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Author Topic: External keyer advice  (Read 636 times)
AE6RF
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« on: August 19, 2007, 11:13:40 PM »

Greetings all,

My older all mode VHF/UHF rigs don't have built in keyers. While straight key is great for typical VHF/UHF speeds around here, it gets old in a hurry.

What do you recommend?

I've had REALLY poor luck with the reliability of the Logikey K* series of keyers.
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KB9CRY
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« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2007, 06:12:28 AM »

MFJ 422B with Bencher paddles.
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2007, 09:10:37 AM »

N0XAS pico keyer built into the VHF-UHF rig(s) with a 3.5mm minijack for external paddle connection.

The pico keyer isn't much larger than a postage stamp, only costs a few dollars and installs just about anywhere -- I could probably fit one inside my hand helds if I needed to.

It's oh-so-handy to have the keyer "inside" the rig.

I built one into my FT-736R VHF-UHF multi-mode because it didn't have one built in; then I built one into my old Drake TR-7 because it didn't have one built in, either.  The kit takes minutes to assemble.

WB2WIK/6
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K9MRD
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« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2007, 10:20:57 AM »

Don,
Out of curiosity, what problems/issues have you had with the Logikey 'K' series?
Wayne
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AE6RF
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« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2007, 02:01:12 PM »

I have two of the K* (K3 and K4) series, both bought assembled from other parties. Both, in theory, working.

They are both "deranged."

One of them matches the defect described in their service note #2. Working correctly for some period of time after a hard reset, then, without warning, going bonkers.

Repeated email went unanswered, and it required a second telephone call to get an answer. "Oh yeah, heat the 15K resistors and if that doesn't work we'll send you new resistors."  

My expectation was "OK, return it and we'll fix it. Since you are a second owner/out of warranty we'll charge you money to work on it." I would have happily paid money for repairs.

While I acknowledge that these are not "laboratory perfect" conditions for to judge the company by, the overall experiences left a bad taste in my mouth.

So, I am not open to the suggestion of using a K* keyer with my rigs.

-Donald

P.S.
Oh, and if you want to buy, troubleshoot and fix a K3, contact me via email. We can work something out.
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AD5X
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« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2007, 02:05:57 PM »

I second Steve's recommendation for the N0XAS pico keyer.  Great product, simple to build, cheap.

Phil - AD5X
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KN7T
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« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2007, 04:19:36 PM »

I personally like the Palstar C-50A keyer - see the review I posted for it elsewhere on this site.
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N9WW
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« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2007, 07:53:05 AM »


Get an Idiom Press K-5.  It's all you will ever need...

73,
Jim N9WW
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AE6RF
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« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2007, 08:57:01 PM »

> Get an Idiom Press K-5. It's all you will ever need...

Hmm...  No thank you.

I've already mentioned in the original post and amplified in a further post that the K-* series is not an option I'm willing to consider.

What alternatives did you consider before going with the K-5?

73 de Donald
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AE5I
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« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2007, 12:40:17 PM »

My favorite is an MFJ 493.  Lots of features and easy to program/use.  Not made any more but should be around on the used market.  I think they still make the 492 which is essentially the same without some of the memory and the keyboard connection, I believe.  My 493 has been totally reliable for years that I have had it...

GL

Tom
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2007, 01:50:06 PM »

BTW Don I don't like the LogiKeys either.  Used several of their keyers over the years, never liked any of them: However that was mostly because they have unlabeled push buttons and are not intuitive to use (for me) at all.

I'd rather have controls all *labeled* and the keyer designed for intuitive operation, like the MFJs are.

Even my 25 year-old "CW Sendin' Machine" (made by some guy in Alabama back in the late 70's-early 80's) still works absolutely perfectly, has four memories that are large enough for me to store whatever I want, and has very well labeled controls: No instruction needed at all to use it.  Just look at it and you can tell what to do!

WB2WIK/6
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