I discovered a few weeks ago, when I was reading the Elecraft usergroup, an intriguing CW paddle kit from QRPGUYS.com at a very cheap price of 25$ USD plus shipping.
I decided to order one, at this price, not much to loose, but many people were talking very positively of it. I received the kit a few days later. The building experience was just fine. First of all, the instruction sheet was well written and explained. All steps were very easy to follow. But all soldering steps asked me to be patient and precise. A good soldering iron station and a bench vise, as a third hand, is extremely recommended.
The instruction sheet was not included with the parts, but it was easy to download directly from the website.
Step 1 : Do the parts inventory.
Step 2 : All building steps… everything under 2 hours.
Step 3 : Fine tune and spacing adjustement.
The result is quite interesting. The key can now be easily attached to the Elecraft KX2 or KX3 using the same connector header as Elecraft use for their own key using the two thumb screws.
With proper adjustment using a small Phillips screwdriver, the user fine tune the touch and feel he prefers by adding less or more turns to both screws. The rubber paddle can also be adjusted by being a little bit larger if you prefer, or just because you are having bigger fingers. By adding a few more spacers between the rubber paddle and the small metal label makes the paddle a little bit more larger.
At the end, I am very satisfied with the product. It is an excellent alternative if you do not want to spent more money on the Elecraft or Begali key. It took me about a hour to build. A two paddles kit version is also available.
For more information, please visit QRP Guys website at www.qrpguys.com.
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Have fun and stay tuned!
Jeff | VA2SS