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Shopping for a pint-size IAMBIC key

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Equipment Reviews' started by KC6DXN, Feb 4, 2014.

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  1. KC6DXN

    KC6DXN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi all,
    When I am home, I am voice. I am getting into QRP-CW and am setting up my field station; so I am looking small. I have surveyed the Yaesu-817, TT-Scout, Icom-703, Elecraft-K1 and a few others. I ALMOST sprung for a used 817ND & field-kit. But....after all was researched, the winner was (and soon will be sitting on my desk) the Elecraft K1 (used) with 2-band option (15 & 80) -what a unique choice; with internal AT & NB. I'll be getting a four-band option to build, strait-away. I have a PAC-12 field antenna for the field, from Christmas.

    Anyhow, I need some good idea for Jr. sized IAMBIC paddles. I do not mind a little heft (around one pound). It does not necessarily need to be micro-sized. Although price is an issue...I am just brainstorming for now. Please tell me what is out there, that you like. Thanks!!

  2. KA9VQF

    KA9VQF Ham Member QRZ Page

    Last edited: Feb 15, 2014
  3. KB2FCV

    KB2FCV Ham Member QRZ Page

  4. WA9UAA

    WA9UAA Ham Member QRZ Page

  5. AG6QR

    AG6QR Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yes, I like my AME blue porta-paddle. Simple, sturdy, well-machined, with a good feel. I got the cast iron base with mine, which makes the whole assembly about 1 lb, 7 oz. I'm not sure how much of that weight is in the cast iron base vs. the paddles themselves, but I'm sure the vast majority is the base. With the base, they're great for "picnic table portable" use; they will stay where you put them. For backpacking, long hikes, or use away from a table, you might want to use a lighter weight mounting system, a leg strap, or mount them to something else you were going to be taking along anyway. The paddles by themselves are too lightweight to use by themselves without some sort of mount, but they have threaded holes in them that should make it easy enough to devise your own mounting system if you're handy.

  6. K8JD

    K8JD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Keys for the field.

    I have tried many keys and bugs and paddles over the years but my worse experience was with the KK-1 mini key kit, I just am too uncomfortable sending with the tiny key and can not get up much speed with it.
    My favorite paddle is the less expensive Vectronics (sold by MFJ) paddle, the weight of the base makes it hard to accidently slap it off the table and the adjustments stay put and this paddle is overall smooth to use. I tried a similar appearing Bencher BY paddle but it just feels too loose for my touch !
    My key to use in the field is a good old WW2 Surplus J-38. I can send some clean code with this old classic and it is sturdy enough to throw in the bag with the antenna wire and gel-cell batteries with out worrying about bangng it up..My Bug or paddles are not durable enough to take off my desk and into the north woods.!
  7. KB4QAA

    KB4QAA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    N3ZN makes popular keys. I have one of his mini-paddles for my qrp kit, and it is a good reliable key.
  8. WS9K

    WS9K Ham Member QRZ Page

  9. N2ADV

    N2ADV Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Does it have to be "cheap"? Bengali makes a nice portable iambic...
  10. W6OGC

    W6OGC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have the Whiterook iambic minikeyer MK-64 which is the paddles and keyer in one tiny package. They also have memory keyers with either 25 or 50 character memories. I've had this one for years. Battery life is astonishing, although I don't use the sidetone much.

    You do have to hold it with one hand and send with the other as the paddles are very light.
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