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[TenTec] Keying Problem with Paragon 585 and Giehl Chip V27

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Subject: [TenTec] Keying Problem with Paragon 585 and Giehl Chip V27
From: W4EF@dellroy.com (Michael Tope)
Date: Fri Aug 8 03:11:48 2003
Several weeks ago, I described a keying problem with my
Ten-Tec Paragon I (e.g. model 585) whereby the rig does not
sequence properly when T/R switching in the CW mode. The
problem only occurs over a vary narrow speed range (between
~23 to 25 WPM as measured on my AEA MorseMachine), and
only when I am using split frequency or RIT/XIT. The end result is
that CW characters are truncated which makes the rig difficult to
use when working weak signal DX on the low bands where split
frequency and low speeds often go hand-in-hand. At higher or
lower speeds, or if I am running simplex with no T/R frequency
offset, the rig works fine.

Several people who responded to my initial inquiry suggested
that I get a firmware ROM upgrade from Ten-Tec. When I called
Ten-Tec, they asked me what ROM version I was using. When I
looked at the ROM board, the EPROM label in my rig simply read
"Paragon", but since the price of the Ten-Tec V3.90 ROM
was relatively low, I ordered it in hopes that I had a previous
version of firmware and that V3.90 would fix the keying problem.
Sure enough when the V3.90 ROM arrived, I plugged it in and
the keying problem was gone. Unfortunately, so was all of the
keypad functionality that I had grown accustomed to having. Turns
out that when I bought the Paragon used in 1992, it had come
with a Giehl Chip that the previous owner had installed (not
knowing better I just assumed that I had stock Ten-Tec firmware).
Thus the keying problem was due to the Giehl Chip I was using.
When I enquired with Jack Giehl as to this problem, he said the
last version of Paragon Software he sold was V30 and that he
wasn't aware of the keying problem I described per se, but he
did say that the newer chip "might" fix it. When I checked the
version number of my Giehl firmware (using the shift and enter
keys), I discovered I had been using V27 all this time.

Is there anyone out there who is using the Paragon I (model 585)
with the V30 Giehl Chip. If so, do you having any problems with
your keying when running lower speeds (23 to 25 wpm) and
running split frequency at the same time? It is easy to check
for the problem using a wattmeter (non peak reading). Just put
the rig in CW mode, switch to split frequency (no real frequency
offset is needed - only the offset function needs to be activated
- activating either "split", "RX OFF", or "TX OFF" will cause
the problem to occur), and then start keying the rig with a string
of dits and adjust the speed of your keyer while you observe
the wattmeter. When I send a string of dits, I see an average
reading of about 35 watts, except over the affect speed range.
At around 24 wpm, the T/R switching gets irregular and the
average reading drops to around 18 watts. If you listen to the
CW on an outboard receiver over the affected speed range, it
obvious that the rig is dropping characters. Everywhere else
(simplex or outside the effected speed range), my CW sounds
fine on an outboard receiver.

The problem is not earth shattering, but it is very annoying. I
can't count the numbers of times that I have tried responding to
a split frequency DX station on 80 or 160 meter CW, only to
look over at the wattmeter and notice that it wasn't following my
CW. The speed range effected is small, but more often than
not, it is where I want to set the keyer to call a weak signal
DX station. Anyone have any experience with this problem and
the Giehl Chip? Does Giehl V30 cure the problem. Is there a
hardware tweak that will cure it? I really hate to drop $45 bucks
on a new Giehl Chip if its not going to change anything. I can
go back to using the Ten-Tec V3.90 firmware, but the keypad
functionality is so poor compared to the Giehl firmware that
I don't want to do that unless there is no other fix to the keying

Thanks and 73,

Mike W4EF...................

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