Mini Paddle Kits from QRPGuys

Started by cockpitbob, April 24, 2016, 11:14:12 am

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April 24, 2016, 11:14:12 am Last Edit: April 24, 2016, 11:16:00 am by cockpitbob make several kits including this tiny paddle for $15.
I'm having a hard time believing the assembly/soldering time is 2 hours.

I learned about a guy on the AT Sprint Yahoo group who glued super-magnets to it and uses it with his MTR-5B.  Here's his pictures.

Not that I need another paddle, but for $15 (+$3.00 shipping to MA) I need another paddle :P


I have one.  It's a good deal.  However, I am VERY mechanical and assembling the tiny fasteners to hold the 'paddles' is a real pain!  What yu get out of it though is worth it.

73 de RadioRay  ..._  ._
"When we cannot do the good we would, we must be ready to do the good we can."  ~ Matthew Henry


August 12, 2016, 10:46:55 pm #2 Last Edit: August 12, 2016, 11:06:20 pm by cockpitbob
{Read it all.  Karma at end.}

After too many months I finally built it. I LOVE IT.  It's cheap, small but not too small, weighs nothing, is durable and works.  It's not a Begali, and feels a bit spongy, but for mountain work it's perfect!

The instructions say it will take 2 hrs to build.  With all the tweezer sized #2 washers and nuts and soldering the cable to it, 2hrs is pretty realistic.

It's a very well thought out kit.  The long screw and spacer provided are purely for soldering alignment and the 4 PC boards even have mating surfaces labeled:  A to A, B to B, etc.  At $15 I'm not sure how they make any money on this kit.
I used a cable from some old ear buds.

I glued two 10mm x 3mm super magnets to it like the guy did in my OP.  I think slightly larger (12mm maybe) magnets would be a bit better but mine work great.  I found the magnets slid around when attached to a steel surface, so I painted them with a thin coat of rubber cement and let it dry thoroughly.  That worked.  It gave the magnets enough traction that it feels like it is bolted to steel cased rigs like my KX1 and TenTec R4020.

The one thing I didn't like was how little "bottom" it has.  So I designed a base and printed it with my 3D printer.  It gives enough bottom to attach Velcro and it's got holes for a zip-tie for strain relief.

I used Scotch Fasteners Extreme, not soft fuzzy Velcro.  The Scotch Fastener works like Velcro but holds firm and the key has no wobble.

Now for my Karma!  I'm giving away the 3D printed bases!  Shipping is on me! 
* You must actually have ordered one of these keys.
* One per QRPguys key you own.
* CONUS shipping only.
* You must be a bit of an old-timer here:  First post more than a few months ago and more than 10 or 20 posts as of today.
* I will stop this Karma without warning when I get tired of printing and shipping them.(I'll do at least 10)
* PM me your address and if you want it in Green or Black.



Oh yeah !  PM to follow. That looks GREAT and versatile because it's not specific to one rig.

De RadioRay ...- .-
"When we cannot do the good we would, we must be ready to do the good we can."  ~ Matthew Henry


I am ordering one as soon as I get back! Unfortunately I would get it too late for my trip next Wednesday..


I think I threw a black and green one in the "care package" I sent you last week  ;D

Have an awesome time in the mountains.  Post lots of pictures for us that are confined to our shacks, and let us know if you are operating when band conditions to the U.S. don't suck.


Thanks! Will do! Not sure how long I'll be gone, could be a week, could be three, depending articulations, lol. I'll get on the air from a mountain for sure though.. Taking the MTR, MPAS and end-fed..



August 25, 2016, 09:44:49 pm #7 Last Edit: August 25, 2016, 09:47:09 pm by cockpitbob

I've never even used a single lever paddle, much less owned one.  At $12 + $3 shipping I couldn't resist also getting one of these from  Just like the iambic paddle, the single lever has some #2 screws and takes tweezers and maybe an hour to assemble.  Again, I 3-D printed a base to give the bottom enough area for velcro and holes for a small zip tie to strain relief the cable.  And, as usual, I added 3mm x 10mm magnets. 

Here it is attached to my Bencher for size reference.  I actually like using it quite a bit.  I read somewhere that the competition Morse speed demons use a single lever instead of dual-iambic.  This may become my favorite key.

***KARMA Again***
Anyone that's been here more than a couple months and wants one of my 3-D printed bases for this key, just PM your address and tell me Green or Black.   VWFlyer is already getting one.

BTW, I'm really starting to like these keys.  Last weekend was the annual Skeeter Hunt.  A 4 hour QRP event were people operating outdoors are the "skeeters".  I brought my MTR_3B that has the built in touch-keyer.  I alternated between the little iambic paddles and the touch keyer and found myself just using the paddles after a couple hours.  The spongy feel of the spring arms is easy to get used to.