Hamcrafters K16-BAT CW Keyer Kit

With a severe weather warning in place and promises of wind speeds of 80mph+ overnight, today has been spent fixing a run of fence panels which were about to go down like a stack of dominoes thanks to just one post which had worked its way loose in it’s socket. If it wasn’t my fence it would have been like the perfect physics lesson watching the ripple of reflected waves!

As a result the planned day of “doing lots of stuff” failed and resulted in “a small amount of stuff” being concluded, which isn’t bad as I can easily become distracted and never bring things to a conclusion.

The LCD shield for the Arduino was completed pre fence panel removal and this little project was concluded post hammering in yet another piece of angle iron to support my fence.

When I was researching the Pixie transceiver I commented on the K16-BAT and have been sat for several weeks waiting for it to land. Ironically the Americans get to have all the fun stuff readily available as outside of the US of A there are very few people who supply kits as agents/retailers or an adaptation of the original idea.

As such you end up paying for postage, waiting a lifetime and then get mugged by the Post Office who enhance the mugging by Border Force for the 30p customs import charge. I’m so glad the borders of this great country as safe from rogue postage!

Political rant over, you don’t get much for your money with the K16-BAT


But building stuff is fun, so you can turn the above into the below in 30 minutes


The finished article is tiny and is begging for a tiny enclosure to keep it safe and warm.

As a foot note I’ve had to reverse the L & R inputs when using my capacitive touch key to get it working properly, which is odd and I need to look at again. That said it works a treat with the homebrew paddle thanks to the minor modification and as a stop gap until I save my hard earned (or I win a small amount on the Lottery!) for a Kent TP1-B it’ll do the trick.

Today’s job was to lash up a switch and speed control panel so that I could reduce the speed of the output simply because in its default setting the K16 sounded more like an M16 on overdrive!

I’m awaiting some push to make buttons and a 10k panel mount pot to make a nice panel for an enclosure, but in the meantime I made use of some PCB mount bits and bobs to get things going.


With a gentle tweak of the speed pot (blue thing on the far right) everything was calmed down significantly!

Here’s a little video of things in action


Addendum 13/02/16

I’ve resolved the incorrect paddle assignment with the K16! Unfortunately, for something so tiny this thing comes with a manual of 32+ pages which covers everything in every possible application and makes finding a simple answer not that straight forward.

By default, for some bizarre reason the left and right paddles are swapped by the K16 requiring you to delve into the menu system to amend this. Also it’s not a top level menu function and requires you to access option X from the Immediate Command List, followed by option X again in the Extended Command List, Extended Command List X option being Exchange Dit/Dah inputs (swap).

The added snag is that with the paddles mapped arse about face you’re then trying to tap out characters in Morse on an iambic paddle the other way around . Not sure who thought that one up!

I’ll rewire the K16 when I fit it into an enclosure but I’m currently waiting on a very slow boat from China to deliver some push buttons and a panel mount rotary pot. Unfortunately if you want to do these things akin to the budgie, i.e. cheep (I know!) the pay back is delivery times that make a snail look like a Formula 1 car. Added to that it’s currently Chinese New Year which will add to the delays