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Anyone use a capacitive reactance keyer?

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by N7ZAL, Oct 19, 2015.

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  1. N7ZAL

    N7ZAL Ham Member QRZ Page

    Almost a proximity type of key and what got my attention was one that appeared in the Arduino Projects book, by Purdum and Kidder.

    So there isn't a mechanical action just the capacitive affect with the fingers. I was thinking of building it and see how it works.

    Anyone use one or build the project?
  2. KE0EFX

    KE0EFX Ham Member QRZ Page

  3. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have one. Never built one.

    They work good if you have no RF from the antenna in the shack.

    Have fun.
  4. N7ZAL

    N7ZAL Ham Member QRZ Page

    How does it compare to a "mechanical" paddle?
  5. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    RF can get on your body, then the keyer can get hosed. Can even kill cmos chips if the RF feild is strong enough. I always blame my send errors on my key. My computer keyboard has problems too. :D

    A mechanical paddle could care less. You normally just get RF burns from those.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2015
  6. K6GB

    K6GB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I built one years ago, worked fine, missed the feel of a nice paddle. Built an optical key also, just an ir led and photo transistor.
  7. N7ZAL

    N7ZAL Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yeah, I was wondering about the tactical feed back back, but do find I do a lot of CW "drumming" or acoustical "doodling" when I'm thinking. Guess the only way to know for sure is build it and give it a whirl.
  8. W7UUU

    W7UUU Principal Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    I've used them as well (Heathkit - forget the model) but don't care for the feel. I want metal bits moving.

    Just don't care for the feel.

    and as has been mentioned, if you run any end-fed antennas or have other possible "RF in the shack" issues, you may well have issues.

    N7ANN likes this.
  9. N7ZAL

    N7ZAL Ham Member QRZ Page

    Don't recall any Heathkit keyers like that, or maybe I didn't notice at the time. If they made one and it was a marketing flop, maybe that is an indicator of the idea. :)
  10. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is the one I have.


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