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Pete Theer, 191 FM 2313, Kempner, Texas 76539-8672  USA

Current CW Equipment - Keyer Paddles
CW Key

 
Bencher BY-1 Iambic Paddles
I have several of these.  The first one was given to me by Tony, KN4VL after a CW QSO on 40M in October 2007.  I bought another new from R&L Electroncs, then got a third with an MFJ-422 Keyer attached. It is probably the most popular paddle ever made and Bencher's website claims well over 100,000 BY-1 and BY-2 paddles are in use worldwide. It is smooth, good looking and easy to adjust for any fist.
The adjustments are all locked with set screws, so they don't require frequent touch-ups.  

More info:  http://www.bencher.com/ham/

for the BY-1 & BY-2 Instruction sheet click here:
http://www.k5prt.com/BY_Instr.jpg
Use your browser's BACK button to come back here.

Bencher BY-1 Paddle
Bencher BY-2 Chrome Iambic Paddles
I purchased this one new from R&L Electronics in 2008.
Same as the BY-1 above with a chromed base.
From Bencher's website: 
"A paddle that is perfectly responsive, light to the touch, a paddle your fingers float over and become as one. A perfect paddle is one that the operator forgets as his/her thoughts reach out, flawlessly and smoothly translated into perfect CW. A paddle with definitive yet subtle tactile feedback, friction free return, and perfect closure on every dot and dash."

More info:  http://www.bencher.com/ham/
Bencher BY-2 Chrome Paddle
Bencher BY-2 Chrome Iambic Paddles
This one was purchased "Used" "Like New" with plastic dust cover on eBay, January 2012

From Bencher's website: 
"A paddle that is perfectly responsive, light to the touch, a paddle your fingers float over and become as one. A perfect paddle is one that the operator forgets as his/her thoughts reach out, flawlessly and smoothly translated into perfect CW. A paddle with definitive yet subtle tactile feedback, friction free return, and perfect closure on every dot and dash."

More info:  http://www.bencher.com/ham/
Bencher BY-2 with dust cover
Bencher ST-1 Single Lever (Non-Iambic) Paddles
Purchased from an ad on eHam.net from  Marc, AD6MI.
This paddle also has custom red paddles and a custom plexiglass dust cover.
This is the cousin of the Bencher BY series Iambic paddles intended for those who are used to a bug.  There is an excellent tension adjusting screw at the rear which is much easier to use and has a much wider range of adjustment than the tension adustment on the BY series.





More info:  http://www.bencher.com/ham/
Bencher ST-1 Iambic Paddle
Bencher ST-2 Single Lever (Non-Iambic) Paddles
Purchased from an ad on eHam.net from  Pat, K4AAZ
This paddle has custom the normal smoked clear plastic  paddles.  This is the cousin of the Bencher BY series Iambic paddles intended for those who are used to a bug.  There is an excellent tension adjusting screw at the rear which is much easier to use and has a much wider range of adjustment than the tension adustment on the BY series.





More info:  http://www.bencher.com/ham/
Ben cher ST-2 Chrome Sinlge Lever Paddles
Bencher BY-4  Iambic Paddles - Black Base Gold Plated Mechanism
Purchased from an ad on eHam.net in October 2012.
Same as the BY-1 above with a Gold Plated Mechanism
From Bencher's website: 
"A paddle that is perfectly responsive, light to the touch, a paddle your fingers float over and become as one. A perfect paddle is one that the operator forgets as his/her thoughts reach out, flawlessly and smoothly translated into perfect CW. A paddle with definitive yet subtle tactile feedback, friction free return, and perfect closure on every dot and dash."

More info:  http://www.bencher.com/ham/
Bencher BY-4
Ham Key Iambic Paddles
Purchased from an ad on eHam.net in 2008.
These were produced by Ham Radio Center of Saint Louis, MO and are no longer in production.  They were sold as a cheaper alternative to the more expensive Brown Brothers products.
From eHam.net reviews:"Manufactured for a few years in the 1970’s, the HamKey most often sells for more now than when it was new. Purists may scoff at this fine old paddle, but it remains quite usable even today. Constructed on a more than adequate metal base, the key housing is made of a durable red plastic, with chromed metal parts. Well, maybe not chrome, but polished and shiny. No fancy jeweled bearings for this key, making this a very basic iambic keyer paddle."
Ham Key Paddle
Ham Key Model HK-4 Paddle/Key Combination
Purchased from an ad on eHam.net in 2008.
Includes the Ham-Key paddles and straight key on one gray hammertone base. These were produced and sold by Ham Radio Center of Saint Louis, MO and are no longer in production.  They were sold as a cheaper alternative to the more expensive Brown Brothers products. This one has binding posts for connection but they were also sold with screw terminals on the back or with 3 RCA jacks.  From eHam.net Reviews: "For some reason, the adjustments remain true for long periods of time, and although it doesn’t have the smoothest feel, there is a certain “comfortable” feeling I get when using it. It remains a favorite of mine for good reasons. At age 35, my HamKey is still going strong and is sure to be around (and working) long after I’m gone. A very desirable model for some, is the combo model of iambic paddle and straight key on a common base."
More info: http://www.artifaxbooks.com/forsale.htm
Ham Key Key/Paddle Combination
Hi-Mound Model MK-703 Manipulator Iambic Dual Lever Paddle
Year of Manufacture: Unknown
Purchased on eBay, 09 January 2011
This is a rugged, heavy paddle designed to give a lifetime of service. The MK-703 weighs a bit over two pounds, and the design is such that it seriously resists skating on the table. The action is very precise, with close-spaced paddles and fully adjustable bearing tension.   The base is natural marble on black plastic.   The aluminum colored plastic protective cover is included, and cable connection is by means of convenient binding posts at the backor underneath.
The model MK-703 was recently replaced by the model MK-705 which is identical but it has a clear plastic cover.

