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Author Topic: Keyer Suggestions  (Read 5365 times)
W3OWL
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Posts: 5




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« on: February 10, 2012, 02:03:18 PM »

Any suggestions on a keyer to use with a K8RA model P6?  I built the cute little Pico Keyer Plus, complete with case, but I can't get it to work correctly.  It seems overly complicated and I can't figure out what it's telling me to do with the almost inaudible tones.  I need something even an old guy like me can use as I re-enter the world of CW.  TNX.  W3OWL
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NI0C
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« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2012, 02:48:21 PM »

Does your transceiver have a built-in keyer?  Most modern transceivers do.  If you need an external keyer, look at products by MFJ, Bencher, and K1EL.  There are a lot to choose from.

73,
Chuck  NI0C
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W3OWL
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« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2012, 03:12:00 PM »

Yes, I will probably be using the P6 with an Icom 718, which has a built-in keyer.  However, I wanted to do some practicing with the key, keyer, and an oscillator.  TNX.  W3OWL
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NI0C
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« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2012, 04:02:55 PM »

An inexpensive MFJ keyer should do the trick, then. 

Most rigs (I don't know about the 718) can be put in a standby mode so you can key the sidetone oscillator without actually keying the transmitter.  The Elecraft K3 has this feature (it's called "Tx Test" mode).  If your rig can do this, you can use that for code sending practice.  Just be sure when you do this, it's not putting out any RF.  I used to be able to hear faint signals from a close neighbor of mine practicing code on a rig that he thought was in a standby mode. 

73,
Chuck  NI0C
 
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W3OWL
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« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2012, 04:39:46 PM »

Thanks Chuck.  I think I'll get rid of the Pico Keyer and get something a little more user-friendly.
Bill W3OWL
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K8AXW
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« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2012, 09:52:04 PM »

I built and use the CMOS III keyer from Idiom Press and like it quite well, except it does a lot more than what I want.  As an old guy also, I not only have a hearing problem but also a memory problem.  These menu driven keyers require a "cheat sheet" predominately posted to help.  The audio is adequate.
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W3OWL
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« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2012, 05:34:26 AM »

Thanks to all.  I think I'll stay away from the heavily menu-driven keyers and try to find something with a few knobs/switches which might be a little more user friendly.  W3OWL
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KB5JOF
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« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2012, 06:27:22 AM »

I just purchased an MFJ-407D that will do exactly what you described. Price is reasonable.  No memorys and controls are OM compatable.
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N3QE
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« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2012, 06:45:17 AM »

Any suggestions on a keyer to use with a K8RA model P6?  I built the cute little Pico Keyer Plus, complete with case, but I can't get it to work correctly.  It seems overly complicated and I can't figure out what it's telling me to do with the almost inaudible tones.  I need something even an old guy like me can use as I re-enter the world of CW.  TNX.  W3OWL
I'd suggest the K1EL Winkeyer USB. It comes as an easy to build kit, and works straightforwardly without any programming (just one knob, turn it for CW speed).

Later on when you want to program it or plug it into a computer for contest keying, it'll do that too :-).

Tim.
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W3OWL
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« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2012, 11:36:16 AM »

"OM compatible"....now that's a perfect description of what need...funny too.  Maybe one of the amateur manufacturers could actually market a line of "OM compatible equipment."  One option might be some fake tubes inside which would give us the nice familiar glow.  TNX for all the keyer suggestions. Anyone interested in a three week old Pico Keyer Plus?  W3OWL
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K3STX
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« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2012, 09:55:53 AM »

Wow, the Pico-Keyer is a great keyer; don't give up on it so easily. Make sure the speed is slow; it is easy to figure out. The only adjustment to make is the speed, and you use a pot for that, right?

The memories are not hard either.

Keep it AT LEAST as a spare, you never know when your other keyers will die.

paul
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W3OWL
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« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2012, 10:45:38 AM »

I guess I can keep the little Pico Keyer as a spare due to its reasonable cost.  However I spent nearly an hour yesterday trying to get it to work with my P6 key....no joy.  Yes, speed is at a comfortable level (adjusted with pot), but speed isn't the problem.  Even with the "cheat sheet" I can't figure out what it's telling me to do. It's a rather lengthy aural menu, and if you miss what you are listening for, you have to repeat the entire sequence again.  TNX.  Bill W3OWL
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N3JJT
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« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2012, 04:37:12 PM »

Bill:  On the IC718, turn the break in off, and keep the keyer on.  The break in can be turned off by pressing the select key for 1 second, and use the up down buttons to get to the "Break In" settings.  Turn the vfo knob until you see off.  This will enable the sidetone only while you practice with the built in keyer.  If you are unable to hear the sidetone, there is also a setting for sidetone volume as well.  The manual is very clear on those settings. There are 2 different menus on the 718.  One that requires the select button to be pressed with the power, and one that is accessible with power on, like I mentioned above.  The keyer in the 718 is a fairly decent keyer.  Adjust the keyer speed as desired. The nice thing about using an external keyer with this rig, is that you can adjust the keyer speed on the fly, without going in to the menu. User preference. Good luck and have fun!

73..de N3JJT  Scott
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W3OWL
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« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2012, 06:04:06 PM »

TNX for the information Scott.  I will work with the 718 tomorrow and see if it will recognize the P6 key. I will continue searching for a keyer which will also function properly.  73.  W3OWL
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K3STX
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« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2012, 07:20:53 PM »

I am NOT trying to be rude here, but what problems are you having? The speed is set with the pot; does it not send dots and dashes when the keys are depressed? I have memorized the order of the letters "U     S      M" and the "M" means Memory. You send "R" and then it sends "K" and you send your message, it is in memory 1. Etc... for memory 2, etc...  Not really too hard. But there should be nothing to set up, you ARE using a 3 pronged mini-plug, right?

paul
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