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Author Topic: Voice Keyer Ideas?  (Read 7788 times)
KC8QVO
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Posts: 62




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« on: May 25, 2012, 04:03:11 AM »

I am considering getting a voice keyer. I want to stay away from MFJ. What have some of you used?

Another idea is to use a RigBlaster and computer. This might be the more versatile method as I can use the set up for digital modes too. Does anyone have any experience with the voice recording/playback in a contest type environment?

Steve, KC8QVO
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HS0ZJU
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« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2012, 06:37:12 AM »

Not sure of your radio or contesting software. I use n1mm and it has recording and plaback via your PC. It really is wonderful software.
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N6DZR
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« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2012, 12:26:20 PM »

I used to use a SignaLink USB on my old radio, and my new radio has a sound card built in. N1MM logger works with both of these, and maybe other loggers do too.

-Jeff
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PD2R
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Posts: 131




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« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2012, 02:25:36 PM »

N1MM will take care of that just fine. The more expensive way to do it is to buy a Elecraft K3 Tongue. That has a great digital voice keyer and it can be controlled by N1MM via macro's. Unlike the Icom's voice keyers, the K3 does have a repeat function but then again, so does N1MM.

The MicroKEYER II from Microham does a lot of stuff and it also funcitons as a voive keyer with 9 recordable messages up to 120 seconds.
http://microham-usa.com/store/product-info.php?pid1.html

The voice keyers from MFJ that I have used are mediocre at best.
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K8GU
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« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2012, 04:55:49 AM »

I also use my logging program (TR4W) to play messages through a sound card.  Works great.
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K2QB
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« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2012, 08:42:46 AM »

I recently just purchased a LogicTalker from Idiom Press and am very pleased. You can elect to buy it fully assembled or in kit form. I chose the kit as I enjoy building things that go in my shack. Works perfectly and I am now adding a mod to it so I can plug in a four button footswitch to trigger the messaging.
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KC8QVO
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« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2012, 08:19:55 PM »

I  downloaded the N1MM software this evening and dug out my old RigBlaster. I didn't have a program that would record wav files so I found one online.

The audio file sounds fine when I play it back on the computer, but running it through the N1MM software and in to the rig there is a terrible hum on the signal. I put ferrite toroids on the audio line from the computer to the RigBlaster but that didn't do any good. The rig is a Kenwood TS-2000 and I was monitoring my transmit signal on the rig itself, not with a second receiver (the same way you can monitor a mic or RTTY/Data signal going in to the rig). I was putting out very little power on 2m (hardly anything, but that's another story - 5w setting has no RF, 10w+ works fine) Any ideas?

I think once I get the bugs worked out this will do what I am after. I just have to get used to the program and the recording process.
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PD2R
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« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2012, 02:52:03 AM »

N1MM is a great program which can do a ton of things for you. This also means a steep learning curve for new users. You may find it helpfull to watch two recorded webinars on N1MM. You can find them at the PVRC website on Februari 28 and March 6 (N1MM logger in depth: parth 1 Overview and parth 2 Multi and Digital).
http://www.pvrc.org/webinar/webinars.htm
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KC8QVO
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« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2012, 03:59:29 AM »

Those webinars are good for someone that is using the logging features of the program, but there wasn't anything in there regarding using just the voice keyer part. I'm not looking for a computerized contesting solution - all I want is something to call CQ on SSB while I am eating or tending to something else (another rig, stretching my legs) in un-crowded band conditions. I'll save my voice for working the contacts, which I don't want my computer doing by pushing buttons. If you don't hear anything on the bands you can't work anyone or be worked if there isn't a signal for someone to hear. The goal is to have something going over the radio without me talking in to the mic every second.

One button to call CQ, and set a repeat interval, is all I need.
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K3TN
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« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2012, 04:19:46 AM »

If you are looking for something cheap and are willing to tinker, I have one of the Nel-Tech DVK 100s we all used to use in the mid 80s as voice keyers. The cables are set up for Kenwood round mic connectors. Compared to today's technology it is enormous (look to the left of K5NA's keyboard here ).

But it appears to work! Built like a tank, very RF-proof, too.

I've sort of been saving it out of nostalgia, but would sell if you wanted to use it. Contact me directly.

73 John K3TN

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John K3TN
KC8QVO
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Posts: 62




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« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2012, 08:06:58 PM »

John,

Thanks for the info but I think I'll stick with what I have.

I did some work on the set up this evening (I did a lot of work on a lot of things and everything I worked on went right and came out great, funny how that works sometimes). What I did is I went back in to the audio filters in my audio program. The first problem was there is a 12,200hz buzz originating from my computer/sound card/mic some how. So I notched that out. Then there was still the lower frequency hum that was in there yesterday. So I set up a low pass filter to cut that out. It actually tins the audio creating a similar affect as my Heil HC-4 mic element. I will have to play with it when I get set up for the contest and see what works best. The mic element in my new headset is an HC-6 (Heil Proset Elite) so maybe I can try and match the response. As long as the set up calls CQ and I can make good contacts out of it I'll be more than happy enough - this is a new aspect of Ham radio. I'll have to set it up for Field Day this year too. 
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W5DQ
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« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2012, 10:38:37 AM »

I  downloaded the N1MM software this evening and dug out my old RigBlaster. I didn't have a program that would record wav files so I found one online.

The audio file sounds fine when I play it back on the computer, but running it through the N1MM software and in to the rig there is a terrible hum on the signal. I put ferrite toroids on the audio line from the computer to the RigBlaster but that didn't do any good. The rig is a Kenwood TS-2000 and I was monitoring my transmit signal on the rig itself, not with a second receiver (the same way you can monitor a mic or RTTY/Data signal going in to the rig). I was putting out very little power on 2m (hardly anything, but that's another story - 5w setting has no RF, 10w+ works fine) Any ideas?

I think once I get the bugs worked out this will do what I am after. I just have to get used to the program and the recording process.

If you have a TS-2000, why don't you just get the DRU-3A Digital Recording Unit option for it and install that. They are all over the internet at low prices from places like eHAM, QRZ.COM, EBay, etc. Sure it isn't a big scale voice keyer but it will give you 3 messages that can be programmed for any situation. Press a button, sends a message. The messages can be linked to one another and they also can be setup to repeat.

I have a TS-2000/X and added the DRU-3A option and use it regularly in contesting. Works excellent and sure makes voice contests much better.

Gene W5DQ
« Last Edit: June 12, 2012, 10:40:40 AM by W5DQ » Logged

Gene W5DQ
Ridgecrest, CA - DM15dp
www.radioroom.org
W7VO
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« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2012, 03:25:23 PM »

Don't discount the MFJ 434B voice keyer. I have one of them here that I used to use with my TS-820S, and still use with my FT-1000D. Works FB! I know that MFJ can be hit or miss, but I have had no problems with mine.

73;

Mike, W7VO
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NJ3U
Member

Posts: 123




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« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2012, 08:40:34 AM »

Please whatever you go for - Check out the audio playback from another hams perspective.  So many of the voice keyers have terrible audio or clicks when activating or releasing the transceiver.  The tell tale is when you give the go ahead to a caller and the reply is so different you think someone else is calling you back !

The other comment is more of a pet peeve of mine - if you are going to use a keyer please listen don't just operate like a robot.  I hear so many keyers that just run short cycles on the call to call - how can they be listening for responses ?  You may say a separate receiver - but I wonder...Thnx for letting me submit my 2C worth-73 NJ3U Rory
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