Brad et al.,
While I don't have the decades of CW operating (much less CW contesting)
other respondents possess, I thought I'd weigh in.
It depends. ;-)
You mentioned portability as one of your concerns. Out in the field, using
a Rolls Royce (Begali or some other piece of CW jewelry) gives me the
willies. I want something that 1., is durable; 2., is light and easy to
carry; 3., has good feel in use; and 4., isn't gawd-awful expensive to
replace if I do manage to mangle it.
It's worth re-noting that which key you decide to use is totally dependent
on you and your fist. Moreover, you've got to weigh all of the factors.
I've used Benchers, various Vibroplex paddles, etc. While I like the Brass
Racer paddles from Vibroplex - they fit my fist better than any other key
I've tried - I was leery about their durability packing and repacking for
After much deliberation, I chose a set of Palm mini-paddles. They satisfy
all of my requirements. I use them at home, too, without difficulty. I
wish I could testify as to longevity, but I've only had them less than a
year, and I don't operate anywhere near as much as I'd like. Logically, one
expects they won't last as long under heavy use as heavier paddles due to
the design. But at around $75 a pop, I'm not going to complain.
Caveats: They're light as hell. If you have a heavy hand, you'll need to
develop some kind of base or affix them directly to your operating surface.
Hell, I've a quite light touch, and without a weighted base they fly all
over the place. I affixed mine to a sheet of plexiglass that my hand rests
on when sending, so problem solved without excessive weight.
Not trying to preach; just sharing thoughts. ;-) See you in CQWWSSB!
No trees were killed in the sending of this message. However, an
inconceivably large number of electrons was terribly inconvenienced.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Brad Pioveson W9FX" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Wednesday, October 17, 2007 7:13 PM
Subject: [CQ-Contest] Paddle Opinions?
> I hope that this isn't too far off topic! Knowing that contesters are
> the top CW ops in our hobby, I cannot think of a better qualilfied group
> from which to seek info and opinions. I hope you'll share yours.
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