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eHam Forums => CW => Topic started by: KU7I on August 19, 2012, 03:11:42 AM



Title: Do you like the full QSK on your rig? Which rig do you like for full QSK?
Post by: KU7I on August 19, 2012, 03:11:42 AM
Okay so up until NOW I have never really been a fan of full QSK. It could be now that I am older (now 45, been a ham since early 1981) my operating style has evolved...or it could something else entirely...I really don't know. What I do know is that the full QSK on my Yaesu FT-890 is magical, especially when using headphones. It reminds me of the full QSK in my old Ten Tec model 546 Omni - C. Back in the early 80s before I joined the Navy I used a Ten Tec Argonaut 515 (bought brand new at the Wickliffe, OH AES for something like $400.00) and then upgraded to an Omni C I bought from KB3A who at the time upgraded to the Corsair One (this was around mid-1984 or so). The QSK on these TT rigs was amazing although I used semi-QSK more often.

So I am curious to hear opinions on which transceiver you use for full QSK CW. BTW I have an Icom 738 en route right now from the states and will be here in a few weeks so I will have a chance to compare the IC-738 to the FT-890.

I vaguely remember seeing somewhere quite a few folks raining praise for the QSK in this era of Yaesu rigs. I usually send at around 25 to 30 wpm so that is my normally MO.

Lane
Ku7i, JH1JCM
US Naval Hospital
Yokosuka, Japan


Title: RE: Do you like the full QSK on your rig? Which rig do you like for full QSK?
Post by: G4LNA on August 19, 2012, 01:28:07 PM
Hello Lane,

I use a little Elecraft K3 and the QSK on that is marvellous, but I do mainly use Semi because I find it's easier on the ears during a rag chew QSO, but when I'm working DX the full break in is really useful to hear the DX when they go back to someone, I know when to shut up  ;D

I just wish a few other stations would do the same instead of keep calling when the DX is working someone else and not them.


Title: RE: Do you like the full QSK on your rig? Which rig do you like for full QSK?
Post by: KU7I on August 19, 2012, 02:11:45 PM
The reviews of the K-3 are superior!

Lane


Title: RE: Do you like the full QSK on your rig? Which rig do you like for full QSK?
Post by: K0RS on August 19, 2012, 04:59:03 PM
I only operate full QSK.  Being a DXer and calling in split pileups, QSK gives me a huge advantage over competition using semi break-in.  I often hear stations keep calling in a pileup not knowing that the DX has already responded to someone else.  QSK lets you stay in synch with the DX and not make wasted calls.  Timing is everything in a pileup.

QSK is nice in a ragchew too, especially with another accomplished CW op.  If you want to comment on something the other party has just said, all you have to do is drop a dit in between words and then he knows to pause for your comment.  Makes the conversation flow like VOX on SSB.

My current two tranceivers are a Ten Tec Orion and a Yaesu FT-1000D.  Both are very good QSK rigs, with the edge going to the Ten Tec.  Other Yaesu rigs I have used aren't so stellar in the QSK department.  I've had an FT-1000MP, a Mark V Field and an FT-920 that all were poor to mediocre.  The 920 in particular was lousy.  I used an Icom 736 that had nice break-in, but wasn't really a DX rig for other reasons.  BTW, the FT-1000D's QSK is ruined by so-called key-click mods.  Listen to your CW on the air and make sure your rig actually needs this mod before ruining your great break-in performance.

I interface my two current rigs with an Alpha 89 or a Ten Tec Centurion and both amps work well with either rig.  The Centurion has a timing circuit with a high speed vacuum relay and the Alpha has a very fast PIN diode switching T/R circuit.  No clicks, no pops, no distraction.


Title: RE: Do you like the full QSK on your rig? Which rig do you like for full QSK?
Post by: N3PDT on August 19, 2012, 07:11:18 PM
Yes, I prefer full QSK in all operating situations. Mainly use  a Ten Tec Jupiter, and an old Ten Tec Triton IV. I don't have an amp that will do QSK with the rigs, so in the rare situations I turn it on, I have to do without.


