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eHam Forums => CW => Topic started by: W2LO on February 28, 2014, 04:38:21 PM



Title: CW Only Keyboard
Post by: W2LO on February 28, 2014, 04:38:21 PM
  Does anyone make a simplified CW-only keyboard, that is, a keyboard with just letters, numerals and prosigns and eliminates the rest of the computer-related keys? I don't need a reader, etc.

  Thanks in advance for any assistance.


   Mike  W2LO


Title: RE: CW Only Keyboard
Post by: KC8Y on March 01, 2014, 07:14:25 AM
I acquired the mating CW keyboard, to go with the MFJ-495 keyer.  I must ONLY use a keyboard because of my handicap (cannot use a bug) :(

The model for the matching keyboard, was MFJ-551.  It's the best I've seen for ham radio.

This model of keyer (MFJ-495) is ONLY a keyer/NO reader

Ken KC8Y


Title: RE: CW Only Keyboard
Post by: W2LO on March 02, 2014, 10:18:52 AM
   Thank you for your response; I'll look into it.


Title: RE: CW Only Keyboard
Post by: N8FNR on March 03, 2014, 09:55:21 AM
Even though this one has a reader built in it may be what you are looking for.
http://k1el.tripod.com/K42_C.html   http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/8440
Then there is this one http://microham-usa.com/store/product-info.php?pid5.html  http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/5419
Another one http://nanokeyer.wordpress.com/
This one is supposed to be very nice but expensive at $300 http://www.i2rtf.com/html/cw_machine.html http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/6670

Zack
N8FNR



Title: RE: CW Only Keyboard
Post by: N3DF on March 04, 2014, 07:49:47 AM
I have not seen a dedicated, cw-encoding only keyboard since the Pickering in the 1960s.

Neil N3DF


Title: RE: CW Only Keyboard
Post by: N3QE on March 04, 2014, 07:51:49 AM
There are many "classic" CW keyboards from the 70's, or even late 1960's, where the matching between pushbutton and CW symbol is simple one-to-one.

These predated widely-available computer keyboards so hams often made their own keyboards by drilling one hole for each key and putting a pushbutton in the hole. Generally there is no microcomputer inside, some of the oldest (1960's) didn't even have integrated circuits inside.

See here for some pictures from 40 or more years ago: http://qrqcwnet.ning.com/forum/topics/cw-keyboards-from-the-days-of-yore

(http://www.k0ru.net/fog/K4KN.jpg)

You will see these showing up at hamfests etc. every so often.


Title: RE: CW Only Keyboard
Post by: N3QE on March 04, 2014, 08:01:28 AM
The 60's and 70's keyboards I pointed too are actually pretty crappy keyboards. Often they were built just by buying 40-odd pushbuttons and putting them on a panel.

If someone needed a simplified modern non-morse keyboard because of vision or dexterity handicap there are a couple out there on the market.

http://www.amazon.com/Chester-Creek-VB2-VisionBoard2/dp/B000OCQTWM/ref=pd_cp_pc_1

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41mBy3Yj2kL._SX425_.jpg)


Title: RE: CW Only Keyboard
Post by: KE6EE on March 06, 2014, 11:50:44 AM
There are simplified keyboards made for kids which should work very well as cw keyboards. The one cited below is reviewed as being well-built. Cost: $20.

http://www.schoolsin.com/computer_peripherals/HAM-HB-KB.html


Title: RE: CW Only Keyboard
Post by: N3DF on March 14, 2014, 06:34:49 PM
The pictures are from the 1970s-1980s or they are home-brew one-offs.  Only Pickering manufactured and marketed to the ham radio community (through QST ads) a morse-only keyboard in the 1960s. 


Title: RE: CW Only Keyboard
Post by: N4KZ on March 15, 2014, 09:00:38 PM
I am biased - because I own two of these - but the MFJ-496 Super Keyboard II, introduced to the market in 1983, is the best CW keyboard ever manufactured. Why? Because the keyboard is built into a stand-alone metal enclosure and is therefore RFI proof and strong as a tank. With an optional internal board, the keyboard would also send RTTY and ASCII. I never had the optional board and have only used mine on CW. They are great keyboards too. Press any key and the unit immediately sends that character in flawless CW. There's a meter for monitoring sending speed and it has a nice buffer allowing one to type quite a bit ahead of what's going out on the air. This is a sending only unit - nothing that displays what is being sent or displays what is being copied. I do all the CW copying in my head.

