CW Touch Keyer









FAQ Frequently Asked Questions.  



What does the "BS" refer to on selected models?


The BS refers to a model that has a Battery saver circuit.  

This circuit shuts the unit off after 10 minutes of non-use.




How does the touch circuit work?


Spread spectrum capacitive sensitive technology.

In its simplest form, the microprocessor employs a charge transfer scheme to charge a sense plate (paddle) of unknown capacitance to a known potential.  The charge on this paddle is then measured multiple times in a small period, to determine the paddles’ capacitance.  This capacitance is then considered the calibrated value. When an object such as a finger touches the paddle, the calibrated capacitance is disturbed and detected

and thus a logic output is generated by the microprocessor.  

My design/software is highly proprietary; however,

it works on a fundamental basis similar to many capacitive sensing circuits.




How much current does the circuit draw?


All models have a 2mA stand-by current. Models with an electronic keyer can draw up to 25mA during side tone operation.  An average 9v battery should last between 4 to 6 months

if you do not forget to shut it off.




What causes my unit to act sporadic and send random code?


If the power source (battery or AC adapter) drops below 7VDC,

the 5V regulator can not hold it's regulation,

thus causing erratic operation.  

Poor station ground.

No counterpoise.




Why are gold-plated paddles used?


I choose gold-plated paddles for their looks and because they will not rust, oxidize, corrode, or tarnish.  Simply wipe them clean and they'll look like new.




Can the P1 be used as a practice oscillator while I'm still learning? 

Would I need to use an external speaker?


The model P1 and P1BS are ideal for code practicing,  

Plug in Ipod earbuds or a small 8 ohm speaker to the speaker out jack and you're ready to go.




What is the best touch paddle product for backpacking?


The model P6 is made for backpacking.  Weights only 6 oz. with the internal 9V battery.

No electronic keyer.





How can I hook up my touch paddle product to my computer for use with





Speed pot not working.

Hi I bought a P1 from you at Dayton this year and am very pleased with it.
Could you tell me what is the function of the rotary control on the right of the front panel. I assumed it was the speed control but doesn't seem to do anything. I control volume / speed from its internals. Trying CW again after 35 years so excuse me if I have asked a stupid question.


Some how while playing with P1 you deactivated the speed adjust control.

The best option at this point is to reset it back to zero and that is a "hard reset " as explained in the manual.

To do this simply turn the unit off.  Hold the mem red button in and turn the unit on.  Everything returns to the  default state. Except the memories. They are not affected.

Your speed pot should now be working




Programming memory 1

I love my touch keyer but am having trouble

programming the memories.

For some reason 72 is in what I assume is memory 1. 

Would love to be able to change it to 73


Get your manual out and follow these steps.

  Turn to page 7, Menu 5

Press and hold in the MEM button until you hear the code "BE"

When heard release, touch nothing else!!!!

Next press the MEM button till you hear the code "M?"

Release the button.

You are now ready to program memory on.

Send your code "such as 73" or anything else you want up to 80 characters.

When done, press the MEM button and release. Memory one is locked in there.

If you made a mistake, you have to overwrite it by following the same procedure.

It is a non volatile memory and will not be effected by a hard reset.




Erratic Paddle Performance


When using any touch paddle product, be sure you have a good grounded  station.  Stray  RF will can cause self or erratic keying, especially with end fed antennas or any antenna in close proximity.

What could be happening is the cable from the touch paddle product going to your rig can be acting as an RF counterpoise from the RF currents coming down the feed line to the radio and into the sense circuits of the touch paddle product.  This may result in erratic performance.

To cure this, just lay out an RF counterpoise wire on the ground (or around the room) about 1/4 wavelengths long (see below) and connect it to the radio chassis. The radio will be at a natural zero point for RF currents.

Of course proper station grounding is vital to good performance.  A 1/4 wave counterpoise, for the operating frequency, will substantially help with RF issues if you cannot ground your station.


Weak Battery

A weak battery will result in the 5V regulator loosing regulation creating erratic product performance.  A fresh new 9V battery as an average is rated at 650mAH.  This means the touch paddle product will work with one battery for over 300 hours. when using anytouch paddle


Counterpoise length calculation

Length= 236/Fq in mHz




The model P1 and P1BS seem to be identical. What's the difference?


Battery Saver Circuit – on model P1BS only


If you ordered model P1BS (with battery the battery saver circuit ) your

model will have a momentary push button switch and LED on the front panel.


To turn the unit on, simply press and release the push button.  The LED will light for about 5 seconds and shut off.  This indicates the unit is active and ready to use.


Your unit is now active for 10.5 minutes, if no paddle is touched, and will automatically shut off  (disconnecting the battery from the circuit) after that time period If the left paddle is touched, with two consecutive dots, at any time during the

10.5 minute period, the unit will reset itself for another 10.5 minutes.


To shut the unit off, just let it sit (untouched) for 10.5 minutes.




Is there a easier way to turn the unit off, when adjust the paddles,  on models P1BS of P1PADBS without removing the battery?



With the case top removed you will find a reset button (blue) towards the rear left of the PC card.  When depressed the battery becomes disconnected.

Q How do I do a hard reset?  

On models with an internal electronic keyer (P1, P1BS, P11) turn the unit off.  Press and hold the red button (MEM) and turn the unit on.   Release the red button (MEM).

All electronic keyer functions are now set to their original settings except memories.  Memories are non-volatile and can only be erased by overwriting them.

Q What's the difference between models P3W, P3NS and P3K?

P3K is a kit and requires assembly and soldering.

P3W is pre-assembled and requires hooku-up soldering only.

P3NS is pre-assembled and requires no soldering.

All three models perform the same as a paddle, NO ELECTRONIC KEYER