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Reviews Categories | Keyers & CW Keyboards | PicoKeyer Plus from N0XAS Help


Reviews Summary for PicoKeyer Plus from N0XAS
PicoKeyer Plus from N0XAS Reviews: 22 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $17.99
Description: The PicoKeyer Plus has all of the features of the original low-power PicoKeyer, however, the speed pot and push button switch controls are now mounted on the circuit board. Voltage regulator components and board solder pads are provided for external power so you can choose to build it without the on-board battery. A custom plastic enclosure is also offered for that finished project look.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.hamgadgets.com
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GM0WNR Rating: 5/5 Nov 8, 2012 13:03 Send this review to a friend
Neat, great value kit.  Time owned: more than 12 months
Great little keyer, this is my second one, no problems with either. High quality pcb and components. Literally falls together and both worked first time, construction time @ 20 min (including coffee). The 1st. kit was inserted in a small home brew rig and was used as a variable speed keyer only, but the 2nd. was constructed as a stand alone memory keyer. One read over the instructions and I was up and running and after @ 30 minutes I had the memories programmed up. I was originally going to install a switch to key the transceiver to allow tuning of my doublet, but I am happy to use the menu to tune the rig. Can't say enough good things about this kit, if you want to buy an equivalent keyer from the "usual suspects" you are literally talking about a price of several times the cost of this kit. For the small outlay of a nice wee project box (or alternately buy the box from the manufacturer), you have a lovely bespoke little bit of kit for the shack. The life of the battery is at least a year (so far) with normal use. In short, if you like the smell of solder and you are on a budget you need look no further, this fulfills ALL my requirements.
 
N4YX Rating: 5/5 Oct 5, 2012 07:16 Send this review to a friend
Big Bang for the Bux  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is the best price/performance ratio available today for a "does all" programmable iambic keyer. I have many popular keyers including the MFJ-495, MFJ-451, Accu-Keyer, 9TO, K1EL's K42 and this little HamGadgets PicoKeyer Plus is a superb performer. I use the K42 both mobile and portable (iambic paddles & keyboard) and this new PicoKeyer Plus will be traveling with it for some of the paddle work. Iambic B together with Autospace work seamlessly together.
 
OZ1BXM Rating: 4/5 Jul 18, 2012 04:58 Send this review to a friend
Good keyer - minor flaws  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The PicoKeyer-Plus is without doubt the best keyer in my schack. It is a pleasure to use, and provides exactly the memory space (4 memories each 60 characters) you'll need for everyday use. When you manipulate the paddles, the "feel" (i.e. timing) is just right in iambic mode A, and much better than I was used to when I operated the CMOS Super Keyer III.

And now for the flaws: 1. The kit is rated as suitable for beginners. I don't think so. The PCB is small and the components are packed closely. The PIC is sensitive to ESD, and the buzzer cannot take excessive heat when soldered in. I would rate the kit "intermediate". 2. The user manual is OK but can be improved. The instructional part of the manual explains the menu system in plain words - but I still found it difficult to grasp the concept. After some time, where you practice keyer operation, you get the grip. But I am still missing a better explanation of the menu levels, preferable with the aid of sketches or flowcharts.

Despite the minor flaws described above I won't hesitate to recommend the PicoKeyer-Plus to other hams.
 
W7KKK Rating: 5/5 Jul 3, 2012 16:25 Send this review to a friend
Nice Keyer and Enclosure  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I built one of the earlier versions a few years back for an older rig but someone else needed it when I bought a rig with a keyer so I gave it away.
Just getting active again I found myself with an older rig that did not have a keyer and I went looking for the PicoKeyer again and found they updated things with the Plus model and brand new software that makes it even nicer to use. And the price is still right too!
Just a side note the little enclosure that he sells is very nice. Looks much better than the can I put mine in a few years ago too.
Great value and a very easy to build kit for the rookies too.
 
N4OI Rating: 5/5 Jul 2, 2012 04:53 Send this review to a friend
Great Keyer for Boat Anchors  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased the basic PicoKeyer Plus kit (no enclosure) and installed it inside my newly rebuilt TenTec Century 21. Works perfectly! The board is so lightweight that I just suspended it from its key jack mounted through the back panel. My C21 is now an up-to-date CW rig with a full-function keyer and Begali paddle. Back in the day, Novices never had it so good!

