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Author Topic: Looking for an inexpensive keyer that hooks to ft-857d...  (Read 2734 times)
KC9RCG
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Posts: 142




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« on: October 12, 2012, 10:59:11 AM »

I have searched but not seeing one.

thanks
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AG6WT
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Posts: 474




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« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2012, 11:31:08 AM »

I have searched but not seeing one.

thanks

What about the one that's already built into the FT-857D?
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20632




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« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2012, 11:36:04 AM »

There is a built-in electronic keyer in the FT-857D and it works fine.

You only need a paddle, which can be single or dual lever (dual lever required for iambic keying).

The Bencher BY-1 isn't a bad deal for an iambic paddle: http://www.bencher.com/ham/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=1

The Vibroplex Vibrokeyer Standard isn't a bad deal for non-iambic: http://vibroplex.com/vibrokeyer.html

Vibroplex also has an Iambic Deluxe which isn't a bad deal: http://vibroplex.com/IAMBIC.html

Keyer paddles "start" around $100 and go up much, much higher as they become serious works of art.  They're made in small quantities.

Used ones cost a bit less.

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KC9RCG
Member

Posts: 142




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« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2012, 12:18:58 PM »

You are right....a paddle.....thanks


I am reading all I can on CW. All the hams in my area are phone only. As you already see, I'm kind of on my own.

thanks
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WX7G
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Posts: 6192




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« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2012, 12:56:15 PM »

Any paddles will work but I would stay away from the MFJ paddles. I had them and they fell apart.
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VA7CPC
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Posts: 2402




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« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2012, 01:18:25 PM »

OK -- "paddle", not "keyer".

A paddle is either:

. . . "single paddle" or "non-iambic' -- one paddle, that moves left (dah) or right (dit),  OR

. . . "dual paddle" or "iambic" -- two independent paddles (one for dit, one for dah) that
. . . . . . can be moved independently.

You can read (in this Forum) endless discussions of which is "best".

You haven't defined "inexpensive".  Here's a survey of the low-cost world:

The simplest, cheapest single paddle:

. . . A short piece of hacksaw blade (spring steel), with its end wrapped in electrical tape.

. . . Two contacts (nuts and bolts), one left, one right.

For some examples, see here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHvhwFu1aV0

Several world-class high-speed CW sending contests have been won with similar paddles.

With two pieces of hacksaw blade, and a central stop, you can make a dual paddle.

Complexity (and cost) rises from there.   Search YouTube for "cw paddle" and you'll get loads of ideas.

I have made (and used) a "paddle" with two "tactile switches" from Radio Shack.  It was OK up to about 15 wpm -- dirt cheap, and tiny.  I was not the first person to do that, and I don't want to take credit for the idea.

http://www.eham.net/articles/13722

You can troll eBay, and pick up a used Bencher BY-2 (dual paddle) for around $60.  A Kent dual paddle might be a bit more, but it's more solid in construction.  Either of those could be "lifetime" paddles.

K8RA has been making paddles for years.   They're reasonably priced (for what they are) and get glowing reviews:

http://www.k8ra.com/

Have fun with CW --

.                Charles


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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20632




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« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2012, 03:55:27 PM »

Homebrewing keys can be fun, and most keys on the market nowadays, including very elegant dual paddles costing several hundred dollars each, are practically homebrew -- they're just made by machinists using excellent workmanship.

I wouldn't recommend home-brewing a paddle for someone just starting out on CW.  To me, that's like home-brewing a car for a brand new driver.  Might work, but usually best results happen the other way 'round: Get the experience first, then when you really know what you're doing, build something. Wink
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K4FX
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Posts: 166


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« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2012, 07:44:44 PM »

Very true  about the homebrew paddle. I bought a used external keyer many years ago and the guy included a homemade paddle, it works great, It is all I have used for the past 10 years or so. I just can't see spending the money on a "store-bought" one.

In a pinch on the 857D you can turn on the mickey function (menu #26) and the up/down buttons  on the mic double as "dit and dah" controls like a paddle. It is pretty rough over about 10wpm but it works.

Bill K4FX
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AJ4WC
Member

Posts: 47




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« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2012, 07:54:52 AM »

I got one of these for ~$50...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/K-4-Chinese-Military-Heavy-Duty-Telegraph-Straight-Key-/120504634028

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AC4RD
Member

Posts: 1235




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« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2012, 04:26:40 PM »

Homebrewing keys can be fun ....
I wouldn't recommend home-brewing a paddle for someone just starting out on CW.  To me, that's like home-brewing a car for a brand new driver.  Might work, but usually best results happen the other way 'round: Get the experience first, then when you really know what you're doing, build something. Wink

I absolutely agree, in general.  But homebrewing a set of paddles can be fun, too:

 http://www.duke.edu/~kuzen001/mousetrap3.html
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