Homebrew mini CW Paddles and Video

I have built a homebrew mini Paddle for my lightweight activation pack.
Here you have a link to my video with a full description.

I have used that paddle in my last two activation and it works all right.

It is small and light (22 gram), built with parts I had at home (it’s for free!) and reliable. No bearings, no huge metal parts. I know there are nice mini paddles on the market, but I had some fun building it and I saved a lot of money.

Perhaps I will add some small Neodymium magnets under the main body…

Hope you like it. VY 73 de Ignacio


I do! Nice design Ignacio, thank you for sharing.


Very Nice. I like it alot!

I may have to build one just for fun…


Hi Ignacio!

It’s a very simple and light constraction. Congratulations!
Thanks for sharing it! I hope to hear you working it on
a summit!

73 Christos.

Nice idea and video, Ignacio.

Good luck and I hope to catch you for a s2s contact one day


I wonder if a spring clothes peg could be used as a source of the arms? With a bit of luck the XYL won’t notice…


Hi Ignacio
Nice neat home brew paddles, will have a go, certainly cheaper than the commercial ones…
Thanks for sharing…

Kaixo Iñaki,
Muy ingenioso y sencillo, espero escucharte desde algún SOTA con el.
73 Moisés.EA4MZ

Hi Ignacio,
What a clever and simple idea, hope to hear you from a SOTA using it.
73 Moises.EA4MZ.

Holla Ignacio

Muy bien! Gracias por compartires.

Espero que volver a hacer QSO contigo.


Hi Ignacio

Well done! Thanks for sharing.

Hope to do QSO with you again.


thanks all for your kind words.

I must admit that it is not the first time I’ve built my CW keyer. I developed a lot of models along the last decade, ranging from poor to master performance.
You know, to gain skillness you need to practice. Improving is a question of trial and error.

I add here below some pics of my old models.
I think my last piece (the one on the video up in the thread) is the best one I did.
If I could just produce them in batches I’d love to share it with you, but to be honest working teaching maths in my high school is enough by now… I’m looking forward to retire but it is still too far, hi.

VY 73 and for sure we well meet on air using this paddle!

Vertical key, my first wooden key. A lot noisy!!

My first Iambic with paper clips. I had a lot of burn with it the first year of CW operation due to RF coupling back to the shack!!

A single lever iambic I used briefly when I started activating for SOTA, back in 2011.
I like the yelllow electric guitar picks on it. And it saved me from burn!

A new concept that never worked right: the two push button iambic. The touch is too hard, although finding the proper buttons with less spring force could be very interesting. The transparent cover case comes from a Mini DV film.

This one is funny. I salvaged an old PC keyboard and cut 2 tracks from under the keyboard. As for the previous iambic is a vertical tapping system. It only works intermittent… Nice piece of junk.

Following the same principle of the previous one, this is my Micro keyer. It is always in my rucksack as a backup key just in case the main one refuses to work.

It was widely described in this other thread:

Let’s close the listing, I don’t want to be boring…
Did I mention so far I never used a commercial key up in the mountains?
95% of all my activation were done with the next homebrew Iambic. I will keep at home from now on…

It is a bit bigger and with my new mini paddle I don’t need it.
It will have a space in my shack now:

73 es CU.


Wonderful idea Ignacio … but I didn’t want to react until I built one myself, so here we go.
I tried the idea of John G4YTJ, using a clothes peg, and yes it works John !

I used 4 pieces of 2.5cm of a 5mm wooden stick I had, so I used round posts for everything. I didn’t need the extra square blocks either, since the clothes peg is thick enough by itself to make the holes for the spring.
I didn’t have any copper foil, so I peeled some off a copper clad PCB (by making a cut with a sharp cutter knife, then heating one corner with a soldering iron until it came loose and then peeled off a whole stripe of copper). Then fixed the foil with some super glue.
I did my drilling too much in a hurry, so one of the side post was not in the right place, but I solved that by filing off the end post, as you can see in the picture.
Also if I had to make another one, I would put the front post a bit further to the front (maybe make the base 8 cm long).
The peg has the tendency to shift upward when keying, so I made a “lock” from a piece of the PCB from which I just removed the copper. It is just “press fit” on the wooden posts.
I have no video of it, but I can confirm it works !
An evening well spent !
I may take it on my EA6 holiday in May, as a backup for my Pico Palm, and who knows we can make a qso here or there …
73 de Luc, ON7DQ


Hello Luc,
I am so glad to see my model evolves and can be replicated! Very well done.

73 de Ignacio.

Wow, was this thread really started in 2017 ? Time does fly !

My old clothespeg paddle started to act up, just when I was trying to work no one else than Ignacio EA2BD ( he started all this nonsense , hi), on one of his activations.
I was comfortably sitting at the beach with my QCX Mini 17m (but using it on 20m).

So it was time to rebuild my paddle, here comes The Clothespeg Paddle V2.0 !

Enjoy !


Well Done Ignacio!

All Best, Ken

Congrats Luc for your new Clothespeg version, hopefully more durable.
Wishing to have a QSO with you from a summit!
73 de Ignacio

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I’ll take it to EA5 soon … so yes, a QSO may be possible, maybe even a S2S …

On my blog , I added a few pictures to show how easy it is to adjust the contact spacing.