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[TenTec] THE paddle for keeps...

To: <tentec@contesting.com>
Subject: [TenTec] THE paddle for keeps...
From: k4wj@att.net (John/K4WJ)
Date: Sun, 03 Oct 1999 13:07:50 -0400
At 08:37 PM 10/2/99 -0400, The One and Only! wrote:

>This is evident when you take a Mercury or hensley paddle, adjust it
>then LIFT IT BY THE PADDLES. The adjustment stays. Some people adjust
>their paddles once and forget it.
>73, mitch ww4ml
>lost in the ethers again..

The WBL paddle is the only paddle, that I know of, where you can adjust the 
paddle while you are sending and not have to worry about the adjustment 
changing on you. I have a Mercury paddle  that belongs to a friend and when 
I adjust it I have to compensate for the fact that the adjustment will 
change when I lock the set screws by tightening the outer ring (ring is not 
the proper term to describe this locking device but right now I can't think 
of the proper word to describe it.). This is not a problem with the WBL.

Another observation I've made about the Mercury is that because the Mercury 
tension devices are magnetic I've noticed that when I use the Mercury my CW 
sounds a little choppy. I believe this is because the magnets do not 
provide a linear resistance to the pressure I exert on the finger pads. In 
other words the Mercury's magnets hold until a certain pressure is achieved 
and then they suddenly release. The resistance of a spring tends to remain 
the same, or change slowly, and the finger pads don't move suddenly like 
they do when I'm using the Mercury.

I was in a QSO with a group of guys and I told them I had just moved over 
to the Mercury. One of the participants said that my CW sounded a little 
choppy when I did this. WOW! He was the first person to recognize this, or 
at least the first person to tell me about it. I'd noticed it a long time 
ago but for some reason I thought the choppiness was being generated in the 
keyer and not the paddle.

I was using an AEA CK1 with the Mercury and a Logikey K1 with the WBL V22. 
Later I swapped the keyers, moving the K1 over to the Mercury and the CK1 
to the WBL and the choppy sound of my CW moved with the Mercury.

I did discover that some guys actually prefer the "choppy" sound of the 
Mercury over the more fluid sound of the WBL. I guess it all depends on 
what an individual likes to copy. What I call a choppy CW signal may be 
preferred because there is a little more space between the characters. The 
spacing between the elements within a character doesn't seem to change.

Now after saying all this, I wish my second paddle was a Mercury because I 
enjoy using it.

I've used a Schurr for about 10 minutes and that is not enough time for me 
to evaluate a paddle. I like to use a paddle for several months before I 
come to any conclusions about it. However, the Schurr  'sure' looked like 
it was very well built.

I've never seen a Hensley, never the less used one, so I can't comment on it.

I used a dual lever Bencher paddle for about 18 years and I thought I would 
never change paddles. Then my buddy Don, W4WJ, lent me his Mercury, and I 
discovered what an excellent paddle was like. I bought the WBL because the 
Mercury is no longer available and I heard a lot of good comments about the 

If I could own only one paddle, and I could only choose between the WBL and 
the Mercury, it would be the WBL V22 because of it's excellent design, 
craftsmanship, quality of the materials, flexibility and price. It is 
flexible because you can convert it to a single lever paddle if you want, 
and,  as a dual lever you can adjust the distance between the fingerpads . 
You can't do either of these things with a Mercury. Price, because it sells 
for only $130.00.) I can't figure out how Stan can offer such an excellent 
product for the price he charges. The Mercury was selling for $450.00 when 
Steve, N2DAN, passed away.

One negative about the WBL, and there may be more than I'm aware of, is the 
availability. I have a friend that works CW only and he liked his WBL V22 
so much that a year ago he ordered a second paddle. I saw him yesterday and 
he said that he is still waiting for it to be delivered. Me thinks Stan is 
running a little behind. I told him he should have doubled his price, this 
may have cut into the demand for his product but folks probably wouldn't 
have to wait so long for delivery.  :-)

73..de John/K4WJ
WBL V22 number 69 and Mercury number 13 (it belongs to W4WJ)
73..de John/K4WJ
John/K4WJ in Pembroke Pines, FL
    QTH  26 00 51 N
         80 16 16 W

K8PXG from 18 Jun 59 to 11 Feb 97
K8WJ  from 12 Feb 97 to 07 Apr 97
ZF2HZ from 17 May 84 to 31 Dec 84

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