Other SOTA sites: SOTAwatch | SOTA Home | Database | Summits | Photos | Shop | Mapping | Sotlas | FAQs | Contact SOTA

Palm mini problem

I had a really weird problem today. Palm mini and MTR5b are usually pretty bomb proof but left hand side of the key sent dits quite happily but the right hand side sent a dah then a dit. It was pretty annoying and didn’t really look like the contacts were dirty or any other obvious issue.

Just wondering if there is a feeling that the key is starting to get to the end of its life or if the problem is something else. Since getting home I’ve not been able to replicate the problem at all.

All in all it was frustrating for the activator and probably very confusing for the chasers. I’d hate for the key to be dead. I rely on it a lot and don’t want it to be knackered.

Any thoughts?

1 Like

A deposit has probably formed in the contact area due to moisture.
For good reason, I don’t clean contacts with contact spray as usual, but use a 10cm strip of unprinted writing paper.
Gently pull it between the two contact halves while holding down the button.
Black deposits are often seen as the reason for the fault.
Repeat until the paper stays white… Maybe it will help you too.
73 Chris

4 Likes

Tnx Chris. So me blowing on it probably made it worse. Not thought about paper but that’s a great idea

Alex

1 Like

As I understand your problem description, you had operated the dash paddle with too much force, which also operated the contact of the dot paddle.
At high temperatures, the paddle levers probably bend a little more easily.
Therefore, the contact gaps should be checked on both paddles, maybe this symptom can be eliminated with a slightly different setting.
Good luck with it.

3 Likes

It should do many ten’s of thousands of QSOs before the contract area wears away. After that you can make a simple adjustment to bring a fresh area of contact into play. So most likely there is crud and cruft on the contact. The slip of paper works brilliantly. Slide it in and gently press paddle and pull through paper as Chris says. Do it gently and several times.

1 Like

The smallest bit of black crud came off. So I’ve made a few adjustments and hopefully it is just crud and a loosening / slightly less heavy handed key should help.

I’ll maybe use it at home for a bit. It was a nice warm day today but humid when I set off. Perhaps a combination of crud and humidity and heavy handedness caused it

Tnx fer the quick reassurance

2 Likes

I recently had the same problem intermittently and then more and more often until I could no longer use this keyer. I also specify that I use it with a Code Cube.
Finally, after several attempts to adjust the keyer, I replaced the CR2032 battery of the Code Cube (recovered from an old electronic card) and as if by magic the problem disappeared.
May be this could be helpful.
73’s Laurent

2 Likes

My Mini Palm Paddle / Palm Cube has been playing up for several activations. When I try to record my callsign, I get an annoying gap that turns M1EYP into M1ETWP. And after the /, the P was turning into ENT (no, me neither…).

It seemed to be more reliable actually keying it than using the memories, so I tried that, but when I called Colin M1BUU/P for a S2S, it turned EYP into CCN!!!

Colin, being the fine op that he is then refused to acknowledge M1EYP/P and steadfastly insisted on the partial CCN…. (We eventually made the contact!)

Anyway, I eventually noticed that I could key reliably by NOT impacting the levers from the sides as usual, but by hitting the left (dot) lever kind of at 45 degrees from the below left, and the right (dash) lever completely opposite - above right!

Curious - but it worked, and I was - eventually - able to do some spells of activating on HF CW.

1 Like

Hi Tom,
Assuming the wrong mode - mode A or mode B type of keying wasn’t invoked I would suspect the cable. I lost the dits entirely after some intermittency and replacing the cable fixed it.
I had to resort to eBay after my repair failed and a suitable light 3.5 mm to 2.5 mm stereo cable could not be bought locally. I think the cable fault was not as close to the plug as I assumed.

73
Ron
VK3AFW

1 Like