More Info::  http://www.mtechnologies.com/himound/
Hi-Mound MK-703 Manipulator Iambic Paddles
Vibroplex Triangular Brass Racer SN# 06227
Year of Manufacture 1991
Purchased from an ad on eHam.net October 2008.
(Slight Tarnish on brass)

From eHam.net reviews: "These are the first set of Magnetic Paddles I have owned and wow is the Magnetic Return ever nice and snappy. Great Feel. Sending Code on these paddles is almost Effortless! I also have 2 other sets of Vibroplex Paddles the Iambic and Vibrokeyer and these are the nicest made by Vibroplex."

More info:  http://vibroplex.com/brass_racer_iambic.html
 

Vibroplex Triangular Brass Racer SN: 06227
Vibroplex Triangular Brass Racer SN# 07543
Year of Manufacture 1992
Purchased on eBay February 2012

From eHam.net reviews: "These are the first set of Magnetic Paddles I have owned and wow is the Magnetic Return ever nice and snappy. Great Feel. Sending Code on these paddles is almost Effortless! I also have 2 other sets of Vibroplex Paddles the Iambic and Vibrokeyer and these are the nicest made by Vibroplex."

More info:  http://vibroplex.com/brass_racer_iambic.html
 

Vibroplex Brass Racer SN: 07543
Vibroplex Code Warrior JR. Paddles  SN:  2109
Year of Manufacture: January 2006
Purchased from KF2YD on eHam.net. December 2010

The Code Warrior Keys are uniquely serial numbered and dated. With a base measuring only 2 1/2" by 3", this small iambic model is a perfect addition to any QRP or home station. The keys have a black powder coated base, clear paddles and magnetic action - NO SPRINGS! Weight 1.5 lbs.

More info:  http://vibroplex.com/code_warrior_junior.html
Vibroplex Code Warrior Jr.
Vibroplex Iambic Standard Paddles SN# 44828
Year of Manufacture 1983
Purchased with plexiglass dust cover from an ad on eHam.net in January 2009. (eHam.net photo)

From eHam.net Reviews: "You really don't need a $600 paddle to get the job done or make yourself happy. I have found this truth by spending too much money on high-end paddles only to end up selling them off mostly at a loss just to get rid of them. This Vibroplex is priced very fair and for what you get it's my opinion you really can't do a lot better, for the money."

More info:  http://vibroplex.com/IAMBIC.html

Vibroplex Iambic Standard SN# 44828
Vibroplex Iambic Deluxe Paddles SN# 47083
Year of Manufacture 1983-84.  (Vibroplex photo)
Purchased on eBay in August 2009.
The Vibroplex  Iambic is the modern descendent of the Original.  It incorporates the traditional Vibroplex look for use with modern electronic keyers. The code speed with the Iambic depends on the particular electronic keyer with which it is operated. And, you get the same crisp operation at 5 words per minute as you do at 50+ wpm. Weight 5 lbs. Jeweled movement.
This key had one spring missing (from the dash arm) when purchased but a new replacement is just $4 from Vibroplex.

More info:  http://vibroplex.com/IAMBIC.html
Vibroplex Deluxe Iambic Paddles SN: 47083
Vibroplex Deluxe Vibrokeyer Paddles SN# 389671
Year of Manufacture 1979.
Purchased from eBay in 2008.  (eBay photo)
 It was auctioned along with a J-38 hand key which now belongs to Mark, KE5MZP. This photo was taken as it arrived, before polishing. It has since been polished and looks like new.  A new binding post nut has been received from Vibroplex to replace the missing one. You'll note a previous owner reversed the finger pieces which have since been returned to original positions.

