- Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) Community

Call Search

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Friends Remembered
Survey Question

DX Cluster Spots

Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement

Reviews Categories | Keyers & CW Keyboards | K1EL WKUSB-SMT keyer Help

Reviews Summary for K1EL WKUSB-SMT keyer
K1EL WKUSB-SMT keyer Reviews: 8 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $$89 USD
Description: WKUSB-SMT is a surface mount version of WKUSB that has all board mounted parts pre-soldered and tested. Final kit assembly involves just adding a few through hole components
Product is in production.
More info:
Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to this review.

My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

You can write your own review of the K1EL WKUSB-SMT keyer.

KD0ZV Rating: 5/5 Jan 17, 2018 07:17 Send this review to a friend
Great product and best I have owned  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is sold in "kit" form but its 99% built when you get it. It just requires adding connectors, switches and the speaker and putting it in the box. It took me 15 minutes to build.

I had a Microham CW USB keyer which is very similar. I made the mistake of selling it thinking I did not need it anymore with rig internal keyers. But I was wrong as the keying quality and expanded functions are much better on the winkeyer chip-sets. So I bought this K1EL to replace it.

I prefer this over the Microham because it has two independent keying ports instead of just one so you can connect to two rigs. I had modified my Microham with a switch and two keying out jacks to make it do this.

The only thing I miss that the Microham had was LED lights on the front for power, CW and PTT activity. Without the latter you really don't know the keyer is working if you have an issue without turning on the side tone on the keyer.

The site includes several really nice programs for the keyer including a com port finder to make setup easy.

So easy to build, easy to use and top notch performance!
N4KC Rating: 5/5 Dec 2, 2017 04:56 Send this review to a friend
Even a caveman can do it  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Finally got around to ordering, building and installing this great little keyer, primarily for contest use with a Kenwood TS-590 and N3FJP software, but also as my primary keyer. Even an old klutz like me should have no trouble putting the kit together. Only dicey part is the USB connector, which has four very close soldering points on the board, but I got it right the first time. Cramming it all into the enclosure looked daunting, too, but ultimately no problem.

Setup and operation is a breeze. Directions are likely overkill. I ended up printing out a big stack of pages, but who knows? I may need to refer to it some day and won't have to go Googling.

Used it already in CQWW and Sweepstakes. Somebody tell me how in the world you could do CW Sweeps without it!


Don N4KC

NG1I Rating: 5/5 Dec 1, 2017 08:29 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Quality Unit  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Arrived yesterday and took my time reading everything first then layed out all the pieces....all there. Great construction quality & documentation along with photos (download manual from K1EL site). Just pay attention to each step and do not rush. I had a great time putting it together.

I connected it to my TS-2000 using N3JFP software. However when keying, the rig TX'd dots and dishes quickly for two seconds. One e-mail from K1EL asked me to make certain that I was not using the PTT in back of the unit. Steve/Art were right on the money. Works great and now ready to start this evening's 160M CW contest. SO DON'T USE THE PTT PORT. I should have known that.

Thanks guys
VE3GLA Rating: 5/5 Sep 8, 2016 07:31 Send this review to a friend
works great!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I sat down to assemble my kit this morning and was done in about an hour. It worked the first time. The assembly instructions were very clear with helpful photos. The test procedure was simple. Good value. I wish I had purchased it sooner.
KA9P Rating: 5/5 Nov 17, 2015 11:01 Send this review to a friend
Super easy  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Just completed the Winkey USB SMT and integrated it into the K3 contest set up. And this time I'm putting the review under the correct Winkeyer product.

Performance is fantastic, kit went together quick and easy, and N1MM+ is very happy with it.

Extremely happy with this little box.

I noted one comment about difficulty soldering - it's not really, but like anything else with contemporary compements these days, it's best to approach carefully with a mag-lite and a fine-tipped iron.
K0INN Rating: 5/5 Oct 28, 2014 08:55 Send this review to a friend
A+ product  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
No "rough edges" at all on the physical package or functionality of this product. High quality components and case. Even the speed pot works very smoothly. I can't think of any improvement short of the ability to control the internal speaker volume, but that should be fine for most people.

Very good instructions for assembly. Took me about 1.5 hours but I moved very slowly and carefully.

If you have a variable temperature fine tip soldering iron the soldering job is much easier. There are some excellent youtube videos that show SMT soldering techniques. Basically, you apply a high quality flux to the contacts and the solder flows to the contacts and they do not bridge. This helped me a lot when I started doing this type of kit building.
W9KVA Rating: 4/5 Aug 1, 2014 19:48 Send this review to a friend
High Quality Kit  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
First time kit builder and chose the WKUSB-SMT as my kit. Ordered via snail mail and received in short order. I was a little intimidated with some of the solder functions but decided to give it a go. Overall the kit quality was excellent and I was able to complete the kit in short order. I did goof up the solder on the USB joints (..the instructions give fair warning on this..) but managed to pull everything together.

The kit tested and worked flawlessly right out of the gate. I've already had it running with great results. I love the WKTOOLS program that connects to the keyer via USB to program the memory banks and set other functions on the keyer.

The kit quality is first rate. I would have rated this kit a five, but the USB jack connectors were the most difficult part of the kit for me. I had to redo them twice due to my lack of experience with an iron. This would be a very quick build for an experienced ham, but I spaced my build out over a few days to go slow and make sure that I performed everything right.

No buyers remorse here..excellent kit and works well for contesting as well as regular everyday use.
K1RF Rating: 5/5 Jul 17, 2014 05:24 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding quality and features  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is an ideal keyer for field day and other contests requiring macro controlled keying from a logging program. The quality of the case and PC board are outstanding with excellent mechanical fit of components to the PC board and PC board to case.
While all features are too numerous to mention, some of the key ones include:
- Direct USB/virtual com port interfacing eliminating the need for a USB to serial dongle with recent computers
- When using macros, accurate characters are formed in the keyer itself and do not depend on computer-created dots and dashes which are poorly formed
- direct power from USB interface or 3 AAA cells
- Field upgradeable firmware
- You can specify min and max WPM for the speed pot
- solid state relay outputs handle positive or negative voltage with 2 key and 2 PTT outputs

I have previously built the K12 keyer and the newer K16 keyer and was very pleased with those, but this keyer is a great performing, easy to build, nicely packaged keyer with standalone or USB virtual com port control and optically isolated outputs

If you have any questions, problems, or suggestions about Reviews, please email your Reviews Manager.