eHam

eHam Forums => CW => Topic started by: W9TM on February 25, 2012, 01:03:57 PM



Title: Keyer for vintage/hb cathode keyed rigs
Post by: W9TM on February 25, 2012, 01:03:57 PM
I don't always enjoy using my bugs or straight keys for rag chewing preferring a paddle/keyer much of the time.  But none of my keyers will handle keying my vintage, cathode keyed commercial or homebrew rigs.  (Viking Adventurer, DX-40, hb 6146, etc.) Any suggestions for a keyer or adapter with a keying output that will handle these old radios that put a pretty significant voltage and current across the key line?  

I'd prefer something commercial and ready to go out of the box.  I don't have a bench set up at the moment.  A kit I could assemble on the kitchen table with simple tools and a VOM would be OK.

TU es 73,

Jim W9TM


Title: RE: Keyer for vintage/hb cathode keyed rigs
Post by: N4IAG on February 25, 2012, 02:07:42 PM
I like the K1EL Winkeyer USB. They say it will work with most rigs, old or new. It's a kit, but very simple to build.

http://www.k1el.com/


Title: RE: Keyer for vintage/hb cathode keyed rigs
Post by: VA7CPC on February 25, 2012, 03:44:11 PM
I like the K1EL Winkeyer USB. They say it will work with most rigs, old or new. It's a kit, but very simple to build.

http://www.k1el.com/

I wouldn't assume it'll be OK.   It's a great keyer, but I don't think it will take the several-hundred-volts of a cathode-keyed rig.  A phone call to K1EL will confirm whether it's safe, or not.

Perhaps something like this:

http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/9957

or a vacuum keying relay, backing up any solid-state keyer, would do the job.

           Charles 





Title: RE: Keyer for vintage/hb cathode keyed rigs
Post by: K3STX on February 25, 2012, 03:47:27 PM
I know it's a kit, but...

http://www.hamgadgets.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=21&products_id=128 (http://www.hamgadgets.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=21&products_id=128)

I have the Universal Keying Adaptor 1 from N0XAS that I used with my DX40, works great.

paul


Title: RE: Keyer for vintage/hb cathode keyed rigs
Post by: KC9QQ on February 25, 2012, 06:08:04 PM
I know it's a kit, but...

http://www.hamgadgets.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=21&products_id=128 (http://www.hamgadgets.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=21&products_id=128)

I have the Universal Keying Adaptor 1 from N0XAS that I used with my DX40, works great.

paul

I would recommend this interface kit.  I have one which I built in about 30 minutes on my kitchen table.  I use it with a TS-520 which has high voltage keying.  It works like a charm.

Fred,   KC9QQ


Title: RE: Keyer for vintage/hb cathode keyed rigs
Post by: K3AN on February 26, 2012, 07:05:26 PM
The Winkeyer USB manual states the "HV" version (the only version they now sell) can handle 300 Volts DC (either plus or minus) open circuit voltage, and up to 100 milliamps of key-down DC current.


Title: RE: Keyer for vintage/hb cathode keyed rigs
Post by: VA7CPC on February 27, 2012, 11:47:49 PM
Quote
A kit I could assemble on the kitchen table with simple tools and a VOM would be OK.

The K1EL WinKeyer needs soldering, but nothing fancier than that.  It's all "through-hole" soldering onto a printed-circuit board, not surface-mount soldering.   No magnifier, no fancy temperature-controlled iron needed.

             Charles


Title: RE: Keyer for vintage/hb cathode keyed rigs
Post by: W9TM on February 29, 2012, 08:42:51 AM
I know it's a kit, but...

http://www.hamgadgets.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=21&products_id=128 (http://www.hamgadgets.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=21&products_id=128)

I have the Universal Keying Adaptor 1 from N0XAS that I used with my DX40, works great.

paul

Thanks to everyone for the replies and information. 

The Universal Keying Adaptor 1 that K3STX posted (with following comment by KC9QQ) looks like the answer.  I already have several keyers and this would allow me to use any of them.

The K1EL keyer also looks good except the 100Ma rating is a bit low for some of my vintage or homebrew rigs.

Jim W9TM






Title: RE: Keyer for vintage/hb cathode keyed rigs
Post by: N2EY on February 29, 2012, 10:53:11 AM
I don't think it will take the several-hundred-volts of a cathode-keyed rig. 

A properly-designed cathode-keyed rig doesn't put several hundred volts across the key. Lots of mills, yes, but the key-up voltage cannot exceed the cutoff bias of the tubes.

73 de Jim, N2EY


Title: RE: Keyer for vintage/hb cathode keyed rigs
Post by: N3QE on February 29, 2012, 11:50:43 AM
In particular, the Winkeyer USB-HV will key even rigs that have high voltages at the key jack.

The keying outputs are optoisolated on top of that too.

I key lots of old and new rigs with it, no problems at all. No dinking for keying polarity or anything like that is necessary.

