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I have a Kenwood TS-590S with a VGS-1 voice guide/storage module, which I use in multi/multi contesting operations for voice keying (calling CQ). There's one drawback - it seems to only transmit recorded voice if:

  • I press PTT while the voice keyer is playing audio. I need to press PTT through the whole transmission: PTT down, press the voice keyer CH1 playback button, wait for it to speak out, release PTT. Not very practical for automated CQ (the keyer does have automatic retransmission every N seconds).
  • VOX is enabled. We have some audio QRM in the contest operation room (small room, 4 stations), and my VOX sometimes activates when a fellow operator catches a "rare one" on another band and starts yelling in excitement, so I'd like to disable VOX.

Is there a way to set it up to drive PTT for the duration of the playback?

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Hannu OH1HAQ emailed me the true correct two-step answer:

  1. Set VOX GAIN to 0: long press on VOX button, rotate MULTI knob to set the level to 0, long press on VOX button.
  2. Enable VOX.

With VOX GAIN set to 0, noise picked up by the microphone will not key the transmitter. However, replaying from the voice keyer memory will still key the transmitter if VOX is enabled.

In this case the VOX enable/disable state is analogous to the VOX setting in CW mode - with VOX disabled you'll only get the sidetone (voice playback to speaker), no transmission.

Tested, this works. I don't think the manual really spells it out.

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To be clear, there are two methods to transmit the recorded message. One is to key the transceiver, then push the playback button. The other is to turn on VOX and press the playback button.

A simple method would be to place a button in line with the microphone, and turn on VOX. This would effectively disable the VOX from the contest room noise, and allow you to merely press the appropriate memory key to transmit the recorded message. If you set up the button to be activated by the PTT lever, then the microphone will still operate normally when you press the PTT.

This would all be built into the microphone, and you could either have two different microphones (one for normal VOX usage, and one as described above that delegates the VOX to the recordings) or you could install another switch that enables or disables the microphone disconnect button, so a single microphone can perform as normal, or, when desired, as above.

Other modifications might involve modifications to the radio itself, but it seems that a simple microphone mod like this would be easier and safer.

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