Sorry, I was not aware that you were referring to an Elecraft CW paddle. I
was not aware that they made these. To me a hex key is the same as an Allen
wrench which is inside an Elecraft envelope with every transceiver and
Scott Manthe wrote:
Does anyone know what an Elecraft labeled Hex Key is worth? I've got one
in great shape that I'm considering selling.
> Sorry, I was not aware that you were referring to an Elecraft CW paddle. I
> was not aware that they made these. To me a hex key is the same as an Allen
> wrench which is inside an Elecraft envelope with every transceiver and
> John KK9A
> john wrote:
> John KK9A
> Scott Manthe wrote:
> Does anyone know what an Elecraft labeled Hex Key is worth? I've got one
> in great shape that I'm considering selling.
> Scott N9AA
Scott, the hex key is a copy of a N2DAN on an hex base, produced by Bencher
after they bought the right of N2DAN paddle.
Sure it is a great key.
Vibroplex/Bencher now sell il for 324 $, I think this is adeguate value for
this first class iambic paddle.
I own a great N2DAN paddle, so I think to know the quality of your paddle.
Bencher is making their own Mercury, N2DAN keys under license and their Hex
key is another product with a bit different and simplified concept.
The Hex key is heavily simplified paddle. It is still high standard magnetic forces paddle but not
comparable with the Mercury, N2DAN!
The fine wide range and proper adjustment of the Mercury N2DAN is completely
"different story" compare to course threads on the adjustment screws of Hex key.
Just a tiny amount of turn makes a huge difference on the amount of play on each paddle.
Also the magnets looks like not strong enough. There are significant "bounces" in the dits side because of weak magnets specially in QRQ.
Regarding the "Elecraft" edition... It was the limited OEM edition produced by Bencher for Elecraft labeled with Elecraft logo and the unique Elecraft serial number starting E letter (Exxxx). Even more I saw it rarely including special edition of HEX ceramic coffee mug! :)
I had a HexKey from Elecraft for quite awhile. It was basically the
Bencher BY-1 paddle mechanism on a hexagonal base that was somewhat
heavier [and more stable] than the BY-1 base. Dave, W8FGU, made me a cover.
A deficiency in both the BY-1 and HexKey was the contact adjustment
screws. The threads are fairly coarse and adjustment was very touchy
and not readily repeatable.
Old injuries and resultant arthritis in my hands was making the HexKey
hard to use and I now use an N3ZN single-lever which has really helped.
Additionally, the adjustment screws are 52 TPI and very easy to get
right. The ZN-SL is also on a much heavier base and never moves. Dave
made a cover for it too.
Fred ["Skip"] K6DGW
Sparks NV DM09dn
On 1/10/2018 3:18 AM, Petr, OK1RP/M0SIS wrote:
> Hi all,
> just small note...
> The Hex key is NOT the Mercury copy.
> Bencher is making their own Mercury, N2DAN keys under license and their Hex
> key is another product with a bit different concept.
> The Hex key is simplified paddle. It is high standard paddle but not
> comparable with the Mercury, N2DAN.
> The fine wide range and proper adjustment of the Mercury N2DAN is completely
> "different story" compare to Hex key.
> http://www.vibroplex.com/contents/en-us/p206.html > http://www.vibroplex.com/contents/en-us/p250.html >
> Best 73 - Petr, OK1RP
Other than having two paddles for iambic keying, these keys are quite
different. The BY-1 is fragile and finicky; the Hex key is solid and
easily adjusted. I've had both and much prefer the Hex key. However,
both have been replaced by a Scheunemann M-Dirigent (was Schurr Profi).
On 1/10/2018 12:23 PM, Fred Jensen wrote:
> I had a HexKey from Elecraft for quite awhile. It was basically the
> Bencher BY-1 paddle mechanism on a hexagonal base that was somewhat
> heavier [and more stable] than the BY-1 base. Dave, W8FGU, made me a
> A deficiency in both the BY-1 and HexKey was the contact adjustment
> screws. The threads are fairly coarse and adjustment was very touchy
> and not readily repeatable.
Yes, of course as Gus said the Bencher BY-1 is far different - single pivot,
spring tensioning, no adjustment. (Set spring tensioning, no adjustments to
make other than desired contact spacing)
It is completely different system compare to Hex key. It is not possible to
mix up them...
Sorry, a technical difficulty in my mind. I take a photo of my station
periodically, usually when I change something. I found the paddle in
question, it was somewhat old when it was given to me. It is *not* a
hexkey, it has a trapazoidal base, narrower in back. It does have the
"yoke" arrangement of the BY-1 but it is more square-ish. From the
photo angle, I can't see if it had the spring looped around the post.
I also have a photo of my HexKey from Elecraft and it is *definitely
not* a BY-1 mechanism. I would still have it, and the $400+ wife spent
on the ZN-SL single-lever for my birthday, were it not for my decreasing
ability to manipulate the dual paddle with either hand. It, and the two
BY-1's I still have, were/are touchy to adjust. I never became
iambicized so I lost nothing going to the SL and regained the ability to
send over 25 WPM.
I apologize for the mixup
Fred ["Skip"] K6DGW
Sparks NV DM09dn
On 1/10/2018 11:49 AM, Lyle Johnson wrote:
> Hello Fred!
> I have a BY-1 as well as an Elecraft-branded Hex key.
> The mechanisms on the two paddles I own are completely different.
> The BY-1 uses a spring looped around a post for return force.
> The Hex Key uses magnets for return force adjustments. Unlike the
> BY-1, both paddle arms on the Hex key are independently adjustable for
> travel as well as force.
> I agree with you that they botched it a bit by using coarse instead of
> fine threaded screws for adjustment, and on mine at least the magnets
> are not well-centered on the screws which makes the force adjustment
> even more difficult to fine-tune.
> Lyle KK7P