More extreme than cathode keyed rigs I've seen homebrew plate and/or screen keyed rigs, and pre-WW2 ARRL handbooks showed a transformerless CPO and a transformerless transmitter where the nominal cold end of the 120VAC supply was being opened or closed right at the key contacts.


Title: RE: Keyer for vintage/hb cathode keyed rigs
Post by: NI0C on March 01, 2012, 08:42:41 AM
I'm surprised no one suggested the W9TO keyer from the sixties, to go along with those vintage transmitters. Hallicrafters made a very fine version, called the HA-1.  It used a mercury-wetted relay for keying.  This was not an iambic keyer, but it worked well for QRQ work with the single-lever paddles (such as the Vibroplex vibro keyer and Autronics) available at the time. 

Don't get me wrong, I love the K1EL keyers, and wouldn't trade mine.  However, if I were putting together a vintage station, I'd be looking for a clean HA-1.

73,
Chuck NI0C


Title: RE: Keyer for vintage/hb cathode keyed rigs
Post by: K1ZJH on March 07, 2012, 10:04:56 AM
I like the K1EL Winkeyer USB. They say it will work with most rigs, old or new. It's a kit, but very simple to build.

http://www.k1el.com/

I wouldn't assume it'll be OK.   It's a great keyer, but I don't think it will take the several-hundred-volts of a cathode-keyed rig.  A phone call to K1EL will confirm whether it's safe, or not.

Perhaps something like this:

http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/9957

or a vacuum keying relay, backing up any solid-state keyer, would do the job.

           Charles  





If the cathode voltage rises above the tube's cutoff voltage, there is serious problem with the rig.

Grid block keying voltages are usually much higher than open cathode voltages at the key jack.

Current and polarity issues aside of course....

Pete

Edit:  I see Jim n2ey mentioned this already in an earlier post...


Title: RE: Keyer for vintage/hb cathode keyed rigs
Post by: KB2FCV on March 07, 2012, 10:46:05 AM
I'll second the reccomendation for the W9TO keyer (Hallicrafters HA-1). I've had mine for years and have used it with many of my vintage stations.


Title: RE: Keyer for vintage/hb cathode keyed rigs
Post by: KC8MWG on May 16, 2015, 10:36:44 AM
Sorry about the threadomancy, but I was wondering - I want to build a 1929-style rig for 80 meters using a 203 tube, but I want to use a single-lever paddle and a keyer. 203 tube uses 1Kv on the plate for 50 watts, and of course the rig will use cathode keying. Want to use a K1EL K42 keyer/reader with it. Will one of the above mentioned adapters work without frying? I have carpal tunnel and arthritis so long rag-chewing sessions with a straight key would be problematic.


Title: RE: Keyer for vintage/hb cathode keyed rigs
Post by: WD8DKB on May 20, 2015, 02:50:25 AM
I believe PalStar makes a keyer that can be used with the older transmitters. It's the CW50A .
  Have fun, Max


Title: RE: Keyer for vintage/hb cathode keyed rigs
Post by: KT4AE on May 21, 2015, 06:09:34 AM
For what it's worth in this case, the HA-1 manual recommends a contact protection network consisting of a cap & resistor for loads exceeding 2 ma & 50 volts.  There is a chart to help in selecting component values for various voltage and current combinations.

There is a nice copy of the HA-1 manual available on BAMA.  I have a couple of HA-1's which work fine with my Ranger and "modern' Halli transmitters. 

Harry, KT4AE
Watkinsville, Georgia




Title: RE: Keyer for vintage/hb cathode keyed rigs
Post by: KH2BR on May 21, 2015, 07:11:50 AM
Ok, enough of all of that, here is what you need and it works great all the time. just simple and cheap. you could probably make it cheaper if you want.
http://wb9kzy.com/keyallhv.htm


Title: RE: Keyer for vintage/hb cathode keyed rigs
Post by: KD8IIC on May 21, 2015, 09:36:40 PM
  I have the keyer Palstar makes and am real happy with it. It is a plug & play. Best feature for me at least is the variable pitch and variable volume side-tone. It is switch-able for grid-block as well as cathode keying. Battery or wall-wart pwrd.
I'm using mine with a straight key just so I can have the side-tone on my BA rigs. Had it on a DX-35 and a couple of Johnsons Ranger and Challengers. Great USA made product.  73


Title: RE: Keyer for vintage/hb cathode keyed rigs
Post by: WW3QB on May 22, 2015, 04:55:54 PM
FWIW I have used the Winkeyer USB-HV with my DX-100.


Title: RE: Keyer for vintage/hb cathode keyed rigs
Post by: K7KBN on May 23, 2015, 07:39:23 PM
Hammarlund made a keyer called the HK-1B back in the early 1960s while I was on active Navy duty.  It was relay operated, and unfortunately the keying voltage on some of the Navy's transmitters was well above the relay ratings.  I used one at our ham station which used commercial amateur gear and completely independent from the ship's comms.  It was hypnotic, watching those tiny relays dance!