You might recall, Ara introduced the original TinyPaddle late last year. His motivation for the original TinyPaddle was to have a super minimalist paddle that could be stored away as a spare in your kit for those times when you either forget or have an issue with your primary paddle in the field.
The TinyPaddle is a very capable little key! Click here to read my field report using the original TinyPaddle.
Turns out, there was a lot of pent-up demand for a product like the TinyPaddle. At $15 for the kit or $20 fully assembled, the TinyPaddle is a serious bargain. Ara and his father have been quite busy producing these.
Enter the TinyPaddle Jack (TPJ)
Whereas the TinyPaddle is designed around being the most simple/minimalist backup paddle solution–basically a wee paddle with a male 3.5mm connector that plugs directly into a rig’s paddle jack–the TPJ takes it one step further.
The TPJ is essentially the TinyPaddle with a female 3.5mm plug encased in a 3D-printed holder and protective cover.
The design is clever. The case that protects it while stored away in one’s field pack, pulls apart and is re-joined to make a very usable paddle holder.
There are actually quite a few purchase options, so Ara created this short video that describes the different components/options and how to use them:
I’ve been using the TPJ with my MTR-3B and new SW-3B. As I mentioned in my field report with the TinyPaddle, the action of this paddle is actually very precise–it almost feels like a capacitive touch paddle.
I find that the holder definitely adds to the ergonomics of the paddle (although it can actually be used without a holder, too).
Ara also created a small adjustment tool that will allow you to tweak the paddle spacing if needed. Keep in mind, this is a very simple paddle design (there are no springs or magnets) and isn’t really meant to be a primarily paddle. I do feel, however, that it will hold up quite well over time. The spacing of the contacts is so fine, I believe the stress on the paddle levers is minimal .
I plan to keep a pair with my new MTR-3B field kit (above) and use it as the primary paddle for that radio. I will plan to buy a second one for the SW-3B a well.
This is firmly in the “no-brainer” category.
Just take my money!
I personally think Ara could charge $40+ for these and they’d still be a bargain. I know him well enough to know that his motivation is in the fun of designing these products and making them accessible to other field radio operators. Case in point: I’ve been pricing quality 3.5mm patch cables recently and I find his $5 cable to be an excellent price; even more competitive than cables I’ve seen on Amazon and eBay.
In addition, Ara even freely distributes the 3D printer files so you have the option to print your own paddle holder!
It’s obvious to me that these products are his contribution to the community that pays for itself enough so that he can continue to innovate. His designs are so clever, I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next!
Very well done, Ara!