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W4/VP9KF  (North Carolina)
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The Mercury Paddle

I own the incomparable Mercury paddle made by hand by N2DAN. It’s serial number 60C. The C means chrome finish.

Here it is in all of its beauty.

Hand made in his garage, Steve achieved the ultimate in quality finish, enhanced by tumbling each part for several days to achieve the ultimate in edge finishes. This paddle is 12 years old and looks like it did on day 1, when I collected it in person from Steve in Port Charlotte, Florida. Built to last a lifetime, I hope this beauty stays with me for good.

Only about 200 were made. Many were of “plain” brass with a lacquer finish. It was only when chrome plated (and later gold plated) that the Mercury took on the look of a thoroughbred. The serial numbers were repeated, so there is a 60 (lacquer), 60C (chrome), but no 60G (gold). I think only 4 Golds were made. Sadly, Steve became a Silent Key several years ago and the craftsmanship died with him. Rest in Peace, Steve and feel proud that you changed the art of Morse forever.

My Mercury has been sporting two modifications since 1992 – very small plug and socket to make keying cable removable and

Small O rings made of nitrile material between the dot and dash contact adjustments and their locking rings.

Bencher has made some Mercurys to the original patterns, but I haven’t seen one.

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