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Reviews Categories | Keyers & CW Keyboards | microHAM CW Keyer (USB) Help


Reviews Summary for microHAM CW Keyer (USB)
microHAM CW Keyer (USB) Reviews: 12 Average rating: 4.5/5 MSRP: $169 USD
Description: CW KEYER is a powerful CW USB interface/memory keyer based on K1EL WinKey chip and micro KEYER design. CW Keyer provides the unmatched CW features of the original microKEYER and a USB radio control interface in a small, readily portable package for those with no need for the audio handling capabilities of microKEYER.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.microham.com/
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G0CGL Rating: 4/5 Sep 10, 2017 01:39 Send this review to a friend
Poor buying experience but good product  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I do not know what has happened to MicroHam. I ordered this direct from them, their Terms of Sale stating that shipping takes place on Thursdays. But it was not shipped and an email querying it resulted in a refund but no reply and hence no explanation.

So I ordered from Wimo and received 3 days later. It replaced a G4ZLP CW Keyer because I wanted to add a keyboard. It does the job and does have additional features, such as CAT, if needed. Value for money is poor due to its cost. Hence 4/5 rating.
 
K0XB Rating: 5/5 Feb 27, 2015 10:20 Send this review to a friend
excellent  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had this keyer along with the external keyboard for over a year now, and it has worked almost perfectly for me. Once in awhile, there seems to be some minor software issues, like failing to repeat a message when I hit a key more than once. But that's not a big deal, and otherwise I like it a lot.
 
SV0XBN Rating: 0/5 Dec 5, 2011 03:49 Send this review to a friend
Not Recommended  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I am not an avid contester, I just enter CW contests to have a bit of fun and give away some points, but I wanted something that I could use to save me from keep sending my call and reports with my paddle. It would also help if when I changed bands on the rig, the logging software changed bands as well.
I thought that the microHam CW Keyer would foot the bill.
How wrong I was.
I do not have a PhD in Computing, or an IQ of over 175, so I could never get the thing working. I sought advice but to no avail.
microHam support was ok but never offered finite solutions to any of my problems, and I must say, a lot of what was advised was way over my head.
I could not get the thing to ‘talk’ to the rig as my new Kenwood rig is not listed in the microHam software and the suggested ‘workaround’ didn’t.
I got constant error messages every 30 seconds advising me that the CAT could not see the TS590, TS2000 or VFO A.
I set the keyer to Curtis A but it would revert to Iambic B.
I set the speed range to be 10-20 WPM but next time the keyer would send at 40 WPM.

The 29 pages of instructions are confusing to say the least. There is nothing logical about the instructions layout or how to try and get the beast working.
The thing is over complicated and a total waste of money.
Not recommended.

Dick. SV0XBN/9.

 
GM0ELP Rating: 5/5 Dec 24, 2010 05:05 Send this review to a friend
Pricey but great  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Does the job with minimum of clutter. Used to use K1EL winkeyusb and cat control usb->rs232 lead (via breakout connector for K2 (non-standard rs232)). Had problems with spot frequency noise on various bands, changed to Microham and all quiet :-). Driver software is brilliant and means I can access rig control from 2 separate apps at the same time. Resented paying that kind of money but loved the result.

Pros:
driver software excellent (port sharing etc)
small size, good for portable
rig control for any radio by moving links
easy to make up leads for any radio
K1EL winkeyusb with speed pot
ptt and key outputs
pc optically isolated from radio

Cons:
over priced
could be a lot smaller (empty space in case)
no radio or power lead included
silly priced radio leads
supplied usb lead very thin (shielded?)
 
G4FSU Rating: 5/5 Nov 27, 2006 01:50 Send this review to a friend
Solves the Disappearing-Serial-Port Problem  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Since WinKey was developed, the problem of integrating CW with contest software running Windows is solved, but it requires a serial port, as does the rig control.

With serial ports rapidly disappearing on desk top PCs, and already gone on laptops, the only solution is to use serial to USB converters. My experience with these awful devices has ranged from unstable drivers, S9 hash across the bands, ports locking up in the presence RF and rat's nest of cables wound on ferrites.

The CW Keyer solves all of this in a simple, effective, compatable and economical solution. Based on WinKey, it works with most current rig control and contest logging programmes. It requires a single USB port only and controls both rig and CW keyer via the software router. It's obviously designed with RF in mind and is completely silent on all the bands.

It solved every keying & rig control problem I had in a small & easy-to-set-up package.

Thoroughly recommended.

 
KA2UUP Rating: 5/5 Aug 31, 2006 09:14 Send this review to a friend
Two years and no problems  Time owned: more than 12 months
Superior product. The fact that updates to the software and firmware are available on line is a definite plus. Read the directions and you will be happy!
 
WV1K Rating: 5/5 Aug 27, 2006 22:17 Send this review to a friend
Very nice  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Joe gives great customer assistance. I had a frozen screw and he dealt with it for me and sent it back by the end of the week. Set the jumpers while it was out too.

