- September 10, 2016 at 11:58 pm #5142
I would like a recommendation for a Iambic and a single paddle desk top paddle. I have a Bencher BY-1, it is good, but I want something that can be set up closer and still have some feel to it. I see Begali, N3ZN, Kent and others that look good. I can handle the price, but wouldn’t want to spend that much again if I wasn’t satisfied so I want to get it right.
Don’t worry, I’ll seek out and try whatever is recommended before I buy it. “Feel” is first, it would be nice if it was also a thing of engineering beauty second, and pretty on the desk is a distant third.
Amherst, NHSeptember 11, 2016 at 12:12 pm #5144
Fred KemmererKeymasterSeptember 16, 2016 at 8:45 am #5236
Paddle selection is really a personal choice. Just like choosing the type of car or truck you want to buy. Many factors must be considered.
Cost, construction, performance, style, special design features, operating feel, etc. and your long term usage.
Good operation is important even for low cost solutions. Assuming you can play with the key you might try “wiggling” each paddle to see how much play they exhibit and can you live with that. I looked at one low cost key at the ARRL Boxboro convention and was disappointed at its sloppy construction. Mechanical slop was evidenced when wiggling the paddle side to side, up and down and when slightly rotating the paddle arm. I looked to see if the problem was simple alignment error or loose hardware.
Some good designs can also feel bad if they are not properly adjusted. Many people may have examined and played with a display model or the factory may not have been too meticulous in its setup before packaging it for delivery.
As Fred noted, The Bengali keys are excellent in their quality and function. But other models will work as well and might be a good intermediary step. Consider their intended usage… you usually wouldn’t want ot take a Bengali out in the field and risk scratching a fine finish or contaminating the mechanical bearings and contacts.
I believe a song written by Three-Dog-Night went: “One is the Lowliest number that you’ll ever do..” (Sorry if your unfamiliar: -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22QYriWAF-U ).
So perhaps at least a couple of keys is a good long term solution. Keep the best one at home and use the lower cost one for more casual or general use or portable operations. Besides, you be able to say you have a key collection.
The Chuck Adams – K7QO CD contains a good document on paddle keys that may offer some good suggestions for those learning the code and anxious to get started. Several students have asked about keys and Chuck’s write-up may be very helpful. Some students have already purchased a key, some have fabricated something to practice with. For most of us, we’ll own at least a couple during our lifetime.September 17, 2016 at 9:42 pm #5298
Thanks Mike and Fred,
HRO/AES Milwaukee only had Bencher/Vibroplex so the search continues.
Based on Begali’s web page and various reviews I’m leaning towards the Begali Signature or Sculpture. It’s likely I will pull the trigger on the Sculpture before Monday, and start my collection.
It is my guess that major HAM fests such as Dayton are the only places where brands like Begali, Kent and N3ZN are available to try.
Amherst, NHSeptember 17, 2016 at 9:49 pm #5299
PS: Three-Dog-Night was the first concert I went to…..
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