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Author Topic: What kind of cable for a key?  (Read 9398 times)
AA4PB
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Posts: 13032




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« Reply #15 on: August 20, 2011, 09:59:50 AM »

The bottom line is that any two-conductor cable you have available will withstand the voltage and current used in a modern keying circuit. The issues are primarily mechanical - can you get the wires into the plug and will they withstand any bending at the ends.

Shielding should not be needed - if it is then you have an "RF in the shack problem", usually resulting from the antenna design/placement.
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K9PU
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Posts: 67




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« Reply #16 on: September 01, 2011, 08:27:35 AM »

I have to recommend against shielded or coax for key wiring.  The likelyhood that the unprotected shield "accidentally" crosses over to contact the adjacent terminal is rather high.  Further, the cheap shielded audio cable tends to have some (although high) resistance shield-to-center conductor when soldered or melted which, in combination with other stray resistances (especially at higher room temperatures,)  sometime keys your transmitter inadvertently (this never happened with the "old" rigs.) 

Actually Vibroplex sells key cable that works well, but pretty much anything works OK if you are fine with floppy wires here and there.  I have used "zip" (speaker or lamp) wire with no problems, although I have crimped contacts on the ends to prevent fraying wires. 

Scott
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W9KDX
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Posts: 771




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« Reply #17 on: September 02, 2011, 08:09:51 PM »

I have to recommend against shielded or coax for key wiring.  The likelyhood that the unprotected shield "accidentally" crosses over to contact the adjacent terminal is rather high.  Further, the cheap shielded audio cable tends to have some (although high) resistance shield-to-center conductor when soldered or melted which, in combination with other stray resistances (especially at higher room temperatures,)  sometime keys your transmitter inadvertently (this never happened with the "old" rigs.) 

Actually Vibroplex sells key cable that works well, but pretty much anything works OK if you are fine with floppy wires here and there.  I have used "zip" (speaker or lamp) wire with no problems, although I have crimped contacts on the ends to prevent fraying wires. 

Scott

Thanks for the heads up, I will watch out for that problem.  Actually, Yaesu says they specify shielding to keep RFI from damaging the microprocessor so I better follow their lead.  One of the generous members here was nice enough to send me 2 feet of good quality cable so I will be ready as I learn code.

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Sam
W9KDX
KC5CQD
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Posts: 25




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« Reply #18 on: September 25, 2011, 08:36:01 AM »

I usually get some 18 to 22 guage stranded wire from some thermostat control cable.  It's usually red, green and black but that's not carved in stone.  Just make sure you use three different colors or else you're going to have to ohm out the wire to keep track of which is which.  Besides, the multiple colors make for a very attractive cable!  I then proceed to make a very tight braid with the three wires, usually about three feet long and "voila!".....I have myself a very unique-looking and flexible cable for my paddles.  Been doing that for years with no problems at all.
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NT0A
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Posts: 97




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« Reply #19 on: September 25, 2011, 01:00:39 PM »

A key is nothing more than a single pole, single throw switch.  Off.  On.  Two conductors; don't have to be shielded unless the rig manufacturer recommends it.

Good point! Even if the manufacturer does not recommend shielded cable, don't hesitate to use it, especially if you if any of your equipment does strange and not so wonderful things when you transmit on one of your radios in the shack.
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N4MJG
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Posts: 506


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« Reply #20 on: September 25, 2011, 02:27:41 PM »

I use guitar cable for my 847 works great ! not have any problem !


73
Jackie
N4MJG
BEEN HAMMING 10 YEARS !
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NT0A
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Posts: 97




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« Reply #21 on: September 25, 2011, 02:29:42 PM »

I use guitar cable for my 847 works great ! not have any problem !

Isn't that a shielded cable or a twisted pair?
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N4MJG
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Posts: 506


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« Reply #22 on: September 25, 2011, 02:50:31 PM »

I use guitar cable for my 847 works great ! not have any problem !

Isn't that a shielded cable or a twisted pair?

there are 3 wires in guitar cable ,the one i'm using now is clear wire as of ground or what ever other just bear wire the non color wire like red or black so the guitar cable  is radio shack is purple cable what i'm using now ! i test is what it made contact !depand what cable i'm using !!! i hope that helps Smiley


73
Jackie
N4MJG
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N4MJG
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Posts: 506


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« Reply #23 on: September 25, 2011, 02:58:01 PM »

Sam,

Other things that i for got is my bencher paddle key that is shows ground, while and red is was like that when i brought it used !hope to catch you CW AIR !! Smiley
 

73
Jackie
N4MJG
BEEN HAMMING 10 YEARS !
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