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Author Topic: Keyer for vintage/hb cathode keyed rigs  (Read 4580 times)
W9TM
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Posts: 5




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« 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
« Last Edit: February 25, 2012, 02:04:57 PM by W9TM » Logged
N4IAG
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Posts: 48




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« Reply #1 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/
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VA7CPC
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« Reply #2 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 



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K3STX
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« Reply #3 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

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

paul
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KC9QQ
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Posts: 45




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« Reply #4 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

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
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K3AN
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« Reply #5 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.
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VA7CPC
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« Reply #6 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
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W9TM
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« Reply #7 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

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




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N2EY
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« Reply #8 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
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N3QE
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Posts: 2097




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« Reply #9 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.
« Last Edit: February 29, 2012, 12:04:29 PM by N3QE » Logged
NI0C
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Posts: 2383




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« Reply #10 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
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K1ZJH
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Posts: 902




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« Reply #11 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...
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KB2FCV
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« Reply #12 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.
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