[TenTec] QSK or not?

Kim Elmore cw_de_n5op at sbcglobal.net
Thu Mar 20 18:41:54 EDT 2014

Just so everyone is clear, *in the US,* the external QSK5 runs about 
$370 US, while the internal unit, dubbed the QSK5-PC, runs around $270 
US. The price difference resides with the power supply built into the 
external QSK5 unit.

Kim N5OP

On 3/20/2014 6:55 AM, bcarling at cfl.rr.com wrote:
> Ver yinteresting gary...
> I have to wonder why some guys will spend $500 for an external accessory to do QSK with
> their linear amplifier.  The system in my TT 422 is so simple. A couple of simple boards and
> a relay.
> On 19 Mar 2014 at 22:28, Gary Smith wrote:
>> That was a good breakdown, those are fun to do & read.
>> I look at it this way; I've been hamming 35 years and I ran QSK for
>> the last 33 years. I've never worn out a relay in an exciter. I had
>> the Corsair II since it was new & made the backup rig in 09.
>> In amps... The original SB220 had two that needed replaced. I put QSK
>> in it and that was good for several years using a RJ1A. I bought an
>> old Alpha several years ago and I had the amp less than a month &
>> needed to replace the HC-1A in it, no knowing the history of the
>> relay I can't speak for why it failed. I opted to replace it with one
>> of the RJ1A silicone encapsulated ones which was extracted from a
>> defibrillator unit I believe. It has had no trouble. I have a spare
>> in case it fails again but I'm not holding my breath. :)
>> Also, I have a remote QSK unit containing two RJ-1A's within which is
>> inserted in the line and offers bias control. I used that with an
>> Ameritron AL-1500 for several years to give me QSK, I've never had
>> any trouble with it and I bought it used.
>> 73,
>> Gary
>> KA1J
>>> 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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>>> TenTec at contesting.com
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