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Emerald Mtn was a gem - but my sending was not! - N0DET

For all of you who suffered through my activation today - thank you for your patience! I was having keying problems - at first I thought it was due to my cold hands, and then sending with gloves on, but then realized that my paddles seemed to have a mind of its own! At times the paddles were not responsive, other times it would go off endlessly on its own… Still, I managed over 50 contacts, with a number of DX stations too (thank you!!). This intermittent problem was very frustrating, and I thought about QRTing early but you guys kept calling and calling - and it was a blast!

When I got home, I looked more closely and found that the key jack in the HB-1B may have separated from the board. That would certainly explain it! I’ll open it up on the bench tomorrow and check it out - that needs to be fixed before the next activation FOR SURE!

So, I was not drunk, nor was I hypoxic, even though my cw sounded that way. Thanks to all who hung in there with me!

Dave, N0DET (Emerald Mountain - W0C/FR-058 - Colorado)


In radios that are mainly SMD components, the SMD parts are placed and soldered by machine, but sockets, wires and other large items are added manually so you rely on the manual solderer to do their job correctly and on Quality Control to check it.

I hope the resoldering of the connector to the board fixes the problem.

In my IC703 I got inconsistent keying when using certain antennas. This was found to be due to the key socket not being earthed to the PCB at the socket. It was earthed, but via a line that ran a long way across the board before connecting to the CPU. any RF on the paddle common/earth line was carried right into the CPU. Earthing it to the PCB shield fixes the RFI problem completely in that case.

73 Andrew VK1DA/VK2UH

1 Like

Lucky our chasers are so dedicated.

A couple of weeks ago I had a similar problem on an activation. Its so embarrassing.


It IS embarrassing!! I don’t want anyone to think I can’t send well! BTW, I removed the faulty key jack (seemed to be coming apart a bit due to 10 years of use!) and have new ones coming from Digikey in a couple of days. Fortunately it seems to be a very common part. :+1: