[TenTec] QSK or not?
Rick - DJ0IP / NJ0IP
Rick at DJ0IP.de
Mon Mar 17 16:15:59 EDT 2014
The experience the guys in my club (BCC) made was that the vacuum relays
were more reliable.
That was about 15 years ago.
73 - Rick, DJ0IP
(Nr. Frankfurt am Main)
From: TenTec [mailto:tentec-bounces at contesting.com] On Behalf Of Kim Elmore
Sent: Monday, March 17, 2014 7:14 PM
To: Discussion of Ten-Tec Equipment
Subject: Re: [TenTec] QSK or not?
Why use relays when we have PIN diodes?
"People that make music together cannot be enemies, at least as long as the
music lasts." -- Paul Hindemith
> On Mar 17, 2014, at 11:43, "Rick - DJ0IP / NJ0IP" <Rick at DJ0IP.de> wrote:
> Different relays have different life cycles.
> AND, keep in mind that this spec was specified for a relay when
> switching between two STABLE STATES.
> If you run full QSK with the relay following the keying, sometimes the
> relay is in transition when it gets a command to go the other way. It
> must overcome inertia and change directions. THIS IS ADDITIONAL WEAR
> AND TEAR on the relay.
> THIS type of operation is not considered in the specs.
> Also, when Phil wrote that paper on QSK, he was referring to the
> open-frame relay used in ALL Ameritron amplifiers.
> I guarantee you that this relay will NEVER WEAR OUT when trying to
> follow QSK keying. . .
> BECAUSE IT WILL BURN UP LONG BEFORE IT WEARS OUT! (hi)
> UNFORTUNATELY AMERITRON IS HOPELESSLY BEHIND THE POWER CURVE WITH
> THEIR DEPLOYMENT OF THIS RELAY!
> I would remind people at this point to keep in mind that there are 3
> VERY different kinds of relays used for T/R switching in the linear
> amplifiers that we use. The differences are HUGE!
> You'll find pictures and short description of these on my web site,
> Here: http://www.dj0ip.de/ten-tec-stuff/misc-stuff/linear-amp-relays/
> ALTHOUGH AMERITRON publishes a switching time of 15mS for its relays
> and [falsely] advertises them as "fast- nearly as fast as some QSK relays"
> [puke], these relays are DIRT SLOW.
> In reality they switch with 17 to 20mS delay, depending on the situation.
> *** AS MEASURED LAST WEEK BY BOB, K4TAX. ***
> Phil is absolutely right!
> (sorry Gary)
> NEVER-THE-LESS, there is still a way to have near QSK with the slow
> Ameritron Amps (without the expensive QSK-5) and still hear in between
> words; just not in between dit, dahs, or characters. It's just a
> matter of proper time sequencing. I've been doing it with these amps for
> As long as you can hear between words, there is no tangible
> disadvantage between QSK that can hear between dits. OK, perhaps you
> notice someone is transmitting when you are... 1/10 second later than
> with true full QSK. If you are willing to accept this, you can avoid
burning the relay.
> In order to do this, you will need an external keyer that has
> adjustable time sequencing. There are a few of these on the market
> (i.e., WINKEY, MFJ-495, etc.) AND several rig interface boxes such as
> the "MicroHam MicroKeyer II" have adjustable delay (time sequencing)
> parameters. If you understand the timing, it's a piece of cake to set
> this up. With devices like that, you may use any keyer - EXCEPT the rig's
own built-in keyer.
> 73 - Rick, DJ0IP
> (Nr. Frankfurt am Main)
> -----Original Message-----
> From: TenTec [mailto:tentec-bounces at contesting.com] On Behalf Of GARY
> Sent: Monday, March 17, 2014 4:40 PM
> To: TenTec Reflector
> Subject: [TenTec] QSK or not?
> I operate QSK and have the past thirty years using TenTec equipment.
> One reason given by others for not running QSK is that the relays wear
> out sooner in the transceiver and amplifier.
> from http://www.ad5x.com/images/Presentations/QSKals500als600RevA.pdf
> How Long will the Relays Last?
> What kind of life can you expect from the relays? The relay life is
> specified at 100 million operations minimum at 36,000 operations/hour.
> The service life increases as the operations/hour decreases. So let's
> use the standard PARIS text that is used for determining code speed.
> PARIS has 10 dits and 4 dahs = 14 relay operations/minute at 1 WPM.
> Assuming an average of 25WPM code speed, you would have 360 relay
> operations per minute. So, 100 million operations = 4630 hours. Now
> you normally operate 50% transmitting and 50% receiving during a QSO,
> so your relay operating time should double to 9260 hours. There are
> 8760 hours/year, which means you could operate 1.057 years at 25 WPM
> before the relays exceeded their lifetime spec - IF you operate 24
> hours/day! But when you operate, you are probably listening more like
> 75% of the time and in a QSO 25% of the time. So this says that your
> relay operating life will be over 4- years if you operate 24
> hours/day. So what do you normally average in operating time/day? I
> bet it is not more than about an hour/day. But let's say you average
> 4- hours/day of operation (i.e. you are not married and have no kids,
> you don't shop or eat or sleep much, and you don't hold a full-time
> job). So the relay life will extend to about
> 25 years! The bottom line - Don't worry about wearing out the relays
> anytime soon.
> 73 ES DX,
> Gary - AB9M -...-.-
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