Upgrade Winkeyer 2 to Winkeyer 3

Yes, if you have Winkeyer2 it can be updated to Winkeyer revision 3.1. I was recently given a Winkeyer2 by a friend, NQ4A, so I decided to upgrade it to a Winkeyer3. I purchased a new IC chip from K1EL. This is a simple hardware upgrade. I'll tell you how I did mine below. Coming soon: Winkeyer and Ham Radio Deluxe using the Icom radios.

WinKeyer3 - Third Generation CW Processor 3.1

WinKeyer is a full featured Morse keyer capable of being fully controlled through a USB interface. It ensures accurately timed CW letters and strings independent of PC processing load.

I can use the Winkeyer with my Icom 7300, Icom 7610 and the old Drake TR-7. There's more about Winkeyer here.

Winkeyer IC version 3.0 changes.

Why a WinKeyer3?

First of all, I wanted the upgrade because Winkeyer3 supports RTTY FSK.  RTTY FSK will take some more work and a different cable with an 8 pin din (Icom 7610), but I hope to get it going in the near future and use it with Fldigi. I see there are Hams on the support group that have RTTY FSK running right now with the Icom 7300.

Second, I wanted it is because my Drake TR-7 does not have a memory keyer and only has a straight key jack in the rear. Using the WinKeyer I have a memory keyer and I can use my paddle with the Drake TR-7.

I ordered the 3rd generation IC from K1EL.

It's a simple and easy upgrade.

  1. Remove the four screws on the Winkeyer cover being careful of the attached wires. You'll see the IC chip on the PCB (circled in white above).
  2. Carefully pry the IC chip (circled in white above) out of the socket. I used a small flat blade screw driver. Install the new IC chip in the same orientation. There is a small indented circle on the chip.
  3. Install the new IC chip noting the indented circle. It should be facing the same direction as the old IC chip. Installing it can be tricky. Line up one edge in the holes and then press the other edge down, carefully. This part can be a little challenging. Do not bend the pins.
  4. Verify it is pushed down securely and no pins are out of place.
  5. Reinstall the cover.

Winkeyer3 Software

Winkeyer (WK) uses a USB interface IC manufactured by FTDI. Since this is an update I am going to assume you have already been using the WK and do not need to download the FTDI driver. If needed, get the FTDI driver before attaching the USB cable to your WK. See appendix A in this document.

The WK scanner app is useful if you need to see what COM port WK is on. Attach the USB cable to your computer and run the scan app. It will tell you the COM port WK is on.

I downloaded and installed WK3tools_52_setup.exe Version 5.2 so I could update the firmware. There are three files listed on the K1EL webpage. Use the DIP .bin. The difference is how the chip is mounted on the PCB. DIP is dual in-line package as opposed to the SMT, surface mount technology.

There are no SMT WK2 ICs, but there are DIP WK3s.

Updating the firmware is straight forward. Download the correct .bin file and extract the .zip file. Then use WK3 tools app to upgrade. First set the Com Port by clicking on the "Set Com Port" button. Next click the "Test WK" button. Next the "FW Update" button. There you can locate the .bin file you downloaded and click the "Program WKUSB" button. You can see this part in the video below.

More to come on Winkeyer 3. Enjoy the video below.

YouTube player

Health Update

Thank you so much for all of the nice, warm comments and e-mails concerning my health. Although I am feeling better physically, I still have a long way to go. There are after affects from the stroke and infection. I will continue physical, speech and occupational therapy.

Upcoming: Ham Radio Deluxe and Winkeyer Setup.

If you have any questions, comments or solutions, please comment below. I prefer the comment section here or in YouTube over e-mail because your comments and questions will help others as well.

Thank you for subscribing to this website. I appreciate the comments, questions and suggestions. You can follow me on TwitterFacebookInstagram and YouTube.


Rich, K0PIR


Print Friendly, PDF & Email


I'm an Amateur Radio enthusiast. I love the hobby and experimenting with radios, antennas and software. On my YouTube channel I upload videos on the Icom 7300 and Icom 7610 along with Ham radio software programs. I hope to inspire people to try new things in Amateur Radio.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Translate »
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x