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Using a MFJ CW Straight Key and or Iambic paddle key with the Flex 6400

KG5PTE
KG5PTE Member ✭✭

Hello I plugged in an MFJ Straight key model 566M and a Iambic paddle key model 422B into the key jack on the back of my Flex 6400 and notice when I try to send dashes all it wants to do is send a series of dots. I tried this on my Icom 7300 and the keys did the same thing. Where in the Flex is the setting to assign a key so that the radio knows what brand and make and model of key er I am using ? Where is the setting on the smart SDR version 3.5.9 to set the type of CW key er you are using ?


Thank you

Answers

  • KD0RC
    KD0RC Member, Super Elmer Moderator

    To use a straight key plugged in to the key jack, turn off Iambic on the control panel. To use paddles, turn Iambic back on.

    If you plug the output of a keyer into the key jack, that is equivalent to plugging in a straight key, and Iambic should be off.

  • Gord-VA7GP
    Gord-VA7GP Member ✭✭

    Hi, @KG5PTE

    You cannot plug both a straight-key and a paddle in simultaneously ... that for sure will not work :-O

    As Len says, the key :-) to making this work is the iambic setting - on (blue) for your paddles, and off for your straight-key.

    If you're like me, you like to switch between manual and auto mid-QSO. In my case, I use an external WinKeyer for my paddles (Vibrokeyer actually) and connect the keyer-output in-parallel with my straight key, with my Flex 6400 iambic off. Then, I can switch and use whichever key I want, whenever I want.

    Hope this helps,

  • Al_NN4ZZ
    Al_NN4ZZ Member ✭✭✭

    On my 6600 ( and previously also on my 6700 ) I connect my paddles to the KEY input and my straight keys to the Accessory input via a breakout adapter. That allows me to switch between them at will.


    Regards, Al / NN4ZZ

    al (at) nn4zz (dot) com

    6600 SSDR V3.5.9

    TGXL 1.1.20

    PGXL 3.7.32

    Win10 Pro V2004

  • KD0RC
    KD0RC Member, Super Elmer Moderator

    Wow, nice set of Begali keys Al! I have the Begali Simplex and love it.

  • Neil D Friedman N3DF
    Neil D Friedman N3DF Member ✭✭✭✭

    With paddles, set iambic to style A or B, depending upon your preference.

  • KG5PTE
    KG5PTE Member ✭✭

    The bottom line here people is when I plug a MFJ Iambic or Paddle key (MFJ Model 566M or 422B) in ANY Radio Flex 6400 or Icom 7300 and press the paddle down and hold it I am not getting dashes only dots something with the configuration of the radios.


    Thanks

  • Neil D Friedman N3DF
    Neil D Friedman N3DF Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2023

    As indicated above, for either your straight key or your external electronic keyer, you need to assure that the iambic feature of your 6400 is turned off. You also need to assure that your plugs are correctly wired to your cables, per the 6400’s hardware reference manual:

    ”A TRS [stereo] plug must be used for proper connectivity to the radio. Connect the key to the Tip and Sleeve, leave the Ring unconnected.”

  • KD0RC
    KD0RC Member, Super Elmer Moderator

    Hi James, does your keyer or straight key terminate in a Tip/Sleeve (TS or mono) or Tip/Ring/Sleeve (TRS or stereo) plug? If it is a mono plug, that is likely the issue.

    From the Flex 6400 and Flex 6400 Hardware Reference Manual:

    When using a straight key or keyer, you need to turn off Iambic mode. If it is blue (ON), as below, click it to turn it off.


  • KG5PTE
    KG5PTE Member ✭✭

    I am using a straight key with the stereo jack two black rings.

  • KD0RC
    KD0RC Member, Super Elmer Moderator

    If the straight key is sending automatic dots, you need to turn off Iambic (see pic in previous post).

  • Al_NN4ZZ
    Al_NN4ZZ Member ✭✭✭

    Len wrote: If the straight key is sending automatic dots, you need to turn off Iambic (see pic in previous post).

    73,

    Len, KD0RC


    Or connect the straight key to the ACCESSORY connector, then it will work correctly even if you have paddles plugged in to the key jack and iambic turned on.


    Al / NN4ZZ

  • KG5PTE
    KG5PTE Member ✭✭

    Thanks for all the information. The straight key is working fine now. All is good, but how does a station operating remotely . Operate CW ? That is the radio and key are at my house. But the remote user on smart link is a mile away ?


    thanks.

  • Gord-VA7GP
    Gord-VA7GP Member ✭✭
    edited November 2023

    Hi, @KG5PTE

    If you are using a Maestro, this has a key-input and a built-in WinKeyer chip. You will send as you usually do, hearing a local sidetone from your Maestro, and turn off the sidetone from your FlexRadio - the Flex's sidetone will be irritatingly delayed 😯

    If you don't have a Maestro, but instead are using SmartSDR on a PC, then I can recommend:

    RemoteKeyerInterface is a small PC app which generates a local sidetone (your choice of frequency), and provides a keying-signal directly to your FlexRadio (using API)... SmartSDR isn't actually involved in the keying process, but it does correctly display TX / spectrum etc correctly.

    It works.

    You have to join the GoogleGroup to access Files.

    It does require minor construction: a couple of wires to serial-port pins, and pull-up resistors. Essentially you are keying a Serial Port signal-line, as an input to the RemoteKeyerInterface application. In the app, you do have to select the correct serial port; I've found it best to use a legacy computer with a true, built-in serial port rather than a USB-to-Serial converter but my testing wasn't exhaustive - it may work for you if you want to try it.

    HTH!

  • KD0RC
    KD0RC Member, Super Elmer Moderator

    Gord has the right answer for using a key remotely.

    The remote station can also use CWX. They type text into the box and SmartSDR turns it into code.

    Click the CWX button in the lower left part of the SmartSDR screen to open the CWX window.

  • KG5PTE
    KG5PTE Member ✭✭

    No Maestro The remote user is on an HP Pavlion desktop only.


    Thank you.

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