20082019 – K3NG Keyer

K3NG CW Keyer using the K5BCQ Board

Open source Arduino CW keyer

The board supports most but not all options available in the software. You can populate for the features you want or build in stages testing as you go.

High quality board visit K5BCQ to order a PCB  – https://www.qsl.net/k5bcq/Kits/Kits.html

NewImageI intend to install all options and headers where possible.

Already had a Mega 2560. The wrong type for this board.


You can see the differences here. The unit above will not match the board as it has additional pins to the top left (fro ground) and missing connections for references and reset bottom left.


You could jumper around these but I jut ordered an new unit. Info – https://robotdyn.com/mega-2560-pro-embed-ch340g-atmega2560-16au.html


I sourced a 3X4 keypad. This keypad has 12 buttons, arranged in a 3X4 grid. It’s made of a thin, flexible membrane material with an adhesive backing

This only needs 7 pins (3-columns and 4-rows) whilst the board has 8 pins to support 3X4 or 4X4.


The difference between a 3X4 or 4X4 is the number of columns.  The PCB has 8 connectors so as to support both types. I will be using 7 but will install a 8 pin header so as to keep options open later. Info – http://www.circuitbasics.com/how-to-set-up-a-keypad-on-an-arduino/

Obtained a PS2 keyboard as a result of a site clean up at work. Put the word out to keep eyes open for one. After sending photos of a PS2 connector as considered ancient these days. 




These points are in the excellent instructions but to be sure,

Uncomment  #define HARDWARE_K5BCQ in keyer_hardware.h

  • keyer_features_and_options_k5bcq.h
  • keyer_settings_k5bcq.h
  • keyer_pin_settings_k5bcq.h

Note serial speed = 115200 defined in keyer_settings.h 

Compiled the software and loaded;

  • Sketch uses 57844 bytes (22%) of program storage space. Maximum is 253952 bytes.  
  • Global variables use 2324 bytes (28%) of dynamic memory, leaving 5868 bytes for local variables. Maximum is 8192 bytes.

Heaps of memory spare so believe they are using a MEGA 2560 due to the 54 digital I/O pins. 

Had failures with uploading the software as the Micro-USB connector cable I used only supported power. A quick look in the hardware bin at work secured a suitable cable off phone headset and away it went.  

So as it stands the board is up and running. Time to start playing with the device whilst considering options as to packaging.


K3NG Arduino CW Keyer Software – https://github.com/k3ng/k3ng_cw_keyer)

The K5BCQ PCB  – https://www.qsl.net/k5bcq/Kits/Kits.html

The W0ODJ documentation – https://github.com/muurtikaar/k3ngKeyer-K5bcqPCB-w0odjDoc/blob/master/doc/k5bcq_k3ng-V03.pdf

The softwares wiki – https://github.com/k3ng/k3ng_cw_keyer/wiki

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: