08 April 2022

The MasterKeyer MK-1 by N0XAS

The MasterKeyer MK-1 breaks new ground in ease of operation. 

Six multi-color, LED illuminated pushbuttons give instant access to stored messages any of five banks -- that's 30 messages in all, for over 7500 total characters. The LED-backlit buttons change color to tell you whether a message is being sent or recorded. A large, smooth operating, solid aluminum speed control knob can be used to set your operating speed within whatever range you decide. The smooth, sine-wave sidetone lets you hear what you're doing at all times. Of course it can be muted, or turned up for room-filling sound ideal for code training and practice sessions. And commands to change options and messages can be sent from your paddle, or plug into your computer for easy, text-based setup!

The latest low-power embedded microcontroller technology is used to give you the features you want, with the ease of operation you need. Advanced operating modes such as message pause, auto-repeat (beacon), QRSS and HSCW are a snap -- and with future firmware upgrades, even more features are just a quick (and free) upgrade away!

Of course the MasterKeyer can be used as a top-quality, fully featured stand-alone keyer, with no computer or keyboard required. All the operating features you expect, and some you may not, are built in and ready to use. The built-in USB capability can add a whole new dimension to your operating! The USB host connector -- the only one on any keyer, anywhere -- can be used to load new updates directly from a USB FLASH drive, without using a computer. You can also save all operating parameters and memory contents to a FLASH drive, so you don't risk accidentally losing your settings. Edit the simple text file if you wish to suit your exact needs. The ability to save and load the entire configuration makes this keyer perfect for clubs and contest stations! If multiple operators use the same keyer, just plug in a FLASH drive and load ALL your own settings and memory messages in seconds. Of course, the same feature can be used to "clone" your settings from one keyer to another if you need stations set up the exact same way.

This keyer is presently offered only in fully assembled and tested form. The enclosure is top quality, rugged aluminum with a textured black powder coat finish. Silkscreened legends mark all operating controls and connections. All documentation is on a CD-ROM, as well as software drivers for Windows PCs (drivers are already built into Mac and Linux systems). A power cable is included to connect to your power source.


Beautiful metal cabinet with rugged, textured powder coat finish and screen printed legends

Knurled, gloss finish solid machined aluminum speed adjustment knob with indicator line

Meets FCC Class B limits for radiated and conducted emissions

Morse code keying from a single or dual lever paddle

Straight key input for manual keying

Emulation mode for K1EL Winkeyer commands has been added to Version 1.20 and newer. The MK-1 now works with a wide range of logging and contest software. If it supports the Winkeyer, the MK-1 will work fine.

Support for Morse from a USB keyboard! Includes memory record & playback.

Optically isolated Keying and amplifier/PTT outputs rated for 400V at up to 200 mA (Key Out) or 400 mA (Amp Out) - key solid state or tube rigs!

Amp keying lead and tail times adjustable

Smooth sidetone with easy-to-use external volume control can be muted or left on

Numerous keying modes supported

Curtis Mode A

Curtis Mode B (with adjustable paddle timing)

“Bug” mode – automatic dots, manual dashes

Ultimatic mode

Straight key or “Cootie” mode

Dot or dash priority

Adjustable paddle timing lets you "tweak" the paddle response to suit YOUR preference!

Thirty memory slots available in five banks of six messages each

Each message can be up to 255 characters in length

Any bank of 6 messages can be assigned to the top buttons

Embedded commands in memory messages for a wide range of functions

Send your stored callsign

Send serial/QSO number, with or without automatic incrementing

Send a steady carrier 1-9 seconds in length

Increment or decrement speed by 1 WPM

Set your speed to a specific value

Send HSCW at up to 12,000 LPM (2,400 WPM)

Send QRSS from 1 to 120 seconds per dit

Set Farnsworth spacing

Send the last call sign (other than your own) sent from the paddles

Call any other message from any bank

Merge two characters into one for prosigns or language specific characters

Message stacking lets you quickly send up to six messages in sequence

Messages can be paused to manually insert information from the paddle or keyboard, and will automatically resume

Beacon mode will repeat a message at regular intervals from 1 to 255 seconds - Now with V1.20 or later, each message can have its repeat time set independently!

