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Review the K8RA P2 key
Posted on Wednesday, 5/14/2008

I am not very good at CW, but you know what... I enjoy the hell out of it! One of the most rewarding feelings an operator can have is finishing up a good CW QSO and adding it to the log book. I am still new to HF, only had my General for about a year and a half. I dont get to spend a lot of time on the air and I am still trying to learn to decode by ear 100%. But I still enjoy the hell out of it! Wait, I mentioned that already! HA HA!

Ive worked with my J-38, a German Junker (Yoon-ker), a home made hacksaw blade paddle, a touch key paddle and a Bencher BY-1. I go between the J-38 and the BY-1, but... the BY-1 leaves a bit to be desired. How much I did not know until I got a real key! After a lot of research and reading, I settled on the K8RA P2 paddle. My friend N4DMW invited me over to see his P1 Jr. Too small for my liking, not for a shack at least, but it appears to be really well built. So I place my order and wait for it's arrival.

It came pretty quick, abt 4 days! I unwrapped the 10 layers of bubble wrap and there it is... my beautiful key! I hope it works as good as it looks! I wanted to write this one up right away, but... to be fair... I give it some time before I give impressions. We all know sometimes first impressions are way off base.

What I have found is, after working on the BY-1, the K8RA takes a bit of getting used to. The feel is so much more responsive and the contacts are very positive. I found myself stumbling over the paddle for a while, but a few weeks later (remember, I dont get to operate very often) I found that the key was a pure pleasure to operate and it even made my fist much smoother. Going from the Bencher to the K8RA equates to going from a Ford Pinto to a Mercedes-Benz. Following, please enjoy a few pictures. You will notice the paddle being a bit large, at first I thought was pretty odd looking but the 'oversized' plexiglass paddles are acutally a great joy to touch as you work the key.

All images by W4INF using a Pentax
K110-D digital SLR.

The paddle is so nice, I really wish I had saved up and gotten it a long time ago. As of this writing the paddle resells for $115, however since it is all brass I anticipate the cost will go up. Whatever the cost, I would be sure it would be worth every penny!

K8RA Website

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