Many may be surprised that as an ardent CW fan (I rarely speak on the radio) I’ve never used a paddle key, having stuck with a straight key for nearly 16 years. Actually I tell a lie, I have, but a long time ago when I was first licensed and really it was too early and I was put off by the experience.
Now that I am tapping away on a daily basis my Morse has moved on and I can quite happily converse at 20 wpm, the trouble is my sending hovers around 18 wpm max and if I try to speed up with a straight key mistakes naturally happen and it get uncomfortable after a few qso's. I could persevere and stretch myself (and sometimes I do), but quite honestly I should have used a paddle some time ago.
I love straight keys having 5 different keys ranging from a very nice “Stillwell”, a Himound, an old Watson and a couple of Czech keys these being the two I use most of the time. But as I said you find yourself limited and I think now the time has come to move to paddles.
I’ve been watching Ebay to see what’s about and spot any bargains but so far with little luck. I want to start with something fairly moderate like a Kent and see how I get on. Hopefully with time and practice I will switch over fairly easily but it won’t happen overnight, so I must remember to be patient and put in loads of practice.
Once I’ve bought the paddle I will post up some pictures, any advice on switching from straight to paddle will be greatly received!