“Cut numbers” supported for serial numbers (0, 9 or both)

Altered settings (Farnsworth, QRSS, HSCW) automatically cancel on completion of the memory message

Simple, intuitive memory record/play control

Tap any memory button to play its associated message

Hold the button to review, record or edit the message

Optionally, you can edit messages from your PC!

Two USB interfaces

Review or change any setting from your computer

Review, change and save memory messages

Save and load complete configuration - multiple ops can instantly load ALL their own settings and messages!

Upgrade firmware and add features in seconds - no need to return the unit or even open the case!

“Dual-Set” speed control allows easy default to a pre-set speed

Separate, fixed user interface (Command Mode) speed setting

Adjustable sidetone monitor frequency and volume

“Stuck key” safety disables keyer if a stuck paddle is detected

Smart tune mode with constant carrier or 50% duty cycle

User adjustable speed control range (5-99 WPM); you set the lower and upper limits

Farnsworth spacing is supported

Automatic letter spacing is supported

HSCW at up to 12,000 LPM (2,400 WPM)

QRSS settings from 1 to 120 seconds per dit (QRSS1 – QRSS120)

Power from any AC or DC source from 9 to 20V

Built-in self resetting overcurrent protection

The firmware that controls the operation of the MasterKeyer MK-1 is under constant review and revision. New features are often added to keep the MasterKeyer at the leading edge of technology. Version 1.32 is the current released version.

MK-1 Manual V1.30 or higher:

MK-1 Firmware V1.32:

73 - Petr, OK1RP

07 April 2022

Easitalk™ - Advanced and innovative DSP noise reduction feature by Codan


Easitalk (easytalk) is a feature of NGT transceivers that removes noise and interference from incoming voice signals. Easitalk works by applying Digital Signal Processing (DSP) techniques to incoming voice signals. These techniques are similar to those used with digital mobile telephones and satellite telephones.

Easitalk is simple to use because it is integrated into the transceiver - it is not in a separate unit. No tuning is required, just an on/off control.

Listening trials indicate that Easitalk outperforms other noise reduction products, and it has been successfully trialled with a wide range of languages.

By integrating speech processing within the transceiver, Codan has not only made speech processing more effective but, more importantly, has made it useful in the hands of the user. For the first time, mobile users will now be able to enjoy the benefits of noise reduction technology.

Hear the difference ... The same transmission was received by two HF tranceivers, one with Easitalk enabled and the other, without. Both transceivers were connected to the same antenna.

No Easitalk

This is typical HF radio containing both voice and a large amount of background noise. The average signal (shown as a lighter colour) is fairly even indicating that the voice signal is not any more prominent than the background noise.

Codan advanced DSP noise reduction (Easitalk

Easitalk has removed much of the background noise and the average signal (shown as a lighter colour) displays a form much more like a voice waveform with highs and lows.

Does Easitalk offer any benefits over Lincompex? 

Yes. In networks that use Lincompex (LINk COMPression and EXpansion), each system in the network needs to be equipped with Lincompex software. With NGT, a single transmitter with Easitalk can be used within a network and still be able to communicate with other systems, but those systems won’t benefit from the features of Easitalk. 

For a continuous signal, Lincompex provides no discernible improvement over any other compression scheme. During inter–word quiet periods, the Lincompex receiver effectively prevents background noise levels from rising (this provides Lincompex’s apparent improvement). During continuous or substantially continuous speech, no improvement is noted. 

Under poor conditions, interfering signals may distort the recovered Lincompex control signal. Under very poor conditions the control signal cannot be properly decoded and the signal recovery mechanism breaks down completely. 

73 - Petr, OK1RP

06 April 2022

Codan NGT VR - HF Transceiver with DSP novelty

Hello folks,

maybe you are a bit surprised why I am posting this article about the true HF SSB Transceiver with no CW capability as I am pure CW operator and it is widely known that I am not interesting in other modes so much.

