Last week I ordered a pico keyer plus kit from hamgadgets.com to use as a beacon/foxhunt controller. I ordered it late Friday (like 3 pm) and had it in the Monday mail (and this was the $2 USPS shipping). Great if you ask me….
Below is a picture of it as it arrived Monday. For the size, I thought they would stuff it in a padded envelope. Not at all! It was wrapped on all sides in bubble wrap and put in a sturdy cardboard box, no chance of damage in the mail. NOTE: In the demonstration picture there is nothing to scale it to. I was under the impression it would be about 6 inches long :) Not a problem at all, just a little surprising at first (I could have just looked at the specs and seen this).
- NEW – header connector makes it easier to build into your own gear or a custom cabinet!
- NEW – Includes voltage regulator components for optional external DC power!
- Low voltage operation – from 2.5 to 5.25VDC
- Ultra low current operation – typical sleep current well under 0.1µA, only 1-2mA when keying. A single lithium coin cell can last many months, or a couple of years depending on use.
- Low parts count for quick, hassle-free assembly. Most builders with some experience report the average time to assemble is about 15 minutes. Figure under an hour even for beginners.
- PCB-mounted, 1/8″ (3.5mm) jacks for your key and rig
- PCB-mounted speed control potentiometer
- On board lithium coin cell battery (included) and battery holder
- On board speaker for sidetone
- Dual 2N7000 keying output MOSFETs for solid-state rigs and some tube gear, handles up to 60 V positive or negative.
- Simple one-button “menu” setup
- Setup and message entry using your paddle
- Dot and dash memories for easy code with perfect timing and spacing
- Works equally well with single-lever or dual-lever keys using iambic “squeeze” or non-iambic keying
- Dual Speed feature – Speed is adjustable from 5 to 60WPM from the menu. You can use the speed control pot to adjust from 5 to 63 WPM, and instantly revert to the stored speed at any time!
- Speed control range (min/max) can be set to your preference
- Variable pitch audio sidetone can be turned OFF or ON
- MCW mode uses the keying output as PTT to send audio Morse code over voice radios – now you can practice Morse on the air with your friends using 2M or 70cm FM.
- Adjustable weight
- Selectable iambic Mode A or Mode B as well as Ultimatic mode
- Hands-free Tuneup mode lets you select a steady carrier or 50% duty cycle dits
- Beacon mode allows repeating messages with user-specified delay up to 99 seconds
- Straight key autodetect – plug in a straight key and cycle power, and the keyer will automatically use straight key mode with all memories available!
- Message pause – insert a pause to manually send RST or other information in the middle of a saved message.
- Four message memories hold up to 60 characters each, and can be chained together in any order to make up to a 240 character message. Message #1 can be set to auto-start when power is applied, great for propagation beacons.
- QSO/serial number can be inserted in a message, auto-incremented and decremented. You can set or reset the QSO number from the setup menu. Counts up to 65536, which should be enough for the biggest contests.
- Optional leading zeros can be sent for QSO numbers less than 3 digits.
- Cut numbers can be selected for QSO numbers in stored messages. Zeros, nines, both or neither can be selected.
- Transmitter QSK delay compensation – Lengthen elements by a preset number of milliseconds to correct for transmitters that tend to shorten dits and dahs in QSK mode.
- Paddle switching – effortlessly select left or right handed operation without switching wires or turning the key upside down
- NO BATTERY BACKUP REQUIRED to retain settings or memory!
- Easy to integrate into new homebrew or kit rigs, or add it to your older equipment.
- “Factory Reset” option to restore all default settings to your PicoKeyer
For$18.50, I am thrilled so far…