I think you mean the chinese black and red. I have got one some 6 months ago. Strong enough to use at activations, but I’ve glued a magnet at the bottom face. Although it can be mounted on the side using a small Alen key, I think it is faster and more convenient that way.
I bought one of the standalone versions and it is worked out well. I notice one of the vendors has increased the price somewhat recently though. It was about USD50 when I bought mine. It is small enough to go into my accessories box but also has enough mass to sit still on rocks, moss, grass etc. There is a stereo 3.5mm socket on the rear of the paddle and you use any standard stereo M-M cable to connect to your radio. Shielded cable recommended. .
That’s the bunny! Much cheaper than a palm paddle, I would hesitate to spend £90 on a key just to see if it is better than the straight key that I never use, but I might punt £25 on the Chinese FT817 key knowing that if I took to the type I would eventually buy something better.
Is anyone in a position to compare the Chinese paddles, Pico paddle and American Morse Equipment Portapaddle / DCP paddle? Sorry this is becoming a thread hijack. Of the three I think the American Morse keys look best, but still a different league from the beautiful Begali.
That’s my thinking too… the main advantage of the palm is the memory (It leaves you some time to set other things, or just to write, drink or so,…)
This is the way I have set it up (I prefer the key to be on several different angles, depending on my op. position)
No I don’t have one. I don’t have a wonderful paddle touch myself as anyone who has heard me sending will agree. However, I have played with Begali and Schurr keys at rallies etc. They look fabulous and feel wonderful to my uneducated fist. I have a Bencher BY-1 which is a good paddle but it’s not in the same “shiny shiny” category as Begali or Schurr. I always use a PalmPaddle original which is fine and works (even if my fingers fail in the cold).
Someone mentioned Kent. I have Kent straight key which feels good but I don’t like straight keys. The Kent paddles feel very good but again, the opulence of the Begali and Schurr are very attractive.
The solution… you need several from each manufacturer just to be sure
It has a nice action, but it is far too heavy to take up a hill, so I use a smaller straight key when I am out. I never progressed from a pounder to a side-swiper, even though I do have one somewhere in the house. Let’s face it, when you are out on a hill in the freezing cold, touching two wires together is probably as good as any key… especially if you suffer from Raynauds like I do!
I have the Begali Spark .
It is very well engineered, solid, gold plated and has its own serial number on the base.
It works and sounds great, tap the key and it clicks unlike my other key that thuds when pressed ( it is now hiding in the back of a cupboard - ashamed of itself). It weighs in a hefty 1448g so a tad heavy for lugging up a summit.
I just have to practice more to get my speed back up - the key is great at sending, its just the sender that’s not so great at keying.
I’ve got the AME portapaddle and the Palm Pico.
The AME is my main activation key, I carry the Pico only as a backup.
They’re are both good keys but with a very different feel.
The AME is solid and precise whereas I find the Pico a bit “flexible”.
The only issue I have with the AME is that the electrical connection is through the arm pivots.
In the cold and wet I’ve had dropping dits and dahs on more than one occasion.
I strip the whole key down every few months and clean everything up.
I’m not sure if this would be a problem on the Pico as I rarely use it!