Palm Paddle

First I like my Palm Paddle.

In asnwer to G4OOE Nick´s report:

The dahs were working but the dits weren’t.

That happens with my paddle from time to time.
It is cold. It is winter. In this rarely moments you throw your radio down the cliffs. But always keep a hand on the antenna and with the help of the coax bring the radio back up and to run.

The problem with my Paddle is the jack between the paddle and the code cube.
3 polts. I only have to disconnect and connect. And it works fine again.

see u, arno oe9amj

In reply to OE9AMJ:
Cable broke down on a summit with me but since replacing the supplied cable with Red&Black power lead it’s been fine…

Steve MW0BBU.

In reply to OE9AMJ:
Get the Pico Paddle and your connector problems will be solved. I’ve used my on many activations now without a glitch.

In reply to OE9AMJ:
Just when you think you have seen all the possible problems with the Palm Paddle connector, this happened to me: the thing started sending all dash and no dah. I cut into the double layer of shrinkwrap and found that the insulation on the white wire was partly skinned and shorting to the common (center) lead. I coated it with fingernail polish, a nice hot-pink color. Fine German engineering…Bah.
Elliott, K6EL

In reply to MW0BBU:

I also had to replace the supplied cable on my palm paddle. One of the conductors broke halfway along the cable. The standard replacement cable cost me 10 pounds!

Walt (G3NYY)

In reply to OE9AMJ:

I replaced the connector in my Palm Paddle with a mini stereo jack. Mouser 161-4033-E. See NASOTA Yahoo Group message 12106 “Retrofit Palm Paddle Connector” and the photos on the group.


I regularly find it to be any mechanical problem inside the paddle. Retracting the inner part, smooth “knocking” at it, looking at the distances has helped the “once every two months” problem (it did happen, too, in a warm shack, where I regularly guestoperate). Being in paranoid mode I always have a spare connector cable with me but never had to use it, like an umbrella preventing rain.
Still somewhat in love with the palm paddle.

In reply to DL8MBS:

Being in paranoid mode I always have a spare connector cable with me …

Paranoia made me buy a Pico paddle to back up my AME Porta Paddle!
It fits nicely in an Altoids box with the LiPo and headphones so no extra space required.

Then just to be sure I can carry one of these!

In reply to MW0BBU:

Count me on on the failed cable group…still haven’t found the exact failure point on the cable.

Tom, N2YTF

In reply to N2YTF:

I had my cable fail on my mini paddle. My theory is that the cable is too rigid. I used my key during extremely cold weather and due to the cable stiffness either the insulation cracked or a conductor broke inside the cable .

Martin Lynch kindly replaced the cable free of charge, I keep it as a spare. I made up a new cable using a 99p 3.5mm stereo audio lead from ebay. A 3 pin molex compatible connector was picked up at Maplin for 99p to terminate the other end, using heat shrink to make it look tidy. My home brew cable is much more flexible than the original and has proved to be extremely reliable.

I treated myself to a Pico Paddle a few months ago and was forced to make up a new cable as the one supplied is not wired conventionally and my home brew radios have no means to swap over dit and dah response in the firmware.

73, Colin

In reply to OE9AMJ:
Me too. I can barely send and receive cw and the cable broke. Not robust enough for a portable product Hr Palm! Martyn Lynch sold me a new cable.
David M0YDH

In reply to N2YTF:
Yes, me also. Luckily I was in Friedrichshafen at the time (preparing to Sotarize the Pfander)…picked up a replacement cable at the rally for 3 Euros. On inspection I couldn’t actually find the fault within the cable, it definitely wasn’t the three pin connector. Disappointing.


Keith GW4OKT

In reply to many:

I’m making a list of all the people I will not allow to use my equipment as they seem to be bunch of incompetent, “ham” fisted, neanderthals!



In reply to MM0FMF:
…and I’m going to dig out the bits and make a spare lead anyway, 'cos it’d be frustrating to get to a summit and then find the lead’s failed… – 73, Rick M0LEP

In reply to M0LEP:

'cos it’d be frustrating to get to a summit and then find the lead’s

What a frightening prospect! I might have to try that microphone-thingy that came with the rig (if it’s in my rucksack).

Alternatively, I could pack up, descend and visit the nearest pub …

73 de Les, G3VQO

Les, I had to do this recently on Rombalds Moor G/NP-028.

The Palm Paddle failed, same fault as oft reported above it seems, and I had to dig the microphone out of the rucksack.

Next job was to reduce the speed to about 16wpm and set the FT-817 paddle menu option to MICKEY (nothing to do with YYY). I could then resume activating on CW using the UP/DOWN buttons on my Yaesu fist mike.

So having to resort to the microphone when the paddle fails might bot be quite so traumatic for you Les!


In reply to MM0FMF:

Andy, whilst I think your comment is mostly said in jest, it does seem as though you’re hinting that we should be looking after our gear better. I for one look after my kit very well because I’m too tight to want to buy replacement stuff!

From the number of failures in the mini paddle cables it would suggest that it is not just rough treatment causing the problems, it’s a fault with the materials used. I genuinely believe that if the cable used was thinner and more flexible, the problem would be solved.

I was impressed by Martin Lynch and hid willingness to supply a replacement cable FOC, it’s probably secured him a transaction from me in the future.


In reply to M1EYP:

Mrng Tom, I had forgotten also about that MICKEY option!
I thought my paddle had failed on last activation but, turns out to be the
key socket on the FT817, which has become loose on the board - to be fixed !
Suppose, not bad for 7 years wear and tear on the hills !

73 Peter TJE+

In reply to M1BUU:

For what it’s worth, my Palm Paddle is about six years old, and still on the original supplied cable.

Perhaps I take more-than-average care of it. I don’t use the sliding feature. The cable is permanently connected to the key, and the entire unit is kept in a suitably-sized Tupperware box (other manufacturers are available) when not in use.

Now I’ve probably tempted fate …

73 de Les, G3VQO

Hi Peter.

There is also the IR option if you have the Palm Code Cube. Looking at this I’m not sure what/how goes into the FT-817 for the other end of the link.