Sunday, February 16, 2014

Morse Keys - The LTA CRIO and the Kent Twin Paddle

Until now, and for many many years, I have owned only one morse paddle. This piece of art is the work of LTA (Llaves Telegraphicas Artesanas), a Balear Islands, Spanish based company. This paddle is now quite rare as LTA owner, Guillermo Mestre Janer, EA6YG, passed away in 2008. The company no longer exists, and these keys/paddles are no longer made, but there's still a tribute page to Guillermo's work.
The model I have is the CRIO, a dual paddle, gold plated key, with olive-wood fingerpieces. Trully a work of art. All boxed up and in pristine condition.

Anyway, for this week I have selected a kit from Kent Enginners, a UK based company.
The model is the Twin Paddle Morse Key Kit TP1-BP.
The kit goes very well together and this is a quality product. The assembly process takes about 45 minutes (slow pace; double checking everything), including the time to adjust the key for a smooth operation.
You will have to wire your own key to radio cable. There's a cable included but no plugs are sent with the kit as different radios have different inputs.
Here's the assembly process...

It all comes nicely packaged in some plastic bags:

First, position the base correctly:

Make sure you have all the parts before the assembly process. Some parts are really small, so be specially careful with those:

Paddles on, and bearing block aligned with the base:

More work on the bearing block:


Placing the feet on the base:

Bearing block fixed to the base:

All done, beautiful paddle:

On and all, my first impression on this paddle is very good. The workmanship that went into the manufacturing process is outstanding. The assembly instructions are simple and easy to follow. The paddle is very smooth and can be setup with great precision. This paddle is an outstanding addition to the shack, with a value that will hold for years to come.

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