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Thread: Going to try CW. Question about the hookup

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  1. #1

    Default Going to try CW. Question about the hookup

    Alright, so im slowly slowly =) trying to feel out morse code.

    Im going to buy this keyer as its the cheapest thing I could find and if i dont like CW, im not out much

    Plastic Practice Key AM-K1
    http://www.mtechnologies.com/ameco/keys.htm

    My question is I have an FT-450.

    I do not have a back panel hookup for a keyer. my only spot is the front.

    from the manual.

    This 3.5mm 3-Contact jack accepts a CW key or keyer paddles.

    Key up is 5 volts, and key down current is .5Ma


    What type of cable/plug will I need to hook up this key? and where might I find such a cable?

    Thanks! looking forward to trying this out.
    -Andrew K2FR

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Bremerton, WA
    Posts
    4,029

    Default

    The manual I just looked at online says it's a 1/4" jack rather than a 3.5mm jack, but the circuitry is the same. The manual shows pretty clearly how to connect the key.

    The plug is just a standard 1/4" (or 3.5 mm) - you'll have to determine that from your rig - stereo plug, just like what you'd use for stereo music with headphones.

    If you're just going to use that cheap Ameco key, you only need to use two of the three connections. If you're using an external keyer with paddles, you'll need to use all three. Same thing if you want to use the radio's built in keyer - for that you need all three. Again, the manual shows the connections.

    ON EDIT: If you're using the straight key, you can use a mono plug rather than a stereo plug.
    Semper ubi sub ubi. 73
    K7KBN CWO4 USNR Ret.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Maryville, IL.
    Posts
    923

    Default

    Page 2 in the manual shows a 1/4" stereo phone plug for the CW key connection.

    "TIP" is the key contact connection.
    "RING" the center part is NOT connected to anything.
    "SHIELD" the long part of the stereo plug is the ground connection.

    here's the FT-450 MANUAL

    CW is alot of fun with a descent set of paddles and the built in keyer also.

    Good luck,

    --... ...-- / -.. . / -. ----. -..- ...-
    It's all about the antenna! Build the antenna. Put up a bigger antenna, put up a better antenna, you can never over achieve when it comes to antennas! :cool:

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Fairfax County, Virginia
    Posts
    6,135

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by K7KBN View Post
    ON EDIT: If you're using the straight key, you can use a mono plug rather than a stereo plug.

    NO. You cannot.

    It must be a stereo plug with the "ring" not connected.

  5. #5

    Default

    I just got this one from the Yaesu website.



    it fits my standard headset plug.

    is that 1/4th or 3.5mm?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    North Dakota
    Posts
    5,269

    Default

    1/8" is 3.5mm.



    Tom KC0W

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Commerce MI (Detroit area)
    Posts
    8,319

    Default

    I hope you spend a lot of time listening to the slower CW QSOs on the air before you try to start sending it.
    Get to know what is going on in a typical QSO so you will be able to join in on the fun of CW QSOs and be understood..
    I run into a few green CW ops who don't know what to say or how to say it. I have to spend a lot of time with them just trying to get a QTH or name out of some of them.
    Some of them just have first CW nerves and I hear them a few days or weeks later doing OK.
    Good luck and look for me on the air, give me a shout !
    I spend a lot of time on 3550 or 7114-7120, where slower, new ops gather, in the evenings.
    73.....JD, FISTS #3853,cc 455,SKCC # 1395,tribune #12,
    Official US Taxpayer

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    McIntosh, NM
    Posts
    11,500

    Default

    The graphic posted certainly shows it is a 3.5 mm plug/jack. You MUST use a stereo plug there, The 'ring' cannot be shorted to the shaft, which would happen if you use a mono plug.

    If you are using a straight key (and I advise all new comers to CW to use a straight key first) you connect one of the terminals of the straight key to the wire that goes to the 'tip,' and the other to the wire that goes to the 'shaft.' Nothing is connected to the wire that goes to the ring.

    Why do I suggest newcomers use a straight key? Because you learn what characters sound like. You learn that "V" is diididitdah, and not dididididididdahdah." The problem with using a keyer to start is you can't 'hear' your actual charcters so you can't figure out if you are sending three dits or four dits or three dahs or four dahs. If you use a straight key (and you have one) to learn to send with, you will KNOW how many dits and dahs you are sending. Then when you graduate to a keyer, it will be far easier to send characters correctly.

    A lot of newcomers, and even a few not so new, stumble around on the air with "I sent a few dits and a few dahs so You know what I meant to say." It ain't so. That is usually caused by those who start off with paddles.

    Good luck, welcome to the world of CW.

    Ed

    ...
    Ed, CHOP, W5HTW - Novice 1956, General, 1957, Advanced, 1968, Extra, 1969. Keep the [B][U]amateur[/U][/B] in amateur radio, keep the pros, and Part 90, out of it.

  9. #9

    Default It's 3.5mm (not 1/4 inch)

    Quote Originally Posted by N9XV View Post
    Page 2 in the manual shows a 1/4" stereo phone plug for the CW key connection.
    This is interesting. I was puzzled as to why you claimed the CW key required a 1/4" plug, so I downloaded the manual pointed to. Sure enough, it shows 1/4" for both the key and the headphones.

    But it is wrong.

    Maybe Yaesu ships FT-450 radios with 1/4" jacks to Norway (or that version of the manual has a typo), but the ones sent to the US use 3.5mm plugs. The manual downloadable from the Yaesu site shows 3.5mm jacks and the FT-450 that I recently purchased myself has 3.5mm jacks.


    The plug required is a very ordinary 3.5mm stereo phone plug. You could use a shielded cable with it, but that is probably not necessary. Try a local electronics store or maybe some store that sells audio gear. Or just ask some local hams. Someone should have a couple of spares and a little wire.

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by WA9ZZZ View Post
    The plug required is a very ordinary 3.5mm stereo phone plug. You could use a shielded cable with it, but that is probably not necessary. Try a local electronics store or maybe some store that sells audio gear. Or just ask some local hams. Someone should have a couple of spares and a little wire.
    When I need a 3.5mm stereo connector, I go to Radio Shack and buy a cable with 3.5mm stereo male connectors on both ends. Then I cut the wire in half and now I have 2 3.5mm stereo connectors with wires.

    Take one of these wires, strip them, connect them to the key and you are ready to go - and you have a spare wire for when you decide to get paddles after finding that CW is a whole lot of fun.

    Jay

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