After years (too many) trying to manage my Bencher BY-1 at speeds of 50 wpm and above I realize that although the key is a good all around workhorse for general "average speed" use, its severely limited (at least for me) as a QRQ device.  I'm wondering what the general consensus is on good quality offhore keys e.g. Kent, Schurr Profi etc. for ease of use in QRQ sending?  Before I start honing my poor keyboarding skills I thought I'd seek out some opinions on good key choices-----this would be on a cost is not a factor basis!! I know there other high quality keys out there so feel free to mention them........Any ideas greatly appreciated.


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Richard (Rick) VE3MFN

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Hi Rick!
I've been a cw op for quite a long time, and i have used a few different paddle's already.
I do know one thing for sure by experience, paddle's with magnetic tension are much better then
those with spring tension.
With magnetic paddle, you can have a lot closer sets of spacing, and it only requires a minimal amount of force,
because of the magnetic tension.
I use a I1QOD iambic professional deluxe, but there is a lot of great paddles on the market today.
Begali, Chevron, Flex-flyer,IK1OJM, N3ZN just to mention a few.
The rest is depend on the operator's reflex :-))
Even if one have the best paddle on earth, just can't go higher then say 60 wpm.
I can adjust my keyer to 70 wpm, and i can send letters at that speed to form words, but it
would not be a keyboard quality sendings at that speed. :-)
I hope this was a little help for you.

73 de Imi HA7AP
Ok, thank you very much Imi, and I notice the magnetic return seems to be the ultimate choice from what I've read.
I think I may just order one of the better regarded keys and give it a go as finding a place or shop to "test drive" various keys is next to impossible.....I know what you mean about 60 wpm on paddles, I do a lot of listening to ragchewers or contesters and I DONT hear any 60 wpm qsos, 50 or even 55 wpm yes, but I'm very doubtful about anything much higher than that. Of course the really high QRQ stuff requires a keyboard and thusly another skill in itself....(I can manage 50 wpm on a board on a good day but cant even consider 70 to 80 wpm Thanks again...

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Not sure about the Kent, Schurr, etc... but after I stopped using the Benchers and switched to more solid feeling paddles, the Benchers always felt Spongy/soft after that.
Ok Andrew, which paddles are you using........??

Hi Rick

I been using a Vibroplex Iambic paddles for 38 years with fair results and bought the GHD Optical thinking it would improve my sending speed over 50  wpm.

I found the Optical limits around 35 wpm. Over that it starts to miss some dots.

I looked over the Kent, Begali etc and found they all use bearings or bushings I do not like.

So I modified my Vibroplex because of the jewel pivots. Nothing can beat a jewel pivot.

After, I moved the spring/screw location 7/16 toward the pivots. Now the springs can work properly and after I soldered gold contacts on all four.

Now I cannot recognise the paddle and feather touch and can work up to 60 wpm very easily. The rig keyer top speed. It is worth a try

73 Gil VE2ENB

Hello to all QRQCW members.

I read that many CW oprs can work up to 70 or 80 WPM with their paddles.

I am jammed by my rigs keyers with 60 WPM limit.

I would like to buy a keyer with a limit of 70/80 wpm limitation.

I would appreciate information on those fast keyers.

I am now using my modified Vibroplex twin paddles with pleasure.


Thanks for reading

73 Gil VE2ENB

Gil, I've been prowling the CW subbands for years and I can honestly say I have never heard too many 60wpm QSOs via paddles, so 65 and 70 plus?? I dont know...........By the way, thanks for the tip on the modified Vibroplex and your comments on the Kent and Begali units are interesting,,,,I'll trust your judgement on those and possibly save some money in the process. 



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Hi Gil!

Try Island keyer II, the speed goes up to 70 WPM, but if you ask Chuck WB9KZY

he will custom program the chip for you to 80WPM.

I also use this keyer, and I love it.

Take a look here



                     73 de Imi HA7AP



BTW....a friend of mine,  Simon HA5IW  builds keyers which is really fast.

The keyer speed is goes up to 100 WPM.

Already assembled, and ready for rock and roll :-)


                            73 Imi HA7AP


Hi Gil,


Your custom modifications on your Vibroplex are very interesting.

Have you made a video for youtube where you talk about your mods

and demonstrate the speed enhancements ?




Hello Chuck

No  I hase no video on Youtube, but i can send you a bigger picture an infos to modify your Vibroplex Iambic with pleasure.

After the mod you will not recognise your paddle.

Only  need a dril and tap so you can use the same screws.

I cut little oiece of gold 10k fron and old ring with a dremel and soldered it on the silver contacts.

You have to dress  the 4 contact again and adjust the vertical pivots to ''O'+' and the job is done.

Also need to install 2  bypass wires to cancel the condutivity by the springs set by the Company.

Please send me a feedback. It will be appreciated.

Good luck and

73 from Gil


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