Sunday, April 3, 2016

New Paddle 9A5N Solid State Touch Paddle

I bought a new paddle a couple weeks ago from Neno  9A5N.  The paddle is like none I've ever seen.  It uses a MEM device as the switching element.  So the paddle is not a mechanical switch but it is not capacitive device either.  It's an electro-mechanical switch and has zero movement in the key closure.  It's more like the touch screen on your cellphone.  The interface runs through a processor and has user adjustable pressure from 10g to 50g in 5g increments.  

Over the years I've developed peripheral neuropathy which is a disease that attacks the touch nerves in my hands and feet, so my fine touch is shot.  I used to be able to touch type but now I'm two finger Louie.  I used to be a guitarist (the kind who lays out all those melodic jazz chord solo runs) and figured I'd spend my retirement playing a couple hours a day but that dream is out of the picture.  If you can't feel you can't play.  

I noticed mistakes starting to  creep into my CW as well.  I've been very happy with my N3ZN paddles, but I decided to give these a try to see if I can improve my sending accuracy.  

The feel of the paddle is completely consistent with every touch.  It is taking a little getting used to but over a couple days its becoming second nature.  I had to spend some time precisely setting the pressure, 50g is too high and 10g is too low so I'm somewhere in middle probably 25g or 30g.  

The paddles are stunning!  Heavy chrome plated steel base (1.8kg about 4 lb) and the paddle/brains are housed in a brushed aluminum chassis bolted to the base.  They do not move on the table.  Mine are custom made to my specification.  The standard paddle looks thus:

Or you can get the whole thing in black.  I was able to get serial #1 in my particular series so maybe my wife can get a little premium when I croak and she sells all this stuff.  It seems to be working as far as improving my accuracy which makes me very happy.  I HATE sending crappy CW!  The button on the side turns the thing off and on and puts you in setup mode as well the blue light under the paddle tells you when its on and it has an auto shutoff as well to save the 2 AAA batteries.  I find being able to turn off the paddle a bonus since I do a lot of typing in my shack and I'm always hitting the friggin paddle and sending out dits and dahs by mistake.  I purchased mine directly from Neno but there is an American vendor as well, just google 9A5N solid state paddle.  Neno was excellent to work with when creating my idea into a finished product.

73  W9OY