The Palm Single KeyI've had my Palm Single Key for a few weeks now would like to offer a review.
|Palm Paddle Single Hand-held mode|
|Palm Radio Keys|
Palm Radio has been around for years making small, lightweight portable paddles and straight keys. One of their most popular models is the Palm Paddle which is a dual paddle model. The most obvious difference between the Palm Single and the Palm Paddle is that it only has a single paddle versus two paddles. Since it only has one lever sending iambic mode is not possible because you can't "squeeze" for iambic sending, but I not really into squeezing my paddles.
The single lever is also larger than the individual levers on the Paddle model and that offers some interesting options as we'll see later.
One of the reasons the Palm keys are so popular for portable use is because they can be hand held while sending rather than having to set them on a surface or strap them to your leg. This works well when you don't have a convenient surface and sometimes now I find myself holding it to send even when I have a surface because it's relaxing to sit back in the chair while sending.
Unique features of the Palm Key
|Key in travel mode|
|Button that holds it in travel or operating mode|
The cable uses a proprietary connector rather than a stereo jack. That is a bit of a downside as you can't easily replace the cable. Palm sells a "Palminator" to allow the use of a stereo cable but that would stick out the back of the key and potentially cause side loads that could break the connector. So far the connector has worked well but I'd like to be able to easily replace the cable if it breaks in the field.
AdjustmentsThe key mechanism is easily removed from it's enclosure for adjustments. The contacts are two PCBs on either side of what appears to be a gold plated post. There are set screws to adjust the left and right spacing as well as screws for firmness in either direction. I did find that I had to set the firmness rather tight to prevent bounce-back from accidentally sending. If you use a very, very light touch then this would not be necessary but I guess I'm used to slapping my Bencher paddle around.
|Key removed from enclosure|
|Adjustment screws for left throw|
|PC board with gold plating touches gold plated post|
|Snap on base has magnets to attache to any appropriate surface|
|Mounted sideways it can be used as a straight key|
Here are some videos of the Palm Single in operation.
This video gives you a sense of the key's size and touch. I was using my phone for the video so I couldn't hold the phone and demonstrate operating the key while holding it in my hand but let me assure you it's very comfortable to hold and my sending was no worse being hand held than on a table, at least at the meager speeds I send at.
One thing of note that I didn't see in other reviews was how "loose" the key feels. If you are looking for a "precision" feel this isn't going to give it to you but then you shouldn't expect that from a 40 gram key.
Wobbly but usable
Lastly here's a video using the Palm Single as a straight key.
Palm Single as a Straight key
Hopefully this will be helpful to those considering the Palm Single.
Lower you power and raise your expectations