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Monday, February 3, 2014

New Paddle for my KX3

The homebrew paddle that I pack with my KX3 is durable but weighs in at 2.2 lbs, a heavy weight by any standard. I finally looked around for a lighter weight replacement and found the Palm Pico Paddle. At only 1 oz this one will certainly pack easier. I've now had a few QSOs with it and I couldn't be happier. This one works fine and will pack along on my next hike a lot easier.

The Pico Paddle comes with a magnetic base and a cord for connecting to the KX3. The size is perfect for the right hand side on the KX3, fitting just below the right hand endplate mounting screws and above the antenna connectors. Elecraft does recommend a right angle plug. I found one at Radio Shack. Palm Radio offers a steel KX3 endplate that works with the magnetic mount, but not one with handles. Instead I ordered a piece of steel that sticks on the KX3 endplate to provide something the Pico Paddle magnetic mount will stick to.

I wondered about using the Pico Paddle stand alone. It is a little small for sitting by itself on the desk but I found that the magnetic mount works great with a blank steel electrical box cover.

Phil Moorey has a good suggestion:
You might want to hot glue a piece of metal to a plastic sheet about 5" by 6". You can use the plastic as a clipboard for notes and the weight of your hand secures it when sending. A couple of rubber feet helps prevent sliding on a flat surface. I have been doing this for years.

Addendum, Feb 6, 2014
After seeing Phil's suggestion above I was motivated to return to my local big box hardware store in search of a different stand alone base plate. This was to be used only in the shack so weight was not a big issue. What I found in the plumbing department was a 5"x8" 16 gauge "Steel Safety Plate". I then located soft rubber non-skid "Gripper Pads" designed to stick on the bottom of table legs to keep them from moving. I now have a base for my Pico Paddle that works great at the shack operating position.

Addendum, Apr 21, 2014
The only problem I have is that I tend to be heavy handed enough that I can loosen the paddle from the KX3 when it is set up with the magnet on the side. For me I'll probably leave the magnet on the bottom and pack along a piece of flat metal (like a 3 1/8"  x 7" steel joist tie plate) to use as a base out in the field. 

1 comment:

Phil Moorey said...

You might want to hot glue a piece of metal to a plastic sheet about 5" by 6".
You can use the plastic as a clipboard for notes and the weight of your hand secures it when sending.
A couple of rubber feet helps prevent sliding on a flat surface
I have been doing this for years