External Paddle Modification 
for the Heathkit

The Heathkit HD-1410 was (and is) a great keyer...BUT
-you can't access the paddle mechanism to adjust it
-the paddle mechanism needs some optimizing for faster-speed operation
-original bulky fingerpieces are not at the best height or location for comfortable sending
-keyer itself takes up lots of real estate if you place it on the operating desk in front of the operator

HD-1410 Original Keyer

The Heath HD-1410 electronic keyer was first manufactured in the mid-70s, and continues to be a very popular iambic keyer. Initial reviews (QST, March 1978) gave it fairly high marks for design, operation, and overall appearance. Features include the ability to key both positive and negative line-to-ground transmitters. Chuck Penson's Heathkit Guide book calls the HD-1410 "one of the most popular keyers ever made by anyone."  I never liked the inability to easily adjust the internal paddle, and I found the height of the fingerpieces above the desk to be greater than I preferred. Also, I did not like the amount of real estate the keyer took up on the operating desk when positioned to let the operator use the internal paddles. The HD-1410 paddle mechanism is a clever design and works amazingly well when you can access the adjustments.

When starting this project of moving the HD-1410 paddle mechanism out of the keyer, I had several goals:

I believe the external paddle modification presented here accomplishes these things, and that the result is a paddle like no other -- a semi-vertical, easy-to-adjust, reasonably priced "industrial/functional" design that I find both unique and attractive.  The base is 3 inches by 3 inches - a size that is perfect for the operating desk, as it does not get in the way like many larger paddles. The base uses low-profile, very "grippy" rubber feet, and so does not move around in use.  Mounting the mechanism on a custom bracket at a 45 degree angle gives the paddle its unique look, but also an aesthetic that fits the base size while allowing for attachment of new fingerpieces.  Click on the photos below for a larger view of the modified keyer and the external paddles with either red or black fingerpieces.

new paddle red   mod front panel   new paddle black


Notes on HD-1410 troubleshooting

eHam HD-1410 Product Reviews

Heath HD-1410 Service Bulletins

WB8VGE's "The Heathkit Shop"

A Chronology of Paddles and Keyers

 Contact N3CW for more information on the modified paddle.

Return to N3CW Home

  last updated
  May 4, 2014