Over the years I had read good things about Whiterook’s Mk-44 Mini Iambic Paddle and resolved to own on one day. Trouble was, it was only available to the US and Canadian market. And living in Australia, that was a problem.
Until my son’t new partner, who comes from Arizona, decided to move Down Under.
Well, my little paddle arrived safe and sound and I was delighted.
The first thing that struck me about this little beauty was its size. It is much smaller than I had imagined. Good for going portable, I realised. And it’s light, too. This, of course, is a mixed blessing because the one thing you don’t want with a paddle is for it to be moving all over the place when you are trying to send. However, this paddle is meant for portable work, and as most operators report that the one thing they aim at doing when heading out for a remote location is to keep weight to a minimum.
Whiterook have taken this on board and turned a negative into a positive, and to good effect.
This paddle is wonderful to use. It is a basic paddle that does what it was designed to do, without fuss. There are no adjustments to make: the settings are as they are and can’t be changed. I have found them to be a little on the wide side, which is fine once you get used to it. It does mean I have to think about what I am sending as there is a tendency to release a paddle too soon and thus mis-key the transmitter. But once I had taken this into account and altered my sending style, all was well.
The paddles are a delight to use. You do need to hold the red base with one hand while working the paddles with the other, though. This is all part of the character of the product
and something I rather like. You see, each key or paddle is different, and taking into account their individual personalities is all part and parcel of the fun of operating CW.
I think the Whiterook paddle is sure to one day become a real classic. Pity it’s not generally available to hams all over the world.