What is meant by “Beacon Mode”

April 27th, 2007

Beacon mode, a feature of many electronic keyers, is the continuous repetition of a message until the operator intervenes. Read the rest of this entry »

Why does my key have a switch on it?

April 4th, 2007

My Ameco K-4 key has a thing like a switch on it. It’s a thin metal piece with a small plastic knob and it can be rotated in underneath a flange on the lower contact. What exactly is it for?

Read the rest of this entry »

Will the OHR DD-1 Digital Dial work with my radio?

April 4th, 2007

We do not directly support the OHR DD-1 as a digital dial for radios other than OHR, but in practice it can be used with many. The manual includes block diagrams of several basic receiver types with indications of where you would look for a connection point. If your radio does not have a countable frequency available at a jack (e.g. an “accessory jack”) you will need to have some understanding of the electronics involved, and an ability to read the schematic diagram for your receiver.
But of course the DD-1 is also set up for use as a stand-alone counter. So if you can find a relevant frequency to count, you can use the DD-1, and often you can program the “digital dial side” of the device to show your operating frequency. The usual problem is that some receiver designs use different LO frequencies for different bands or groups of bands. One solution to that problem is to set up different offsets in the five memories of the DD-1, and selecting them is simply a matter of pressing a front- panel button.

The connection parameters are essentially identical to the AADE DFD1 (which we also sell). Neil provides detailed notes for a number of radios on his web site at www.aade.com.

What is “Straight Key Night?”

November 30th, 2006

Straight Key Night is a 24-hour event during which hams all over North America get on the air using straight keys (i.e., manual telegraph keys). Straight Key Night begins at 0001 on January 1st each year, and goes to 2359Z. Depending on what time zone you are in, Straight Key Night begins in the afternoon or evening of New Year’s Eve for most of us.

Straight Key Night is sponsored by the ARRL. Participants are encouraged to send in logs and comments on their activity, and their nomination for the “best fist” they heard or worked. The ARRL’s announcement for SKNĀ  is printed in “QST” or can be read on their web site.

SKN is not a contest as such, and participants are encouraged to slow down, chat a bit, and enjoy the ambiance which is reminiscent of the radio spectrum in the earliest days of radio telegraphy. You are forging a metaphysical bond with generations of manual telegraphers going back to the 1840s.

How do I wire my new Bencher Key?

April 2nd, 2006

I do not understand the wire conenctions located under the base that face in opposite directions? What is the light green plastic loop for? Also,the slip-on connections are not the most convenient. Where do I get replacement slip-on connections Read the rest of this entry »

Can I convert my 100A from one band to another?

January 23rd, 2006

It is possible to convert a 100A from one band to another, but it is not practical. Read the rest of this entry »

Can I build the DD1 into my OHR 500?

January 20th, 2006

The quick answer is yes– it’s your radio, and your counter, so you can do whatever you want with them. You won’t even void the warranty, unless there is a problem caused by the “modification.” But in fairness, I have to say it is not a real good idea. Let me explain why we don’t offer a digital display as an option, and invite you to reconsider. Read the rest of this entry »

Straight Key or Paddle, which should I start with?

January 12th, 2006

That’s a very good question because there are two contradictory schools of thought, and you are likely to encounter both of them before you ever send a dit. Read the rest of this entry »

What are American and European “styles?”

January 11th, 2006

American and European (or British) “styles” are techniques for sending Morse code with a telegraph key, but they can also refer to the design of the key. Read the rest of this entry »

What are GHD’s optical paddles?

January 11th, 2006

Using the GD/GN507 as an example, the “mechanical” or “GN” version of the paddle has two pairs of metal contacts which are “closed” by moving the levers. They’re like the contacts on a straight key or most any other paddle or bug. The closing of the contacts also stops the motion of the lever, providing a crisp tactile feedback to the operator. Read the rest of this entry »