Old Timers and extra weight...

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by K5TSK, May 17, 2020.

ad: L-HROutlet
ad: l-rl
ad: L-MFJ
ad: Left-2
ad: abrind-2
ad: Left-3
ad: Subscribe
  1. K5TSK

    K5TSK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    There are a very few left who would actually know the answer to this. Back in the day when WWII was active, did the bug ops have to add extra weights to their bug in order to send decent readable code???
  2. WA1GXC

    WA1GXC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Military services even through the 1980's USCG Radiomen (to my knowledge, last to routinely be qualified

    on CW traffic-handling) were not allowed to even touch a "speed-key" until proficiency solidly

    demonstrated at 20 WPM and above. They were issued a wallet card, "Speed Key Certificate". You

    can find it in USN Rate Training Manual "Radioman 3 & 2" available online. Standard military-

    issue bugs during WW II were most commonly Mil.-equivalent of Vibroplex Lightning Bug and after WW II

    Vibroplex Champion. Depending upon the characteristics of the reed-spring, most Vibroplex square-

    weight models will go down to about 22 WPM or so (In my experience, some individual outliers are

    slightly faster or slower.) So, no need to slow down bug with more than the standard one-weight.

    Want to send slower? Use a straight key which you had previously demonstrated competency on.
    K8PG, AE8W, K0UO and 5 others like this.
  3. K8ERV

    K8ERV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Oh, I thot you meant me.

    TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
    KQ0J and K5TSK like this.
  4. WN1MB

    WN1MB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Easy answer: some did - others didn't.

    Next question, please...
    KW6LA, M6GYU, WB5YUZ and 1 other person like this.
  5. WA9FZB

    WA9FZB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    By the time I was in the NG Signal Corps (National Guard) in 1970, I was the only operator in the platoon qualified to use a bug. I had a Vibroplex Original with 2 small weights instead of the now-current single large weight. That gave finer adjustment, but the two weights combined weighed only marginally more than one (due to second setscrew). I was also the platoon sergeant, and was qualified to service/repair the gear up to depot levels. It was fun to be "The Wizard."
    KW6LA, PU2OZT and K5TSK like this.
  6. K6GB

    K6GB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    My daughter did 9 years as a radioman/it specialist in the Navy, I asked about code and she said, " I'd have to have a machinest make a key, we don't use those anymore."
    K5TSK likes this.
  7. K5TSK

    K5TSK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks. Memory fails, but you helped me before on here with similar expertise. Military ops must have had accuracy first, foremost, and only, as the priority. Since they were probably the premier ops of the time, then naturally a 22 wpm J-36 would have been no challenge at all. My 24-25 wpm J-36 is a challenge to me, and only on really good days am I up to the challenge. "Those that can, do. Those that can't, ask stupid questions." Again, thanks.
  8. K5TSK

    K5TSK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Ok. Which came first, the code or the key?
  9. K5TSK

    K5TSK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'll never know. Thanks for your reply. My question really concerns the older J-36 bugs in the older days. A recently purchased Signal Corp J-36 has a fast contact spring, measured at 25 wpm for a series of h's, 5's, etc. On good days I measure 24 wpm 'straight text' on it using Morse Decoder and it's speedometer. Really above my level. For some reason, I refuse to attempt to slow it down. Feels like it would be abuse.

    Guess it's easier for most of us to slow the bug down, rather than grow into it. This bug will simply gather dust before I add weight. Thanks for your service.
  10. WN1MB

    WN1MB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Judging by the smirk on the key's face, I'd have to say the key.
    K5TSK likes this.

Share This Page