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Reviews Categories | Keyers & CW Keyboards | K1EL k12 keyer Help

Reviews Summary for K1EL k12 keyer
K1EL k12 keyer Reviews: 9 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $17.00
Description: Full featured keyer at a bargain price
Product is in production.
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K4TMN Rating: 5/5 Apr 15, 2012 07:01 Send this review to a friend
Easy to load messages!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have tried other keyer kits, but when I try to load messages into one of the memories - I usually mess it up the first time and have to try loading the message again.

Not so with the K12! The autospace feature makes it simple to get the message right the first time.

The K12 has more great features than I can list. Go to the website and download the manual to see all of the possibilities.

Highly recommended if you are on a budget!

NZ0T Rating: 5/5 Dec 7, 2009 15:22 Send this review to a friend
Fun kit - nice keyer  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I built mine into a small Rat Shack plastic enclosure. Easy build and a capable keyer. I don't use messages so I just have one pushbutton to control things and ran audio out thru a junkbox mini-pot (to control sidetone level) so I could inject the command audio into an old TS-430. Makes for a nice small keyer that works well and only $17 plus shipping.
KA3BWP Rating: 5/5 Aug 25, 2009 19:51 Send this review to a friend
Good for Beacons  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Purchased this a while ago...finally got around to building. Only downside, had to sneak a new Bencher BY-1 Paddle into the house :-), my wife didn't catch me either, at least not yet.

I was used to a straight key, but quickly got the hang of left and right on the paddles. I am going to order another for a friend, and maybe another product from their line for me.

Instructions for assembly AND operation are superb, as are return emails with questions about the keyer.

KUDOS to Steve. Thanks for producing these nice kits. I know it takes much of your time and I appriciate that.
G0DJE Rating: 5/5 Mar 31, 2009 07:31 Send this review to a friend
Very Good Value  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
What you get for what you pay is very, very good. Easy to build and good construction and operating instructions.

Even novice builders should have no trouble with this kit.

Features are very good. Ideal solution for me looking to take some of the strain off my FT-1000MP by taking the keying function "outboard".

G0PEH Rating: 5/5 Apr 15, 2008 07:29 Send this review to a friend
Real value for money  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Having built the K9 keyer using the PIC12F683 from K1EL for my own use some time ago I agreed to make up the latest offering from that stable The K12 for a member of my radio club.

There are two versions of this kit, one is a stand alone using a small coin cell and the other is for fitting into a rig using a small voltage regulator to put the required 3 volts to the keyer.

This latest version differs from the K8 and K9 versions in that rather than only the one command button up to six (6) message buttons can now be fitted.

Because for this latest build I had made a similar sized enclosure there was only room for three buttons. As the final owner of this K12 was not worried about all six buttons and was content with three the job went ahead.

The sort of commands that can be entered are down to the user but obviously a cq string with your own callsign is I think a must and whatever else, for instance your cq string including a Club insert, i.e. Gqrp or fists etc. on other buttons.

I decided that again as like the first build I would power it using a holder with 2 AAA cells, this is not only more flexible, AAA cells are generally available anywhere. This also makes it easy to supply power for the additional small speaker with its simple add on circuit. Note also that the power demand for this keyer is very low, 1 mA in use and this drops to about 1μA when after a short time the unit goes into sleep mode if not being keyed.

The kit from K1EL consists of all the parts for the small PCB supplied and the Pic chip ready programmed. This retails at the moment for $17. Additional to this you will have to supply a small speaker, a switch, push buttons battery holder, and some means of connecting the keyer to your rig and an enclosure.

To connect to a rig I used a phono socket on the output to plug in a cable with the other end of the cable a suitable jack plug to fit the radio, this and the switch for power up are on the back of the enclosure. As you will realise this is especially useful if you are powering a home brew transmitter or transceiver and you have no room for the keyer in the rig.

So finally I have to give this keyer a resounding 'thumbs up' its a lotta keyer for your money, just the thing for a home brewer on a budget.


