The N3ZN ZN-Lite II Next Generation CW Paddle

As in the title this is a lite CW paddle that is made for portability. Just what a Ham needs in their camper.
This paddle features a light and portable design, perfect for traveling hams.
Whether you're headed out to participate in Field Day or activating parks for the Parks on the Air program, this is just what you need!
At HamCation 2023 I had the opportunity to meet Anthony "Tony" Baleno and learn about his company, N3ZN Keys, LLC. We spoke in-depth about his journey and the details of his business. I was lucky enough to have purchased a paddle from him during my visit that I'm quite proud of.

N3ZN Background (from memory)

Tony's professional experience in the past included purchasing used paddles from eBay, conducting general maintenance on them, and then reselling them to radio amateurs. Drawing on his past experiences with different makes and models of keys and paddles, he ultimately came up with the concept to make his own. Utilizing the knowledge he acquired from working on other keys, he crafted a design that enabled him to create a product that was truly unique. Ultimately, this resulted in the development of his own invention. All ZN products are MADE IN THE USA solely by Tony Baleno, N3ZN.

He initially constructed his parts by himself and eventually could no longer keep up with the demand. Now, he out-sources for only the best quality parts and has them powder-coated to perfection. Side-by-side comparison reveals a vast difference in quality between his products and those of competitors.

I have the ZN-Lite II Next Generation CW Paddle

The ZN-Lite II is an iambic paddle that weighs under 5 oz (not including aluminum powder coated home station base with feet). Instead of feet, the paddle has an 8-32 threaded blind hole in the bottom for mounting. OTO for this paddle is 9/16". 5/16" OTO is available as a special order (and uses the lexan fingepieces as seen on the full size paddles) -see photos 5 and 6.

The ZN-Lite II uses 6-32 knurled screws for both contacts and magnetic tension. No tools required for adustment - adjust on the fly. The paddle has a total of eight ball bearings, solid silver contact points, magnetic return and 24" chord with 1/8" stereo plug. The fingerpieces are powder coated alumimum.

-from N3ZN website.

This paddle has been incredibly helpful in improving the quality of my CW sending. I'm confident that my skills will only get better with continued practice. No more excuses for bad fist, hi hi

Thank you

You can follow me and Mr. B on our travels on TwitterFacebookInstagram and YouTube.If you have any questions, please ask them here. I prefer the comment section here or in YouTube over e-mail because your comments and questions will help others as well.


Thank you for subscribing to this website. I sincerely appreciate it.

Please stay in touch and best 73,

Rich, K0PIR


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I'm an Amateur Radio enthusiast. I love the hobby and experimenting with radios, antennas and software. On my YouTube channel I upload videos on the Icom 7300 and Icom 7610 along with Ham radio software programs. I hope to inspire people to try new things in Amateur Radio.

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