Several years ago, I became interested in QRP portable ops. Several cool little rigs came along, a Rockmite,
SW80+, an AT Sprint II, and an AT Sprint III, plus a few other homebrew attempts. One thing was missing, an equally cool paddle. I stuck together a PCB
paddle and it worked ok, but had no "cool" factor.
Then I spotted the prototype AZ ScQRPion Mini Paddle during FYBO 2002. I had seen John Stevens, K5JS, posts
on QRP-L advertising this annual event. Knowing I was going to be in the Phoenix area during the "test", I begged a chance to set up and operate with the ScQRPions on Thunderbird Mountain near Glendale.
To make a short story long, I met the guys, set up a 40M verical and made a few contacts, very few.
Then I saw that John had his 817 humming along on 20M, and he was keying it with a really neat little paddle.
He said that Jerry Haigwood, W5JH, designed it. Chuck Adams, K7QO, was machining the parts in his mountain hideaway in Prescott. And the ScQRPions were selling them. I begged (again) a chance to make a few Q's with the little
jewel (the 817 was pretty nice too).
Wow, it had a nice touch! Soon I was clacking away as though I had used one all my life. Since John is left handed, I held it upside down so the dots and dashes were correct for me.
I ordered one ASAP and ir has been my main paddle for portable opsever since. Mine shows some wear, as you can see.
It's a workhorse and has held up very well to a lot of field use. It's 2"x 2", made of brass and is just heavy enough to feel controllable.
If you've ever used a very small, very light paddle, you know what I mean. It has no spring adjustments, but it really doesnt need any. Jerry got it right!
Jerry has gone on to design and produce his fine Black Widow, another arachnid endemic to the Southwest.
This is a terrific little paddle, just right for portable ops, and the ScQRPions have sold over 800 of them. Talk about a successful kit!.
Revised 2 Dec 2012
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