[HSMS] Preliminary Report on CMOS Super Keyer 3

Date: Fri, 31 Oct 1997 02:21:13 +0000
To: hsms@tree.net
From:  Shelby Ennis, W8WN 
Subject: [HSMS] CMOS Keyer

Preliminary report on the CMOS Super Keyer 3 [and HSCW]:

Several times the CMOS Super Keyer 3 has been mentioned by various
operators, on this and other reflectors.  I had wanted for some time to
upgrade my programmable keyer, and this looked exceptionally good.  I have
just completed it, and here is a preliminary report.

It's really unbelievable.  It seems capable of everything promised - and
that's a LOT!

A brief summary of the keyer is found in the August 1995 QST, pp. 26-28.
While the article pretty much tells everything the keyer can do, it somehow
doesn't give a true feel of the power of this keyer.  It is an electronic
keyer, but capable of emulating any of the commonly-used keyers (including
a hand-key mode).  It is a memory keyer with 6 memories (or 18 smaller
memories in 3 banks, if you prefer).  It can link and/or repeat messages,
have an inserted break for adding signal report or whatever in a
standardized contest format, automatically insert a contest serial number,
even change speeds in the middle of a message.

It is capable of continuously adjustable speeds between 5 and 60 wpm (or
can be set for any range you wish.  I have set mine for 14 to 50 wpm).  If
you want to know at what speed the knob is set, you ask the key.  It tells
you!  (In code, of course).  In fact, you can inquire about any setting or
message in the key's non-volatile memory and it will tell you.  You can set
the keyer so that it does these things at the currently-set transmitting
speed, or lock it so that the command functions, questions, answers, etc
are all done at one specific speed, regardless of the transmit speed set.

HSCW?  Put the speed you wish at the head of the message, and it plays at
that speed (up to abt 5000 lpm).  At the end of the message, tell it to
repeat itself.  It repeats and repeats until you tap the paddle.

For HSCW above 1000 lpm or so, it will be necessary to add a audio osc and
key the rig by that means.  This I have not had time to do yet.  But the
keyer itself seems to be all it's cracked up to be - and that's a LOT!

The circuit board and parts kit go together in only an hour or two.   The
instructions are as good as anything I've seen.  But for a real klutz like
me, drilling holes for the 6 push button switches, the input and output
jacks, etc, took several more evenings.  And no, it didn't work on first
test.  I had reversed a couple of wires on a plug, and the monitor speaker
was shorted to ground.  But the keyer itself was fine, thanks to the
excellent PC board & instructions.  I've had the kit for several weeks, but
just found time to put it together this week.

I tried a couple of little audio oscillators, but neither of them could be
keyed properly at HSCW speeds.  So I'm going to have to build up something
better, or else find a (simple) way to key a continuously-running
oscillator before I can try it for HSCW work.

The semi-kit is still available from Idiom Press, Box 1025, Geyserville, CA
95441, for $55 plus $3 shipping and handling in the US.  (I previously
wrote to them, asking about the availability of the kit, but got no reply.
I did receive the kit pkg in about 2 weeks when I tried an actual order).  

So if you're having trouble with the computerized HSCW xmsns, you might
wish to try this keyer.  Besides the kit, you need a box, 6 push-button
switches, a pot & knob, jacks, and a 5-volt 3-terminal regulator if you
want to run it off of your 12 volt supply (tho 3 AA cells will do fine).

I have no pecuniary or other interest in the keyer or company - only
looking for better ways to do things (that also don't cost too much).  This
report is really very brief, considering the number of things this keyer
can do, and makes no effort to cover all of its functions and capabilities.
 In fact, about the only thing the keyer can't do is to accept input from a
keyboard.  This keyer may or may not be be for you.  But if you're in the
market for a new keyer, you really should read the writeup on this one!

73, Shelby, W8WN

Shelby, W8WN - EM77bq


Comments: Rein, W6/PA0ZN

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