Looking for suggestions on keyers.

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by W6PAN, Feb 20, 2016.

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  1. W6PAN

    W6PAN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hello all,

    I'm trying to learn CW and have been practicing my TX on a J-38 knockoff and a Heathkit oscillator. I just picked up a used Kent twin paddle and now I need a keyer to practice with.

    Anyone have a suggestion for an inexpensive keyer I can use stand alone with a sidetone, or in conjunction with the Heathkit oscillator?

    I was thinking about building either a Hamcrafter's K16 or a PicoKeyer as I've never done a build before and thought it might be fun.

    Also toying with idea of building a RockMite 40m as I do not have a rig at the moment and it has a built in keyer.

    Thoughts? Suggestions?

    Thanks in advance for any replies.

    73 de KK6PVK
  2. DK7OB

    DK7OB Ham Member QRZ Page

    I am using the Ultra PicoKeyer. It's a very easy to build (less than 20 parts).
  3. KC3RN

    KC3RN Ham Member QRZ Page

    This. It's a fun and easy build, and works really well. The volume coming from the internal speaker is kind of weak, but you can plug in an external speaker with no problem.

  4. WA7PRC

    WA7PRC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Today, THE keyer to use is the K1EL WinKeyer USB (http://k1el.tripod.com/). It interfaces with your computer via a USB connection, and communicates with your favorite logging program that sends Morse (Ham Radio Deluxe, N1MM, et cetera). Aside from other features, when you change the speed on one, the other follows. There will never again be a situation where the PC-generated Morse and a keyer-generated Morse are at different speeds.

    On its own, the WinKeyer USB is a fine keyer, with several memories, and full control over the parameters. Very good support from K1EL and others is via a Yahoo! group.

    vy 73
    Bryan WA7PRC
  5. AA4OO

    AA4OO XML Subscriber QRZ Page

  6. K6FNI

    K6FNI XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Agreed. I built one. It was an easy kit to build and it works well.

    Robert, K6FNI
  7. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I didn't know the Rockmite has a built-in keyer, that's pretty cool.

    If you want to 'practice' and are thinking of building a rig that has a built-in keyer, I'd probably just do that and use its built-in keyer. If you want to do that 'off the air,' just transmit into a good shielded dummy load and nobody will hear you, so it's a free way to practice.

    If you don't already have a paddle key, zillions are out there but the ubiquitous Bencher works very well and isn't expensive.
  8. KI4ODO

    KI4ODO XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'm not sure if this will fit exactly what you are trying to do, but for a good, solid, simple, and fairly feature packed keyer, I love my Logikey K-5. I have used it with three Kenwood rigs and am now using it with my Ten Tec. It have never had any issues with it and it is very easy to set up. Speed varies by a large dial on the front, and programming in messeges for things like contest exchanges is a snap. Just my two cents. And btw it runs off of three AAA batteries that last forever and a day.

    Just another one to take a look at. Good luck
  9. K8PG

    K8PG QRZ Lifetime Member #333 Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Look at one of MFJ'S Grandmaster keyers,I HAVE 3 of them...oldest from 1977
    all working well.
  10. WA7DU

    WA7DU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well, yeah...if you want to be like every other Tom, Dick, and Harry. If your life's fondest wish is to be part of the great unwashed masses, then go for a set of Bencher paddles. They work fine, I suppose, and that spring lasts 20 years or 1,000,000 dits and dahs, which ever comes first. And, if you do wear-out the spring, odds are 50/50 that you can scavenge a replacement out of one of your kids' toys. Rock 'em Sock 'em robots come to mind. So, go ahead--buy the Bencher just like the overwhelming proportion of the proletariat has always done. Don't break new ground; don't do anything to draw undue attention to yourself; keep your nose to the grindstone, keep your hands to yourself, and keep your eyes down cast. In the long run, you'll be glad you bought the Bencher, and the guy on the other end of your CW contacts really won't care one way or the other.

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