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Replacements for Palm Keys


Have you ever operated outdoors in Scotland? The almost permanent cold and drizzle makes touch keys a non-starter. Or to be more accurate, permanent di-dah-di-dah sender! Nice case though.


K9EZ, just fine but i’m looking for the Porta-paddle, a different paddle from the DCP (dirty cheap paddle)… :grin:


That would be a problem. I find that it is environmentally sensitive. I guess I would not rely on a touch keyer as a primary key then. I stil have a Begali Adventure bolted on to the KX3. Thanks for that info.

Ariel NY4G


I made several paddles this with 3D designed by ok1cdj.
I used small 9kt gold plates for contacts instead of brass.
See here: http://www.hb9fih.org/?p=p_537&sName=10-11.2018-morse-paddles-selbst-gedruckt-serie-1



Porta-Paddles are made and sold by American Morse - http://americanmorse.com/.
They have a wide range of small, well-made, lightweight paddles.


Hallo JC,

You’ve done a great job. By coincidence I found this topic and I’m pleased to read that my PCB copy of the Palm Mini Paddle, you’ve found on my website, inspired you to create this modern 3D design. In 2005 when I was at the FDIM in Dayton, I showed my paddle to one of the Palm Radio guys. He complimented me with my work. I never owned such a mini paddle but would love to try your design.

Good luck with the final approach.
72/73 Carel - PA0CMU



je ontwerp is “wereld beroemd” :grinning:


Hi JC,

I finally got the parts printed by a friend of mine.

Several remarks :

  • There is no hole at the rear of the base for the cable
  • For what is the square hole in the bottom of the base good for ?
  • even if i don’t have the ball plunger (don’t want to order a set for only one…), i can’t see where it should be installed. I imagine a hole in the base is missing ?

I will try to build the paddle anyway and tell you.

73, Patrick



This is weird. Do you want to post your comment on Thingiverse as this is very specific to this project ?
The link is : https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3220538/comments

I’ll double check the files uploaded to Thingiverse, but basically the hole at the base should terminate in the square hole, and from there connect to the paddles. You should be able to drill a 2 or 3mm hole from the back to the square hole, but the hole should be there.

Also, feel free to hit me by direct message on qrz.com.




OK, did it on Thingiverse.
I’ve loaded the files with the Windows 10 3D viewer and holes are effectively missing.

Didn’t find how to send a PM on QRZ.COM:roll_eyes:


Click on your icon (top right)
click on envelope.


Thanks Rod,

I finally got it ! :grinning:


BaMaTech in Germany has made the enclosure for the QCX rig of QRP Labs.
The owner of BaMaTech, OM Markus DL6YYM, has now made a proto type of a Mini Key. He has written me that this paddle has a sensitive adjustment of stroke and preload, preload adjustable with magnets, socket installed etc. 19x35x50 mm weight 70 g. Maybe this an opportunity for those who have no access to 3D printing facilities.
When there is more news, I will put it in this Reflector.
I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy SOTA Year.
Geert, PA7ZEE


Here is an update on the printed paddle. It has now a 3.5mm phone jack, and is using 3D printed paddle spring instead of PCB. This allows much more flex, and the feel can be adjusted to much lighter weight.
Look for v3 files on thingiverse.



For anyone wanting a plain straight key, look at cwmorse.us, I received a rather neat hand key from them (via a reposting service). Has a nice action and very light as a backup key in the backpack.


That looks neat, how do you adjust the “spring tension” as it looks like the strength is preset during the design and production process?


There is a preset resistance based on the flexing capability of the either the PCB or the printed material. However, there are two magnets that are on set screws that will increase the resistance.
Originally, i used 0.6mm pcb which, because of manufacturing tolerance ended up somewhat too stiff (close to 50g of resistance); i wanted around 20g. Flex PCB is too expensive, so I am now using a printed blade that is 0.4 mm. this seems to do the job very well.


Well done JC !

I Will try this newer version asap. I’m not satisfied with the DCP key i bought…

73, Patrick


Confirming Geert post, after bying QCX enclosure, rx this

73 Eric F5JKK


Hi Martin,

great work, see my build.

vy 73 de Thomas HB9GVC