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Reviews Categories | Keyers & CW Keyboards | K1EL K42 CW Keyboard Help

Reviews Summary for K1EL K42 CW Keyboard
K1EL K42 CW Keyboard Reviews: 43 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $92.00
Description: The K42 is the Swiss Army knife of CW keyers, it will provide many hours of CW operation and enjoyment. A
CW keyboard interface, CW reader, iambic paddle keyer, LCD display, and optically isolated keying outputs
are all presented in one compact box. In addition, the K42 will operate many different modes including
QRSS, HSCW, and conventional CW up to 140 WPM.
Product is in production.
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KM6HFR Rating: 5/5 Nov 23, 2017 07:14 Send this review to a friend
Fantastic Keyer!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
A great kit and a great keyer. I loved building it -- vey high quality, great build directions, very thorough setup and operating directions. I had a few questions during the build process and the customer service was very prompt and very helpful.
AB4IQ Rating: 5/5 May 14, 2017 11:27 Send this review to a friend
Fun Kit  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've had my Amateur license for 45 years and apparently born with 10 thumbs. I ordered the kit on a Friday and received it the following Monday in the mail. After doing an inventory I started to assemble the board stage by stage and did do the checks as in the manual. Fired it up and all was well. Since I have another station I ordered another one. Well it didn't do to well. Emailed K1EL and he said do an Alt/Ctl/Del and it fixed it. Both work great and solved my 10 thumbs issue. Kit is very well thought out and great boards.
K6LO Rating: 5/5 Apr 22, 2017 19:01 Send this review to a friend
First Class Kit!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
A chronic hand condition has made paddle operation really uncomfortable for me. I am comfortable using one of the old Microsoft egronoic keyboards and decided to type my CW for a while. Enter the K1EL K42 kit. What a well thought out and comprehensive kit it is! The keyboard interface is great. I have not hooked-up the decoder so I cannot speak to that, but the key board interface has me on CW again, and I really enjoyed putting the kit together. Super quality from the instructions to the parts. Awesome!
N4XAE Rating: 5/5 Apr 3, 2017 09:00 Send this review to a friend
Well engineered  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I finished up with the K42c and the performance is excellent. On weak signals or crowded bands, the K42 zeroes in and begins to copy. It has sharp band pass filtering and can separate two signals slightly different in pitch. Steve, K1EL, does a good job of supporting his product via email as you might expect , his name appears on the schematics. He is thoroughly familiar with all aspects of his design. We had several questions upon start-up and Steve responded promptly with answers concerning trouble-shooting, theory and operation. Design and layout are excellent and you will end up with a piece of gear that will last you many years. You won't find these for sale used and probably for good reason. When completed you will have a high quality reader/keyer. Only complaint is audio output could be a little louder, but this is adjustable through the replacement of a fixed resistor. All in all, I am very satisfied with this product and think it's an excellent tool for anyone considering CW. 73
W3KHQ Rating: 5/5 Feb 19, 2017 10:15 Send this review to a friend
A fun project  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Here in Pennsylvania January is one of those months your normally house bound, what a perfect time to build a kit like the K42.

This CW keyer is all that has been said about it.

Read the assembly instruction and follow them exactly and you'll have no problems. Foremost take your time in assembly and make it an enjoyment. Now that I've broke the ice of kit building I'll need to look for my next project.
KC2ZXL Rating: 5/5 Feb 18, 2017 15:11 Send this review to a friend
Perfect CW Trainer  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I just bought this CW Keyboard keyer from few days ago. First time assembled my own ham gear and was slightly nervous but once I started getting into it, it was so fun, now looking for another kit to assemble.

Now the review. First and foremost, this is a high qulity kit. If you follow instructions exactly, this product can be built better than a lot of commercially built units. It is very polished cosmetic wise. Functionally, it performs beyond expectations. I always had the archilles heel for CW but now with this device, it can teach me to memorize and read/copy with confidence instead of getting nervous.

LCD's contrast is adjustible once you remove the cover, and it's backlit (default) and can be turned off.It works with my USB keyboard called Rosewill using the PS/2 cable. There are so many functions, it's vastly customizable -- I need to study the manual.

Steve provides good suopport and very prompt for questions. If you're procrastinating, don't, this is truly a remarkable device that belongs in every hamshack!
KZ1G Rating: 5/5 Jan 28, 2016 10:17 Send this review to a friend
Great Kit; Needs Keyboard Template  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Other reviews offer good information. I like this decoder and keyboard-CW "sender." One suggestion: a keyboard template that notes the various function keys and what they do. Lacking that from the kit manufacturer, make your own. A file folder does the job. Just cut it to fit their keyboard and write the functions above the Fx keys. Or, make a cheat sheet as shown for the Command Chart in the manual, but keep it simple. You don't need all the functions to get a good start.
K0INN Rating: 5/5 Dec 15, 2015 22:32 Send this review to a friend
What a marvelous device!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
When assembling, there are some some small resistors that look very similar. You have to be careful with those. I got a couple mixed up so I had to do some rework.

The device does a very good to great job at decoding, even straight key sent CW. One thing that really degrades the performance is band noise. If the band is noisy, I turn up the noise reduction on the rig and the good decode performance returns. I have a TS590s and I set NR1 to 10 and that seems to work very well.

I set the cw side tone on my rig to 700hz. The decoders frequency is peaked at 690hz. When I hit CW tune, the decoder is automatically peaked for me when the cw signal is zero beaten.

The operation is a little complicated. I'm sure I will master it. It takes a little bit to get used to.

The macro capabilities are awesome. I really like K1EL keyers. I also have the WinKeyer USB.

Amazon has a good deal (about $15) on the PS2 keyboard that the device uses.

I can see that this will be an indispensable tool for CW operation.
WB8DQT Rating: 5/5 Nov 17, 2015 09:13 Send this review to a friend
This is a really elegant product that you can build!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I don't know how you could add any more superlatives with respect to this product! The circuit board is totally integrated and the only wires are the ones that connect the front-panel speed encoder to the board. It is a very sophisticated design but the build instruction documentation is superb and you can do it if you organize the parts and take your time!

As an experienced builder, I chose to dive into the deep end of the pool. I spent an hour of so with parts inventory and getting everything organized by value using small paper envelopes. The next evening I populated the board and the following evening I did the final assembly, testing, and set-up, including message memories. No glitches or problems, and the evening culminated with the first QSO. It all could have been done in a single day, but as I get older I find that it is helpful to break up the work so I don't get overly tired.

All the K1EL kinds are superbly engineered and this one is no exception.
KQ4BX Rating: 5/5 Oct 14, 2015 07:03 Send this review to a friend
Great Kit, works really well  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I built the kit in an afternoon, and it went together with no problem. If you build this kit, position the LCD on the board and into the case with a screw to insure perfect alignment. Then solder the LCD from the top as it sits in the case, then remove it and insure solder went through to the other side of the board. This is to insure that the LCD fits properly, and does not have any stress on it as it is screwed down. You will crack the display if you do not align it properly before soldering it.
As for features, be sure to print the manual, the keyer is loaded with options and features that should satisfy anyone. This product is a five star product, and blows away my Nano-Keyer in many ways. The CW reader has a tunable front end filter, to insure a good match for your rig. Once you have it setup correctly, it will copy CW very well. Steve K1EL is very responsive to email requests for help, or questions on installation and use of his products. Again, print the manual and read it, it covers everything you would want to know about the keyer.
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