73 ES GOD BLESS U ES URS DE KEN N4OI :>)
 
GI4ONL Rating: 5/5 Jul 1, 2012 06:47 Send this review to a friend
Excellent for the price  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
My only complaint (slight) is the audio level from the small sounder. I intend to use the keyer when portable on SOTA trips and think it will be difficult to hear. It takes a little practice to get the hang of the commands etc but I don't think this product can be beaten value for money wise.
 
CT1HXB Rating: 5/5 Jun 15, 2012 06:16 Send this review to a friend
Great keyer  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Great keyer for the price. Fantastic costumer support.
 
W2WO Rating: 5/5 Mar 16, 2012 07:49 Send this review to a friend
Great  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have used a bug for the last 50+ years. More recently, lack of frequent practice (and my age) have caused my fist quality to deteriorate substantially. Thought it was time to explore more modern equipment (a keyer), but I did not want to make a mess of it on the air. The PicoKeyer writeup in QST was interesting, and the web pages are very good. Ordered one. Tivial to assemble (but a small soldering tip is essential).

Good points: small, button battery seems to last forever, can carry the keyer (and the paddle) anywhere and practice. Just the right learning tool for switching from a bug to a keyer. Many firmware control options.

Not so good: No headphone output; output volume is very low; for practical purposes you must set the output tone to a moderately high frequency (around 2000hz) for maximum volume. The audio output is then very directional. (Considering the price, these are minor nits.)

The only change I would make is to have less speed range on the control pot. It goes from 5-60 WPM, making speed settings at moderate speeds (say 20-25 WPM) rather touchy. I doubt that anyone using speeds above 35 WPM would be using this product!

You might want to order a matching "stereo plug" to connect your paddle, and an extra battery. The prices simply cannot be beat.
 
K8GGL Rating: 5/5 Mar 15, 2012 17:07 Send this review to a friend
Fantastic little keyer, even better with 4.0 firmware  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Got this keyer to use with my Flex-3000, to get around the CW latency issue. Price is ridiculously low, very simple to assemble, and works great. My only wish was that speed pot range could be reduced (I don't need 63 WPM!). Went online to find possible hardware mods, and was delighted to learn that Dale's recent firmware release includes programmable upper and lower range limits for the speed pot. Mine is now set for 10 WPM to 30 WPM.
 
ZS5J Rating: 5/5 Feb 21, 2012 23:22 Send this review to a friend
Fun keyer  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
In January I read the review in the February 2012 QST magazine, and thought it would be ideal to use with my Flex 1500 A.

The Flex 1500A has a small latency problem on CW, where there is a 1/4 second delay between keying and hearing the monitored audio, which results in a lot of confusion when keying at speeds above 15 WPM. I am comfortable at around 25 WPM, and at this speed, the Flex 1500 becomes a nightmare of confusion. This latency problem is not evident with the bigger Flex 3000 and Flex 5000 that I have - I think because these bigger models use a much faster "firewire" cable to connect the rig to the computer, while the Flex 1500 uses a much slower USB cable. Anyway, I figured this PicoKeyer would work great in this instance, with audio from the Flex 1500 turned off.

I was very quick with my order, as I knew that orders would start streaming in after the review in QST. (I was right - I went into their website a few days ago and saw that they were temporarily sold out of stock).

My PicoKeyer Plus arrived very quickly, and took all of about 20 minutes to assemble. It really is a very easy project, and comes with an instructional CD, showing every step along the way. After completing the project, I put the lithium battery into it's holder and was happy to hear "73" sent to me from the keyer.

I have made many QSO's with this keyer in the past two weeks. It works extremely well. Understanding how to program the many features of this keyer took longer than the actual assembly. It has plenty programable features, with 4 memories (which can be linked), and I was thrilled to see that it can be used in "Beacon Mode" with an adjustable timer between transmissions. Fantastic !!!!

This keyer would be great when used with a fox transmitter for fox hunting. It would also be great with older radio's that have no keyer built in. I have used it with my TS-940 and TS-440, with success.

The only thing I find, is the miniature speaker built into the kit does not have much volume. I like to be able to hear myself keying, loud and clear, and find myself having to hold this keyer close to my ear while keying to avoid sending errors. This is not a fault of the keyer - it is a small light box, and in order for a speaker to be fitted in the small space, a really small speaker was used. I think I will fit a chassis mount audio output to the box, so I can plug in my Bose portable amplified speaker, or headphones.

Highly recommended kit, and at the price it is an absolute bargain.

73,
John, ZS5J

 
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