I spent $300 for the first one. The model was introduced at the 1983 Dayton Hamvention and I was terribly keen to buy one. But the only one at the show was the display model in the MFJ booth. I worked out a deal that if I paid full price - $300 - they would sell me the display after the convention's conclusion. I have used the keyboard almost daily ever since. Since there's no monitor, being a good touch typist really pays off although there is an edit function should a mistake occur. It can be deleted before being sent on the air. I have taken the keyboard with me on numerous trips and vacations and operated with it. It's a bit beat up with some paint missing here and there but still works like a champ. Very rugged keyboard. (Unlike the later MFJ models that had the keyer in a box and you plugged in a computer keyboard. Some of those had RFI issues. Not mine.)

About 5 years ago, a ham dealer had another MFJ-496 show up from a silent key estate. They wanted $50 and I gladly paid it to have a back-up. It's nearly mint. The keyboard has memories as well as controls for speed and weight and tone for the sidetone. The whole thing works great.

I ran into Martin, K5FLU, on the air a couple years ago and told him about buying the keyboard display model at Dayton. He said he generally tries to keep the first of any model of anything they make and had wondered what he didn't have the first MFJ-496 in his collection. It's because, I told him, they sold it to me at Dayton in 1983.

73, Dave, N4KZ


Title: RE: CW Only Keyboard
Post by: W3HKK on March 16, 2014, 12:02:56 PM
Not exactly sure what youre seeking but a buddy  has been bringing  a "cw buddy" to our club's contest operations.  It plugs right into the keyjack and allows keyboarding independent of a computer.  Just plug and go.

He built it from a battery operated CW Buddy kit ( 1"x2"x1" ), and connects to it  a spare  regular IBM keyboard  and runs a shielded line ( ie audio line/plug) into any rig's key jack.

You can adjust the speed, sidetone, and load in 12 memories on the keyboard.   Very nice. He even made one for me.  Great for  learning cw, but also rag chewing, dxing, contesting, etc.  Reports on the cw note and shape have been outstanding with several requests for info on how to obtain one. 


Title: RE: CW Only Keyboard
Post by: KC8Y on March 16, 2014, 06:23:02 PM
W3HKK:

You've peaked my interest in that device ????

Is there a manufacture's website that gives more detailed information about that device??? :orabout the keyboard ???

Ken KC8Y


Title: RE: CW Only Keyboard
Post by: PA0WV on March 17, 2014, 03:21:31 AM
  Does anyone make a simplified CW-only keyboard, that is, a keyboard with just letters, numerals and prosigns and eliminates the rest of the computer-related keys? I don't need a reader, etc.

  Thanks in advance for any assistance.


   Mike  W2LO

You can make it yourself Mike.
on http://pa0wv.home.xs4all.nl/zelfbouw.html you can click on the 14-th link "MKB" (stands for Morse KeyBoard) of a total of 18 Morse related designs in the top.

You get a pdf file.
Simple circuit, no SMD components used, it used an old PC-AT keyboard. The prosigns are under the arrow keys, and you can use the F1 -- F12 knobs for fixed messages and a contest counter. It is speed adjustable from 3 till 99 wpm.

gd luck Wim PA0WV 73=30


Title: RE: CW Only Keyboard
Post by: N0WJH on March 18, 2014, 02:55:02 PM
i know this isnt quite what you asked there is a guy sell a computer serial port to transmitter
key  10 bucks shipped on ebay 10 bucks for his software should work with some of the other cw sending programs hrd and others no serial port no problem 10 bucks gets serial port to usb adapter hope this helps


Title: RE: CW Only Keyboard
Post by: KR4TH on March 18, 2014, 06:49:33 PM
How do I convert it to English?  Is there a google program?

Jerry KR4TH


Title: RE: CW Only Keyboard
Post by: PA0WV on March 19, 2014, 07:08:17 AM
How do I convert it to English?  Is there a google program?

Jerry KR4TH


http://translate.google.com/

Wim PA0WV 73=30


Title: RE: CW Only Keyboard
Post by: K8CIT on March 25, 2014, 11:25:56 AM
W2LO...this isn't quite what you were asking for but look at a Flex radio.  They include a keyboard function that has 9 programmable macros and a 2 line buffer that if you can type a bit ahead of the sending you have time to correct typing errors.  My hands are so shaky that I can no longer use a paddle but this keyboard is keeping me active on CW at 30 wpm.  If a Flex radio is not in the cards for you look at EHOCW which is CW sending software with buffers, macros and it keys the transmitter thru a com port.  I intend to use the EHO software to key my Drake 4 line.  I hope to hear you on 40 CW someday.  73, Art K8CIT   


Title: RE: CW Only Keyboard
Post by: N6SBN on March 28, 2014, 02:56:15 AM
  I use the program FLDIGI  and my standard computer keyboard.


