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A familiar design, the Chinese paddle features adjustable contact spacing, hard silver contacts, and a chrome plated mechanism with steel needle bearings and nylon seats. They are surprisingly robust despite their delicate styling, and only an ordinary screwdriver is needed for adjustment.
We imported and sold about 65 of these paddles through Morse Express between early 2000 and mid 2001. These paddles have absolutely no markings possibly because they are so similar to the Bencher BY-1. They are not a complete copy, though-- generally the execution is cruder, and the base is a bit larger. We were told that they are called the Quadriom TA-1 in china, and are made by Quadriom Company in WuXi China. They are reported to be available to Chinese hams through their national organization.
The paddle weighs approximately 2.25 Lbs. Base dimensions
are 3-3/4 x 4 inches.
Richard Meiss (WB9LPU) is quickly gaining a reputation as a master key-maker. You can see a picture of Richard and more of his keys on Tom Perera's telegraph key museum site. Shown above is a pair of Richard's "Parkwood" paddles. They are a delight to use, and have a number of interesting features. At left is a "magnetic" paddle which I got from Richard at Dayton 2000. The closeup (below) shows the adjusting mechanism for the magnetic lever tension. The outer magnet is on a brass bar which can be rotated so that the magnets are lined up (maximum tension) or through near complete offset (minimum tension). In practice this arrangement seems to provide easier, more precise adjustment of tension than the usual screws. The paddle mechanism is quite small (the base is about two inches wide) and the swing-out brass legs provide for a surprising amount of additional stability.
At right is the spring version of the Parkwood, which I ordered at Dayton and received in mid-summer. Note the refinements in the design! The fingerpieces are an attractive "smoke" Lexan, the base is now machined brass, and the swing-out legs are more elegant.
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