Solid-state paddles from 9A5N

9a5nI recently learned of a new set of paddles being developed by Neno 9A5N. These are solid state paddles available in either single paddle or dual paddle iambic styles and operate by touch with no mechanical movement.

I like the look and size of them with that solid metal base and am curious what it would be like to operate motion-less paddles. For my entire 36-year CW career, I’ve only used one set of paddles (how’s that for a testament to their longevity!) and would like to try these.

Those going to Dayton will be able to just that. Steve KB3SII will be the distributor of these paddles in the US and will be demo-ing them there from Booth 1088.

Prices are still being determined – that info will be released later this week



  14 comments for “Solid-state paddles from 9A5N

  1. April 29, 2014 at 7:26 am


    Touch-paddles are interesting, but like keyboard, some people (including me), will always prefer the feeling of the mechanical movement.


    • April 29, 2014 at 3:18 pm

      I think I fall into that category too, Yan – but I would like to try touch paddles. I know there are other sets available that are lower in price (although the flimsy construction of them explains the low price):

      I believe the electronics of one of these keyers was implemented into a portable QRP station by W1JSB using protruding bolts as the paddles:

    • April 30, 2014 at 11:14 am

      Hi Yan,

      Just small correction, Solid State CW Paddle is not touch paddle.

      Lever(s) on paddle, like on mechanical paddle, react to finger pressure not just touch. Sensitivity, necessary finger pressure to activate dot/dash out, is adjustable in range from 10 up to 50 grams in steps of 5 grams. Like on mechanical paddle, lever(s) sensitivity can be adjusted according telegrapher needs and the best keying result. Adjustment going via paddle software not with screwdriver.
      Solid state technology eliminate unnecessary lever(s) movement as well as all other problems related to mechanical contacts (clicking sound, bouncing, oxidation, consumption) and moving parts (inertia, bearing consumption, backlash, periodical readjustment).

      73 de Neno

      • April 30, 2014 at 12:04 pm

        Thanks for the detailed info, Neno.

      • April 30, 2014 at 9:34 pm

        Yes, thanks for the details. I’d really like to have an opportunity to check how the feel, but Dayton is a bit far for me… I will write a post on my blog as soon as possible, but I admit I am currently busy correcting internship reports from my 8 students… Thanks John for the heads up.

        • April 30, 2014 at 9:41 pm

          Oh, and I forgot to ad that the oxidation-proof feature is appealing to me as living in a tropical country my paddles often loses contact if I don’t operate for more than a few days. I’m using a cheap (by the price, not the design) W5JH black widow with silver plated contacts. Using something like gold contacts would help however, but cleaning them is not that hard to do.


  2. Jon K7CO
    April 29, 2014 at 8:12 am

    Definitely on my list of things to feel at Dayton.

  3. April 29, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    “The cost of the iambic solid state paddles with a black base is $350 plus $15 for US Mail Priority shipping. The single lever version is $335 plus $15 shipping. There is a one year warranty.”

    A bit too rich for my blood but I’ll be looking forward to reading the reviews.

  4. Bob
    April 30, 2014 at 6:27 am

    I’ve built and use a touch paddle here, John, I’ve tried mechanical paddles and though they work well, they all seem to give off a clackety-clack sound when in use. Since the ham shack is adjacent to the bedroom, using headphones and touch paddles make it a totally silent operation. Anything to keep the XYL happy!

    $300+ seems a bit steep to me.

  5. Jon K7CO
    April 30, 2014 at 9:50 am

    I too feel this is out of my price range. Mid 200s would have sealed the deal had they felt as good as I am sure they will

    • April 30, 2014 at 12:08 pm

      Hopefully the ARRL will review them. Bengali paddles are similarly expensive but there is a market for them anyway due to the high quality of construction.

  6. Jim KA0IQT
    May 20, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    I bought one of the 9A5N Iambic Paddles at Dayton from PRO-PADDLES after seeing a demo at the Four Days in May QRP event. The paddles use a MEMs device and are adjustable between 10 grams and 50 grams of pressure. I like my paddles to be set at about 20 grams which was a very easy adjustment and verified with my dynamometer. While it initially seemed strange that the paddle levers didn’t move, it didn’t take long until I was completely comfortable with the “feel” of the paddle at my top CW speed.

    • May 21, 2014 at 2:43 am

      Well, that explain somehow the price.
      I guess this kind of device would solve the oxidization problems I have here down in Viet-Nam. Unfortunately this far above my budget…
      Yesterday I fought with an oxidized headphone jack AND not cooperative paddle contacts. The headphone jack is the hardest so solve though, not easy to clean and quickly bringing distorted audio.


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