how to hold Te-Ne-Ke

Hello, I am fairly new to SOTA and CW, I started learning CW in March for SOTA. I have a Te-Ne-Ke, and it seems to work well for SOTA. My question is about how to hold it. I see many folks mounting it to a clipboard or something. But it occurred to me that I could hold it in the palm of my left hand, with the wire running toward my wrist, and not have to mount it to anything. And it leaves my right hand free for writing on my notepad (or using the VK-Porta-Log that I installed yesterday.) So far it seems to work, and I am can send up to 15 wpm according to the display on my MTR3B (connected to a dummy load for practice).

Since I haven’t noticed any pictures of anyone holding it this way, I am wondering if I am likely forming any bad CW habits by doing it this way?


Hi Will,

I don’t think you will form any bad habits - if that works for you, then go for it!

I’ve used a pretty wide variety of key types over the years, and find that I can easily adapt to almost anything. The finger stock type like the Te-Ne-Ke work great. Lately I’ve mostly been using a 3D printed type like this:

I’ve been 3D printing these for some of my friends and they all seem to really like them. Uses magnets for the repelling force. Has a really nice feel to it.

We need to do a summit Together one of these days - I keep seeing your spots but I’ve been away on trips a lot this summer and unable to chase you.


-Josh WU7H

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I hold mine in my hand sometimes. Mostly have it on my clipboard though. Whichever way works best for you.

Roland K7FOP

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I have attached an old bicycle helmet strap and its clips to the key at its mounting hole. I then strap the key around my leg and tighten it so it is secure. I then place a small piece of foam under the key at the paddle end to raise the paddle end slightly off my leg and away I go. This is easily adjustable and not in the way of writing or using your cellphone for spotting.

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I have a Palm Pico Paddle and I found that I struggled to hold it in my left hand for a long time, my hand used to cramp. Quite soon after I got the Pico, I starting using an Altoids tin, the tin doubles up as a superb lightweight storage vessel and as a nice base for the magnetic holder. It’s easy to hold the Altoids tin for long periods.

SOTA is largely about experimentation and learning about what works (for you). Often there is more than one way to find a working solution to a problem.


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I found the handle of an old dog grooming brush that was hollow down the middle. it is a soft plastic so is quite comfortable to hold. I drilled a hole to get the 3.5mm jack through and away you go. Its easy to slide the key out if I need to



John VK6NU

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