American Morse Porta-Paddle Modification

Some years ago I purchased a Porta Paddle II iambic paddle kit from American Morse Equipment. It’s a nice solid compact paddle. I purchased it primarily to use mobile while operating in state QSO parties. The last couple of years I’ve also used it for a few SOTA activations.

After a while I started having intermittent keying problems where I’d miss an occasional dit. The paddle uses the hinges/pivots for the ground connection.

I also have an Elecraft KXPD3 paddle for my KX3. The KXPD3 has similar construction and exhibits the same intermittent problem as the Porta Paddle. The solution to the KXPD3 problem was to run a fine wire from each paddle to the ground connection. I did that mod to my KXPD3.

Since the modification to my KXPD3 solved the problem I applied the same fix to my Porta Paddle. It was an easy fix and no more intermittent keying. The only drawback with the way I did it is the paddle tension is no longer easily adjusted.

This same mod would apply to other American Morse paddles that use a similar design.