K1EL Winkeyer USB complete

K1EL Winkeyer ready for action
For some time now I have wanted a stand alone keyer as well as one that integrated with my PC allowing me to change and update messages.  The Winkeyer USB is the perfect match as I am able to add 3 AAA batteries and take the keyer with me on outings or keep it at the desk hooked up to the PC via a provided USB cable. The unit comes as a kit with all SMD components already on the board so there is no worry about having to deal with super small parts and the soldering headache that goes along with it. The kit was shipped out and delivered very fast and very safely boxed for the ridge to my QTH. 
The first day of assembly
 The only thing that has to be downloaded is the instructions. I find this to be a fantastic way of doing things. If there are updates to the build then it's a simple update on the website and you are downloading the current assembly instructions. Take the time to print off the instructions that way you can check components off as you do the inventory.  Do yourself a favor and print the instructions in color as there are some great pictures to assist you. The kit went together very smoothly and KE1EL put thought into the order of  assembly. Follow the order and the kit
Battery holder

 building will be a smooth experience. Take your time building the unit, it's not a race as certain components such as USB connector, 1/8 jack and 4 way RCA jack should be mounted with care. This makes the final assembly of the two metal covers fit without any surprises.
Kit complete
Once the kit is done there are some checks to be done to make sure all is working well. Once that is done you are on your way to hooking up to your PC. Easy to follow documentation is provided instructing you how to have your PC recognize the keyer and what to do if things don't go as planned. The kit also comes with a CD containing programs that will allow you to program the keyer from your PC and download the messages to your keyer. Not to mention all the settings one could imagine for setting up a key as well. The only 2 issues I had with the kit and by no means are they show stoppers.
1. There is a 10k potentiometer and the shaft was just a bit to long and I had to trim it. This was only for looks as I did not like the knob extended away from the keyer.
 2. No hookup wire was provided to go from the potentiometer to the board. This is no big deal either as I did have the wire...but.....it would had been nice to include it in the kit.
Pot before mod
Pot after mod

Mike Weir, VE9KK, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from New Brunswick, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

7 Responses to “K1EL Winkeyer USB complete”

  • K9JO:

    I have two winkeyer usb ond one the pc16f688-i/p chip went bad i sent
    e mail to k1el to try and buy a new one and never got a reply.
    service is bad hard to get any service i wiil never buy from him again.

  • pa3cpj:

    i have also the winkeyer usb and it works very good.
    no problem at all.
    73 Piet hoogland netherlands.

  • Gerald KC6CNN:

    I have three of his K42 kits and they work great. I have had weird problems with them and when I e-mail him he always responds fast. I just ordered the Winkeyer usb.
    73 Gerald

  • W5FKW:

    I have two of the winkeyer usb units and have had trouble with one, but not the other. I have asked Mr. Elliott for advise and have received answers in very quick time. Once was from his work address so I have no complaints at all with that portion of customer service.

  • Ken - K7ZKM:

    I am running an ICOM IC-PROiii and MacLoggerdx. Interfaced to my iMac with a black cat systems single port CI-V. I want to use the MacLoggerdx software keyer that is built in. Is this product something that will allow me to do this?

    Thanks in advance

    Ken K7ZKM

  • Jon BENNETT:

    I have a older winkey USB. It originally came with a CD for set up.
    while the keyer was resting on the shelf for a few years, That CD was misplaced.
    I tried a number of instruction sets with out any luck.

  • W5FKW, Rick Wines:

    I have two USB Winkeyer’s and both operate fine. I constantly read the instructions and study the information on the unit. I once had a problem with one and emailed Mr. Elliot who emailed me back IMMEDIATELY from his office. Now I don’t know, but it seems to me that customer service is utmost on his list

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