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Author Topic: Best way to connect keys ?  (Read 3647 times)
KR4TH
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Posts: 45




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« on: November 25, 2012, 05:00:21 AM »

What is the easiest way to connect several keys to my transmitter.  I have only one key input.  I like to switch between keys, however I have to reach behind the rig each time to make the change.  Keys are:  speed-x straight key, vibroplex original bug and brown brothers paddle.  Suggestions would be appreciated.
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PA0BLAH
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« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2012, 05:30:53 AM »

What is the easiest way to connect several keys to my transmitter.  I have only one key input.  I like to switch between keys, however I have to reach behind the rig each time to make the change.  Keys are:  speed-x straight key, vibroplex original bug and brown brothers paddle.  Suggestions would be appreciated.

All the devices that give dash dot signals, that are straight key, vibroplex and bug can be places in parallel.
However the Browu Bros padddles don't give dash dot signals unless you use them as cootie, so you need an external keyer between your paddles and the keyer input of your appliance, and put the appliance in the straight key mode.
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PA1ZP
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« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2012, 06:50:43 AM »

Hi KR4TH

I have connected 2 female 3 1/4 inch connectors parralel to a male 3 1/4 inch connector and I put my paddles one a Pico keyer.
The paddles run in one of the femles nd my Vibroplex to the other one of the female connectors.
If i had 3 females parralel I could also hook up one of my stright keys to the same input of the tRX.

if I set my rigs to straight key I can use them both without problem at all

73 Jos
« Last Edit: November 25, 2012, 06:52:47 AM by PA1ZP » Logged
AB7KT
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Posts: 155




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« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2012, 11:49:42 AM »

I have never tried to run three keys into the same key jack, but I always have two connected.

I just bought a Y-cable and plugged in a straight key and a bug. You could easily make one, but I just bought one at Radio Shack. Instead of a Y-cable you can also buy an adapter that provides two female input jacks going into one male plug. The problem with using the adapter (for me) is that it sticks out the back of the radio like 5 inches. The Y-Cable doesn't stick out any further than a single key plug. 

My main rig has two key jacks, so I have the keyer paddle plugged into the second, front panel, jack. But, as mentioned, if you use an external keyer you could plug that into an adapter or Y-Cable. I don't know if there is a Radio Shack cable that splits into three but again, you could make one easy enough.
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I thought you said this was a weak signal mode ? I HAVE a weak signal and he still didn't hear me.

FWIW: My callsign is AB8KT
KR4TH
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Posts: 45




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« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2012, 04:29:47 PM »

thanks for your suggestions, will try hooking the keys up in parallel and the paddle to the rig which has a built in keyer
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N3JJT
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« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2012, 04:49:45 PM »

Hello Jerry!  I home brewed a junction box that can accept up to 5 hand keys.  I use the adapter Ken mentioned, 2 females to one male.  I use an external keyer.  I turned off the built in keyer, and hooked the external keyer to one connection, and the other is the patch cable coming from the junction box I made.  This makes it very easy to switch from hand key to paddle at any time, allowing up to 5 different hand keys on the desk at the same time.  It makes it like a "Hand Key Buffet"!

73..Scott   N3JJT
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PA0BLAH
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« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2012, 02:05:55 AM »

thanks for your suggestions, will try hooking the keys up in parallel and the paddle to the rig which has a built in keyer

When you want to use the built in keyer in your appliance, you have to switch your appliance to "keyer" when use use your Brown Bros paddles and to switch your appliance back to "straight key" when you want to use one of your straight keys and vibroplex.

When you use Y cables, take care to buy 3 wired types (stereo jack), when you want to use the internal keyer.

You can switch n (n is a natural number) Y cables in series, the male of number n goes in one of the to females of n-1.
Hence when you have n keys, you need (n-1) Y cables.

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K3STX
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« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2012, 05:56:30 AM »

I use an external keyer (a PicoKeyer) instead of the built-in keyer to solve this. So I have all my bugs/paddle in parallel. Besides, I like having a nice big knob on my keyer, not the little dinky think on the radio.

paul
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WD4ELG
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« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2012, 08:44:33 PM »

I use one of these (actually, several)

http://camvis.com/js0635c-junction-box
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KW6LA
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Posts: 92




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« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2012, 04:33:37 PM »

I have used a Speaker Switch Box to handle 6 keys / one transmitter. RCA plugs on all my keys and works great. Look on ebay
I bet you can buy one for under 20 bucks ! !
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PA0BLAH
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« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2012, 05:29:06 AM »

I have used a Speaker Switch Box to handle 6 keys

I think there possibly is some misunderstanding.

A speaker switch box has a switch, I suppose, according to the name alone, and we don't like to switch keys, we just want to use them without any switching, just by using the one OR the other.

For that case you don't need a switch when you use them "wire OR-ed", that means : Just put all the key's in parallel, and use additional one, only ONE, external keyer when you use one or MORE sets of paddles together with one or more straight keys.

So just make a 3 lead plug with wire, and 3 lead wire with female plugs, join them together, very sophisticated as a real ham with a soldering iron, and you are all sat.

No eBay to collect the regretted-purchases-in-error of a fellow ham, just doing the simplest project envisable as start of a real ham career evading sole appliance operation.
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KW6LA
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Posts: 92




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« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2012, 04:13:49 PM »

No I understand very well and you can button /on all keys / one key or no keys.  That’s why I DON’T wire all together you tend to bump one or two Hi Hi.
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