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Author Topic: Heathkit SA-5010 µMatic (Micro Matic) Memory Keyer  (Read 10004 times)
KB4MNG
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« on: July 23, 2015, 05:15:22 AM »

Has anyone uses this keyer? I picked up one in a bunch of stuff I bought. I've taken it apart, re soldered some iffy looking joints. Hope to power it up soon. Just wondering what to expect. I can not find much information on it. Any advise on the on board battery far as replacement?

Thanks Brian KB4MNG NC
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W0BTU
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« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2015, 06:20:55 AM »

I built one years ago, and still use it every time I operate CW. Works for me.

The manual is probably available online. Try https://www.google.com/search?newwindow=1&q=Heathkit+SA-5010+Keyer+manual

The 3 little batteries are to backup the memories. I forget the type needed. I've only replaced them once or twice since I owned it.

The capacitive touch paddles are OK, but lately I've used a Bencher iambic key.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2015, 06:24:39 AM by W0BTU » Logged

K7MH
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« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2015, 08:02:01 PM »

I added one to the collection a couple months ago. You can find the manual for it online. I ordered the three batteries along with the correct connector for an external key from Fry's. They had very inexpensive shipping (about $2) since the parts were so small. That is pretty RARE these days!!

3582114    Female Pin for MLX-HU Housing Qty. 50    1     $1.89    $1.89
3582104    3 Pin Housing Pin to Pin, 2.54mm Qty. 10    1    $1.19    $1.19
6745365    Energizer A76BPZ Battery                    3    $1.88         $5.64

When you take it apart be SURE to reconnect the one transistor correctly when you put it back together. It might be easy to get the connector for it turned around. It is a pain to replace the 3 batteries as you pretty much have to disconnect the ribbon cable that comes from the keypad to the board. It can be difficult to re-seat the cable since it is pretty short. I still have to cut some new paddles from some aluminum I have. I got an outline for a template from another ham who had one.

I would use the correct connector as listed above. I do not care for quick hack job repairs just because it is the easy way out to solder directly to the pins. I made an adapter to plug any of my keys into.

The sidetone is pretty harsh to me. Kinda hard on the ears. I bought it at a hamfest for $10.
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K5LXP
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« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2015, 08:58:37 PM »


I've got one too, though it's just a shelf queen.  The capacitive paddles are problematic enough to not want to use them, and the keyer isn't that featured to want it occupying desk space just so you can push the buttons and watch the lights.  I recall that it doesn't offer mode B and that you have to press two buttons to send a stored memory, and I don't think it does serial numbers either. It's too clunky to use it for much more than casual operation.  It might have been a decent keyer in its day but nowadays is handily outdone by something like a K1EL.  Especially if yours came with the touch paddles it makes for an interesting collectible.


Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM

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NY7Q
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« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2015, 04:32:23 PM »


I've got one too, though it's just a shelf queen.  The capacitive paddles are problematic enough to not want to use them, and the keyer isn't that featured to want it occupying desk space just so you can push the buttons and watch the lights.  I recall that it doesn't offer mode B and that you have to press two buttons to send a stored memory, and I don't think it does serial numbers either. It's too clunky to use it for much more than casual operation.  It might have been a decent keyer in its day but nowadays is handily outdone by something like a K1EL.  Especially if yours came with the touch paddles it makes for an interesting collectible.


Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
Built several of them. best keyer I have ever used...it is not clunky, and I use mine with a outboard Speed key.

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W0BTU
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« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2015, 05:38:55 AM »

The capacitive paddles are problematic enough to not want to use them

IIRC, those capacitive paddles might have been affected by too much RF in the shack. I remember having problems with them when I first built it back in the 1980s.  I can't remember the details, but my antenna was pretty close to the shack back then.

Recently, I used them without any issues and liked them; I may have readjusted their sensitivity. I've had a Bencher plugged into it and the stock paddles stowed inside for the past couple of years, but I'll probably go back to the capacitive paddles someday.
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KB4QAA
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« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2015, 05:25:52 PM »

I built mine in 1983.   The capacitive paddles are for the birds, and I spent hours and hours with all sorts of schemes to try to make them reliable.

Otherwise, it is a great keyer, and the practice modes are super as well.   Heavily weighted so it doesn't slide around the desk.
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W0BTU
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« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2015, 06:32:51 PM »

... I spent hours and hours with all sorts of schemes to try to make them reliable.

I did too, and I understand exactly.

I can't explain it, but after I moved to this QTH --with the TX antenna about 250' from the shack and the coax feeding it buried-- something changed. They weren't so touchy after that.

Having said that, the weaker RF field may have had nothing at all to do with it. I can't explain what else I may have done to make me like those capacitive paddles, but I may have also readjusted them.

I didn't change to the Bencher iambic for the same reasons you did.
 1. 60/40 solder cold flows, and I was always afraid that the spring contacts (under constant tension with the paddles in) would eventually come loose from the PCB.
 2. With the Bencher to the right of the keyer, the paddles don't stick out. They used to be in the way unless I was operating CW.
 3. I just wanted to try a Bencher, after having made an iambic key years ago that I didn't like the feel of.
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KB4MNG
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« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2015, 07:45:56 AM »

Right now its on the bench. hope to power it up next week..
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KB6NU
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« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2015, 08:14:35 AM »

I built one of these back in the 1980s, and I still have it. I replaced it with a WinKeyer 11 or 12 years ago, so that I could send via computer. I never did get the capacitive paddles to work, so I used it with external paddles.

I really liked being able input the sending speed via the keyboard. With the WinKeyer, the only way to set the speed--if you're operating it in stand-alone mode--is with the speed pot. You never really know the exact speed that you're sending.

I've since replaced the WinKeyer with a NanoKeyer. This is a keyer whose computer is a little Arduino Nano.
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K7EXJ
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« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2015, 09:11:59 AM »

I've since replaced the WinKeyer with a NanoKeyer. This is a keyer whose computer is a little Arduino Nano.
This intrigued me enough to Google the link to the NanoKeyer (https://nanokeyer.wordpress.com/nanokeyer-info/). I'm going to work a little harder getting the N1MM logger working under WINE in Linux because I do like the features. I haven't yet played with the Arduino although I have configured quite a few Raspberry Pi boxes to work in VPN networks for locals schools and businesses. (They are nice because the VPN clients can be placed behind the border router which removes one source of potential access... no forwarded ports except to the VPN server.)

Kits temporarily unavailable though. Hopefully soon. Smiley

Thanks for that mention.


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73s de K7EXJ
Craig Smiley
KB2HSH
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« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2015, 06:58:45 AM »

I've since replaced the WinKeyer with a NanoKeyer. This is a keyer whose computer is a little Arduino Nano.
This intrigued me enough to Google the link to the NanoKeyer (https://nanokeyer.wordpress.com/nanokeyer-info/). I'm going to work a little harder getting the N1MM logger working under WINE in Linux because I do like the features. I haven't yet played with the Arduino although I have configured quite a few Raspberry Pi boxes to work in VPN networks for locals schools and businesses. (They are nice because the VPN clients can be placed behind the border router which removes one source of potential access... no forwarded ports except to the VPN server.)

Kits temporarily unavailable though. Hopefully soon. Smiley

Thanks for that mention.




I'm not a Linux fan, per se, but I HAVE recently installed Xubuntu 12.04 (the last non-PAE version) to my somewhat older Panasonic "Toughbook" (since Win7 Starter was bogging the machine down)...Xlog is a great native alternative, and it has a keyer as well.  I have a DB-9 adapter that I'm building into a simple "tip/ring" keying circuit for my CW rig. 
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