CW Key Recommendations

Thanks all!

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Take a look at the paddles made by GM0EUL
Seem to be very light but reliable.

73 de DL3GJ


I use the paddle from designed by OK1CDJ. It’s light, cheap
and pretty reliable. it cost me less than 30 Euros.
There is an improved version out now:


Some good links and plans for making your own Palm Paddle clone with a 3D printer:

   73 Matt

That’s all fine and good for those that HAVE a 3D printer. :slight_smile:

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You could always print yourself a printer…oh! :confused:


+1 for this paddle. I’ve made tons of these for my friends, and it’s a really great design!


I like my rewired computer trackball. I took out the ball and the electronics and just wired the two buttons to a 1/8" stereo plug on a short cable. It is light, backpack friendly and feels good in the hand. Best of all, it’s dirt cheap.

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I think it’s worth looking at GM0EUL’s key. It’s by far my favorite, even over my palm. Check it out at GM0EUL Morse keys - Products

Good luck


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I’m not what your would say as ‘proficient’ at Morse but I do try, I have 2 keys both from PALM who are now, unfortunately, ceased trading. I have a paddle and a straight key very compact, lightweight and effective. There maybe some around on eBay etc. I did notice here in the UK Martin Lynch ham store stocking a alternative ie portable use type keys. My preference is definitely PALM and other members from my local club also highly recommend.

Good luck with your search. 73 MIke.

My home made since 2010 - light and small !!

73 de

Marjan, S51RU


Nice, Inside photo and details


Nice design. The paddle arms are PCB material?

I’m a big fan of 3D printed keys, and have made a lot of them using different designs. It combines two hobbies (CW and 3D printing), so twice the fun!

If you made the case of your key a bit longer, it could slide inside the case to protect the arms during transport (similar to the Palm paddles). I made a key from W6IPA’s design that does this, and uses magnets to keep the paddle in either the operating or stored position. Works very well.




I don’t own a 3D printer but this thread got me to looking what was out there. Found this, ordered, and it arrived fairly quick: For $10 figured couldn’t go wrong. Didn’t come with any instructions, but it’s just a switch with some magnets. BUT, I did find this on my surfing travels :wink:

AD6DM did a really good video here.

So overall, not bad for the price…

73, Todd KH2TJ

Hey Todd,

I’ve made that key. In fact it’s attached to my SOTA clipboard right now and I used it on the last 3 or 4 summits. What I like about it: low parts count and dead simple to build. I didn’t bother with a 3.5mm jack - I just chopped the wire off an old set of earbuds and soldered the wires directly to the contacts. I used hot glue to secure the wire where it exits the body of the paddle. Been working great. Here it is on Thingiverse for anyone interested in making one:

There are a few version in different sizes. All the same basic design.


Zach - so sorry ur equipment was stolen. Would like to thrash the dolts.
Most of the keys for portable use are too expensive for me. I really like the Electronics USA keys and have used them for 20 yrs. They are plastic, but vy durable. Just throw in a backpack and they do well. Cost is around $30 - for another $10, you can get a base with velcro leg strap.
73 Bob K4RLC

I bought a DCP paddle from, but i’m really unhappy with it. A lots of bad contacts, probably in the region of the lever/dowel assembly… There is no electrical continuity between lever and ground (common) other than the one at this junction…
I finally abandonned this key that at first looked very promising.
73, Patrick

Hi Patrick,

I have an American Morse Porta-Paddle which has the same basic design of the DCP. They both have the same problem as the Elecraft KXPD3 with the contacts being through the lever pins. There is a mod for the KXPD3 to run small wires to the paddles to provide a good connection. I made the same mod to my Porta-Paddle and have had no more problems.

I did a brief write-up at American Morse Porta-Paddle Modification | N5NA's Ham Radio & Other Stuff Blog

73, Alan N5NA

4 Likes -inexpensive and FB key for the price. Hope they catch the bastard that stole your stuff.

73 ~ ed