Title: RE: Do you like the full QSK on your rig? Which rig do you like for full QSK?
Post by: AD5X on August 19, 2012, 07:35:01 PM
I use QSK when chasing DX.  Most of the time I use semi break-in when ragchewing, but sometimes I use QSK there also.  I have a K3 and KPA500 - and the QSK is great with that set-up.

Phil - AD5X


Title: RE: Do you like the full QSK on your rig? Which rig do you like for full QSK?
Post by: AE4RV on August 20, 2012, 06:43:38 AM
Stay away from the Icom 7410 (and presumably the 9100). Terrible QSK, practically non-existent. Wonderful DSP and receivers, horrible QSK.


Title: RE: Do you like the full QSK on your rig? Which rig do you like for full QSK?
Post by: KU7I on August 20, 2012, 07:21:24 AM
Interesting feedback on the 7410. I am currently using an FT-890 and the QSK if impressive. The IC-738 should be here in a few weeks and I am hoping it is as good as the Yaesu. Lane


Title: RE: Do you like the full QSK on your rig? Which rig do you like for full QSK?
Post by: AE4RV on August 20, 2012, 10:18:32 AM
My other three Icoms have decent QSK and the 7410 really surprised me. I like everything else about it, which is why I still have it but the QSK is a sore spot.


Title: RE: Do you like the full QSK on your rig? Which rig do you like for full QSK?
Post by: WB2WIK on August 20, 2012, 11:44:00 AM
Interesting feedback on the 7410. I am currently using an FT-890 and the QSK if impressive. The IC-738 should be here in a few weeks and I am hoping it is as good as the Yaesu. Lane

I had an IC-736 for a few years and I believe it's the same exact rig but included 6m and a built-in power supply; otherwise I think the -738 is the same rig.  In fact, the user manual included both models.

Anyway, I thought the 736 and 738 were lousy CW rigs. :P

Here's why: They didn't have full QSK at all; only semi-QSK, with the delay adjustable using a small knob on the rear panel.  When set to the shortest possible delay, it still wasn't "real" QSK; it was semi-QSK that would never allow you to hear someone break in between dits and dahs while sending at 30 wpm. 

Also, the CW "offset" (which is also the side tone heard in the monitor) is fixed at 740 Hz or something and not adjustable.  That drove me nuts, as I much prefer something like 550 or 600 Hz.  The tone, and the offset, was just too high for me and I don't think it was adjustable.


Title: RE: Do you like the full QSK on your rig? Which rig do you like for full QSK?
Post by: AA5TB on August 20, 2012, 11:53:01 AM
I almost always use QSK and surprisingly the QSK on my Yaesu FT-897D is as smooth as silk.  It does have small relays and years ago relay clicking would drive me nuts but these days it doesn't bother me at all (sounds like a telegraph).  With headphones on I don't notice them.  However, sometimes near sunset on 40 m I have to lengthen the delay a bit because my NVIS echo is so strong that it creates an annoying pop after each character.

I also have a few QRP rigs with pretty good QSK capability.

73,
Steve - AA5TB


Title: RE: Do you like the full QSK on your rig? Which rig do you like for full QSK?
Post by: AE4RV on August 20, 2012, 01:20:48 PM
30 WPM? Here's how bad the 7410 is - the QSK is noticeably bad at 10 WPM, at 12 it disappears entirely. My other Icoms seem fine but I rarely send much above 20 WPM.

For people considering the 7410 who don't care about QSK - I like everything else about the radio, everything.


Title: RE: Do you like the full QSK on your rig? Which rig do you like for full QSK?
Post by: N1EA on August 25, 2012, 09:54:07 AM
An old radio but the Ten Tec Triton IV (analog or digital) had legendary full break-in.  It works at over 100 wpm with no distortion of pulses.

The bad thing about the Ten Tec Triton IV is the "filter" is just an audio filter - 40 meters during a contest is unusable.  However the Ten Tec noise blanker is excellent.

