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Reviews For: 9A5N Solid State CW Paddles

Category: Keys & Paddles

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Review Summary For : 9A5N Solid State CW Paddles
Reviews: 25MSRP: Euros 220-260
The 9A5N Solid State CW Paddles bring a new paradigm to
the art of CW. These paddles have no mechanical parts such
as bearings, contacts, springs, magnets, or adjustment
screws. Instead, they use solid state silicon sensors to
detect the minute deflection of the levers that the finger
pieces are attached to. A microprocessor detects the output
from the sensors and creates the dot and dash outputs. You
can set the activation force from 10 grams to 50 grams right
on the paddle.
Solid State sensors detect force applied to the finger
Force is settable between 10 and 50 grams on the paddle
Silent operation
Immune to temperature and humidity changes
Available in single lever and iambic models
No bearings
No contacts
No mechanical adjustments
No magnets or springs
Four pound stainless steel no-slip base
Runs 700 hours on two AA batteries
Auto-off to conserve power
Product is in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
M0ZMX Rating: 2023-03-20
A Game changer Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Well on recommendations from two other local hams (GM0HKS & G4BSW) I purchased one of Neno’s superb paddle keys. Mine is the twin lever paddle. Neno was great to deal with, and the paddle arrived promptly. The key arrived well packaged, safe and sound. Neno had already sent me a link to the instructions, so at the point of delivery I was already well versed on the instructions.

All I can say is “I wish I had bought this key earlier”. It is without any exaggeration the finest key I’ve used to date. I’ve had capacitive, sprung, and magnetic paddles and none compare to this beauty. up until the arrival of the new key from Neno I was using a Begali Stealth (until this point I had concluded to be the best key I had ever used). Well honestly, the Stealth is back in its shipping box!. The Begali is a beautifully engineered work of art, but the 9A5N paddle is just better in every respect.

I’ve had so many keys, and nearly all of them were more expensive than this one. “Boy what a revelation!”

Neno’s solid state paddle is just plain and simply a nicer key to use. I believe that I have added several wpm to my sending, and accuracy has improved immensely. No more sticky contacts, no more re adjusting or Perspex covers to keep the dust out of the contacts, just switch on and go. Setup took just a few steps in the settings and it’s a dream to use.

To add :- I was recommended wooden finger pieces from Sal IK1OJM. Just superb. Initially I dragged my heels ordering these finger pieces, but I purchased them and I could not be happier. They are the jewel on the crown.

As I’ve only owned the paddle for a couple of months I cannot comment on battery life, but I’ve been using mine several hours a day, every day, and the LED is still bright.
I’m using a pair of 1.2v Panasonic Eneloop rechargeable AAA’s so happy with lower voltage than using Alkaline batteries.

The key is a solid performer. No RF issues even at full legal limit. from now on Neno’s superb 9A5N solid state paddle will be my first choice for effortless accurate cw. All I can say is “GET ONE!”. If I could give it 6 stars I would.
AA0IZ Rating: 2022-12-02
I purchased a second paddle for POTA activities! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have owned my 9A5N twin-lever Iambic paddle for almost two years. I am so very happy with it that I had to purchase a second one!

I am fortunate to have several other very nice (i.e. expensive) paddles, and I enjoy swapping them around for different events (e.g. SST, MST, CWT, QRQ, and QTX-QSO's). Over time I have become the most fond of my Solid State paddles. Like many other reviewers have already stated... there is no comparison. No muss, no fuss, and you just turn it on and Go!

I am getting into POTA now, and the thought of taking one of my beautiful mechanical marvels out to a windy/dusty/wet park bench gives me pause. Why risk that? I already know what will work without any mechanical readjustment required... the 9A5N!

Thank you Neno for your great product!
G3RCE Rating: 2022-07-19
Superb, say no more Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I've only been using this magnificent mono key for a few hours. I am using it, as straight out of the box with no sensitivity adjustment needed sofar.
this key was recommended by Colyn GD4EIP and I'm glad I chose the Mono version.
It arrived within 6 days, thank you Neno.

I also use a Begali Magnetic Classic which is very good
but will now be my standby.
WB6ZXM Rating: 2022-05-08
Great performance and easy to adjust. Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Great experience and perfect key. It’s now my favorite and I have many to select from.
W7AAZ Rating: 2021-12-19
Great Paddles Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Like other reviewers, I've owned a handful of nice paddles. None comes close to the solid feel and precision keying the 9A5N paddles provide. I quickly raised my sending speed.

I've paired it with a DJ5IL-designed keyer, which properly duplicates the Curtis-A iambic (something my previous keyer did NOT do properly, despite its claim).

Thanks to Neno, 9A5N and Karl, DJ5IL
W2FN Rating: 2021-11-16
I'll never go back to a mechanical paddle. Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I just received the paddle today. First impression: this is a very well designed instrument, both functionally, ergonomically, and aesthetically. And, it is virtually silent!

