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


Reviews Summary for PicoKeyer from N0XAS
PicoKeyer from N0XAS Reviews: 93 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $17.99
Description: Completely self-contained version of the original PicoKeyer, first introduced in 2003. The PicoKeyer features four memories, all connections and power on board (no external wiring needed), speed control, simple one-button menu based setup, beacon mode, and much more.
Keying modes supported are iambic A and B, Ultimatic, Bug and straight key/cootie. Hands-free tuneup mode lets you tune with either constant key-down or 50% duty cycle dits. Easy, quick assembly make this a great club or group build project!
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.hamgadgets.com
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N2JDQ Rating: 3/5 Aug 10, 2011 00:19 Send this review to a friend
Worked ok for a while...  Time owned: more than 12 months
Had my PICO for about 2 yrs, It developed a problem, where it 'Thinks' there is a pot attached for speed control ( Menu 's' sends 10/25 ).. but alas there is no pot attached so I cant adjust the speed any longer, Ive attempted multiple factory resets, both powered, and While re-aplying power to get the '73' and it still thinks there is a Pot attached. Even left the dc disconnected for several days and still same issue. I suppose I got my money out of it, just dont want to drop 180$ on a decent keyer now.
 
K8TIY Rating: 5/5 Apr 26, 2011 12:35 Send this review to a friend
My first kit  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I built this because I wanted to learn to solder, and I wanted a practice oscillator for my straight key. Eventually I will use it with a paddle, but I'm still learning Morse and haven't got one yet.

As mentioned by others, I believe, N0XAS seems to be able to go back in time and ship the package several days before you ordered it. The first evening I managed to solder about three components and decided to call it a night. The next night I finished everything else. I laughed in delight when it said "73" to me!

I plan to drill a "speaker hole" and glue a little mesh across it there so I can hear the sidetone more easily. Also, I'm looking into wiring in a toggle switch in so I can turn the unit off w/o opening the case.

For me the only downside to this keyer is sometimes it seems like it has a hard time figuring out it has a straight key plugged in, and it wants to go into iambic mode. But that may be operator error. I have a Begali spark, and it's funny to see this geenormous hunk of straight key plugged into a teeensy picokeyer.

I had a really nice time building the kit and it's really opened me up to wanting to do more amateur building. Next up: an Elecraft!! (kidding)
 
AA7FV Rating: 5/5 Mar 7, 2011 16:40 Send this review to a friend
A serious keyer  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
My keyer is the PicoKeyer-Plus. I am more of a ragchewer than a contest operator.

I own 4 other keyers, including 2 different MFJ models and a Heathkit SA 5010. Although I bought this keyer because of its compact size and low weight, ideal for travel, I find this keyer so convenient that I use it at home more often then my other keyers.
Negatives: the sidetone volume from its own speaker is a little low - but this is easily cured by wiring an extra socket for headphones. There is room for this in the (optional) matching case.
Although the keyer provides one predefined, programmable speed (by rotating the speed control fully counter-clockwise), the variable speed knob is very small so it is takes little care to return precisely to a given speed. (The Heathkit SA5010 is perfect in this respect, with keypad entry for the speed.)
Positives: it works superbly, is trivial to build, extremely small and light, battery lasts for a year, has (limited) message memories, and can key either positive or negative voltages. CW characteristics are easily programmable (weight, spacing, etc., and even an optional fixed time offset to dots and dashes to avoid any clipping of dots in the tx.)

This keyer is extremely inexpensive, but is worth several times more than its cost. I am delighted with mine, and thoroughly recommend it to anyone.
 
OK1RP Rating: 3/5 Jun 16, 2010 14:05 Send this review to a friend
Not for serious operation  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I owned and tested keyer for 10 months...

Cons
- low volume if housed
- horrible slow access to banks where You need to wait seconds means it's not usable to call in pile-up from banks
- your manually inserted pauses during recording messages are not accepted and all letters are glued together or with just fixed internal pauses which are not corresponding to actual speed
- housing if You have not exactly right size of the box is nightmare

Pros
- small
- easy to assy
- cheap
- works for the first time

Again...not "perfect" keyer just another good keyer on the market.

73 - Petr, OK1RP
 
PA7WWO Rating: 5/5 May 12, 2010 22:48 Send this review to a friend
FB keyer  Time owned: more than 12 months
Hi All

I use 2 pico-keyers in my shack and I threw out the MFJ 401D.
Both of them work excelent for 2 yrs now without replacing battery yet.
I had my thoughts abt them but in fact I love these little PICO's more each day.
Always use the PICO even on rigs with build in keyer.
I always take my paddle and my Pico keyer with me for portable use or fieldday, never have to get used to someome elses keyer that way

73 JOS
 
OLLIEOXEN27 Rating: 4/5 Jan 7, 2010 07:45 Send this review to a friend
Acceptable keyer for price  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've owned a few of these over the years and they are a good buy. The downside is they start developing problems within a year. To his credit Dale does send replacement parts to try and get it working again but my experience is it's best just to pay the $20 to replace it. Desoldering a double sided pc board without damaging it and trying to find the correct faulty components is the alternative.

The only other alternatives are MFJ junk and other high price keyers which I haven't tried.
 
K3TLP Rating: 5/5 Dec 22, 2009 11:02 Send this review to a friend
Works GREAT!  Time owned: more than 12 months
30 minutes (or less) to put it together and it works great. When my $120 keyer died, I put this keyer in my station lineup. The battery life is very good.
This keyer kit is a great value.
 
N6BOB Rating: 5/5 Dec 22, 2009 10:51 Send this review to a friend
Great First Kit and Keyer  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Quickly shipped and took about one hour to build and drill and mount in the small case. It works exactly how I want a keyer to work... I have a Kenwood TS-480 and TS-2000 which uses mode A Iambic keying and this keyer lets me use mode B which feels much more natural to me. It took me a few hours in a very quiet place to program the memories the way I wanted. It would be nice to have an actual on/off switch. The included battery should last for about 2 years but hooking up to a radio that was ON seemed to confuse the keyer and I had to do a reset twice.
 
N9PSE Rating: 5/5 Dec 8, 2009 05:49 Send this review to a friend
Great bargain!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Dale runs a tight ship -- I had it in my mailbox 3 days after ordering it.

Extremely clear instructions (included on a mini-CD), even for a novice builder (would be a great first kit). I got it together in 15 minutes. Dale even includes extra parts needed if you decide to use the keyer on external power (e.g., if you build it into a rig).

Easy to set up and customize to your needs -- you can even adjust the between character spacing.

You won't go wrong on this kit!
 
WA6MOW Rating: 5/5 Sep 28, 2009 21:21 Send this review to a friend
YOU NEED ONE!!!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought this keyer on a whim. I ordered it with the matching plastic box and the whole thing was less than $25 bucks. Received it within a day or two of placing my order. Built the entire thing in less than an hour. What a great keyer. I'm selling my Idiom Logikey and buying another one of these just to have it. Highly recommended.
 
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