Well it is right but the true also is that I am interesting in any kind of sophisticated technology, novelties, innovative features and interesting modern techniques used in radios and related radio communication gears...

HF SSB Transceiver Codan NGT VR

HF SSB Transceiver Codan NGT VRNGT VR HF transceiver provides comprehensive solutions to suit your communication needs. The NGT VR HF SSB  transceiver is suitable for base station and vehicle applications. The HF transceiver incorporates all the usual features of CODAN leading-edge High Frequency (HF) radio technology, and also features an innovative handset and Easitalk as standard. CODAN Automated Link Establishment (ALE) capabilities, voice encryption, phone calling features, and remote diagnostics/configuration are optional.

Key features

Innovative handset

The handset can access all programming and procedures in a convenient and consistent manner. It provides an advanced interface, more efficient operation and easier network management.

Users can program channels, functions and addresses into the handset to meet their own requirements. These functions can then be accessed via a series of hot keys. A built-in address book can store up to 100 addresses that can be easily retrieved via the menu.

The handset may be mounted in any position that makes viewing easier. The handset provides a comprehensive display of information.

Emergency Selcall

As HF transceivers are often used in places where safety of life is at risk, the CODAN NGT VR HF transceiver has a unique emergency calling facility. A distress signal can be sent automatically to selected stations.

Multiple channels

The NGT VR HF transceiver has a capacity for 20 channels.

Easy installation

Every aspect of the NGT VR HF transceiver has been designed for easy installation in fixed and mobile environments. The unit is small and convenient to mount.

Smart monitoring

A variety of channels can be monitored while the radio is muted, and calls can be received on any of the channels being scanned.

Free tune receiver

Free tune receiver mode enables you to tune into any frequency and store it as a channel with your own label. Also, users can listen to AM stations, short-wave broadcasts and more.

Testing and protection

All CODAN transceivers are fully protected from faults such as antenna damage, overvoltage and reverse polarity, which can destroy other transceivers. A three year warranty is available to every registered user.

Other features

High dynamic range Rx

The high dynamic range of the NGT receiver provides better reception in difficult conditions.

Voice Encryption

The optional Voice Encryptor provides communication security (COMSEC) and enables users to communicate sensitive information in confidence, without complicated setup procedures. It also provides visual confirmation that the conversation is secure.

Remote diagnostics/configuration

With Remote Diagnostics your radio installation can be tested remotely by another station to measure parameters such as signal strength, battery voltage levels and power.

It is also possible to remotely reconfigure most transceiver parameters including a facility to disable the transceiver.

Service and support

All CODAN customers are supported with our worldwide network of Accredited Service Centers. Regular auditing and training by CODAN technical staff ensure the best after sales service.

Advanced features

HF Transceiver Codan NGT VRAutomatic Link Establishment (ALE)

To automatically select the most suitable channel, ALE is available as an option. CODAN ALE provides full interoperability with other equipment compliant with FED-STD-1045 ALE.

In addition, CODAN HF transceivers outperform many conventional ALE systems through the use of CODAN Automated Link Management (CALM).

CALM provides the following additional capabilities and features:

  • Multiple networks can be scanned simultaneously at a scan rate of 8 channels per second. This enables up to 3 times more channels to be scanned in the same time as other ALE systems.
  • A profile of channel characteristics is developed over time using a 24 hour based Link Quality Analysis (LQA) database, which has over 7 times more storage capacity and uses a higher data resolution than conventional ALE systems. This significantly reduces sounding activities and enables the transceiver to select a suitable channel at any time of the day from the moment it is switched on.
  • The Listen-Before-Transmit capability detects both voice and ALE activities on the channel before initiating ALE. This avoids interfering on channels that are engaged.


The NGT VR HF transceiver uses Digital Signal Processing techniques to process received audio signals to minimize the effect of interference and reduce noise. Easitalk is simple to operate and extensive testing has shown that its performance is not affected by the language of the user.


