Carl builds the ULTRA-PK “PicoKeyer” CW memory Keyer Kit

Many thanks to Carl who writes:

Hi Thomas,

I’ve grown to love the prerecorded CW memories on my KX2. I’d fallen out of love with my 817ND because it didn’t have them.

Then I saw your video where you used a PicoKeyer. So… I ordered one.

But I messed up and it came in kit format.

So, tonight I built my first Kit-anything in about 30 years.

And, it actually worked!

What a cool little device..

Thank you for sharing this, Carl! This little kit is a lot of fun to build and quite affordable. The end product is one you’ll use for years to come as well.

It’s an amazingly capable little keyer and a proper value!

I purchased mine from this Bay seller in Ft Collins, CO

6 thoughts on “Carl builds the ULTRA-PK “PicoKeyer” CW memory Keyer Kit”

  1. I too assembled an Ultra PicoKeyer. It gave keying errors when plugged into my KX2 or KX3. The Ring connector on the keyer’s output jack is connected and the trace to that pin must be cut for it to work with Elecraft radios. Once that was done it worked perfectly with my Elecraft radios and my FT-891.

    1. Was it acting as though you were holding a straight key down? I’m having that issue with my X6100. Had to make a custom TRS cable leaving the R line disconnected on both sides.

      1. After assembling my Ultra Picokeyer, it would not work with my KX2 – it was giving a keying error on the display. After replacing the “faulty” (NOT) keyer Output jack, the issue was still there. I did some checks and found that there was a unrequired connection to the Ring which Elecraft rigs do not like when used with an external keyer. I shipped my assembled keyer to RADIODAN, W7RF, in Ft. Collins, CO. He checked my keyer and said that it was working perfectly. I told him about the keying issue with my KX2 and about the Ring being connected. He confirmed my observation. I asked him if he could simply cut the trace to the Ring on the output – which he did. That corrected the keying issue. Sidenote: RADIODAN told me that he had purchased the design / rights to the Ultra Picokeyer – he did not design it . He did not understand why that trace was there and said that he would eliminate it in a future revision. If you choose not to cut the trace, you will need to make a custom cable which lacks a Ring connection.

  2. I built one and found it very easy to do and am amazed how much he packed into that little chip’s firmware. There are tons of options and tricks if you work through the manual. The battery lasts forever too. Try turning on/off the automatic character and word spacing. It’s weird, but worth playing with -at least for practice. I built a paddle right into mine for one less wire when portable (I can still plug in a paddle).

  3. A little late to this blog post but I bought one last week and assembled mine after having a few beers. Quite possibly the easiest thing I’ve soldered up. Its a great way to add functionality to older Radios or ones where the keyer is more temperamental. I struggle with my Xiegu x6100 but this device solves that issue.

    1. I also built one of those primarily to use with my FT-891. However when used with either an Elecraft KX2 or KX3, it causes a keying error. The ring connection on the keyer output is connected which the Elecraft radios don’t like. The solution to to cut the PCB trace on the keyer going to the ring connection on the keyer output. That has no adverse effect on keyer performance.

      Derek WF4I

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