QRP paddle suggestions.

Discussion in 'QRP Corner' started by KD2RON, Feb 25, 2016.

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  1. W5LZ

    W5LZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Been thinking about the title of this thread, and decided it's sort of silly. I can certainly understand a 'miniature' paddle, but not a QRP one. When portable, I use the same paddle I do at home.
    WA7PRC likes this.
  2. KC3RN

    KC3RN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Tony's paddles are wonderful. I love my ZN-9. Not inexpensive, but comparable with other high end paddles. Well worth the investment. Tony is a local here, and attends the bigger hamfests int the area, so I've had the opportunity to talk with him a number of times. He's a super nice guy.
    K8PG and WW2PT like this.
  3. K8JD

    K8JD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Troubling Thoughts
    WOW special paddle needed for QRP operation.
    If you use a standard desktop Paddle , is it too powerful to use on a QRP rig?
    You sure don't want to burn up your QRP rig with a paddle that can run a KW !
    N1RBD likes this.
  4. WJ4U

    WJ4U Ham Member QRZ Page

  5. KB2FCV

    KB2FCV Ham Member QRZ Page

    I suppose it depends on what the portable operation is. If I were backpacking it.. I wouldn't want to bring the home paddles... that would get heavy after a while. In the house I'll use whatever I normally use. At a car campsite I'll bring something 'regular' size also... but if I'm carrying my qrp rig / hiking / etc... definitely taking one my my lighter paddles.
    AJ6KZ likes this.
  6. W5LZ

    W5LZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    What's the difference in weight between that mini-key and a BY-1, maybe a pound? Okay, so leave one can of beer at home. Sorry, I just don't think it would be worth the expense of a mini-key instead of a regular sized one. And personally, I'd rather have that can of beer.
  7. KG7WGX

    KG7WGX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    For something like a POTA activation, anything would work, including something made with a hacksaw blade and miscellaneous hardware. No offense to WhiteRook, but their offerings seem like a slightly refined version of this concept. For $30 or so, that would be my suggestion.

    If you want something that has a better "feel", you can look at the Begali Traveler or the ZN-QRP. These are both very nicely made and weigh around a pound. The Begali Traveler is "self-protecting", with the adjustment knobs almost flush, the contacts under a dust cover and the folding side legs which protect the fingerpieces. The ZN-QRP has the same magnetic action and fine-pitched screws, but it needs some sort of travel case. These are, unfortunately, in the $300 price range. As always, there doesn't seem to be a free lunch available. ;)

    Even if you aren't backpacking, it is definitely easier to transport and set up a portable station if everything is as small and lightweight as possible. So, I guess I can understand the concept of "QRP portable paddles". Not necessary, but nice.
  8. KF9VV

    KF9VV Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have been very happy with an American Morse Porta Paddle. It is small, light and feels good. It is well built and sturdy enough to travel without a worry. The optional base is worth adding if you are not back packing. It has enough mass mass to keep the key in place for singlehanded operation.
  9. KF9VV

    KF9VV Premium Subscriber QRZ Page


    I am out in a RV a lot and do a lot of hiking when traveling. I completely agree with KG7WGX, small and lightweight has a way of reducing barriers to portable operating. My RV is very small, and getting my entire HF rig into as small of pack space as possible has allowed me to bring it along on trips where we were very concerned with every square inch to pack enough food for extended stays deep in the wilderness.

    The most memorable night of operation was an off the grid location in the Big Horn Mountains. It was unbelievably quiet there, both electrically and physically. For what ever reason my 2 Watts that night worked like a dream. To me, finding these kinds of nights is what it is all about with a portable station.

    Do not underestimate the fun potential of a QRP radio, battery pack, wire antenna, paddle and a little notebook and a pencil!
    VE7JBX and WJ4U like this.
  10. KC7JNJ

    KC7JNJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Just being out is fun. I used to have a SGC2000 though not QRP still a story on being out with my radio camping on a mountain top. No easy way to hook a CW key to a SGC2000 but you could key CW with the mic PTT. I had the greatest time working a VK3 while out camping on a mountain top. Work that guy for over two hours, keying the whole time with the PTT. I wish I had a ft817nd back then. Just being out camping with the radio and a nice place to hang the antenna.
    AJ6KZ and K5ABB like this.

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