73

David N1EA


Title: RE: Do you like the full QSK on your rig? Which rig do you like for full QSK?
Post by: KC9QQ on August 27, 2012, 05:16:17 PM
I have an Elecraft K2 which I use for QRP operation.  It operates very well in QSK.

Fred, KC9QQ



Title: RE: Do you like the full QSK on your rig? Which rig do you like for full QSK?
Post by: W4OP on August 27, 2012, 06:12:41 PM
I use a K3 10W  barefoot and with the SPE iK-FA amplifier and feel the QSK is as good as I have used- that includes a TenTec Omni VI+.

I see the specs on the DZKits Sienna look excellent- but I have no personal experience.

Dale W4OP


Title: RE: Do you like the full QSK on your rig? Which rig do you like for full QSK?
Post by: N4OI on August 30, 2012, 06:30:26 AM
...and an FT-920 that all were poor to mediocre.  The 920 in particular was lousy.  ...

I am not questioning your experience with the FT-920 QSK, but it is 180 degrees from mine!  With the exception of relay clicking, which is mitigated by headphones, my FT-920's QSK at 30 wpm or so is as good or even better than my Ten-Tec and Elecraft rigs.  Perhaps you have an earlier model (mine is 2002) or have a defect ? Just sayin'...

73 ES GOD BLESS U ES URS DE KEN - N4OI   ;D


Title: RE: Do you like the full QSK on your rig? Which rig do you like for full QSK?
Post by: N3QE on August 30, 2012, 08:12:27 AM
An old radio but the Ten Tec Triton IV (analog or digital) had legendary full break-in.  It works at over 100 wpm with no distortion of pulses.

The bad thing about the Ten Tec Triton IV is the "filter" is just an audio filter - 40 meters during a contest is unusable.  However the Ten Tec noise blanker is excellent.

I'm a big fan of the Ten Tec Triton too, as far as transceivers go, it has excellent QSK. All the Ten Tec rigs do! (I also have an Eagle, also excellent QSK.) I could not imagine any intense CW activity without QSK.

But for the real QSK guy, a transceiver is never going to be good enough. With the IF and antenna flopping back and forth between T and R it just gets in the way. The best way to do it: Separate transmitter and receiver, with separate transmit and receive antennas and the RF stage of the receiver set to instantaneously near-mute while key-down. It honestly feels like I can hear the band while my key is down (the receiver never shuts off, just goes to near-mute), and I know that's the best it gets.


Title: RE: Do you like the full QSK on your rig? Which rig do you like for full QSK?
Post by: KU7I on August 31, 2012, 05:59:49 PM
So are you using a seperate TX and RX then? Curious.

Lane


Title: RE: Do you like the full QSK on your rig? Which rig do you like for full QSK?
Post by: N3QE on September 01, 2012, 05:10:00 AM
So are you using a seperate TX and RX then? Curious.

No, most of the time I'm using a Ten Tec transceiver of some kind.

But I also have some separate much older separate T/R setups and the QSK is truly seamless there. Look in a 60's ARRL Handbook for typical full-QSK setups. I hear my own note on the band when my key is down, and I hear the band when the key is up, no clicks, no clunks, no AGC pumps, a completely smooth transition. Getting the receiver muting set up correctly is actually hard in AGC-controlled receivers; the best way to set it up is to take it out of AGC, and have a separate QSK muting input added that controls the bias on the front end and mixer tubes.

The Ten Tec transceivers have excellent QSK... for a transceiver. But it's not seamless. If you look at the architecture of a transceiver you see why, the IF chain flops between R and T and back to R on every dit. Good QSK transceivers do this quickly without AGC pumping and with most of the switching done during mute and with a sidetone. But still not as good as separate T/R QSK, where you hear your own actual note on the band while key down.



Title: RE: Do you like the full QSK on your rig? Which rig do you like for full QSK?
Post by: KU7I on September 01, 2012, 05:34:43 AM
Pretty cool stuff.