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Lambic paddle for G3RDQ (and others)

Hi David.
I had the same weight-problem with the bencher like you (see SOTA News December) and found the solution by using the very cheap , extra light and primitive iambic paddle MFJ-561. I fasten it with a rubber string around my knee, and it works perfectly for me. There are “better” - very expensive- light paddles available, but the MFJ does the job.

In reply to LA5SAA:
Hello Mike,
Many thanks for this information. I will have a look out for this device.
I did pick up some micro-switches at a rally this summer but have not got round to trying to make something with them yet.
I never did master the squeeze function (apart from sending CQ !)of the iambic paddle so I only use it as a straight left/right paddle which should make ‘home brew’ simpler.
Thanks again for taking the time to share your experiences.
Regards, David.

In reply to G3RDQ:
I’ve posted on Flika some pictures of the key I always use /p

Materials used
Piece of plastic window sill
Piece of copper clad board
Two micro switches
Piece of junior hacksaw blade
Trouser belt
A few nuts and bolts

About 2 hours to build
Weight negligible
Value Zero (You can loose it on a hill;-))
If you need any more info just shout.

In reply to G4RQJ:
Interested in your key design. Can not find it on Flika. Info please?


In reply to G3RMD:
Hi Frank
The above link should get you there,Flika is not my strong suit :wink:

In reply to G4RQJ:

Hi Rob,
Just had a look at your nifty little homemade paddle.
Before seeing this I was thinking that I might use the springs in the micro-switches to hold the paddle in the neutral position ,so seeing that you have done exactly that gives me some encouragement to give it a try.
For anyone who wants to buy there is an interesting rating of numerous keys and paddles at: www.eham.net/reviews/products/16 , including the MFJ and other inexpensive mini paddles.
By the way if anyone wants a free pair of microswitches from the box that I got at the radio rally just send me an s.a.e at QTHR as there are more here than I can possibly use.
Regards, David. G3RDQ

In reply to LA5SAA:

Has anybody tried the UD-key?


73, Jaakko OH7BF/F5VGL

In reply to G3RDQ:
I am on the lookout myself for a portable paddle and i also have built one, this is based around a single lego brick.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10IU0PODKZE Sean M0GIA

To G4RQJ and others:-

Hi All,
Rob I was inspired by your posting to knock up the simple hacksaw blade/microswitch paddle.
It works fine although it requires quite a large movement of the paddle to operate the microswitches so sending above about 16 wpm is difficult.
Did post image on Flickr but not sure how you direct public access to it.
So also posted image under my call (G3RDQ)on QRZ.com if you want a laugh!
Here you will also see an image of a straight key that I made at school which was quite some time ago as I will be 64 this year.

David G3RDQ

Does anyone else have problems with an intermittent dot (left paddle) on the Mini Palm Paddle? I’ve had quite a bit of annoyance with it, and I know that G3CWI and LA1ENA have mentioned it too. It can usually be rectified by manipulating the wire out of the back into a different angle, or even bending the pins slightly outwards on the connector. Sometimes, it can be solved just by rotating the paddle around slightly on its magnetic base on the 817.

Sean, did you submit your CW scores OK for the G3WGV table?


In reply to M1EYP:

I suffer similar problems Tom but with the dash paddle. I am going to see if the cable can be soldered permanantly and do away with the plug. This is a bad fault on an otherwise superb bit of kit.


In reply to G3RDQ:
Hi Dave,
Nice to see the keys,Wish I’d done metalwork at school but only woodwork,it took the airforce to get me into metal bashing. I managed to close up the gaps a little by elongating the holes in the base plate that the front micro switch retaining bolts go through then pivoting the switches inward around the rear bolt and clamping down the front bolt in that position. That keeps things happy at about 18wpm which is about my limit while sitting on the ground in the wind and rain ;<)
I’ve got a 4yr start on you.

In reply to G4RQJ:
Hi Rob,
Thanks for your comments.
I did think that I might reduce the paddle movement by a nail or screw on each side to act as an end stop as the paddle obviously goes well past the point where the microswitch operates and only stops when it hits the switch outer case. Anyway its been an intersting little exercise for me and a change from the normal challenges of house and garden improvements,repairs and maintenance.
Yes I was lucky to get sent to a technical school at age 13 but then missed out on other more academic subjects . So ended up as an engineer.
Okay about the extra 4 yrs.I got the bus-pass and am looking forward to catching up the xyl next year who has been getting the extra pocket money since 60!
David, G3RDQ.