[CQ-Contest] Key Clicks

Barry W2UP w2up.co at gmail.com
Thu Jun 4 15:38:38 EDT 2020

It would be helpful if you named names (of radios), rather than making some
cryptic innuendos.  That way, people with the "problem" radios can check
into it.

Barry W2UP

On Thu, Jun 4, 2020 at 1:15 PM Jim McCook <w6ya at cox.net> wrote:

> This subject has been hounded in the past, but I think the problem is
> getting much worse.During WPX when conditions were good the entire 20m
> band was loaded with clicks.No, my NB was not on!Many stations louder
> than the clickers had NO clicks.Nearly every vacant frequency on my K3
> (rare) was filled with key clicks!It’s annoying to try copying a 4 digit
> number from a weak station with QSB when the clicks coming from way out
> of my passband, often 2-3 KHz away, are making it impossible.
> This is also a problem with daily, routine operating.  Severe key clicks
> are common.  No, my NB was not on.
> I wrote down 40 calls of obvious clickers and looked them all up after
> the contest to see what radios they were using.14 ID'd their radios.
> The result was interesting. Most were new radios.It became obvious that
> some radio brands do NOT routinely generate clicks.  Obviously there
> could be a problem with hot switching, but it's doubtful that would be a
> problem for an aware contester.
> Many of those new radios have adjustable CW rise time.The manufacturer’s
> default setting with many of them is 4ms or lower!This means this radio
> is highly likely to be a key click generator!That setting should be at
> least 6ms and preferable 8ms to avoid clicks.My suggestion is to use
> Email to make friendly, non aggressive contact and explain the problem,
> offering help to ID and test after a fix is utilized.Sometimes there is
> a mod that can be installed to stop the clicks.People should be made
> aware of that when necessary.73, Jim W6YA
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