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Micro-Ultimatic integrated circuits in a high-performance electronic key er

One of the most popular amateur projects over the years has been the automatic keyer. The ]ever-operated types have ranged from simple capacitor-relay types to the rather complex "UltimabW1' An entirely new concept in keyer simplicity is now available to the amateur in I he form of integrated circuits. The Micro-Ultimatic employs IC s in a keyer or extreme stabilit) and reliability, coupled with the ease of operation resulting from the separate dot and dash memories, as in the original I Itimatic. Best of all, the cost for the ICs is about $35.00- To duplicate the circuit using discrete components would require about 130 transistors and a basket of other parts.

It is the intent of this article not only to describe the Micro-Ultimatic but also to provide a primer on simple logic systems and how they can be put together w ith the type of IC used in the keyer Thus, you should be able to generate lots of ideas for gadgets which use ICs, and cheaply, at that.

The impact of integrated circuits on the electronics industry has been nothing less than astonishing. ICs have already obsoleted the discrete-component !ogic circuits in computers and military equipment, and they will soon be found in consumer items and even toys. These digital integrated circuits are a natural for an electronic keyer,

Most of the large semiconductor manufacturers are making ICY These vary widely in type and price, but most are based on fabrication techniques which put a complete operating circuit with transistors, diodes, resistors and capacitors on a single silicon substrate, and in extremely smal physical size. The circuits are made in large batches, sliced apart, and packaged. Packages are typically the "flat-pack/' the TO-5 can, or, lately the epoxy encapsulated "pill" similar to the TO-5 shape. These are less costly than the sealed metal cans. The means by which logic functions are performed in each complete circuit or "chip** varies and includes RTL (resistortransistor logic), DTL, (diode-transistor logic1*, TTL (transistor-transistor logic) and others. Each type has its own electrical characteristics with regard to power consumption, speed, driving power, and cost. But each performs some simple logic function, regardless of how-it is accomplished on the chip. The epoxv RTL now made by Fair child and packaged in the TO-5 type "cans" is the lowest in cost of any IC logic known to the author at present. That's the principal reason for its use in the

<r Kiiye. "The AIKElvcl invita Ultímiitlc' Keyer." QSTt April, 1955.

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