For more info:
http://vibroplex.com/vibrokeyer.html

Vibrokeyer Deluxe Paddle SN# 389671
Vibroplex Standard Vibrokeyer Paddles SN# 65809
Year of Manufacture 1991
Purchased from eBay in 2008. (eBay photo)

From eHam.net Reviews: 
"The Vibroplex Vibrokeyer's operation is simple, smooth, and clean. It is the only paddle I can truly say that I will stick with until my key becomes silent. Thank you, Vibroplex, for not succumbing to the temptation of tampering with an already great product."

For more info:
http://vibroplex.com/vibrokeyer.html

Vibrokeyer Standard Paddles SN# 65809
Vibroplex Standard Vibrokeyer Paddles SN# None
Year of Manufacture: circa 1960's
 Purchased from eBay in 2008.  (eBay photo)
Gray base & red finger pieces.
There is no name plate on this one so the serial number and hence the year of manufacture is unknown. According to Tom French's "Vibroplex Collector's Guide", some of these paddles with "Hallicrafters Gray" base were sold by Harrison Radio in the early 60's.  I don't know if they had the Vibroplex nameplate or not. This may be one of those. There are no rivet holes in the base to hold the nameplate.

More info: http://vibroplex.com/vibrokeyer.html

Vibroplex Vibrokeyer Standard SN# Unknown
Vibroplex Gold Vibrokeyer Paddles SN# 100522
Year of Manufacture: 1995
Purchased on eBay in November 2010
The entire base is gold plated, not just a gold plated brass plate.  I  polished this key and it now looks like new. Spotless and high gloss.
From eHam.net Reviews:  "The Vibroplex Vibrokeyer's operation is simple, smooth, and clean. It is the only paddle I can truly say that I will stick with until my key becomes silent. Thank you, Vibroplex, for not succumbing to the temptation of tampering with an already great product."
More info: http://vibroplex.com/vibrokeyer.html
Vibrokeyer Gold 100522
Vibroplex Iambic Presentation Paddles SN# 106085
Year of Manufacture 1999.  (eBay photo)
Purchased with plastic Dust Cover on eBay in December 2010.

The Vibroplex  Iambic is the modern descendent of the Original.  It incorporates the traditional Vibroplex look for use with modern electronic keyers. The code speed with the Iambic depends on the particular electronic keyer with which it is operated. And, you get the same crisp operation at 5 words per minute as you do at 50+ wpm. Weight 5 lbs. Jeweled movement.

More info:  http://vibroplex.com/IAMBIC.html
Vibroplex Iambic Presentation Paddles 106085
Vibroplex Vibrokeyer 50th Anniversary Paddles SN: 50VK039
Year of Manufacture: 2010
This unit was ordered direct from Vibroplex on 25 November 2010.
Received  14 December 2010.

Available with black or red finger pieces.


More info: http://vibroplex.com/vibrokeyer.html
Vibrokeyer 50 Anniv. Paddles
MFJ-564B (Vectronics) Black Iambic Paddles  (No SN)
Purchased from an ad on eHam.net.  Mine were made by Vectronics which has since been bought out by MFJ.

Although these are very similar to the Bencher BY-1 and BY-2 paddles, there are major differences.  The main frame is square as opposed to round on the Benchers and there are no adjustments for paddle tension. Adjustment scews are phillips screws as opposed to hex set screws on the benchers.  The quality is far below the Benchers as well. Although for $70 they are a petty good paddle.

More info:   http://www.mfjenterprises.com/Product.php?productid=MFJ-564B

MFJ-564B (Vectronics) Black Iambic Paddles
MFJ-564  Chrome  Iambic Paddles  (No SN)

This one was purchased new from MFJ and is still in the box.  I took it out when it arrived and as soon as I saw how far out of adjustment everything was I put it back in the box for another day. It will take some bending with long nose pliers to get the contacts to line up properly.

More info:
http://www.mfjenterprises.com/Product.php?productid=MFJ-564

MFJ-564 Chrome Iambic Paddles
CT-599 Brass Iambic Paddle made in Ukraine by UR5CDX SN: 634
Purchased on eBay in July 2009.   (eBay photo)
Excerpts from eHam reviews:
 "I have to admit that what really got me was the appearance of the paddle. I think it might be the best looking paddle I’ve ever seen. The lines are elegant and clean; the finish is gorgeous. I bought the polished brass model, and it shines like a gem."
"Very impressive and smooth to operate. I'm impressed with the quality of workmanship. It sure gives Vibroplex a run for their money. Even after the shipping costs this came in well under what a new Code Warrior would cost and it has a much nicer finish. Very nicely done, I couldn't find a defect in the finish at all and I'm a metal crafter/polisher. Of all the dual paddle keys I've used in the past this one is at the top of the list for looks and performance."
More info:  http://www.ur5cdx.com
CT-599 Brass Iambic Paddle
CT-Europe X Dual Lever Iambic Paddle made in Ukraine by UR5CDX SN: 416 (The "X" indicates the chromed version, the Brass version is "B")
Purchased on eBay in August 2009  (eBay photo)

