Re: Keyer for a Ten Tec Rebel

Gwen Patton

Given it's Arduino-based, I wonder if there might be a sketch that could be added to the existing codebase for it to add keyer capability? There's a number of Arduino-based keyer sketches out there, but I don't know how adding it would be done, or even if there's room in the Uno board inside the radio.

There's any number of YACK (Yet Another CW Keyer) units out there, though, that could be set up externally, or even inside the case, wired to the key jack. I have a couple, a YACK keyer I haven't built yet from Ebay, another that I got from Electro-Resales that I use as a code oscillator connected to my computer's line in jack, a Nanokeyer, and an extremely tiny board I bought pre-built from 


The other YACK keyer I bought Ebay was from Possumlodge, but he doesn't list it anymore.

He had a predrilled case for it as a separate product, but looks like he's out. He has a touch keyer, with touch paddles, and a case, but that may not be to your liking. I built this board into a cheap 100x60x25 mm project box I got on Amazon. It's big enough for the board and a 9v battery to power it. I put the piezo buzzer on the bottom of the case under the board, with a hole drilled for the sound to escape. With little rubber feet on the bottom, there's plenty of open space for the sidetone sound to get out clearly if you use the sidetone on the keyer. I turn it off when I use it with any rig that has sidetone already, and turn it on when I use one that doesn't have sidetone.

All of these are VERY inexpensive options save one, the Nanokeyer:

This one costs, basic kit form, $44 Euros. It doesn't come with a case OR the Arduino Nano it uses as its brains. You might want to use different buttons depending on the case you get, and not mount the buttons it comes with on the PCB. I did, and I'm thinking of desoldering them and adding buttons on wires, to give me more case options. The Nano you can get on Amazon for a few bucks, the Chinese clones are dirt cheap. I bought 10 of 'em for $20 a couple of years ago, and just used one of those. Worked fine. So you have to supply case and processor, and additional hardware depending on how you enclose it. It's the most expensive option of the keyers I bought, and they all work fine.

Last keyer I have is an old Super CMOS III built into the Lucite dust cover for a Bencher BY-2 paddle. I bought the paddle AND the cover with the keyer already installed at a hamfest for $80 around 15 years ago when I got my General. They don't make 'em anymore. I still use that keyer with the Bencher from time to time. I just replace the batteries and it keeps on plugging.

I've also got a tiny 80m Tixie transceiver, a modification of a Pixie circuit that incorporates a TICK keyer chip. Unfortunately, TICK chips are no longer made either. It's a shame, they were great little keyers. There's probably other similar devices available now, but I have no experience with them.

Hope this helps. If I can give any further advice about any of them, just drop me a note. I use the Kit-Projects keyer with my portable QRP rigs that don't have keyers in them. But most of my rigs have keyers, like my Small Wonder Labs DSW-20, my QCX, my KX3, and some others I probably missed. But the Crickets and my IQ32 don't have keyers, so it was worth the $16 or so I paid for it.

Gwen, NG3P

On Mon, Aug 19, 2019 at 7:20 PM K0CSL <craigk0csl@...> wrote:
I recently purchased a used Ten Tec 506 Rebel, thinking it would be to fun to experiment with as I continue to hone my CW skills.  Unfortunately, I don’t have a keyer to go with it.  I’ve never used a stand-alone keyer before, so I could use some assistance.  Any recommendations?  Are there any products I should avoid?


Craig Long - K0CSL


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