new n3zn key

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  • Updated 2 years ago
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.
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Chris Tate - N6WM, Elmer

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Posted 2 years ago

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Michael Coslo

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Single lever paddle - most interesting. How does it compare to an iambic? I've thought of making one to try out before buying one.
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Andrew Thall

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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.
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Charles - K5UA

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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.
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Jim, KJ3P

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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.
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Lee, Elmer

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I bought a custom wood finger piece from Sal IK1OJM  ik1ojm@libero.it 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. 

http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/7778

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
(Edited)
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Stan - VA7NF

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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.

(Edited)
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Lee, Elmer

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I have 2 ZN single lever paddles Superb  My latest is 9A5N

http://sdr-w9oy.blogspot.com/search?q=paddle

73  W9OY
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Kevin K4VD, Elroy

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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. 
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Chris Tate - N6WM, Elmer

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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!)
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NM1W

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love my N3ZN-SLR cootie!