CW is dead, long live CW!

Many predicted that CW would disappear once it was no longer needed, this goes into the “Dewey Defeats Truman” category. Listen to any CW contest or to the pileup a rare DX station attracts when on CW.
Your SERC Elmer would like to help those who are trying to learn CW and/or those who are looking for suggestions on hardware and software.

Some CW Hardware Links:

  • K1EL Electronic Keyers Roll your own with the K14 Kit or buy one ready to go. Your Elmer built the K14 with a touch paddle and is very happy with the results.
    • UPDATE: This keyer was used for the CW station at the 2013 SERC Field Day and if failed. Not only did it fail but it must have sent 12 v.d.c down the key ground wire. This blew the rigs key input ground wire fusible link (a 0 ohm resister).
    • I would NOT recommend this keyer. It is being replaced with a CMOS III.
  • PicoKeyer from Ham Gadgets. This is a very popular keyer.
  • Jackson harbor Press sells a number of keyer kits. The web page is pretty dated so I’d contact them via e-mail.
  • Idiom Press sells the very popular K-5, a complete keyer or the CMOS3 and CMOS4 kits (scroll down the page). Your Elmer’s home keyer is a CMOS III from the days before Idiom started selling them. It has worked flawlessly for many years.
  • CW Touch Paddles. A very interesting substitute for expensive paddle keys. My portable K14 keyer uses the Model P3 with two silver quarters for the touch pads. These are a bit tricky to get used to but are very workable with some practice.