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new n3zn key

Chris Tate  - N6WMChris Tate - N6WM Member ✭✭
edited April 23 in Third-Party Software
This is a bit OT but wanted to share.  I just got a new single lever key to use with my Flex 6700 from Tony N3ZN.  the Mechanical quality and craftmanship of Tonys keys is amazing and is a great compliment to my flex contesting setup.  If you are in the market for a new Key I would highly recommend checking these out.image


  • Michael CosloMichael Coslo Member
    edited November 2016
    Single lever paddle - most interesting. How does it compare to an iambic? I've thought of making one to try out before buying one.
  • edited April 23
    Congrats Chris. I finally went single lever paddle, same key a yours, and have never looked back at the variety of quality iambics I own. I just wish the finger piece was the same width as the distance between the iambic keys. I guess my thumb and middle finger muscle-memory is too ingrained after all these years. It finally dawned on me that there is no real reason to use an iambic key unless you are using iambic fingering. I think you will like the N3ZN single lever key.
  • W9OYW9OY Alpha Team Member ✭✭
    edited October 2016
    I have 2 ZN single lever paddles Superb  My latest is 9A5N


    73  W9OY
  • Andrew ThallAndrew Thall Member ✭✭
    edited November 2016
    I have a modified P-6 single paddle key made by K6RA (extra heavy base) and I absolutely LOVE it. Congrats on getting a great key.
  • Jim  KJ3PJim KJ3P Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    I thought I was the only one who wanted the iambic finger-spacing, but without the iambic contacts.  I bought a Begali Simplex Mono Basic (with optional snazzy red aluminum paddles) for just that reason...a fantastic key.
  • W9OYW9OY Alpha Team Member ✭✭
    edited October 2016
    I bought a custom wood finger piece from Sal IK1OJM  [email protected] for my 9A5N paddle which I am really happy with.  You might be able to contact him to design a "fatter" finger piece solution.  

    I would also contact Tony N3ZN.  He used to make only iambics and I contacted him back in 2008 about designing a single lever paddle.  I had Begali and Kent but I was not happy with the performance of those paddles.  The mechanism was too convoluted.  He couldn't understand at first why I wanted single lever and I told him I wanted a simpler, less massive mechanism.  He was open to my suggestions.  We collaborated on the design and the ZN-SL1 was born, out of my need for a better paddle and his machining genius. 


    I have the prototype as SN#1.  He later went on to refine the design with a heavier base which expanded into a whole line of single lever paddles.   He may be open to an iambic spaced alternative finger piece.  I hear him on 40M CW all the time, good guy.  

    73  W9OY
  • Stan VA7NFStan VA7NF President Surrey Amateur Radio Communications Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016

    Made various comments about single paddle vs iambic - here is my circa 1962 - Ham basics - Making a paddle from an old semi-automatic chrome plated key and a highly varnished wood finger piece.  Used with a 3-tube keyer with a weather balloon ultra-light relay.  Good for constant 60WPM cathode keying a "new" DX-40.

    This is still my favourite paddle - The wide well varnished wood feel is ideal for soft stroking action.

    And yes - Those are the "original" Mecano brass nuts.

  • KevinKevin Member
    edited July 2019
    I grew up on Iambics, the first being a Heathkit like this one:

    Since then I've been through Ten Tec, HamKey, Bencher, Kent and Begali to name a few. Once in a while I have the opportunity to try the single levers but never quite get it. It has to be a matter of what I was raised on I think. I am able to do a fair job with semi-autos (bugs) but the Iambic is the key for good code at any speed for me.

    Another observation... there are some beautiful keys out there these days! I love window shopping the various vendor and manufacturer sites looking at their works of art. The N3ZN key above would look great on any ham shack desk. 
  • Chris Tate  - N6WMChris Tate - N6WM Member ✭✭
    edited April 2017
    10 meters open here in W6 this afternoon and took the ZN for a drive in a few ragchews.  This is a wonderful key.  already adjusting to the single lever spacing, ok at about 30wpm for now..  nice error free CW sending is a wonderful thing.  thanks for all the comments!  I will use in CQWW cw for sure. (with my 6700!)
  • NM1WNM1W Member ✭✭
    edited July 2017
    love my N3ZN-SLR cootie!

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