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Author Topic: I need a new keyer with 8 memories: suggestions?  (Read 5446 times)
AC4RD
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« on: February 11, 2013, 07:50:57 AM »


The memory buttons on my old keyer keep sticking.  This is a problem--as I'm aging, I don't have the strength and coordination I used to have in my arms and hands, and the memory buttons are a big help, especially for contesting and DXing.

It's been many many years since I shopped for a keyer; I want at least 8 memory buttons (I have 4 now and it's not quite enough) and a speed control on the front panel for quick access.  That's about all the requirements I can think of.  :-)

I'd welcome hearing opinions on what keyer you use or would recommend.  Thanks!  --ken


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WB2WIK
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« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2013, 08:58:58 AM »

This one's a pretty good deal and gives you eight memory channels with a cheap option:

http://www.mfjenterprises.com/Product.php?productid=MFJ-490X

I have one, it works well and is very easy to use.

Verification: I never read the manual. Wink
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AC4RD
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« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2013, 05:54:24 AM »

Thanks for the input!  It's really helpful to hear what others like and don't like.

I've actually looked at that MFJ series online; I had a non-memory MFJ keyer, the kind that straps onto a Bencher, years ago.  The one thing I wonder about those is the fact that the standard ones have four memories, and (from a glance at the manual online) adding memory gives you eight memories, but it looks at first glance that switching from the first bank of memories to the second, and back again, might be a little clunky.  You don't find that a problem?  I'm hesitant because neither my mind nor my motor skills seem quite as acute as they were 30 years ago ...
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2013, 08:40:17 AM »

Thanks for the input!  It's really helpful to hear what others like and don't like.

I've actually looked at that MFJ series online; I had a non-memory MFJ keyer, the kind that straps onto a Bencher, years ago.  The one thing I wonder about those is the fact that the standard ones have four memories, and (from a glance at the manual online) adding memory gives you eight memories, but it looks at first glance that switching from the first bank of memories to the second, and back again, might be a little clunky.  You don't find that a problem?  I'm hesitant because neither my mind nor my motor skills seem quite as acute as they were 30 years ago ...

It's actually very easy; however I never use more than 3-4 memories anyway. 

I can't think of anything fascinating enough to send that requires more than four memories. Wink

For contesting, I use:

1.  CQ de (my call)
2.  QRZ?
3.  599 05 (or whatever the exchange is)
4.  TU de (my call) -- or something similar to end the exchange

Can't even imagine what I'd do with the next four.

For casual operating, I don't use any memories other than the one between the ears which I admit isn't as good as it once was.

Also, my memory isn't as good as it once was. Cheesy
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K2QB
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« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2013, 08:42:34 AM »

8 memories??? I'm not trying to be a know it all but I have 6 memories on my keyer and find I only use 2 or 3 at the most. I'd be curious as to what you put into each memory location. Maybe I am missing something that I should be doing.
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KB2HSH
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« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2013, 09:34:11 AM »

On eBay, you can find the old Heathkit Micromatic SA-5010 keyer pretty cheaply.  I bought one for about $25, and they are on there frequently for less.  The 5010 has 10 memories.  It works VERY VERY well for a keyer from 1985.

I bought mine specifically for QRP contesting.

YMMV.

John KB2HSH
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VE3WMB
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Posts: 289




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« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2013, 06:42:04 PM »

I am assuming that you use a computer for logging ?  If so I highly recommend the K1EL WKUSB
keyer (http://www.k1el.com/). The keyer itself has only 4 memory buttons if used in standalone mode but when it is connected to your computer via USB, it can be setup to send from your logging program
using the Function keys on your keyboard which is very handy. Also while connected to the computer
you can still use the paddles for input and vary the speed with the speed pot on the front of the keyer.
The advantage of using the WKUSB vs keying your rig directly from the computer is the the WKUSB
handles all of the CW timing and will always send perfect code. Many logging programs now support it.

Michael VE3WMB


The memory buttons on my old keyer keep sticking.  This is a problem--as I'm aging, I don't have the strength and coordination I used to have in my arms and hands, and the memory buttons are a big help, especially for contesting and DXing.

It's been many many years since I shopped for a keyer; I want at least 8 memory buttons (I have 4 now and it's not quite enough) and a speed control on the front panel for quick access.  That's about all the requirements I can think of.  :-)

I'd welcome hearing opinions on what keyer you use or would recommend.  Thanks!  --ken



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NK7Z
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« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2013, 10:30:16 PM »


The memory buttons on my old keyer keep sticking.  This is a problem--as I'm aging, I don't have the strength and coordination I used to have in my arms and hands, and the memory buttons are a big help, especially for contesting and DXing.

