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[CQ-Contest] contest keyer

Subject: [CQ-Contest] contest keyer
From: eric@k3na.org (Eric Scace)
Date: Mon Jan 22 18:25:31 2001
Hi Tom --

    Opinions included in your message below.

-- Eric K3NA

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-cq-contest@contesting.com
[mailto:owner-cq-contest@contesting.com]On Behalf Of Tom Rauch
Sent: 2001 January 18 Thu 19:35
To: cq-contest@contesting.com
Subject: [CQ-Contest] Keyer question

I'm "doing" a keyer for contesting and general ragchewing, and I
have a contest related question.

The keyer has a LCD display that displays what is being sent
either through the paddles or from a computer. Would there be any
use to running the keyboard through the keyer also, and allowing
the *call sent* through the key paddles to be outputed as a
"keystroke" to the computer for logging?

COMMENT:  No.  This could cause problems if one is sending on the paddles 
but has left the logging software expecting keyboard
presses for another function (e.g., half way through entering a packet 
message or inter-operator talk message).

In fact, I send rather poorly with paddles.  It's more useful for me to be 
able to send off the keyboard!  Logging software is a bit
awkward as it requires two extra keypresses (e.g., CT requires Alt-K) to 
enter, and then leave, keyboard sending mode.  A better
solution would be to step on the footswitch (that isn't used during CW, 
just during SSB) to cause the box to intercept keyboard
keypresses and send them as CW.  Of course, this won't work at all when a 
laptop is used for logging -- which is common.

In other words, you hear AA1K and send his call and then punch a
single button and the keyer enters the call into your logging
program without typing it out?

Would it be useful if the keyer was also a "smart" interface, and
could do timed switching functions like give **advanced warning**
to amplifiers and other equipment that a signal was going to appear
in XX milliseconds?

COMMENT:  Yes.  The best logging software is doing this for all other 
transmissions.  It would be great if a keyer did it, too.

What if it had a voting system (for multi-transmitters used in a multi-
single) that allowed only one transmitter on, and stored and
forwarded the delayed CW to the second rig in gap periods? It
would have an output that would allow one RF relay to pick up
either one rig or the other, and be timed so the rigs never

COMMENT:  Interlocks that allow the PTT input (ORed with the radio's amp 
keyline output) to suppress manual keying would be great.
Do not store characters for later transmission.  It will be very likely 
that whatever the operator was attempting to send will be
sent at the wrong time if it is transmitted later.  For example, if the 2nd 
operator attempted to dump his call into a pileup, and
the keyer swallowed the transmission until later, the call could eventually 
be transmitted on top of the target DX station, causing
everyone to get mad!

Please e-mail me if you have any comments.
73, Tom W8JI

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