ON4MAC's Paddle Keyers

(MacPaddle, magnetic system)

Prototype MacPaddle, 1.845 kg, base 10 × 10 cm

Paddle for PA1HR


When Michel ON4MAC decided to try CW, he looked around and picked what he thought were good ingredients for a paddle and later he decided to start out by building a decent paddle for himself. The result is an outstanding key with many constructive elements that can be found only in the best modern paddles: magnetic returns, precision ball bearings, low moving mass. It has many components of a top notch key and the unmistakable handwriting of a master craftsman. BTW it is a beautiful object in any shack!

The brass is not protected, so, like the Kent (fig»), you have to give it some loving care. The feel is very smooth, which is the result of the magnetic system that is used insted of a spring. The magnetic return force can be adjusted precisely, and, in combination with the sealed ball bearings, it allows very light settings with excellent responsiveness. You would be hard pressed to find a better performing key at any price. Michel produces these keys slowly and carefully by hand and, of course, he doesn't have a stock pile of them. So you may have to wait a bit if you want to treat yourself to one, but it's worth it. When you see this key in photos, and you know a bit about paddles, your first reaction might be: It is an excellent paddle, made by a real perfectionist. When you put them side by side with other keyers in reality, however, other makes like a light- weight in comparison, and the ON4MAC surpasses it in several other aspects. too. The finish is flawless.

In actual operation it has to be counted among the truly great paddles regardless of price: absolute precision up to the highest speeds and the closest contact spacing, stable and highly precise adjustments, more than enough mass to keep it rock steady on your table.

You may have to curb your enthusiasm a little if you want to rush out to get yourself a present. Michel has built only a handful of them yet, painstakingly one at a time, and he’s not too sure yet how much time he can dedicate to building more of them. Michel is a very kind person and always listening to users to make improvements on his straight and paddle keys and willing to change things. However his email address is
on4mac@amsat.org and I have never heard him refuse a polite request to be put into his still growing queue.





Michel has no company, but makes keys and paddles for pleasure.





Assembling a rpiece of cake job?


Click for some pictures of the production process


A cover is one of the options


Some model finger pieces


A matter of taste: visuable or covered ball bearings

Type "Hans" PA1HR, watch the finishing

Type "Ward", all keyers are fitted with a plug

Even the base is a beauty


More craftsmanship: straight keyers.

Large and small key, respective: 250 × 85mm, 1.49 kg and 100 × 50 mm, 0.620 kg



Mac Tapper type "Feri"








Piet PE1ADY's DIY paddle keyer to test his "feeling" for this sytem of Morse code.