Tuesday, May 7, 2019

A new "touch" paddle for the shack.

About a month ago I received a new morse code key, the 9A5N solid state CW paddle. I chose the all black twin lever model and from the get go Neno 9A5N was in contact with me. The paddle arrived from Croatia within 3 weeks of me ordering it. Most of the 3 weeks was the key being slowly moved through Canadian customs or it would had been here sooner. It was very well packaged and Neno advises that you keep the shipping box if ever you need to store the key for a move. The uniqueness of the solid state paddle are:
 
- No moving parts to ware or make a clicking noise.
- You just turn it off when not in use so no accidental dit's or dahs sent when inadvertently touching    the paddle.
- There is not maintenance (other than changing the batteries) no periodic mechanical adjustments.
- If you have owned a iambic key there really is no learning curve just turn in on and away you go.

The only adjustment that you may want to do is adjust the touch sensitivity with the key factory set at 10 grams and adjustable to 50 grams in 5 gram steps. Seeing this is a touch paddle depending on your "touch" you may want to increase or decrease the sensitivity. I seemed to be happy with were it was factory set to at 10 grams.
The nice thing about this paddle is it's not bang your head on the wall menu driven. What I mean by this is I have owned ham radio electronic devices that can drive you crazy with long and short holds of buttons and or combination button holds. Then there was the count the short and long beeps and so on. With the 9A5N paddle to adjust the sensitivity you simply turn the paddle on, then hold the on/off button in the on position until you are greeted with 3 LED blinks now release the button and your ready to adjust.Then simply touch the left paddle to increase and right to decrease. If you hit the top end (50 grams) or bottom end (10 grams) the LED will blink 3 times to let you know. To save and try a new stetting either wait 15 seconds or push the power button once.
The only other menu change you can do is place the keyer in contest mode and what this means is the keyer will not time out and turn off on you. Normally If you forget to turn the paddle off it will do so after 40 minutes of non operation.
To enter contest mode make sure the key is off then push and hold the on button until the LED flashes then release the button. So in a nut shell to adjust the key paddle touch sensitivity start with the key turned on and hold the power button. To put the key in contest mode (meaning it will not turn off on it's own) start with the key off and hold the power button. 
The key is very well made and the base is 1.8 kilo's so it's not going anywhere on your desk as you use it.
The last item I wanted to mention was yes it does take batteries (2 AAA) according to Neno's instructions the battery life should be up to 800 operating hours. The blue LED which is on during operation will indicate low battery life when it gets dim. So you do have an indication when its time to change out the batteries. Finally the paddle is warrantied for 24 months from date of purchase.

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