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[CQ-Contest] Deading dits chomped off

To: cq-contest@contesting.com
Subject: [CQ-Contest] Deading dits chomped off
From: Tree <tree@kkn.net>
Date: Sun, 7 Mar 2004 19:13:12 -0600
List-post: <mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
The problem of chopping off leading dits has always been one of my
personal hot buttons.  Back about 15 years ago the MM3 keyer was
the hot new toy.  It included a PTT output which was really cool, 
but the firmware didn't initially have any delay between when the
PTT was asserted and CW started coming out.

Luckily, AEA was willing to fix that in firmware and the MM3 was 
really a class act.  You could send a signal dit and it didn't
matter if your transmitter/amp were keyed down initially or not,
you would see your wattmeter jump up the same amount.

This was really useful when I operated EA9IE in the CQ WW CW in 
1990.  I knew that there wasn't a loud POP on the bands when I
started transmitting (which you typically hear if your amp relays
are being hot switched).  However, the other EA9's that were a
few hundred meters away had no idea what I was trying to say when
I asked them not to use VOX.

It is really a form of pollution on the airwares, and I am glad 
finally that some of the other logging programs are including 
this as a feature.  TR Log has had it all along.

If you are worried that you might be sending out garbage at the
start of your transmissions, listen up the band with a second 
receiver.  If you hear a big click when you send your first dit,
and it goes away if you put your rig in transmit before sending 
a dit - you have some timing issues to resolve.  Typically, if
you put about 10 or 15 milliseconds between when your PTT is
asserted and when your CW starts, everything will be totally
settled.  The delay is almost impossible to perceive.  You can
try reducing it until you start to hear the click.

You could even use an AM radio probably (tune up to the top
of the band and transmit on 160 or 80 meters).

As for the K2 part of this, the PTT signal is the same as one 
side of the paddle - which means it is more than a matter of 
new firmware to fix that problem.  Your best bet is to use the
K2 in QSK mode, and key your amplifier with the PTT signal coming
from your computer.  

73 Tree N6TR
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