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[CQ-Contest] Nagging problem

Subject: [CQ-Contest] Nagging problem
From: snichols@mvosprey.com (Scott Nichols)
Date: Tue Feb 19 09:34:29 2002
I have an equipment problem that is driving me nuts...This reflector
seemed appropriate as another contestor might have experienced the same

My station, in part, consists of a FT1000MP, interfaced with my computer

via the serial port (COM1) for rig control, and via LPT1 for the CW
interface...Have old Heathkit external keyer and Bencher paddles going
to the second paddle input on the 1000MP...I use CT as my contesting

My problem...When using CT to send CW, I am limited to VERY low power or

my 1000mp TX keys and locks on...The only way to unkey the rig is to
turn the RF OUT knob way down...(I'm talking about 10 or 15 watts on 15
metres, ugggggg!!)...The only band that seems unaffected is 10 metres,
where I can crank the amp to full power with no problems...

Simple problem of RF getting into the cabling between the rig and
computer, right ? That's what I thought too...After replacing all
cabling with shielded cabling etc etc, the problem is still
there...Here's the quirk...I can use other programs (LOG-EQF for
example) to send CW via the keyboard and same computer-to-rig
interfacing with no problems...Full power on all bands works OK...

In addition, the lock-on problem only happens after I first use CT to
send CW...Here's a typical scenario that I tested a dozen times last
night to be sure it wasn't intermittent...

-Turn rig ON with computer OFF...All OK...Can send CW with paddles at
full power...
-Turn computer ON without CT running, all OK...Can use full power with
paddles, and LOG-EQF will send via the keyborad OK at full power...
-Start CT, use paddles to send CW, all OK...Hit F4 on keyboard to send
my call, and the TX keys and locks until I turn RF OUT down to minimal
level...Now, even using the external paddles will lock the TX on...
-Close CT, paddles still lock TX on...
-Open LOG-EQF, can now use either the paddles or keyboard to send CW...

BOTTON LINE...Can't use CT to send CW via the keyboard at any more than
15 watts!! (made for fun last weekend I'll tell you!!...Wife's dream
almost came true, she thought I was going to turf everything out the
basement window Saturday afternoon)...

What am I missing here ? I realize that it is an RF problem, but why
only when running CT ? If it happened when I was using other programs to

send CW, I could understand...Is there something in CT that I have set
wrong ? (I do NOT use CT for rig control, therefore no COM port settings

are used in CT SETUP)...OR...Is there a menu setting in the FT1000MP
that could be fouling things up ?...The ONLY time this problem arises is

when I start CT...( No slight against the program, it likely isn't even
the program's fault, although I am beginning to wonder)

Again, I have used shielded cabling and tried torroids everywhere etc
etc etc...

Any help would be GREATLY appreciated...It's baffling me...Sorry for the


73, Scott VE1OP

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