Built-In Test Equipment (BITE) is a process that can be initiated by the user to test and report on certain aspects of the system’s performance.

Calling facilities

The NGT VR HF transceiver comes standard with selective calling and optionally supports phone calling, and remote diagnostics and configuration. All incoming calls are time-stamped to identify precisely when each call arrived.

Selcall: Selcall gives users more flexibility. An operator can call a single transceiver and only that unit will respond—no more listening to noise while waiting for a call. The called transceiver will also signal that the message has been received.

Phone call: This optional function enables the transceiver to make telephone calls via suitable bases equipped with a telephone interconnect.

Technical specifications

Frequency range

1.6–30MHz Tx, 250 kHz – 30 MHz Rx

Channel capacity20 channels
Operating modeSingle sideband (J3E, USB, LSB, AM)
Frequency stability±0.3 ppm (–30 to +60°C)
Primary voltage12 V DC nominal, negative earth
Primary power2011
Receive (no signal): 0.7 A
Transmit: J3E voice: 6 A, J3E two-tone: 10–14 A
Receiver sensitivity–125 dBm (10 dB SINAD)
Transmitting power125 watts PEP
Spurious and
harmonic emissions
Better than 65 dB below PEP
Temperature–30 to +60°C
Size and weight2011 RF Unit: 210mm W x 270mm D x 65mm H; 3.3 kg
2020 Handset: 65mm W x 35mm D x 130mm H; 0.3 kg
ALE link quality data24 hours of up to 100 stations and 100 channels
using a total of 72675 discrete sets of LQA data
ALE link quality
data resolution
Local: 8 bits SINAD, 8 bits BER
Remote: 5 bits SINAD, 5 bits BER
DustMIL-STD-810F method 510.4
VibrationMIL-STD-810F method 514.5
ShockMIL-STD-810F method 516.5

Options / accessories



DRemote Diagnostics
PPhone call
COMSECVoice Encryptor
CONSOLENGT Desk console for base station use

The DSP novelty noise reduction with unique algorithm is named Easitalk...


The atmospheric noise to which all HF radios are susceptible can make communication over an HF radio difficult. The result of this atmospheric noise is difficulty in understanding the other party. CODAN has developed ‘Easitalk’, which reduces the noise on the HF medium. Easitalk processes the received audio signal. Easitalk is a standard in-built feature that can be turned on or off at the press of a button. No other user action is required.

Noise reduction systems

In the past, noise reduction techniques applied to HF haven’t been user-friendly or effective. While DSP (Digital Signal Processing) did reduce the level of background noise, voice clarity suffered as a result. Noise reduction units were bulky and difficult to adjust for optimal performance. None of the past noise reduction techniques were an inbuilt feature.


CODAN has developed an in-built noise reduction facility designed to noticeably improve communication quality under a wide variety of conditions.

If you are integrating CODAN NGTs into an existing network that contains other HF transceiver models, the NGT can still use Easitalk to its full benefit; Easitalk processes the incoming audio signal, not the outgoing.

Unlike previous noise reduction units, which required installation and expert knowledge to operate, Easitalk is an in-built transparent feature with no knobs or switches to adjust. To use Easitalk, it’s as easy as pressing an on/off button.

02 April 2022

New FW version ready for upload - 2.39 beta

Hello all,

New firmware is ready – 2.39b. Here are key points:

1. Better CW performance in QSK and delay mode.

2. Straight key/PC/DTR keying improved.

3. New menu entry added – MENU 41. Adjustable TX (prequel) time from 6-18msec. QSK and non QSK amplifiers can be used in line with RGO ONE and proper setting of trd. Very fast (staccato) QSK mode already available with prequel tx time trd<12. Full QSK mode to 23WPM.

4. CW erratic (rogue symbol) issue completely resolved

5. Use of less than 9 msec for trd parameter might affect CW pulses shape

Download from here

FW update instructions here

73 - Petr, OK1RP