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
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.”