Review of Logikey K-5 Keyer
Original article by W4TI
Keyer and paddle
Figure 1. Logikey K-5 Keyer shown connected to the Bencher BY-1 paddle. Note the RFI choke on the leads from the keyer to everything else.
The Best Keyer I Have Ever Owned
In the past 40+ years of being a ham radio operator, I have used a number of CW keys, bugs, keyers, and paddles. I still have the Vibroplex Original bug which my Beloved Monica (N6PSD) bought me for my birthday, the first year we were married. It works as well as it ever did, but I don’t use it any more. I have bought and/or built a series of keyers, each with its own features. The culmination of my quest for a truly great Morse code sending system is shown here, comprising the Logikey K-5 Keyer and the Bencher BY-1 paddle. It feels right. It sends beautifully. It is beautifully made. It is configurable to behave like any one of a number of other historic keyers. And finally it is controlled using Morse code. This is the truly logical keyer for the CW man.
exterior of K-5 keyer
Figure 2. The front view of the Logikey L-5 keyer shows the simplicity of the controls.
inside of K5 keyer
Figure 3. Inside view of the Logikey K-5 keyer. Three AA batteries may be inserted in the battery holder, which allows the keyer to be operated without external power.
I could break out the individual features of the Logikey K-5 keyer, but it would not fully express my enjoyment of this keyer. This is an extremely well-thought-out electronic device, with every feature the casual operator or contester could want.
Let me give an example of the thoroughness of the capability of the K-5. The speed control range on the front panel is settable to what the user wants. So, for instance, I can command it by using Morse code to set the knob range to ten to thirty words per minute. I can then set the knob to some position, and ask it in Morse code how fast it is set, and it will return the answer in Morse code. The speed of each individual canned message can be set, and can be made to vary throughout the transmission, automatically. So the possibilities are endless.
The other point I need to make here is that the “feel” is beautiful, and is absolutely consistent. I compare this to the situation using the built-in keyer in a couple of my radios. In those radios, the keyer function is one function of many controlled by a busy microprocessor, and because of that, the timing varies, as does the feel. I found it nearly impossible to consistently send excellent code using the keyer built in the radio. On the other hand, the Logikey K-5 keyer is completely consistent in its timing and feel. Within a couple of days of installing the K-5, I got the “feel” for it and code became nearly effortless.
I am extremely satisfied with the Logikey K-5 keyer. Combined with the Bencher BY-1 paddle, it is the best CW sending system I have ever seen.