What morse paddle?

In reply to ON3WAB:

Hello Peter,

I have seen the Palm Paddle and it seems possibly the ideal solution. However (for what it’s worth and as you will already know) I use a miniature 3-postion, double-throw, centre-(biassed)-off toggle switch, fitted in the (IC706 & FT817) microphone.

There is a choice of enabling the ‘up’ ‘down’ buttons on the mic to send CW and internally connecting the toggle switch to that circuit within the mic housing or wiring externally and independently, directly back to the rig CW jack socket.

I have tried a few different switch varieties but most are too ‘notchy’ for CW. I have attempted to modify them without success. The only suitable ones which I can find are (were?) stocked by RS Components. These are not at all notchy and have a nice smooth action.

Two examples of the one with silver contacts, RS 317 033 were found to be sticking in one or both of the ‘on’ positions during GM SOTA ops last year. Very embarrassing!

RS 317 028 has gold contacts but looks and is sized the same as the 317 033. One of these is fitted in each of my SOTA rig mics and hasn’t been any trouble so far. The problem is that I can’t get any more of them. RS don’t list them any more; they only list the (‘sticky’) one with silver contacts, which is:

I wish I could lay in a stock of 317 028 but I am having to ‘rob’ these from some home-brew Xtal QRP-CW rigs that I built a few years ago.

This toggle switch solution seems strange I know but the real advantage is that it removes one item from the list to be carried, it doesn’t get lost in the rucksack and there is nothing to connect up to the rig in bad WX. The weight requirements are met very well.

The disadvantage is that it’s a two-handed operation, difficult with thick mitts on. Before building these into microphones, I had one mounted in a 35mm film canister with a lead and jack plug for any rig. I used this on overseas holidays for many years and now I can’t send on any other system! Though the toggle only protrudes 1cm and side to side movement is a ‘huge’ +/- 3mm, it is very easy to learn.

Of course all that I have said here is useless, unless we can find some more 317 028’s or some with an equivalent ‘feel’ and specification. I look at every rally but so far have only found the silver contact ones.

No need to reply to this Peter,

73, John G4YSS
(TA08 YSN!)

Thanks for your interesting explanation John. I don’t see myselfd sending any CW with the mike yet. But one day when I get old and experienced like you ( the experienced bit that is :o) ) I might have a go at it.

I took the liberty of sending this topic to Hannes DL9SCO one of the manufacturers of the palm paddle and this is their reply.

"Dear Peter,

wow, this is just great, thanks for sending it! I know we are pretty good but we are really flattered by nice feedbacks just like yours
Your paddle left Ulm this morning and should hopefully arrive very quickly and give you good company on your SOTA activities!

Please say Hi to the whole gang and thank you very much for the support!

BTW if any of your friends should come to Friedrichshafen please tell them to stop by! Our QTH will be in the last flea market hall, just look for the inflatable Palm tree on the table!!

73s and all the best for now


The paddle was sent yesterday morning from Ulm Germany and arrived at noon today.

I must admit it looks smart