During my activations on Mallorca last week I noticed that my Palm Portable Key (PPK) was getting more and more unreliable - as if the contacts of this straight key were dirty or corroded. However, cleaning did not help much.
Finally on my last day my PPK refused to work at all: I was not able to key my transmitter.
This was the reason why I mentioned “QSD” in my self-spots for EA6/MA-028.
As a workaround I used the arrangement shown in the photo below: holding one connector (connected to chassis ground) in my left hand and touching it with the tip of the key connector extension cable that I held in my other hand.
This was the reason why my “fist” was slightly different during this activation.
Back home I found that it was not a contact problem of the PPK itself.
Instead it was a fault of the connecting cable of the PPK: The conducting shield was interrupted and I could easily tear it out of the plastic insulation, see the last picture.
And I remember that years ago (when I started with SOTA) I had a similar issue with a faulty cable of another PPK.
See also https://thewakesileave.wordpress.com/2016/02/05/re-wiring-the-palm-portable-key-ppk-and-the-red-cable-mystery/
Thank you for your understanding.
For PPK owners: Please check whether the cable of your PPK is OK.
73 Andy DK7MG