WD9DUI Rating: 3/5 Feb 17, 2008 15:49 Send this review to a friend
ok  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I got this kit and it went together with out any problems or issues. The keyer is fine, I did not care for the memories, had to play with the settings. I could not get it to play right with the way it was spacing the charters. I gave up and got myself a Logkit cmos-4, paid more for it but works a lot better.
W4UTI Rating: 5/5 Feb 1, 2008 09:27 Send this review to a friend
Simply GREAT!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Before the K-12 was available I built the K-10. I was amazed at what this keyer could do, and for so little cost. It went together easily and quickly and performed like a champ. When the K-12 came out, I ordered just the chip (cost $6.00 and plugs right in where the K-10 was). With a 10 cent resistor and about 5 minutes time I had an even better keyer. Go to for specs. The "extra" parts you need will cost about $10 at Radio Shack, so for about $25 you have a first-class keyer.

A few words about Steve, K1EL. Yes, he has great products, but he is so helpful and informative. This guy really cares about his customers. You won't find a better seller ANTWHERE!

If you want an amazing keyer at an exceptional price, check this one. You won't be sorry.
EI5EM Rating: 5/5 Mar 2, 2006 15:15 Send this review to a friend
Great value!!  Time owned: months
I bought the K12 chip for the Yaesu FT-747 rig at EI0MAR, a vintage radio museum. .

The idea of six programmable message memories attracted me. In this respect the K12 works fine, but see my comments below. I have one memory programmed for a CQ call, another with details of the equipment and antenna, another with details of the radio museum and a fourth with a concluding message.

However at that stage I hit the 236 letter limit of total memory. Just be aware of that limit. The 236 letters can be distributed in any manner over the six memories. Realistically, I would suggest using no more than three or four memories to allow adequate content in each.

The circuit also has a facility to change the speed via a potentiometer. I incorporated that feature. My advice is not to bother with it as the speed command (and all other commands) can be entered via the twin paddle.

A nice feature is that the speed for entering commands can be different from the sending speed of the keyer. All in all a great bargain for the money......Well done Steve!

de Tony, EI5EM
W9OY Rating: 5/5 Dec 21, 2004 10:04 Send this review to a friend
Great little keyer  Time owned: 0 to 3 months

I bought this keyer to have as a backup. My Logikey went south just as I was getting ready for the 160M contest.

The keyer is very tiny, as can be seen by the size of the battery holder in the picture. The batter is a 3v calculator battery. There is an option for an external supply as well, but I chose the battery. The kit came in the mail, without any documentation, which is fine since the documentation is fully accessible at K1EL on the internet. The directions are very clear. The kit went together in under a half hour. It includes a tiny little speaker and except for the switches, battery sockets and a speed pot if you want one, is complete. The rest of these items will cost you another ten bucks at Radio Shack. I used the "mini" push-button switches and they work fine.

I built mine in a round Altoids tin, which gives nice access to the switches around about 2/3 the perimeter of the can. The layout of the I/O wires from the circuit board is perfect. I used a couple of pieces of ribbon cable scrounged from an old hard drive.

The keyer has 6 memories. It allows embedding as well, and can act as a beacon. It has the super fast HSCW option if your trying to skip your sigs off of meteors, or the super slow QRSS function if your trying to outfox QSB. You can pick between various modes like A, B, Ultimatic etc, and can setup the weighting however you like it. The side tone freq is adjustable, but not continuously adjustable. That means there are several steps you can choose from like 800hz or 640hz, and the side tone output can be routed to a external source so you could insert this keyer into a homebrew rig of your own design and send the side tone to the audio amp of the homebrew rig. I did not add the speed control pot to my keyer, preferring instead to use the paddle to input my various parameters, but if you want a knob to twist this keyer has that as an option.

Input entry is done via the paddle, and the keyer speed is independent of the speed of the command mode, which means you can input the various commands and memory messages at a slower less error prone speed, than the keyer is set to run. It does support a "backspace" function on memory input, so your h's don't all sound like 5's. Steve makes great products and is a great guy to do business with. He fully supports his products, and there is even a discussion forum if your into that. What can I say for 17 bux its a great keyer and I got to eat the Altiods to boot.

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