Most decadent encoder dials you've ever used

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KC1ACY, Dec 2, 2015.

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  1. KC1ACY

    KC1ACY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'm designing a front panel for a radio, and I'm curious about opinions on rotary encoder dials.

    Some dials feel cheap, some feel rugged, some make me feel almost inappropriately gleeful in the turning-this-dial-shouldn't-be-this-awesome kind of way. There are two components at play here, the hidden encoder piece that controls the feel of the motion and the physical cover that your fingers touch. I'm interested in opinions on both.

    What dials do you prefer and why? What made them feel good to you? What radios would you want to steal dials from if you could pick and choose?
     
  2. DK7OB

    DK7OB Ham Member QRZ Page

    When I was young, I preferred dials with inertia and close to no friction, so you could give the knob a good spin and it turned over the full scale. Remember the old radios with silk smooth scale drive that had a flywheel?

    Now, with fingers getting stiffer, I prefer adjustable friction dials like on my TS590. I still love a certain amount of inertia. Makes the rig feel more "high end".
     
    WA4BRL and DL4CW like this.
  3. N2EY

    N2EY Ham Member QRZ Page

  4. KD8DEY

    KD8DEY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Nothing speaks of quality like the feel of an old fashioned weighted knob.
     
    WA4BRL likes this.
  5. AA9SD

    AA9SD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I like the "big dial" on my Ten Tec Omni VII. Adjustable friction is great.
     
  6. N2EY

    N2EY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Look at the vernier dial on a WW2-era LM frequency meter. It's just the best.
     
  7. WA4BRL

    WA4BRL Ham Member QRZ Page

    You mean the ka-nob? I think the polished chrome knobs on the older Heathkits are the most beautiful by far. Heathkit_Apache_TX-1.JPG
    HEATHKIT APACHE TX-1 TRANSMITTER


    Others with the matte finish chrome are not nearly as impressive.
     
  8. KP4SX

    KP4SX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    One of the best!

    [​IMG]
     
  9. KC9UDX

    KC9UDX Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    I really like the VFO knob on my KW.

    It's got a crank handle on it, and it has a two-speed geartrain with a centrifugal clutch.
    Simla-Widder-Colorado-3k.jpg
    If I want to turn it real slow, I grab it by the knurled portion.

    If I want to tune around the band, I grab the crank and turn it moderately fast.

    If I want to get to the other end of the band, I turn the crank quickly and it's there in a half a turn.
     
    N2EY likes this.
  10. KP4SX

    KP4SX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I realize the topic specifies 'decoder dials' but most of these old boat anchor dials can be adapted to a digital wunder-gizmo. I just thought of the dial on my Galaxy V. Two Jackson Bros verniers in tandem. Smoother than silk! Maybe Swan did this as well?
    Something I learned about in messing with old radios is Nyogel. Its the lubricant that is often used in camera lenses, phono tone arms, etc to give that silky drag. Comes in various grades and runs pricey but well worth the cost.
     

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