Please Fix Iambic A Keying Mode

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  • Updated 9 months ago
Please fix Iambic A mode so that it works like it should. I discovered it's broken when my Winkeyer developed a problem and I had to switch to the Flex built-in keyer.

There are three iambic modes: basic, iambic A (Curtis), and iambic B (Accu-Keyer). The difference between them is how dot/dash memory is implemented. Basic iambic doesn't have dot or dash memory. Iambic A has dot, but not dash memory, and iambic B has both dot and dash memory. The SmartSDR implementation of Iambic A is really basic iambic with neither dot nor dash memory.

Here's how to tell the difference: set the internal keyer to its slowest speed (5 WPM). Send a "N" as fast as possible (quick tap of right paddle followed quickly by a tap of left paddle while still holding the right paddle, and then let go of the right paddle before the dah is finished). In true iambic A, this should result in the keyer generating an N. In the SmartSDR implementation it generates a T because it doesn't properly implement dot memory.

Now try sending an "A" quickly by quickly tapping the left paddle followed by quickly tapping the right paddle while still holding the left paddle, then quickly release both. In iambic A this will result in the keyer generating an E (because there's no dash memory). In Iambic B the keyer generates an "A".
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Jerry Gardner

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Posted 9 months ago

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Bob Craig, K8RC

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I have never heard your description of iambic A & B.

My understanding:
Mode A (also known as original Curtis) has no memory, dot or dash.
Mode B has memory for both.

It is further explained in this 3rd party document:
http://www.palm-radio.de/pdf/IambicPaddleModeAorBfunction-1.pdf

73,

K8RC
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Jerry Gardner

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See the app note for the Curtis 8044--it distinctly mentions memory.

http://users.ox.ac.uk/~malcolm/radio/8044print.pdf

As it was written by John Curtis himself, the designer of the 8043 and 8044, and the one who coined the terms Iambic A and Iambic B, I'd consider it definitive over any other reference, including the one you posted,
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Bob Craig, K8RC

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Have YOU read John Curtis' explanation? It agrees with the document I posted.

Read it again, sir.
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Jerry Gardner

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Yes, I've read it. He talks about dot/dash memory in this paragraph:

"Dot memory is absolutely essential in any serious electronic keyer. Dot memory allows a keyer to remember that you hit the dot key even though you hit the key early and did not wait for the dot to commence. Send a fast “N” on any keyer to test this feature. You cannot hit the dot and dash key fast enough to prevent both transmitting. If you do not have dot memory, the dot will be lost in most cases."

The Flex Iambic mode A does not implement either dot or dash memory, and hence loses the dot when sending an "N".

I have a keyer here based on the Curtis 8043 and I just tried it--it implements dot memory, but not dash memory.

The WinKeyer implements Iambic A with a slight variant on the Curtis method--it implements dot memory and partial dash memory.
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Bob Craig, K8RC

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The part you're quoting from that document are AFTER the introduction of Type B. The last sentence of the section you just quoted IS:

"For true iambic operation, both dot and dash memories are required for reliable dot or dash insertion."

WHICH IS TYPE B!!! 

So put it on type B if you need help with your dits. 

-sk-
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Jerry Gardner

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That's not the point. The point is that the definitive reference for correct type A behavior is the Curtis IC, and SmartSDR doesn't implement it correctly.