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Author Topic: CW sidetone delay  (Read 4215 times)
VK5SH
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« on: April 10, 2013, 05:41:27 AM »

Does anyone have a feel for how much delay between key and sidetone is tolerable or comfortable for a competent CW operator? Thank you in advance.
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N3QE
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« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2013, 06:22:40 AM »

Does anyone have a feel for how much delay between key and sidetone is tolerable or comfortable for a competent CW operator? Thank you in advance.

I commonly use a keyer at up and beyond 30WPM, where each dit is about 25ms. It would feel odd to me at least, if a sidetone was more than a dit (25ms) behind. I'm sure I would never ever be able to detect just a few ms.

Note that in many QSK-type transceivers, actual keying is as much as 10 to 30ms behind key closure. See e.g. ARRL rig reviews for keying waveforms. When I switch between different rigs at different sites and the delay changes I can kinda feel "the timing is funny" between key closure and actual TX but I can adapt to delays like this.

Then I can go back to my "true QSK" setup (separate TX and RX, so no IF flopping between modes on each keychange) and I feel "oh this is great, nothing feels weird about this at all, this is the way it's supposed to be."

So I would say a delay of 10-30ms is noticeable but humans can adapt to it.
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N4IAG
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« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2013, 08:22:15 AM »

hmm...I don't notice any delay, or maybe it's so short I can't tell. When I hit the paddle, I hear instant sidetone, and key the radio simultaneously.

The only time I had a sidetone delay was when I tried running the audio through a dsp app on the PC. That drove me nuts very quickly, I guess similar to what FlexRadio users complained about.
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I want to die peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather, not screaming in terror like his passengers.
WB2WIK
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« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2013, 08:48:12 AM »

Does anyone have a feel for how much delay between key and sidetone is tolerable or comfortable for a competent CW operator? Thank you in advance.

It would be "zero," for me.  I sometimes send at about 50 wpm and even a few mS delay would be kind of a disaster.

Now, that's the delay between key closure and sidetone, not necessarily the RF envelope.  I can't hear that, so if there's latency between key closure and RF output it wouldn't matter (and there always is, since I have my QSK keying loop set for about 15mS or so -- meaning the amplifier keys first, the RF follows that).
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W4OP
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« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2013, 10:35:03 AM »

Does anyone have a feel for how much delay between key and sidetone is tolerable or comfortable for a competent CW operator? Thank you in advance.

Zero for me also. I can't imagine why there would be any sidetone delay in a rig.

Dale W4OP
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K9ZMD
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« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2013, 07:56:50 PM »

. . . . Zero for me also. I can't imagine why there would be any sidetone delay in a rig.

Dale W4OP
Processing delay in an SDR rig, maybe?
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VK5SH
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« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2013, 05:08:26 AM »

Many thanks for all the replies. Yes, it's an SDR rig I'm working on so the audio has to pass through the sound system of the operating system. Seems to be difficult to use very short buffers without running into underrun problems.
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N3QE
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« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2013, 06:34:22 AM »

Does anyone have a feel for how much delay between key and sidetone is tolerable or comfortable for a competent CW operator? Thank you in advance.

Zero for me also. I can't imagine why there would be any sidetone delay in a rig.


When operating QSK and with sidetone generated on the rig... you gotta hear either the receiver or the sidetone. Can't hear the sidetone at the same time the rig is in receive.

With most "modern" QSK transceivers (IF shared between TX and RX), the delay between key closure and and actual transmit envelope is circa 10-20ms. This is something I can adapt to and work with and I would guess others can too. Read the ARRL reviews of modern QSK transceivers to see typical RF out vs key closure:

https://www.tentec.com/downloads/manuals/599/TEN%20TEC%20EAGLE%20Arrl%20Review.pdf

http://www.icomamerica.com/en/products/amateur/satellite/9100/9100_QSTReviewApril2012.pdf

http://cbmlog.narod.ru/manuals/yaesu/ftdx9000contest.pdf

Of course there are other, more traditional ways to achieve "true QSK" without any such delay. And when I switch from a modern transceiver rig to older separate RX and TX, it feels "more right" to not have the 10-20ms delay.

Tim.
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VK5SH
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« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2013, 05:21:07 AM »

Hi Tim,

Thank you for the very informative reply. It seems then that less than 10 ms is desirable with 15-20 ms max.

Steve
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DD0YU
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« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2014, 12:52:48 AM »

Does anyone have a feel for how much delay between key and sidetone is tolerable or comfortable for a competent CW operator? Thank you in advance.

Hallo HJ,
nach so vielen Jahren (ich weiss leider Deinen Namen nicht mehr ?Hans?) vy 73 aus München.
Du warst damals (70er Jahre) mit Tony (DF5CJ) bei mir zuhause und hast auf der Electronic organ meiner Kinder einen super Rock 'n Roll gespielt.
Leider fand ich keine eMail-Adresse, daher hier der Versuch, mit Dir Kontakt aufzunehmen ...
Lass mal was von Dir hören. Du findest mich auf qrz.com wie auch unter www.dd0yu.com.
In der Hoffnung, dass du diese Zeilen liest

beste Grüße aus München
Lothar DDØYU
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