Show off your electronic keyers

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by AA4OO, Feb 16, 2020.


Do you use an electronic keyer separate from the one built into a transceiver?

  1. Yes

  2. No

  3. I'm a real ham and only use manual keys

ad: L-HROutlet
ad: l-rl
ad: Left-3
ad: L-MFJ
ad: Left-2
ad: abrind-2
ad: Subscribe
  1. AA4OO

    AA4OO XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    We have a thread for showing off our keys... How about one for showing off our electronic keyers?

    Ham Keyer
    One unique thing about this keyer is that it has inputs for both Paddle and Straight key. If you plug in a bug it debounces the Dits, and if you're feeding a high voltage relay beast like my old tube rig, the grid keying output protects your fingers from a voltage bite when you go through the keyer.



    Next up is the indomitable
    MFJ Super Memory Driven Memory Keyer
    aka MFJ-493



    And last but not least. My newest, yet oldest keyer...

    Hallicrafters HA-1 from 1960
    Tube smell goodness with a Mercury Wetted relay capable of handling 500v switching... Yeow!
    It also makes an excellent hand warmer on cold winter nights.



    So show your keyers some love and post 'em if you've got 'em...
    AB7Q, KC7JNJ, N4NYK and 4 others like this.
  2. WW2PT

    WW2PT Ham Member QRZ Page

    My keyers are all built into the rigs. :D

    AJ6KZ and AA4OO like this.
  3. WD0BCT

    WD0BCT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Many years ago I used separate Iambic keyers with paddles. There were many to choose from. I settled upon a Heathkit keyer with built in paddles. After a 20 year hiatus from radio I found that built-in keyers on modern rigs work just fine and reduce the clutter of an outboard keyer.

    Heathkit 1410 keyer.jpg

    I do have an MFJ keyer kicking around the shack but use it for practice only. Never had it on the air. It mostly just sits in a box on a shelf. I should practice more often!
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2020
    AJ6KZ and N4NYK like this.
  4. M0LEP

    M0LEP Ham Member QRZ Page

    There's a K1EL K16 in that little tin...
    AA4OO and WW2PT like this.
  5. WW2PT

    WW2PT Ham Member QRZ Page

    This was my first electronic keyer. Never used it much, but it was a fun build back when I was a kid.

    AA4OO likes this.
  6. AA4OO

    AA4OO XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I used built-in keyer in my KX3. It even has a second key input for which I made an adapter to plug a straight key in addition to the paddles at the same time.

    But then I picked up a Ten-Tec Eagle that only offered iambic mode B. That drove me nuts and I purchased my first outboard electronic keyer. As I kept using the Eagle, I wanted a cheap keyer with push button memories for working contests and DX... that led me to the old MFJ-493.

    Then I got into vintage radios and now mostly use my Ten-Tec Century/21 and more recently a Heathkit HW-101.

    I've measured my Heathkit having between 40-70 volts on the key line at up to 200mA. I don't entirely trust that the grid keying circuits in my older HamKey and MFJ keyers will hold up if the voltage or current climb for some reason. That was my excuse to pick up a Hallicrafters HA-1. It handles up to 500v with serious amperage on the key line using its beautiful, mercury wetted relay. Plus the flashing neon bulb is mesmerizing.

    Everything is wired up such that I can use any of the radios with any of the keyers and any of my paddles or manual keys on the desk without changing any connections.

    Variety is the spice of life.
    N2AMM likes this.
  7. AI3V

    AI3V Ham Member QRZ Page

    2019-06-16 14.46.11.jpg

    Built it in 1984.

    AA4OO likes this.
  8. KF9VV

    KF9VV Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have been running a Ham Radio Projects MORRTY. It is a WinKeyer clone, and works well with N3FJP and N1MM. Adjustable speed pot works great, and turning it will produce a pop up window in N3FJP which indicates speed. Plus, it plays macros from N3FJP, so I can just whack a couple function keys to do the typical DX QSO. Slick.

    The keyer is the box laced under the radio:


    I also use a Ham Gadgets Pico Keyer when operating from the RV. It is compact and full of features. I also own a Logikey K3. It is off-line right now after a massive shack simplification that took place this winter. Right now, the only part of my shack not in the above picture is the power supply. The power supply is down near the floor in the lowest desk shelf. I like a very simple and uncluttered shack.
    N2AMM and AA4OO like this.
  9. N3PM

    N3PM Ham Member QRZ Page

    No pics of my actual units. Started with a T-T KR5, then an HD1410 that eventually got the touch keyer "tin foil on the paddles" mod. From there, a couple of HB keyers, built with 74xx series ICs. An MFJ or two followed. Now, the ones built into the rigs are fine.
    Mike N3PM
    AA4OO likes this.
  10. N5CM

    N5CM Ham Member QRZ Page

    WinKeyer USB and Unified Microsystems XT-4 Memory Keyer here. Both have memories, top-mounted buttons, and speed-control knobs.

    The WinKeyer is my primary keyer.

    I bought the XT-4 for portable, mobile, Field Day etc. No computer required to program it. Very easy to program a memory.
    WA7PRC likes this.

Share This Page