The paddle weighs 1.8 kg (about 4 pounds), and does not slide across my desk. I no longer need the heavy grit sandpaper that I previously used to hold steady a lighter paddle.

The instructions are meticulously written and easy to follow. Set-up for me was about twenty minutes, which included chasing down a 1/8" stereo cable from my shack. I downloaded the instruction manual from Neno's website prior to ordering the unit, so I was somewhat familiar with the set-up process when it arrived.

As at least one other reviewer has mentioned, it's worth the time to set the sensitivity carefully (I found that 10 gm works best for me.) The adjustment procedure is really very simple.

The unit was shipped with the paddles, screws and an allen wrench in a separate bag to prevent damage during shipment. The entire thing was packaged in a styrofoam block that fits into the shipping box tightly. I followed the instructions to install two AAA batteries and the paddles carefully with no difficulties. But, be careful not to drop or lose the screws.

I'm an iambic guy so I bought the two paddle version. It just feels smoother than my Bencher and Begali. I am comfortable at 20-25 wpm, but I forsee that speed increasing a little with the new paddle.

Neno was very helpful throughout the ordering and shipping process. I received the unit in less than a week from placing the order, which included a two-day delay by the carrier that was no fault of Neno's.

I am very, very satisfied with this paddle. I hope this review is helpful to you. 73

W7UJ Rating: 2021-08-20
Simply the Best! Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
This is by far and away the best paddle that I have ever used. It makes sending a real joy, so silky smooth. Maybe not as pretty to look at as my Begali Magnetic Classic but out perfoms it! Great customer service from Neno, super fast shipping!
N7DH Rating: 2020-05-10
Great concept, very well executed Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This review covers CW mono paddles from two companies, so I will post it both places.

Retirement has given me more time for operating after many years of semi-inactivity, but in those intervening decades, my sending accuracy has diminished in accuracy due to encroaching arthritis and perhaps lack of practice. I'd used iambic paddles since the 70s (a bug before that). In researching reviews for many paddles and related conversations, I found several mentions of using mono keys. A used Begali Simplex Mono helped a bit, but still had the same wide-spaced double paddles as one finds on iambic paddles. However, this paddle proved to be the "gateway drug" to the Begali world.

My wife then bought me a Begali Sculpture Mono for Christmas, this one with a single paddle. Not only is it gorgeous, but it improved sending quite a bit more.

Since I was on a roll, I decided to order the single lever version of the 9A5N Solid State CW Paddle. It is said to have no moving parts. While it's true there is no movement you can detect, it works by detecting microsopic deflections of the lever(s) and translating them into Morse.

I've used them side-by-side now for over a year and have concluded that for folks like me with stiffening joints, the narrower single lever paddle requires less movement and therefore provides improved sending accuracy. I've heard that the QRQ folks gravitate to mono sending, perhaps for the same reason.

What's the difference between them?

The Begali definitely wins the beauty contest, hands down (I've now also acquired a matching Sculpture Arrow straight key -- told you it was a "gateway drug"). There is a bit of a clicking sound when sending, of course since it's still mechanical. But it's adjustments are so fine and so intuitive -- and the machining so precise -- that you can be quickly up and running.

The 9A5N paddle is in the same architectural school as the Monolith in 2001 A Space Odyssey. I wish now I'd bought it with the brass base; mine is all black. The paddle is electronically adjustable to your preference of pressure. I found it to be a bit more fiddly than the Begali's mechanical adjustments, but it wasn't a major investment in time. Once your settings are to your liking you don't need to ever do the procedure again.

I gravitate to the Begali for normal QSOs. When making high-speed DX or contest contacts, I gravitate to the 9A5N. I'm guessing that my accurate sending speed is higher with it.

I see that 9A5N offers a "Twin narrow" paddle, which presumably is an iambic. As pictured, the outside width between paddles isn't much more than for the single lever paddle. Would be insteresting to see how that works out.

The Begali is manufactured in Italy (they do maintain some stock in the U.S.) and the 9A5N in Croatia. Both companies offer excellent service and rapid service (though I've not tried them since COVID-19 has slowed things down). They're both among the best companies I've dealt with over the years.
N7GR Rating: 2020-04-02
Good but not great key Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I am primarily a cw operator. The key is excellent with one minor flaw. I have noticed that if my HT is in close proximity to the paddle and I key it, it goes into oscillation. Which apparently there is a rf shielding issue with my key. Other than that, it is a great key. Very sensitive to the touch and pretty much error free cw.

N4KHZ Rating: 2020-01-30
Simply the BEST Paddles! Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I'm still amazed how cleanly, easily, accurately, and exquisitely this key produces code.

The letters just flow off your fingers...

Comfortable, gentle, light-touch...

I have found this to be the most enjoyable way to do code in over 40 yrs of hamming...

And great service from Neno 9A5N! He set me up with some custom finger-pieces (closer to the table-top) and they work wonderfully!