[RFI] DigiKeyer II

Jim Brown jim at audiosystemsgroup.com
Tue Dec 17 21:50:01 EST 2013

Hi Peter,

See comments interspersed.

First, download and study k9yc.com/RFI-Ham.pdf  I suspect a Pin One 
Problem (see the tutorial) on the 746.

On 12/15/2013 2:15 PM, Peter Laws wrote:
> IC746Pro, microHAM Digi Keyer II.
> One USB cable from the radio to the interface.  One squid from the
> interface to the radio with 1/4" plug for CW, a 1/8" plug for CI-V and
> a howevermanypin DIN for ACC1.  There are snap-on chokes on the ACC1
> cable and the USB cable from the factory.  The interface is connected
> to the ground bus and the bus is connected to a ground rod buried
> outside the window.

A connection to earth is NOT part of a solution to RFI.  Proper bonding 
of equipment IS.  That includes short fat copper (#10, or copper braid 
stripped from transmitting coax) from every chassis to every other 
chassis that is interconnected. In your case, that means from the 
computer to the microHAM to the 746. The rig must also be bonded to the 
power system ground, and to all other grounds in your home.

>   Radio is also connected.  To make sure
> (hopefully) there was nothing coming down the coax, there is one of
> those Palomar buildityourself chokes on a foot long piece of LMR400 in
> the shack.

Useless.  See the tutorial. Also see the Power Point on Coax Chokes at 
k9yc.com/publish.htm Those cores are resonant around 2M.  For a choke to 
be effective at HF, we must move the resonance down to HF by winding 
multiple turns.  Again, study the tutorial.

> Interface works OK and I played a little in CQ WW RTTY and November
> Sweeps CW.  I use FSK not AFSK so that's hard keyed as is the CW (I
> think I set it to use the internal K1EL chip).  All of that works
> great.
> But when I went to play in SS SSB, I had horrible horrible RF getting
> into my audio.

Maybe a Pin One Problem, but also a possible power problem.  How are you 
powering your microHAM?  The wall wart that came with it, or from the 
12V bus?  Use the wall wart, not 12V.

> I finally had time today to troubleshoot.  SWR (on three wire antennas
> coming through an Ameritron remote switch) was acceptable but best on
> the WARC band trap dipole (in fact, I'd forgotten just how well that
> antenna works even without the tuner.

SWR has nothing to do with it.

>   I went to 17 where I knew the
> SWR was good and did some tests. I can hear the distortion through the
> headphones with the monitor on.  Unplugged CI-V, no change.  CW, no
> change.  Unplugged ACC1 .... no more distortion.  Got on 17 and
> chatted with a feller up in Indiana and he heard no distortion either
> (though I gather the HC4 in my Heil boomset wasn't doing me any
> fidelity favors :)).  Plug ACC1 back in, back to interference.

  Is this problem present on all bands, or only on 17M?  Take one of 
your ferrite cores and wind 4-5 turns of the ACC1 cable through it. Do 
the same with the USB cable.

> Interestingly, this unit doesn't power itself off the 5 V available on
> the USB connection but off the 8 V available off the ACC1.
> I've added two more snap-ons of unknown mix to the big cable from the
> interface and this has made no difference.

Again, ferrites do nothing at HF unless you wind turns.

I also suggest that you contact Joe, W4TV, who makes it his business to 
know the common cause of issues with his products.  I doubt that the 
problem is in his gear -- I think he got them fixed years ago.

73, Jim K9YC

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