Easy to set up and very well organized. The CW Keyer leaves more room on top of the radio or your shelf than the serial product I was using.

I tried out the K1EL Winkey 10 first which is great for serial use but it didn't let you use a keypad to access memories. By using the microHAM CW Keyer (USB) you consolidate rig control and keying in one box.

My serial ports are now free for rig programming.

 
K0HB Rating: 5/5 May 5, 2006 10:36 Send this review to a friend
Very good product  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Both my MFJ keyers (a 492 and a 422x) lost their brains and failed in a one week period, so I was in the market for a new keyer (and a new brand).

Since serial ports seem to be disappearing from computers, along with hardware-friendly DOS contest loggers, the combination of a USB rig interface and a K1EL WinKey in the same package caught my fancy. (If you're just looking for a standalone keyer, this box is a little "overkill", but at the price you might still consider it, just to "future-proof" your station.)

The unit ships complete with interconnecting cables (USB to your computer, "CAT" to your radio (specify your radio when ordering), and even a DC connector for wiring to your 12V power source. Included in the box is a CD with software and documentation.

Now if you're like me and need to hurry to "try it out", you could get in trouble here. Unless you've done your homework, a few of things won't be evident to you when you open the box.

1) There are internal jumpers which need to be set to configure the box to your radio.

2) There is a software driver and an operating program which need to be installed in your host computer before you can interface to the box.

Now all of this is nicely explained in the manual, but the manual is on the CD (along with manuals for many other microHAM products). Now I understand the economics of providing the manual on disk, but a one-sheet paper flyer specific to the product would be helpful in:

1) Pointing out the need to set the jumpers...
2) Telling you which of the several software programs and drivers you'd need to install.

(All of this is covered in the manual, but.......)

Also it would have been helpful to explain how to install the "CAT" cable for my Icom. One end of the cable is TIP/RING/SLEEVE and the other end is TIP/SLEEVE. Naturally, I installed it backwards! (The two conducter end goes toward the radio.)

OK, that's all the complaints!

Once I "got humble" and printed up the user manual, the installation and configuration was straightforward and simple, no more complicated than installing a new printer or other device.

Ignoring here the radio interface and USB/serial conversion program, I'll talk simply about the keyer.

In a word, it's a marvel! The heart of it is the K1EL WinKey keyer board which is widely supported in Windows and Mac based logging programs. This device can be custom tailored by the user for every conceivable parameter of the Morse art. The keyer can emulate Curtis A, Curtis B, Ultimatic, even the venerable art of a semiautomatic bug. Anything you want to "adjust" is adjustable --- speed 5-99 wpm, weighting as desired, Farnsworth character spacing, dit/dah/space radios, "first dit/dah compensation" (for those rigs which chop the leading edge), etc., etc. etc.

Basically it's three keyers in one.

1) A simple standalone traditional keyer with external paddles.
2) A computer controlled keyer (from a logging program)
3) A keyboard (without computer) controlled memory keyer.

You can do any of these in combination (for example, use your logging program to provide contest exchanges, etc., but still have paddle input for fills, etc.)

The unit is well constructed, amazingly compact, and US support is excellent (the manufacturer is located in Slovakia.) Firmware can be updated right from your computer, and updates are free.

The product is well supported on the web by the manufacturer. I found that the CD-provided software, firmware, and user manual had all been superceded by later versions, and it was a simple matter to download from the well-organized website ( http://microham.com ).

The US distributor, W4TV, provides prompt email response, and there is also support from two yahoogroups, microham@yahoogroups.com and k1el_keyers@yahoogroups.com.

73, de Hans, K0HB


 
K4JAF Rating: 5/5 Mar 29, 2006 08:13 Send this review to a friend
Great Keyer Interface  Time owned: more than 12 months
This all in one keyer and interface is by far the best I have ever used. Works FB with my setup of the Field and Pro tranceivers. Very professionally constructed and great documentation. Technical advice and service are first class. I thoroughly recommend to anyone needing a Winkey type keyer, rig interface, digital mode interface, etc.
 
KD0ZV Rating: 5/5 Mar 24, 2006 14:31 Send this review to a friend
Best Keyer I have used.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought this because my Pro III does not do Mode B. I have a K2 that is my primary CW rig, but like to switch to the Pro III on occasion.

Shipping was fast and it arrived as promised. This keyer does much more than I really need a keyer to do. As an example it does rig control which is something I dont need as I can do that with my RigBlaster Pro or direct serial. But I have the option if I find the need. What I did not realize I was missing was the tailoring that can be done. The MicroHam has everything programmable via an easy windows interface.

One thing I wish they would do is add a second rig output. I plugged my MicroHam in and made sure it worked and immediatly took it apart and drilled three holes. One on the front and two in the back. I added a switch in the front which toggles the key OUT between two 1/8 mini phono jacks. This allows me to flip a switch and run my Begali Signature on either of two rigs. This is a much better setup for me than the factory RCA jack output.

Two thumbs up. None better !

73,

kd0zv
 
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