a division of Milestone Technologies, Inc.
"Everything for the Morse    Enthusiast!"

Home Page What's New Search Contact Us Order Info
Wiring the Key-8 Paddle

The  Key-8 keyer/paddle has a standard 5-pin DIN type socket on the base for connection of all necessary wiring. Note that the pins are not numbered sequentially! If you look closely at the socket on the Key-8 you will see that very small numbers are impressed near each hole, and the numbering matches the diagram shown at left. Note also perspective is important-- the diagram shows the pins as seen on the front of the socket. You will be wiring a plug, so the pattern is reversed-- the diagram shows the view from the back (connection side) of the plug.

Power Supply-- connect your power supply (6-15Volts DC; a 9V battery works fine) to pins 3 (+) and 4 (-). Pin 4 is circuit ground and common to the case of the paddle.

The key line (to your transceiver's key jack) is connected to pins 1 and 5. The internal key line is a simple loop from pin 1 to pin 5 via a relay (which is closed by the keyer when sending a dot or dash). Polarity doesn't matter. Maximum rating of the key line (or more particularly the relay) is 30V at 100mA.

If you want to hear the keyer's sidetone, connect an audio cable to pins 2 (center) and 4 (ground) and terminate in a headphone socket.

Bypassing the Internal Keyer

If you want to use the Key-8 as a paddle, without using the internal keyer, you can bypass the keyer fairly easily. You will probably want to do this if you are used to an "iambic" or "squeeze" keyer, because the Key-8's keyer is not iambic (won't alternate dots and dashes when squeezed)..

The two contact posts (fixed) are the isolated dot and dash connections, while the contacts on the paddle levers (movable) are connected to ground. Use shielded stereo cable. Connect the shield to a convenient ground (for example, one of the DIN socket screws) and connect the two inner conductors to the adjusting screws on the dot and dash posts. Small alligator clips will work, or remove the contact screw and thread a small solder lug onto it between the lock-nut and the post.

Alternatively, you can open up the Key-8 and disconnect the keyer, connecting the dot and dash lines directly to the DIN socket. Use a small screwdriver to loosen and remove the knob from the speed-control pot. Use a thin-wall 7mm socket to remove the hex nut that is recessed in the center of the base. You may need to remove (pick out) a hard black wax seal over the nut. The base will slide out, exposing the circuit board and internal wiring. The circuit board can be removed (the pot is attached to the board, not the case). Disconnect the wires on pins 1 and 5 of the DIN socket. Locate the positions on the circuit board where the dot and dash lines (from the contact posts) are connected and tack-solder a wire from there to pins 1 and 5 of the DIN socket. Make a note of which pin is dots and which is dashes! Replace base and speed knob.

Other options (hey, it's your paddle, you can do anything you want with it!) include installing a dpdt switch on the output so you can switch between internal and external keyer, or installing a different keyer, e.g. one of the inexpensive single-chip iambics.




 HomeBack to Home Page    
 Questions or Comments? Write to us!  e-mail    Privacy Policy  FAQ
All text and images in this web site (comprising the registered domains,, and  are the intellectual property of Milestone Technologies or are used with permission of the copyright holder. Please ask for permission before "borrowing" or otherwise using any images or contents from this web site.
Copyright 1996-2019, Milestone Technologies, Inc. All Rights Reserved