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American Morse Ultra Porta Paddle Morse Code Paddle

American Morse Ultra Porta Paddle Morse Code Paddle

The Ultra Porta Paddle is a high-quality portable morse code paddle made in the USA. These paddles are a top contender for an operator to use as their primary key. While they are a more expensive paddle, they are also a higher quality paddle made with excellent craftsmanship. Doug W6AME who is the owner and operator of American Morse Equipment sent me a short description about how these paddles were developed. Scroll down to see his comments.

This "paddle feature" is the fifth in a series of videos about PORTABLE CW KEYS called "Portable Morse Code Paddles". I hope you enjoy this feature and come back for more!

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Doug Hauff W6AME writes:
“The Ultra design was based on my experience of making keys for many
years, and what I saw available in portable paddles. Over twenty years
ago I found that there was not much available in mini paddles and keys,
just some terrible cheap plastic things & a few hyper expensive models,
so I started making mini keys and paddles.
As for the Ultra, I had tried a rather popular mini paddle at Dayton a
few years ago, and while I was impressed with the rather clever, very
inexpensive to manufacture design, I was unimpressed with the feel,
especially considering the cost. You just can’t get around the feel of
an all-plastic paddle. I decided to design a paddle that fit inside the
same small envelope, but an all-metal design with superior feel.
Most of my keys and paddle have plain bearings, which do a good job and
are simple to implement. I first used ball race bearings in a design
mostly for sales appeal, but I discovered two advantages with ball
bearings that can justify the added complexity: they provide a superior
ground path compared to plain bearings, and they do impart a subtle
improvement in feel, a kind of hard to define smoothness and precision
one can feel. And there is the sales appeal.
Likewise, I have found that the neodymium magnets I use in some of my
other keys provide a crispness and fine adjustability, adding to the
So, starting with ball bearings, neodymium magnet, and 1 x 1 x 3+ inch
envelope, I developed the Ultra, borrowing from my other designs such as
the Mini-B; fully enclosed, anodized aluminum construction, Stainless
contacts, etc.
Greatest difficulty was designing the bearing mounts, and tooling and
procedure for assembling the four ball bearings and two dowel pins into
the base. I lost a lot of bearings and bases first time around…
Reject rate now just a few percent.”