Ive been fooling around with the WKUSB Keyer by K1El. There are some cool features embedded into the keyer like a USB interface which allows you to interface with the keyer using a small app shown here:
This tool allows you to set keyer parameters via computer screen rather than a more cumbersome key input via paddles. I always have trouble remembering the command structure and syntax so this application makes things pretty simple. One bit that is confusing to me at times are all the various timing changes available. There are some pretty important interactions which can fool you if you are not careful; such as: keying compensation, weighting, ratio. All of these affect in some way the sent Morse stream of characters and when you throw an amp into the mix the number of permutations and combinations increase. Also this keyer offers a new twist in a control called “sample”. Apparently there is a A/D portion of the circuit that senses a key contact closure and sensitivity can be set to eliminate key bounce. All of this “custom” tuning is new to this old duffer and so Ive been experimenting for a day or so and think I have found the perfect (for my setup at least) combination of operating parms. This is a nice keyer and offers a multitude of variables to make it fit in in almost any circumstance I can think of. There are good build instructions, good help files and a number of canned applications to get the keyer running and operational. Ive not even touched its capabilities yet but feel comfortable in stand alone mode now. The most important feature for my station remains the PTT line separate from the Key line. Programmable delays which delay Key behind PTT allows the amp to complete a switch into transmit prior to RF reaching its relays. A very nice feature indeed.
On another note I have just secured a second radio. I found a used IC-735 that will allow me to put into service a battery/emergency powered backup rig so I can participate in Field Day or have comms when power outages occur. This has been a long standing desire and I’m now on the road to attaining this goal.It may take me a year to get it all sorted out but that is fine….we are on the trail now.
Thanks for reading my Blog. Best, Chas W5PG