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Introducing CW
Learning CW
The Straight Key
The Paddle
The Sideswiper

Key Gallery

The Paddle
I1QOD Magnetic PaddleBegali Signature Edition
                                            Alberto Frattini I1QOD  Magnetic Iambic                                             Begali Signature Edition

The Paddle, in the twin lever version, allows reaching speeds which are virtually unlimited (60WPM is a practical limit).
A Paddle is "simply" made by two switches: one for the dots and the other for the dashes and it is used to command an electronic keyer in the following way (for right-handed):
  • The right paddle emits dashes, keeping it pressed produces a stream of dashes.
  • The left paddle emits dots, keeping it pressed produces a stream of dots.
  • By pressing before the right paddle and then the left paddle, and keeping them pressed both, the keyer emits a stream of alternated dash - dot (squeezing).
  • By pressing before the left paddle and then the right paddle, and keeping them pressed both, the keyer emits a stream of alternated dot - dash (squeezing).
The adoption of a paddle is, as a matter of fact, mandatory if you want to reach 25 WPM speed and above or if you want to operate in contest. Transitioning is often painful: you need to learn a new manipulation style. All the timing and spacing defects you accumulated with the stright key, in this phase, will come out and they will require a significant amount of work to be amended.
Squeeze is difficult at first try: do not even consider to avoid it: it is a mistake that will block you very hardly in the future.
Keep trying and always have in mind the sound of CW, made by rithm. Fix this sound and try hard to obtain it.

Take a newspaper and play it with the paddle, repeat and repeat !

Download a movie showing how to manipulate a PaddleThis movie (105KB needs Apple Quicktime) shows how to manipulate a paddle.

An Example of 50WPM transmission with a Begali Sculpture Paddle

I am reading the paddle brochure:
"How to adjust the Scultpure
Please refer to the photos on the opposite page.
Before you adjust the paddle spacing by turning the oval backstop,
please remove the contact gap adjustment screws all the way out for the maximum gap.
After adjusting the paddle spacing readjust the contact gap as required"