28 November 2012

Keyer "in crosta di sale"

CQWW CW contest is one of those events that can be tackled with a simple 2-memory keyer: callign in one, "CFM 599 TU" in the other. It also overcomes my "safe" sending speed limit of 20 WPM: in QRP the slower the better and send it right the first time!
After a couple of contacts I dug my trust keyer based on PIF16F84, opened it to insert the second AA cell required and I discovered that one battery had leaked on the circuit board covering the IC with salt.

Ouch! What I loved of this keyer was that it lasted forever on a couple of AA batteries. Unfortunately I am not able to program a 16F84 anymore, so I will have to switch to something else. Fortunately there is a fairly complete (and complex!) keyer based on Arduino/AVR boards by K3NG, so I am probably going for it.