Tag: Kit

Putting Together a WinKeyer (MacKeyer)

Putting Together a WinKeyer (MacKeyer)

It’s been a long time since I soldered or put anything together electronic related. It used to be a regular thing for me 30 years ago when I attended DeVry (where we are serious about success) and worked in the electronics industry. It all stopped when I started working on copiers then computers where everything was board replacement.

I decided to embrace my inner geek this week and bought a kit to put together. It’s the W1EL WinKey. It seems simple enough for my first project in 30 years. All the surface mount components have already been installed and all I have to put on is the big things like buttons and connectors.

I made it through the first page with no issues. I did figure out if I continue to do kits I need a smaller solder iron and solder! The key jack, USB port and speaker are installed. Now onto the switches.

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The switches were a breeze. The next step was the RCA phono jacks that were easy to solder on too.

When I had to do the next step, solder the wires for the speed potentiometer and battery case I remembered why I hate soldering. You need a third set of hands. I was able to get it all together now on to the tests.

IT’S ALIVE!!! I put the batteries in and it passed the first test, it sent an “R” in Morse code when it got power. It passed the next test – it sent an “MT” for each button pressed (stands for eMpTy). I plugged in a key and it sent dits and dahs! All stand alone functions work. Now to test hosted mode… It worked well on MacLoggerDX. I also got it working with my contest logger, Skookum Logger, which was the primary reason I acquired the WinKeyer (in my case, MacKeyer).


The hardest part of this project was getting the cover on! The space between the battery and the RCA jacks is very tight. Like fractions on an inch tight. I had to reposition he battery in order to get everything to fit.

Overall, this was a very easy kit to put together. You just need a small soldering iron, some solder and some patience.