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Operation of YouKits HB-1B

Discussion in 'QRP Corner' started by KD8ZM, Jan 27, 2019.

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  1. KD8ZM

    KD8ZM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I started using the YouKits HB-1B (MK3) with a paddle for the first time, and I've found that in certain cases, the manual does not seem to describe how the radio really works. Or at least, not the way mine works. For instance, when trying to enter my call sign into the automated CQ sequence, the paddle doesn't operate the way it's supposed to (both left and right key send dashes), making entry of my call sign impossible. The paddle does operate normally when transmitting. That's with a Bencher paddle. When I use a UniHam paddle, the key doesn't work at all even though it works with my other radios. So it's one heck of a puzzling radio to me.

    Does anyone know of a manual or video series that is accurate? I can't seem to find any manuals online other than the one I have.
    I think this is a good radio but from what I read, YouKits seems to be notorious for a lack of support or documentation.
    Thanks and 73
    KL7KN likes this.
  2. KL7KN

    KL7KN Ham Member QRZ Page

    That is an odd one all right. If this gets resolved, I'll add it to my MFJ-9200 manual. The keyer used in your rig is common to all HB-1x and HS-1x radios as well as the CRK-10A - and perhaps others I'm not aware of.

    BTW - Lary at QRVtronics may be a source for a new keyer chip if this turns out to be a bummer

    Anyway - back on task-
    If I might ask (no intent for insult, just filling the squares)

    With the paddles plugged in and at power on, you hear the CW character "A" Yes?

    Does the speed change work correctly? (Press CQ/SET button for approximately 2 seconds - hear the Morse character "S")

    Press CQ/SET button longer and hear Morse character "I"

    When exiting, you get a clear "E" character

    I believe the speed setting doesn't give a WPM like some more advanced systems - does you sending speed basically match the keyer speed? I ask becuase folk normally send their callsign faster that their regular speed.

    I'll check back for your feedback....

  3. KD8ZM

    KD8ZM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi Don!
    Thanks - I figured out what the problem is: the radio does make the s, i, and t sounds, but they are so faint that I have to have the antenna unplugged or on a dummy load to hear them. Hihi.
    The other problem is that when I enter my call into the automated CQ, it turns the 8 into OI and the Z into MI. I am definitely entering my 8 and my Z with the correct spacing but the radio keeps misinterpreting it. Another annoying issue with this rig.
    I loved this radio with a straight key, but it's not the greatest with a paddle.
    Many thanks for your kind reply. 73!
    Brady kd8zm
  4. KL7KN

    KL7KN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Sounds like a keyer speed mismatch.

    The keyer chip is a bit sketchy, to say the least.

    Oh, other than that, a radio you can still have fun with....
    KD8ZM likes this.
  5. AG6QR

    AG6QR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    When keying the 8, make sure to close the dit paddle during the third dah. Likewise, during the Z, close the dit paddle during the second dah.

    I don't have experience with that particular keyer, and my suggestion might be more extreme than required, but it's based on my experience with Elecraft keyers. On them, if, when forming an 8, you key the dit when you want to hear the dit, it's very likely to be a millisecond too late, and though it may sound perfect, it will show up in the display as OI. You must key the dit before you want to hear it, and let the keyer space things out to start it when appropriate.

    Try that and see how it goes. Slowing the keyer down may also help.
    KL7KN and KD8ZM like this.
  6. KD8ZM

    KD8ZM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Richard, I think you nailed it. I slowed the keyer waaay down to see if I could get the radio's computer to recognize the 8 and Z as only two letters instead of four. After a few tries, it worked! So that did the trick, thank you.
    As a humorous aside, I had to attach a dummy load to test the automated CQ function because even at 3W, every time I would test the thing, someone in New England would answer! So I got a few QSOs out of it, too. Fun stuff.
    Thanks again for solving my problem - greatly appreciated!
    Brady KD8ZM
    AG6QR likes this.
  7. KU3X

    KU3X Ham Member QRZ Page

    Glad you resolved the problem.
    I use Palm Pico Paddles and have my YouKits set at 23 wpm. Entering my call sign went smooth as silk. I had the R4020 first and now have the 4 band version (15-40 meters). Both worked great.

  8. KD8ZM

    KD8ZM Ham Member QRZ Page

    All I know is that the keyer in my KX3 has no trouble reading my call and everything else I send whether it's 22 wpm or 15 wpm, but the Youkits does unless I set it really slow. So it must either be that it's more sensitive or that there is lot to lot variation in performance. I ordered the MTR-3b and when it arrives I'll see how that one does.
    Maybe I will set up a keyer to send the Youkits radio my call, and see if the Youkits has any trouble with that. That would be one way of knowing for sure if the problem is my sending, or the radio.
    In general, I like the Youkits. I wish it didn't auto-detect whether you are using a paddle or a straight key, since I'd like to use it in conjunction with an external keyer, but that won't work on the Youkits the way it will on other radios. A manual selection of key type would be better for me but that doesn't seem to be an option.
    On a more important note, I wish the Palm paddles were still made, as I would have liked to use one. I ordered the American Morse DCP instead, as a second choice but haven't received it yet.
  9. KU3X

    KU3X Ham Member QRZ Page

    Sorry you're still having issues. I hope you can resolve it. I guess I'm too late since you ordered more paddles, but Palm Paddles are still made.

    The Palm Paddles were too big for me. I like the Palm Pico Paddles.
  10. KD8ZM

    KD8ZM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I actually meant Pico, not just Palm. But thanks for the link.

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