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Reviews Categories | Keyers & CW Keyboards | Palstar CW50A Keyer Help

Reviews Summary for Palstar CW50A Keyer
Reviews: 5 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $119.95
Description: The new microprocessor based CW50A features tone, volume and speed controls. The CW50A works with all tube and solid state rigs and is powered by either a 9V battery or an AC adaptor(supplied). Since there is a built in sidetone and speaker system in the keyer it can also be used as a practice keyer for training purposes. It may be used with straight or hand keys,semi-automatic and bug or squeeze keyers. Adjustment of volume of sidetone and pitch is available on the front panel. The front panel and top cover are powdercoated.

Unique feature: reed relay mute circuit so that the keyer can be used with the R30C Palstar receiver when used as a stand alone. This provides a convenient muting function for a receiver when using a separate transmitter. All connecting cables, plugs and wall transformer are included.
Product is in production.
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VE3GNU Rating: 5/5 Jan 20, 2013 11:57 Send this review to a friend
Quality keyer  Time owned: more than 12 months
Was looking for an additional, but alternate keyer for my QRP kit-rigs---none of which have built-in keyers. The accessible controls on the front panel are particularly handy and useful---especially the 'tune' button. This keyer has two 'key' inputs---i.e. paddle on front, and 'straight key' in the back---and the entire unit is powered by a 9 volt battery. Quality construction throughout---worthy of the Palstar name.
VE7IG Rating: 5/5 May 25, 2012 14:09 Send this review to a friend
Very good!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have never used memories in keyers and they have just complicated what otherwise would have been a simple device and I was also very happy to find a good keyer without buttons along the top! During one portable IOTA operation I accidently put a log book on top of the keyer with the buttons and reset it resulting in half an hour of work with the manual in dim light inside a tent when I should have been working the pileup. This keyer sounds good, keys very nicely and is perfect for my requirements.
K9SQG Rating: 5/5 Jul 9, 2009 13:21 Send this review to a friend
A1 quality  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Received the Palstar CW50A keyer as a Christmas gift in 2008. It is a great match for my Drake station. All the features I would ever want, and then some; no projected need for memories.

A pleasure to use, very easy and intuitive. Build quality is typical Palstar, excellent. Smooth operation throughout.

Only nits are inaccuracies about grid block and cathode keying in the manual, and the lack of grill cloth for the speaker which is easy to add. Regardless, it still gets a rating of 5. This is definately a keeper!
N6NKN Rating: 5/5 May 4, 2007 13:14 Send this review to a friend
Tops The Competition  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought this keyer to compliment my new K8RA paddle. In design and execution it is head and shoulders above the other "junk". You can see Palstar took as much care in building this keyer as they do in their much more costly products.

The previous review by KN7T told me all I needed to know and the reputation of the Palstar products sealed the deal.

Thank You KN7T.

Rick ( N6NKN )
KN7T Rating: 5/5 Jun 29, 2005 10:59 Send this review to a friend
A nice piece at a reasonable price  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased this unit as an upgrade from my previous MFJ unit. The new CW50A keyer interested me because it has a receiver mute output built right into the rear panel. It also has rear panel outputs for grid block or cathode keying so it is compatible with any radio. What struck me most about this unit after receiving it is the extremely high quality construction - I removed the top cover to peer inside and the circuit board is a work of art. The layout is uncluttered and the instruction manual shows you the various locations of the jumpers and what options are available for the radio mute port, etc. The front panel controls are silky smooth and have a positive feel. The front panel controls are volume, speed, and sidetone pitch. The paddle input is also conveniently located on the front panel as well as the power-on LED. The keyer has another input on the rear panel for a straight key or a bug. I have a "Y" cable attached to that input and connected both a straight key AND a bug as well as a set of paddles connected to the front panel input. There are several switches on the rear panel that let you select iambic mode (A or B), an option to use a single lever paddle and auto spacing. There are also two rear panel adjustable controls, one for character spacing and the other for character weighting. As shipped, the unit comes with all of the necessary cables, connectors, and even a wall wart power supply. The unit also came equipped from the factory with a 9V battery already installed so it's ready to use right out of the box. During initial set-up I did run across a bit of a "gotcha" - I hooked up the keyer to my radio using an existing cable that I was using with my other keyer. The RCA style plug on one end had a slightly shorter center pin than a normal plug of that type. Unfortunately, the center pin was not long enough to contact the mating portion of the output jack installed in the keyer. The end result was that the keyer wouldn't key the radio and I was left scratching my head as to why. After a few minutes of examination and troubleshooting I compared the supplied RCA connectors with the one I was trying to use and the reason for the problem became readily apparent. So, it is worth checking to make sure that you have an RCA plug with a standard length center pin in order to avoid this problem. If you use the connectors supplied with the keyer then there's no issue at all.

After a couple of evenings of use, I'm really liking this keyer, especially the layout of the controls, the ease of use, and the fact that there are no internal adjustments requiring the removal of the cover or having to insert a tool through the cover to make an adjustment. I'm a CW nut so anything that improves the CW experience for me gets my vote. The only thing so far that I would say I didn't totally like about the keyer is the clicking noise that the reed relay inside the keyer makes. The reed relay is part of the receiver mute output circuitry. If I decide that I really don't like it, I'll probably just put a small piece of insulation over it to quiet it down - easy enough to do. Eventually, I'll use the receiver mute output in conjunction with my Collins 75S-1 receiver to provide second band receive when using my IC-765.

Some folks may not like the fact that this keyer has no memories but that wasn't a concern for me. I think this unit is a quality piece of hardware and a worthwhile addition to any serious CW operator's set-up.

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