to make the contact spacing extremely close without any bounce at all. The radio connection is made via an included cable with a USB connector on the key side and your choice of 1/8 or 1/4 inch connector on the the radio side. It is easy to make an extra cable from a standard USB cable and a stereo plug. The key has a very sturdy feel to it, plus the mechanical parts are enclosed. The engraved insert on the key with your call sign on it plus the custom wooden box are really nice extra touches. This is now my favorite key.

I purchased it via PayPal and the transaction and delivery went smoothly. It took about 3 weeks from when I ordered it to delivery. The guy that makes these keys in the Czech Republic was very attentive and he went out of his way to make sure that I was happy with everything.
N2DE Rating: 2015-09-04
Outstanding Bargain Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
This key has all the ingredients of a superb high performance paddle: light-weight arms with perfect geometry, professional high-precision machine work, finely adjustable magnetic returns. It has a dust-proof fully encapsulated design, and the sand blasted crinkle finish of the main components looks beautiful. Your call is engraved on the paddle, and it even comes in a nice custom-made wooden box - and all this for an unbeatable price!

The order and payment by PayPal went smoothly, and the package arrived in about 10 days by mail.

In actual use this key is an absolute pleasure. It is heavy enough to stay put, the wooden finger pieces provide a little flex and are warm to the touch, the magnetic returns and silver contacts are absolutely precise up to the highest speeds that I can muster (and I have no doubt to any speed that is humanly possible)

At this price it clearly is an unbelievable bargain, and you should order one before Slavek realizes how much he could charge for this beautiful precision instrument and still give the big names a run for the money ...

OK1RR Rating: 2015-08-16
Amazing! Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I am a happy owner of the original Mercury by N2DAN (#095 from 5/96). Almost 20 years of daily use of this unusual key affected my look on other keys and paddles. Although I can play almost any paddle, no matter if single or dual lever, I am known to be very critical to almost every paddle construction. My operating habits are very usual with palm edge and pinkie fixed to the operating desk, the paddle is manipulated with thumb and index finger. I prefer bigger, heavy paddles well sitting on my operating desk.

I was quite surprised with the smooth action and precise control of the arm movement. The adjustment is very easy, all adjustable parts can be fixed in its position with the security screw resulting in adjust-and-forget state. It is also easy to adjust a very little return force. The lightweight arms with reduced angular momentum do not exhibit any vertical movement. While operated, the paddle produces only little noise but has very nice tactile feedback, similar to finest Begali paddles. The tested initial version had big, thick and edgy acrylate finger pieces which are now replaced with wooden, custom made finger pieces with pleasant to touch surface. Although the paddle is not extremely heavy, sits very well on the operating desk.

Nice, professional look with a slight accent on the 'tech' aspect, hardly measurable contact closing resistance (even with my Fluke 289), insensitivity to temperature changes and mechanical shock, mechanical robustness, corrosion resistance are the characteristics of the ZACH Magnetic Iambic Paddle. And all at very competitive price!