straight key hookup to 1/8" phone jack and wiring

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by KG7TDC, Jun 4, 2016.

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  1. KG7TDC

    KG7TDC Ham Member QRZ Page

    hi, i am not sure about wiring a straight key to phone jack. i noticed this model of key has 3 contact points, don't i just two? would i ever want to jump to the third contact? i have new rig and want to make sure it's connected properly. let me know your opinion after reviewing attached pics.
    thank you!
    Glenn
    kg7tdc
     

    Attached Files:

  2. KC9UDX

    KC9UDX Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    I can't tell by the pictures, but it may be a Normally Closed contact.

    You normally wouldn't use that.

    It could also be a ground, which you could ground it if you like, but I wouldn't.

    You only need to connect one Normally Open contact. You can find it with an ohmmeter or continuity tester, or just try it out. Only one way will work.
     
  3. K7MEM

    K7MEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    The answer is in your transceivers instruction manual. What rig are you using?

    Newer transceivers, and even some pretty old ones, often have built in keyers. The plug required is usually a 3-conductor (Stereo) Phone plug. The three contacts are for the left paddle, the right paddle, and ground. However, if you then want to use a straight key, which only has two connections, you still need a 3-conductor (Stereo) Phone plug. You connect the key to the "Tip" and "Ground" contacts. The center contact, "Ring", is left unconnected. There is then usually a switch or a menu selections that disables the keyer.

    There are even rigs with two key jacks, like the ICOM IC-746Pro. There is 3-conductor (Stereo) Phone jack in the front that is meant for paddles. Plus there is a 2-conductor (Mono) Phone jack in the rear that is intended for straight keys or bugs. The fun part is that the front 3-conductor (Stereo) Phone jac can also be use with a straight keys or bug, but then there are some menu setting needed to make it work.

    Read the manual very carefully. You probably won't break anything by connecting a key incorrectly. But it's nice to get it right the first time.

    p.s. Like in your bio, I also have a HW-8. Nice rig. Works great.
     
  4. KA0HCP

    KA0HCP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Newer rigs, and rigs with keyers use three contact plugs. It makes sense to go ahead and wire all your keys with one, and you'll never have to bother again when switching between old and new rigs or keyers.
    TRS = Tip, Ring, Shield/Sleeve

    Tip - dits
    Ring = dahs
    Shield/sleeve = ground
     
  5. KC9UDX

    KC9UDX Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    I think both you guys missed the point. He wasn't asking about the plug to the radio.

    He has a key with three terminals on it.
     
  6. K7MEM

    K7MEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Didn't you answer that part? I just expanded on it because using a 2-conductor can cause issues with newer rigs.
     
  7. W7UUU

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

    Just grab a VOM and meter the thing.

    Two pins will show "a short circuit" when the key is closed. Connect to those.

    Dave
    W7UUU
     
  8. KA0HCP

    KA0HCP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    [edited]

    One is probably a Normally Open (NO) contact, the other a Normally Closed (NC) contact.

    NO, would be typical usage, the other may be used for relay actuation, etc. or for a transmitter setup that requires NC actuation.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2016
  9. KG7TDC

    KG7TDC Ham Member QRZ Page

    hi, based on feedback i went ahead and used a jump wire to ground then plugged it in and ....IT WORKED! thank you for all your feedback , hope to hear you soon. the steps along the radio path can sure be exciting...and nerve racking but with the help of fellow hams.. a pleasure.

    best regards,
    Glenn
    Kg7tdc.

    PS: no smoke today from the radio....thats a good thing!
     
  10. W7UUU

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

    Glad you got it sorted out :)

    See you on the bands - I work quite a bit on CW

    73
    Dave
    W7UUU
     

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