It's been many many years since I shopped for a keyer; I want at least 8 memory buttons (I have 4 now and it's not quite enough) and a speed control on the front panel for quick access.  That's about all the requirements I can think of.  :-)

I'd welcome hearing opinions on what keyer you use or would recommend.  Thanks!  --ken




Is it possible that a local ham might replace the buttons for you?
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Thanks,
Dave
For reviews and setups see: http://www.nk7z.net
AC4RD
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Posts: 1235




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« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2013, 09:00:02 AM »

OK, thanks to all for the input!  Specific replies: I'd rather get a new keyer than fiddle with replacing the memory buttons; 4 memories really isn't enough for me.  (And for those who asked why I need more, it's for the same reason that I drive a compact car and you drive a pickup: because we have different tastes and different needs.)  I don't use a computer for logging--just for PSK/RTTY.  I keep a paper log and transfer the data to an MS-Access database for recordkeeping, QSLing, and LOTW.

I decided on an MFJ as a second choice but the Logikey K-5 as a first choice, since a.) it has 6 buttons atop it, and b.) I've been using a K-1 and I'm familiar with the interface. I didn't find a ham store with a K-5 in stock but I did find one with a used K-3, very similar, at a nice price, so I'm now waiting for that to arrive.

Thanks again to all who helped!  --kejn
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KB2HSH
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« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2013, 11:27:40 AM »

OK, thanks to all for the input!  Specific replies: I'd rather get a new keyer than fiddle with replacing the memory buttons; 4 memories really isn't enough for me.  (And for those who asked why I need more, it's for the same reason that I drive a compact car and you drive a pickup: because we have different tastes and different needs.)  I don't use a computer for logging--just for PSK/RTTY.  I keep a paper log and transfer the data to an MS-Access database for recordkeeping, QSLing, and LOTW.

I decided on an MFJ as a second choice but the Logikey K-5 as a first choice, since a.) it has 6 buttons atop it, and b.) I've been using a K-1 and I'm familiar with the interface. I didn't find a ham store with a K-5 in stock but I did find one with a used K-3, very similar, at a nice price, so I'm now waiting for that to arrive.

Thanks again to all who helped!  --kejn

Good Luck with your CW key needs!
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N3QE
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Posts: 2289




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« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2013, 11:28:44 AM »

I am assuming that you use a computer for logging ?  If so I highly recommend the K1EL WKUSB
keyer (http://www.k1el.com/). The keyer itself has only 4 memory buttons if used in standalone mode but when it is connected to your computer via USB, it can be setup to send from your logging program
using the Function keys on your keyboard which is very handy.

I also want to heartily recommend the WKUSB. I use it both as a standalone keyer and with the computer interface in contests.

And a side note... the chip inside the WKUSB supports 6 memory stored messages but the WKUSB box only has 4 pushbuttons. Two more pushbuttons can be added (at one point I used foot-pedals for these) and will give access to the last two memories.
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AC4RD
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Posts: 1235




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« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2013, 04:49:28 PM »

... the chip inside the WKUSB supports 6 memory stored messages but the WKUSB box only has 4 pushbuttons. Two more pushbuttons can be added

Heck, I looked at the Winkeyer options, and if I had known about the 6 buttons, I might have given it more thought.  :-)   I still think I'll be happy with the Logikey--but thanks for the tip!
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W8VVE
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Posts: 190




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« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2013, 01:16:11 PM »

The Logikey K-5 has 6 buttons but you can stack messages...
---------------------------------------------------------------
•Six active messages plus 12 "banked" messages, 1530 characters total
---------------------------------------------------------------------
I have an "extra" one of you are interested...73...Sam W8VVE  nwsam@ntelos.net
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KZ1X
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Posts: 3228




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« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2013, 08:24:08 PM »

I know you said 8 memories. 
As was posted above, I am mighty curious what one would put in them... but then I have 8 memories on my logger program driving my WK USB.
I do use the various memories for multiple exchanges.

Anyway, this is a 6 memory button sleeper:

http://www.hamgadgets.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=106

It is K1EL compatible...
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WD4ELG
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Posts: 875




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« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2013, 04:49:21 PM »

You can get the K5 directly from the manufacturer.

http://www.idiompress.com/k5.php

I love mine.
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