[CQ-Contest] Kids, don't try this at home

Mark Beckwith mark at concertart.com
Wed Dec 4 06:16:26 EST 2002

>If someone has a mis-wired paddle and you need to use it without
>rewiring it, just reach across it from the back and key as you
>normally do. With most paddles and adult-sized hands,
>this is not a problem.

When I was 14 years old, using the very Cosmophone 35 which is now on
display in the ARRL museum, I needed my key to key a relay (I was getting
fancy).  Being 14 and lacking resources, I scrounged the relay with the
right number of contacts with a coil that matched a conveniently available


I felt sure I would remember this fact and getting my hand across the key
would not be a problem.  I got it all wired up and I don't think it was 5
minutes before my first stupid accident.

Had I been reaching across a paddle, which of course we didn't have in those
days (my weapon of choice was a borrowed Lionel bug [Cosmophone was borrowed
too]), that 5 minutes would probably have come down to about 15 seconds.

Nevertheless, reaching across the paddle is an excellent trick for using a
paddle wired the reverse of how you like it.  It comes in handy at
Multi-Multis, when you're relieving the main op who got up to go to the
bathroom, etc.

At W6UE we actually mounted a micro-toggle DPDT wired with the classic "X"
on the back for reversing the paddles, since it is a club station with many
different operators of different handed-ness.

Some contest software allows for software control of this parameter, for
those wise enough to run their paddles through their software.

Certifiable old Geezer carrying the VR6BG stamp of approval

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