WB9DLC      Paddleboard

      * WB9DLC Home Page *


When operating CW portable, especially if the operation includes hiking or motorcycling, you might not end up with a nice picnic-table or work-surface to use.  You certainly won't be carrying a card table with you.  And the key or paddle probably won't be the same as what you use in the hamshack.  You probably want a paddle that is small and light.  But these paddles just won't sit there while you send CW. They need to be anchored.

So, if you have to sit in a lawn or beach chair, with your rig sitting on a rock next to you, where do you set your key or paddle?  How do you hold it?  There are leg straps for keys and some hand-held keys and paddles.  That's a possible solution.

But, when you operate you probably also need something to write on, something to write with, and you would also like to know what time it is for accurate log logging, as well as a way to comfortably send your CW.



I saw somewhere that someone had mounted their paddle on a clipboard so I decided to see what I could come up with.

Instead of using a standard size (8 1/2 X 11) clipboard, I decided to use a legal size clipboard that is 3 inches taller.  I took the clip off by drilling the rivets and mounting it down 3 inches and to the left about an inch.  This clears up some space in the top right corner for the paddle.  If you are left handed you might want to move the clip towards the right and the paddle on the left.




Next, you need to attach the paddle, preferably temporarily.  I found that I could use a large binder clip to clip the inexpensive MFJ travel paddle onto the board.  Depending on your portable paddle, you might be able to use some mounting adhesive putty, a small bolt and wing-nut, Velcro, magnets, etc.  A lot depends on your paddle.

I then used Velcro to mount my 2 little MFJ clocks (one local time, one UTC).  I can use a full sized pad of paper under the clip and can include any operating aids under the pad.



The top picture shows almost everything I need for about 6 hours of QRP operation :

The PFR3  40, 30, 20 meter transceiver with built-in 1200 mah batteries, memory keyer
Paddle on clipboard
My yellow PFR3 button

I just need to add an antenna.  This can be as simple as 55 feet of light wire up into a tree.  The PFR3 has a built-in tuner to tune the wire for any of the three bands.

I have found that the paddle-board puts you in a very comfortable position to send CW: sitting back in the chair, taking notes, and sending CW.