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Author Topic: CW transmits a signal as soon as key is hooked up!  (Read 446 times)
KD8LGY
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Posts: 5




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« on: April 07, 2010, 07:15:23 PM »

Recently I purchased an ICOM 737.Looks great and everything seemed to work ok. Just got my general licsenes but,haven,t made a QSO yet.                  

Tried to check SWR. will work in AM mode , SWR OK  on 40 meter band, Can not take SWR reading in CW mode,when I insert key into jack on back of radio, I immediately get a transmit tone off and on , it varies off and on, and changes when I turn key speed knob.(faster or slower)

Ive turned off internal keyer with push button switch on back of radio, there is no provision on menu, still no difference, checked polairty on 1/4 in mono plug OK. Could my internal keyer be stuck on ? Why would it start transmitting just by inserting straight key jack? Also tried with BK-IN and FULL BK-IN on and off no difference.

Driving me crazy I was just getting ready to try my first CW,Now I feel like Im going to have to spend a few hundred dollars more to get this fixed, Shes still all bananas cause I spent all money in the first place. Please Help BOB in OHIO !
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AD6KA
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Posts: 2237




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« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2010, 07:33:28 PM »

Bob, everything is OK, chill.

The CW jack is probably meant to be wired with a
STEREO 1/4 Plug, NOT a MONO. Do you have the rigs manual? If not, download it from the internet.
If you don't know how to do this, I will help you.

You have NOT thrown out a bunch of money on nothing.
Everything is going to be OK.

If you like, email me: kenp AT socal DOT rr DOT com

(no spaces, ya gotta write an email addy like that so the bots don't harvest them)
73, Ken  AD6KA
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W5FYI
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Posts: 1044




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« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2010, 07:33:48 PM »

Don't send it out for repairs yet. It seems that the key jack and internal keyer are looking for an iambic paddle, which has a dot contact (usually tip), dash contact (usually ring) and ground contact (barrel) of a stereo plug. When you plug in a straight key, chances are the jack sees the ring and barrel as a short, and keys a series of dashes.

Somebody who has a 737 will be able to help you with the menu code to get the keyer to recognize a straight key. I'm surprised it's not in the owner's manual.

I would suggest that you try learning CW with an iambic key; it'll help you send faster code, and quite possibly help prevent "glass arm," the fatigue and/or pain that comes with longterm straight key use. It's a fast learning curve, and code just sounds better, even when sent by a beginner. You can even make your own key from a couple paper clips, some screws, a block of wood, and a stereo plug that fits your rig. There are many designs for homemade paddles on the Internet. GL
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W0EP
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Posts: 22




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« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2010, 07:39:55 PM »

I believe your keyer plug should be stereo, not mono.

If you are putting a mono plug in there you are shorting
one side as soon as you insert the plug.
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K2QPN
Member

Posts: 70




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« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2010, 07:41:19 PM »

The 737 manual say to use a stereo 1/4" jack for your straight key or external keyer. Only connect to the tip and the barrel. Do not connect to the middle section. Hope that works for you. Good luck on CW.

73, Bob K2QPN
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AD6KA
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Posts: 2237




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« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2010, 07:50:47 PM »

Free Manual here:

http://europe1.nodevice.com/down/3b45838652c7a1b068eed8608ed0fc18/ic-737.pdf

Hookup key as above poster described. Tip and barrel, not middle. Which wire goes to which side of straight key is NOT important, interchangeable.

Turn Electronic Keyer OFF.

Now sip four fingers of Chivas and enjoy CW.
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KD8LGY
Member

Posts: 5




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« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2010, 08:19:53 PM »

Thanks to all replys, will try stereo plug tomorrow,  have the manual but the 1/4 in plug looked like a mono plug to me 1 band, but then again so does the one below it. Will let you all know if that works>
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AD6KA
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Posts: 2237




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« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2010, 12:23:35 AM »

KD8LGY
"will try stereo plug tomorrow, have the manual but the 1/4 in plug looked like a mono plug to me 1 band, but then again so does the one below it.

I take it you are looking at the drawings in the manual, good. They are 1/4" STEREO phono plugs, I assure you.

Perhaps you do indeed have a stereo plug hooked up to the straight key now, but maybe somehow the
"tip" and "ring" (the middle band of metal) became shorted to each other inside the connector. The barrel
is the metal piece furthest from the tip.

Suggest you go to Radio Shack and buy a pre-wired 1/4 inch stereo plug in 3-6 foot length. You can sometimes find these with bare wires on the other end, look for one of those. If not, get a cable with the stereo plugs on each end, then cut off one end and strip the wires. Use your DVM's continuity checker and figure out which wires goes to tip, ring, and barrel. The barrel wire might be shielded braid.
Cut back the cable jacket, exposing enough wire length
to allow you easy hookup to your straight key. (Usually screw terminal posts but not always.) Cut off the "ring wire" as close to the cable as you can,
maybe wrapt tape around the end to prevent a future short. Attach the Ring and Barrel wires to the straight key terminals.

If you have an older key that is already *internally* wired inside the key's base with a MONO plug (Like my the old black NYE straight key), just cutoff the old mono plug, strip he wires, and splice it to the stero cable (with only two wires) that you made above.

When you go to operate, still make sure the Electronic Keyer is OFF.
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WB6BYU
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Posts: 13171




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« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2010, 09:03:18 AM »

Also make sure that your key doesn't have a shorting bar that is closed.
Many of the older styles (like the venerable J-38) do.  It is great for
tuning since it allows you to lock the key closed, but it can also slip
into that position by accident.

If all else fails, check that you don't have a short in you key plug or wires.
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KD8LGY
Member

Posts: 5




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« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2010, 10:31:50 PM »

Good in ohio, STEREO PLUG MADE THE DIFFERENCE I even sent a few CQ;S and a call sign. Thanks ALL for the help 73 KD8LGY
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AD6KA
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Posts: 2237




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« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2010, 02:59:52 PM »

Glad everything worked out well Bob.

Don't feel bad, we've all had stuff like that
happen to us at some point (or points plural) in our ham careers.

MY first "bought brand new out of the box" rig was a Kenwood TS-940S/AT in 1987. It was a then top-of-the-line, state of the art $2,5000 radio. (That's like $4,000+ today with inflation).

I was SO thrilled. But when I got it home and hooked it up, I couldn't get any audio or transmit out of it no matter what I tried. It was Saturday night and the store wouldn't open again until Monday. We didn't have Internet help forums at the time. I had the same feelings as you, "I've messed something up and it'll cost me hundreds of bucks to fix". OH NOOOOO!!

Turns out, after playing with it for 45 minutes, I realized that I had the "Timer" button depressed.
(Uh, it's right next to the Power button, not hidden at all) Was this feature (the Timer button will make the rig not seem to work) buried in the Users Manual? NO! It was listed on the FRONT COVER of the Users Manual! Not Page 1, not Page 2, the front cover! DOH!

I felt really stupid, but the feeling of relief that I hadn't messed anything up was stronger. I decided then and there to spend all day sunday reading the Manual from cover to cover.
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AD6KA
Member

Posts: 2237




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« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2010, 03:00:57 PM »

Should have read $2,500 Radio, obviously, NOT $2,5000.
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