Title: RE: CW Only Keyboard
Post by: NY7Q on March 28, 2014, 08:22:32 AM
KEYBOARDS SHOULD BE BANNED FROM CW.


Title: RE: CW Only Keyboard
Post by: W8MW on March 28, 2014, 08:05:59 PM
KEYBOARDS SHOULD BE BANNED FROM CW.

Wow, that's quite a statement.  I think I might agree if you are talking about people relying on keyboards and decoders to operate CW when they otherwise couldn't. It's a novel approach but it isn't even the same emission designation as telegraphy intended for human reception (ITU emission designation A1A).  It falls into the A1B classification for automatic machine-copy.  There are serious incompatibility issues where the machine frequently can't communicate with the human operators.  And those who consider radiotelegraphy an art and a skill are often offended.   

But I disagree if you're saying a keyboard in itself is not a proper CW sending device.  When I realized that 45 wpm was my ceiling using paddle/keyer I felt trapped.  But in the late 60's and early 70's dedicated CW keyboards entered the picture.  Now hams who were always able to copy faster than they could send were able to raise the bar on high speed code operating.  In fact we entered the 1970's with 50 wpm being blazing fast and we ended that decade with QRQ ops exceeding 100 wpm with their keyboards and head copy. 

The most proficient CW operators alive today -- those who copy the fastest -- those send cleanest and fastest -- are using keyboards.

73 Mike W8MW


Title: RE: CW Only Keyboard
Post by: KC8Y on March 29, 2014, 05:40:17 AM
RE: NY7Q statement about totally banding keyboards, I fully DISAGREE!!!!

How about the handicap, I am fully one of those.

 I've been licensed since 1968.  Because of my rare form of MS, must use a keyboard for CW for sending (only about 12wpm).  I use software for receiving.

- - . . .      . . . - -

Ken KC8Y





Title: RE: CW Only Keyboard
Post by: W5UXH on March 29, 2014, 09:07:18 PM
Hello Mike, long time no QSO.  It's kind of sad that so many ops think things like this.  Too often some of them try to interfere with QRQ QSOs.  Sure would be nice to understand that attitude. Are they jealous that they can't copy as fast by ear as some others?  Do they really want to hear my paddle fist at 45 WPM?  Oh well, they usually are not able to zero beat closely enough to get through a decent CW filter, so it is rare they can interfere.  I'm not sure if it is any worse these days than it was 30 years ago, but I will never understand it.

And I have never heard one of them identify.  Interesting that they think their opinions call for unidentified intentional interference :)

73, Chuck  W5UXH
5 WPM through 65 WPM, paddle for QRS and keyboard for QRQ

KEYBOARDS SHOULD BE BANNED FROM CW.

Wow, that's quite a statement. 

73 Mike W8MW


Title: RE: CW Only Keyboard
Post by: W8MW on March 30, 2014, 10:33:33 AM
Well Hello Chuck!  FB to CU again.  Yes, the misunderstood CW keyboard gets a bad rap when the only thing it ever wanted to do was create a blissful experience for high speed operators (and others wishing to generate beautifully-formed Morse code).  I spent my first 15 years as a ham pushing my personal envelope but when I got past 35 WPM or so, wasn't able to send fast and clean at the same time using paddles.  Nobody would want to hear my paddle fist at 45 either.  Got my first keyboard in the 70's and a whole new world opened up.   

Why unidentified types try to QRM our QRQ QSOs is beyond me.  If anything has changed in the past 30 years I'd say more people were able to zero-beat back then and do more damage.  So maybe it's a good thing today's prevailing attitude is get it with 150 cycles and they're good to go.  hi hi  Do you think anybody would believe those roundtable CW QSOs we used to have.  A dozen ops on the same QRG conversing in full QSK and we were still able to recognize who was sending at any given moment.

Those of us who enjoy this small special interest operating category aren't out to change the world or bother anybody.  We just love taking CW as far as our personal limitations will let us and hanging out with others with the same lifelong affliction.

73 Mike W8MW
5 WPM through 64 WPM, paddle for QRS and keyboard for QRQ 

PS... Chuck I want to chat with you more.  Will contact you soon.