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Author Topic: Voice Keyers!  (Read 430 times)
WB5PLJ
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« on: December 09, 2004, 02:24:03 PM »

Voice Keyers!
I have been looking for a Voice Keyer for some time. By the way I know all about using a computer to do the job but that is not what I am interested in. I don't always turn my computer on or take it with me when operating portable. I am talking about little device, kit, black box, what ever that you plug your mic into and plug the device into your radio. It seams that there are scant few of these devices on the market. MFJ sells one and there are a couple geared toward contesting. The cheapest of them (the MFJ) is almost two hundred dollars! yikes, In this day and age it seams that is way overpriced. In addition to the cost, and maybe related to it, most of them also do lot's of other things or at least also are a cw memory keyer. I personally have a wonderful CW Memory Keyer (IdiomPress CMOS4 Keyer) and don't want to drag around a bulky box that dose all sorts of things that I don't kneed. I was hoping to find something similar in size to the CMOS4 Keyer with just the basic functions. maybe four memory slots, a repeat function, some way to change the repeat delay, and that would be about it.

I have looked into building one and have discovered that there are chips available that are supposed to make it easy for as little as nine dollars. There are other parts to be considered of course as well as the enclosure so I don't expect to find the twenty dollar voice keyer out there any ware but I would expect it could be done for less than two hundred to four hundred dollars. The unfortunate part about looking into building one is that I understand extremely little about electronics, no formal training. If you are in my boat there is quite a bit of information gap, for instance of the chips I found available there where manufactures data sheets available for them and they helped a bit but to be honest they are written for engineers of which I am not. About ninety five percent of it is gibberish to me because of this. I figure until I get lots of learning under my belt I aint going to be designing my own. What surprise me is when I go looking out there in ham land I don't find any available, other than the previously mentioned ones. I am wondering why? Is it lack of interest? Is it because people don't call CQ that much any more? I personally call CQ almost all of the time I get on, one of the reasons that I want a voice keyer.

please share your comments, ideas, knowledge.

thanks
WB5PLJ
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2004, 03:24:39 PM »

Most all the "high end" HF transceivers have DVRs (digital voice recorders) in them already, so no need to add anything at all.  Push the button, talk into the mike, and record.  Then do it again, and again, to record other tracks.  Push the play button(s) to play back.  Pretty simple, and it's all built into the rigs.

Even my old (1990 vintage) TS-850S has this feature.

Surely the reason this is not a popular, low-cost aftermarket accessory is because the feature's already built into a lot of transceivers: Evidently, not yours.

You might think about trading/swapping equipment and obtaining a rig that contains a built-in DVR.

There's more to it than just the recorder chip; there's audio devices and control logic involved as well, plus the cost of the circuit board, RF decoupling circuits, connectors, enclosure and so forth.  $200 isn't a bad deal considering what's actually involved in making a viable product and the fact that the market for this truly is small (again, because those who need this stuff already have it).

WB2WIK/6
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WB5PLJ
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« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2004, 04:36:16 AM »

I am aware that this is the case but going out and buying a "hi-end" radio is not an option for me and for most hams I would suspect. While it is true that the upper ten or twenty percent of radios on the market have this feature it seams to me that the vast majority do not, at least of the radios currently on the market. Looking back through my log most of the stations that I have worked seams to have "other than hi-end" radios, Meaning that when I look up manuals on them they do not have built in DVR's.

As for the component requirements a product such as the ISD2560 (Jameco part number 120643) already has built in the Internal Clock, Timing, Sampling Clock, Amp, pre-Amp, Automatic Gain Control, 5-pole active Antiallasing Filter, address buffers, address buffer decoder, 5-Pole Active Smoothing Filter in addition to the actual storage areas and other sundry points. From there you have the option of controlling the thing with a simple pile of switches or with a programmed chip of some kind to offer many advanced functions. In this case the control logic would not have to be as complex as the control chip for IdomPress CMOS4 CW Memory Keyer and that kit (with nice enclosure and all) sells for just under one hundred dollars.

There dose in fact seam to be a small or nearly nonexistent market for this type of item, I would personally suspect that most people are using AFSK type interfaces with tier computer to provide this functionality. It comes built in to most contest logging software and there are numerous stand alone software apps out there to do this. Again if you have a computer hooked up at the time.

As far as "...those who need this stuff already have it" Well I guess that I am just not rich enough to afford a "hi-end" radio so I must not need it. Apparently this functionality is meant only for my betters.

WB5PLJ 73
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