k7sv at adelphia.net k7sv at adelphia.net
Wed Sep 15 13:54:03 EDT 2004

I've been looking to streamline keyboard entries when using contest software. I've also been looking for a functional compact keyboard that takes up less space at the operating position.

In looking at a number of inexpensive keyboard mapping tools I found one that seems to do exactly what I want. It's a shareware product called KEYCHANGE for Windows marketed by Intes. The URL is www.keychange.com. Price is 19.95.

I wanted to be able to remap certain keys on the compact keyboard I recently acquired. As an example, let's say I want to set the keyboard up for the CW Sprint. I use Writelog. The enter key is programmed to send the exchange based on my answering someone elses CQ. F2 provides the same info based on someone answering my own cq. On the compact keyboard, Insert is located a couple characters to the right of the space bar. The [ and ] keys are located in the usual position and I have no problem in getting my right pinky to them without any of my other fingers leaving home row. KEYCHANGE allows me to remap the F2 and insert funtions to those keys. Another example is the + key in Writelog sends qsl and enters the Q in the log. The plus key is upper case and requires shift/+. With KEYCHANGE I reversed + and =, so a single keystroke now sends qsl/entry.

KEYCHANGE is easy to use and runs in the background. I can set up for a specific contest and simply restore the keyboard to normal afterwards without having to change KBD files or boot. 

Another product I tried wouldn't allow mapping of programmable keys or function keys. It also would't do AltGrSh (don't ask me what it means) so if I generated a kbd file using it, keyboard cw keying in Writelog didn't work. 

I haven't used it in the heat of battle, but so far it looks very encouraging.

The inexpensive compact keyboard I mentioned has some drawbacks. First the tactile feedback if very poor. At several points in the cw sprint I found I had to strike the insert key multiple times to get the contacts to make. It's an ORTEK Technologies MCK-91. I don't recommend it, but wonder if anyone else has found a compact keyboard (approx 12 X 5 1/2 inches) that has a good feel to it?

73 de Larry K7SV

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