Installing the Nomad Radio KeyBoard v.3 in the  Galaxy  Saturn-Turbo/ Eagle 5000/ RCI 2990. Copyright 2004

Preliminary version 0.31 09/30/2004

--> Introduction: What's it good for? Why bother?

Traditional multiband amateur HF transceivers come with a built-in facility to enable or "key" an external amplifier using just an appropriate patch cable. Current 10-Meter Amateur transceivers are sold universally WITHOUT this feature.

The Nomad Radio KeyBoard installs inside these radios. It contains a 5 Amp-rated relay that is connected to TWO spare sockets on the rear panel. These sockets are labeled "Counter" and "Rec". Just who needs an external frequency counter on a radio with built-in digital frequency display ???. Sounds like a spare jack to me. Likewise the Tape Recorder output. A patch cable from either the "Counter" OR the "Rec" socket to the amplifier's relay or VOX input will place the amplifier in line WHEN THE MIKE BUTTON IS PRESSED, and return it to standby when the mike switch is released.

Kiss that foot switch goodbye. The relay in an amplifier will last longer if it is engaged only BEFORE the radio produces drive power. If the amplifier is keyed AFTER the drive is feeding to it, an arc will form across the gaps in the relay. This accelerates wear and tear. If you are repeatedly "late" with a foot switch, the amplifier's relay contacts will burn and wear out prematurely.

Can't tell who will need the second jack. It's there for folks who use a "driver" amplifier with a QRP radio. Likewise, it can be used to "unkey" an inline receiver preamp. If you like that kind of thing.

Step Zero (The one I remembered last). -- Unplug EVERYTHING -- Press the "Power" switch. The lights will flash, then fade. This bleeds the stored energy in the power supply. Much safer that way. Remove the covers, top and bottom both.
The two spare RCA jacks in the rear.
Step 1: Unsolder both center wire and shield from the "Counter" jack.
The center wire and shield loose from the Ctr jack.
Step 2: Tape the bare ends of the cable so they are separated from each other.
Tape the bare ends of the coax from the CTR jack.
Step 3: Remove the brown and black wire pair from the "REC" jack.
Remove the black and brown wires from the REC jack
Step 4: Clean the tip of the soldering iron with a paper towel folded four or five times. Moistening it helps... a little. Now "dab" as much solder as will transfer to the iron tip, from one of the four socket pins. The iron tip will "soak up" a little of the solder that is blocking the holes in the lugs. Remove the 'dabbed' solder with the towel, and repeat until BOTH lugs on EACH socket have the hole reopened. This is so you can stick more wires back into them in a little while.
Step 5: Now turn the radio up onto its left side. At the other end of the brown/black wire pair is a tan 2-pin socket underneath, plugged into the circuit board behind the external speaker jacks. This small 2-pin socket will have "J 181" printed in white next to it. Pull the socket. The brown and black wires will now pull loose from the bundle.
Unlpug J181 underneath behind the speaker/PA jacks
Step 6: Find the spare chassis hole to the left of the main circuit board.
Step 7: Insert a machine screw/lockwasher and tip the radio up onto its left side.
Step 8: Slide a lockwasher over the screw under the chassis.
Step 9: Tighten the metal standoff to the screw.
The circuit board mounts to the threaded post.
Step 10: Mount the keyboard to the standoff as shown. Use a lockwasher BETWEEN the standoff and the circuit board.
Step 11: Route the five long wires along the back panel, alongside the fat black and orange DC power leads.
The long green and yellow wires go up through the hole behind the jacks.
Step 12: Feed the two yellow wires and the dark green wire through the hole at the rear corner, under the "Counter" and "Rec" jacks. Twisting the ends of these 3 into a bundle may make this easier.
Step 13: Lap-solder the white wire to the Positive Power Supply trace, where the orange wire is attached. You may need to scrape a small area of the green mask paint and tin the newly-exposed copper. It will take less heat to lap-solder the white wire to this spot than it will take to melt the solder on the orange wire. Less risk that the orange wire will come loose and fling solder globs everywhere, too.
Step 14: Lap-solder the black wire to the tinned area on the ground foil next to the fat black power lead.
Mount one disc cap across each of the two sockets.
Step 15: Turn the radio back right-side up, and insert each of the .01uf 1KV disc capacitors in each of the sockets. Don't solder them yet.
The long stripped end of the dark green wire goes throught the ground post of the CTR jack
Step 16: Insert the long, stripped end of the dark green wire into the LOWER lug of the "CTR" jack. Don't solder it, yet.
The long stripped end of the dark green wire goes also to the ground lug of the REC jack.
Step 17: Thread the end of the wire into the lower lug of the "Rec" jack. Now solder the lower lug of each jack.
One yellow wire goes the the 'hot' pin of each jack.
Step 18: Insert the stripped ends of the yellow wires, one into each UPPER pin of the two sockets. Doesn't matter which yellow wire goes into which socket. Solder them both.
Step 19: Find the circuit board trace that carries the 8 Volts transmit-only power at the edge of the main circuit board. It's the second trace in from the edge of the board.
Step 20: Lap-solder the tinned end of the short green wire to this trace. Check carefully to make sure you did not bridge any of the gaps around this trace. Remove any excess solder if this happens, clean the iron tip and try again.
Step 21: Double-check for accidental splashes of solder near all three wires that you have just attached to the circuit board. You may want to plug in the antenna, mike and power cord before installing the top and bottom covers. Try the radio and see that it still works, THEN re-install the covers and handles.
Now, put that old foot switch on E-bay before I put this kit on the market.