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Reviews For: Elecraft KXPD1 paddle kit

Category: Keys & Paddles

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Review Summary For : Elecraft KXPD1 paddle kit
Reviews: 5MSRP: 69.00
Paddles that go with the KX-1 but they're easy to attach to almost any keyer
or radio especially QRP/homebrew/kit types, simple elegent design
Product is in production
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# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
G4YVM Rating: 2015-03-11
Good, not great Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
A good little paddle. Certainly cleverly simple in design. It works okay and does the job but mis-key errors do happen; there's a technique to using this paddle.

On the upside, it compliments the KX1 well and I can think of no other key that fits so well and allows me to hold the lot in one hand whilst keying with the other.
KA0HCP Rating: 2009-07-17
Nice idea needs improvement Time Owned: more than 12 months.
The paddle is a great idea that needs some improvement. I had to add a split washer to the knurled screw because it would work loose after a short time in use. The rubber sleeve over spring contacts is just too imprecise. Sending errors just become annoying because I can't reliably touch at more than low-moderate speed. The basic frame is great. someone must have a cleverer way to mount the contacts.
N2XE Rating: 2005-11-10
Functional - Nice Concept Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I recommend you buy them. It completes the KX1, they do work and are worth the money.

I love Elecraft stuff as much as the next guy. But let's review what these ratings mean: 5 is Great!; 3 is OK; 0 is Awful. So before you go and beat me up for giving the KXPD1 paddles a 3, keep in mind I'm saying they're OK.

After three years of using them, the bloom is off the rose. They are not great. The leaf spring switch covered in rubber is just plain mushy. I make lots of mistakes with this key. I do not like the feel at all.

I do, however, use the KXPD1 with the KX1 all the time--a lot. They work and the design works well with the KX1. I put up with a lot of compromises while backpacking. This is one of them.

The concept is super cool. The execution fell a little short.
N0TK Rating: 2005-09-09
Better than Expected Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I had postponed purchasing the KXPD1 since I had a light weight paddle that worked well with the KX1. When a local ham loaned me his to try out on my KX1 I expected that it would take some time to become accustomed to the paddles. Instead, I found that they worked very well on first use and that I could send accurately at high cw speeds. My order was processed promptly by Elecraft and the paddle went together with no problems. A fine tip soldering iron is needed to solder the connections to the key plug.
NS6Y_ Rating: 2005-02-28
Great probably underappreciated Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I just built mine, and tested it on the Norcal QRP keyer I built earlier today. Works FB!

While the experience is still fresh in my mind, I'd like to add some notes:

(1) The silver wire for the contacts is SOFT. If you use pliers to get it down flat to the paddle surface, you can burr up the contact surface, so be careful - press down on a formica counter top or something, and pull the wire ends from the other side to flatten it against the PCB.

(2) Maybe it's personal but I really do not like solid wire in any vibration-prone application. Counting on having uninsulated wires bent just right to avoid contact bothers me too. And the solid wire makes things a lot harder in assembly too in my opinion. With stranded wire, you could put your wires on the stereo jack, then plug it in, attach one paddle, bring its wire out and solder and trim, then attach the other paddle, putting its wire in the hole as you bolt it on, solder and trim. I followed this process with the solid wires, and cheated even worse by putting a little teflon tubing on one - at least with Elecrafts you can always get in there and re-do it later but this way I don't feel I'll have to!

(3) This is such a simple easy design, before I knew it I was done! Now to test. I plugged it into my keyer and got constant dit-dah-dit-dah-dit-dah-dit-dah....... I knew I didn't have anything shorted, so I slipped off the rubber covers - sure enough, since they're new, they're a bit tight, the paddles were fine. So I put the rubber covers back on and kind of "squeezed" them to make more slack on the wire contact (outer) sides, and it works FB. I'd do this before I considered filing down the contacts, those rubber covers will loosen up over time and you'll wish you hadn't. My kit came with enough silver wire for another set of contacts say 20 years down the road......

All in all a really neat thing! These attach to the rig or keyer with a thumbscrew and of course the stereo plug, which means they can attach to anything you set up with the right configuration of stereo jack and a threaded hole for the thumbscrew. Including the thumbscrew mine weighs in at 1.045 oz. which is lighter than just about anything you can take into the field and have work so solidly and reliably.