Description: The CT Europe dual paddle has a very unusual design - three hoops on a classic pillbox base. The spring tension and contact spacing for each lever can be adjusted individually with the knurled screws. Bearing tension is adjustable but won't normally need it. The feel of this paddle is extremely crisp and precise. The CT Europe dual paddle has machined coin solid silver contacts, plexiglass fingerpieces, and an attached 5' cable with 1/8" plug and 1/8" to 1/4" adaptor.

More info:  http://www.ur5cdx.com
CT Europe Dual Lever Chrome  Iambic Paddle
CT-73B Brass Iambic Paddle made in Ukraine by UR5CDX SN: 153
Year of Manufacture: 2006
Purchased on eBay in September 2009.   (UR5CDX photo)

Description: The CT-73B paddle has a square base. The contact spacing for each lever can be adjusted individually with the knurled screws. Bearing tension is adjustable but won't normally need it. The feel of this paddle is extremely crisp and precise. The CT-73B paddle has machined coin solid silver contacts, plexiglass fingerpieces, and an attached 5' cable with 1/8" plug and 1/8" to 1/4" adaptor.  Weighs over 3 pounds (1.4 kg).

More info:  http://www.ur5cdx.com
CT-73B Brass Iambic Paddle
CT-9 Original Iambic Paddle made in Ukraine by UR5CDX SN: 631
Year of Manufacture: 20??
Purchased on eBay in June 2010.   (UR5CDX photo)

Description: The CT-9 Original Iambic paddle has a square base,unique combination of black steel and polished brass parts. The contact spacing and tension for each lever can be adjusted individually with the knurled screws.  The feel of this paddle is extremely crisp and precise. The CT-9 paddle has machined coin solid double silver contacts, plexiglass fingerpieces, and an attached 5' cable with 1/8" plug and 1/8" to 1/4" adaptor.  Weighs about 1.5 pounds (.65kg).

More info:  http://www.ur5cdx.com
CT-Ham Original Iambic Paddle
W5JH Black Widow Paddle SN: 837
Purchased from W5JH August 6, 2009.  Normally available only in kit form, Jerry offered to build one for me at no additional charge due to my infermity.
This paddle is of all brass construction with a 3 inch x 3 inch base. It uses computer controlled machined parts for excellent fit and accuracy. The paddle has both spring and magnetic return force. The paddle arms ride on precision ball bearings for an extremely smooth feel. The contacts are Silver Plated for low resistance. Each arm has a Silver Plated wire ground to prevent intermittents. Almost everything is adjustable including bearing tension, contact spacing, and magnetic return force. Thumb screws lock everything down once you set the paddle the way you like it. Knurled nuts are provided to connect your cable to the paddle. Soft plastic feet keep the 1 lb 7 oz paddle from sliding around your table.
More info:  http://www.w5jh.net/Black_Widow.htm
W5JH Black Widow CW Paddle
K8RA P-1 Paddle
Purchased on eBay July 2012 in conjunction with a basic MFJ Keyer.
The P-1 Brass key is mounted on oak base and the base is filled with a lead slug for added weight (~1.8 lbs). Arm tension and contact spacing are fully adjustable.  The dot dash arm pivots use four precision ball bearings for smooth operation and the contacts are silver to insure low contact resistance.  The brass is coated with laquer before assembly to insure a long lasting shine.

More info:  http://www.k8ra.com/index_007.htm
K8RA P-1 Paddle
Uni-HAM 730 Paddle
Purchased on eBay, January, 2013 (eBay Photo)
Uni-HAM is a Chinese company making paddles and other amateur radio equipment, primarily for the Chinese market.  Their designs are well thought-out, materials are well chosen, and performance is equal to equipment costing much more in the western world. It is a current production model.

The Uni-730 dual paddle is a compact but solid paddle capable of standing up to the rigors of portable operation as well as providing excellent service in the shack.  The base measures 3 inches by 2-1/2  inches, with the levers extending another inch to the front.   Despite the small footprint, the Uni-730 weighs just under a pound (15.5 Oz) and it has non-skid pads on the bottom for stability. Contact spacing is adjusted easily, without tools, via the large thumb-screws on either side of the paddle body.  Spring tension is fixed for a light, precise action.

More info: http://www.mtechnologies.com/uniham/
More info: http://www.uniham.com/  (in Chinese)
Uni-HAM 730

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This page last updated on 30 January 2013 - Copyright © 2008-2013  Pete Theer - All Rights Reserved