So I am getting me a Vibroplex Original Bug

Discussion in 'Working Different Modes' started by K4EET, Sep 16, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
ad: L-HROutlet
ad: l-rl
ad: HRDLLC-2
ad: L-Geochron
ad: abrind-2
ad: Left-2
ad: MessiPaoloni-1
ad: L-MFJ
ad: Left-3
  1. K4EET

    K4EET Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I feel competent with both a straight key and an iambic key / electronic keyer. In my love for CW, I have concluded that my next step will be to become proficient with a bug.

    The Vibroplex Original Bug will be the key of choice. Now I have to find one. Any tips on buying a used bug?

    Who out there uses a bug? Any usage tips for an old geezer (age 54) like myself?

    Speak up now. I want to hear your thoughts. TIA! Dave K4EET
  2. NI7I

    NI7I Guest

    Why a used bug? Vibroplex still makes them. Some say they are better now than ever. If you go to their site, they also sell refurbished used bugs.. I warn you, It takes much much practice to make music with one of these instruments.\

  3. K4EET

    K4EET Premium Subscriber QRZ Page


    Thanks for the reply. I have been on the Vibroplex website most of the day drooling over the Original. I have also watched quite a few You Tube videos on the various aspects of owning and operating a bug.

    Buying a new bug from Vibroplex is a possibility.

    I am 54 and medically retired so I feel I will have the time to invest in a bug to become proficient at it. That assumes I don't get frustrated and lose interest and go back to my electronic keyer with iambic paddles (also Vibroplex).

    Any suggestions from the expert on how best to ease into a new bug?

    TIA es 73, Dave K4EET
  4. K4EET

    K4EET Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    In the Vibroplex bugs, their models come with and without jeweled movements for about a $25 cost differential. Are jeweled movements recommended or will the simple non-jeweled movements last just as long and feel about the same? 73, Dave K4EET
  5. NI7I

    NI7I Guest

    Spend the 25. It's a small piece of change. The difference may not be all the much but If, latter you find that you really had to have it... Well, spend the money now.

    Most people that use a bug missuse it terribly. I got my "bug ticket" in the navy and my chief would not let me on the air until I could make music to his satisfaction. If you do get on the air with it, start slowly.. never ever try to send faster than you can make music with it.

  6. KC7UP

    KC7UP Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have a jeweled original small base deluxe bug I bought new in 1948. Used it in the Navy 49-52 constantly. Used it in govt. service several years later. Finally a few years ago got new jewels for it and it will last rest of my lifetime. Get the jeweled one.
  7. K3STX

    K3STX Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm an old geezer too (age 47), and about three years ago (after 30 years as a Ham) I bought my first bug and I LOVE using them!!

    I have a 100th Anniversary bug and I love it. I also love my 1939 Lightning bug. I have heard that the Lightning bug (or the related Champion) are actually easier to use than an Original, but I don't know. The Anniversary IS an Original bug, and I don't notice much difference.

    One thing I would STRONGLY recommend is some sort of "bug tamer". I have one for each of my bugs, it allows me to slow down to about 13 wpm or so. Without the tamer the slowest speed on each is about 27 wpm with the stock weight. Sending nice and slow will help you get the feel for spacing and your timing.

    Sending with a bug is alot more fun than sending with paddles (I have them too, Kent's and Begali's). For $50 you can get a nice Lightning bug on eBay, that is what I would do. Somehow seems more fun sending CW with a key that is OLDER than you are than simply a new bug, don't ya think?

    Don't let these guys talk you out of sending with a bug, they forget what it is like to try something new.

  8. DL7GEM

    DL7GEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I own a Vibroplex Original (left handed version) which I bought about 2 years ago directly from Vibroplex. The bug comes with instructions on how to use it -- I found them very helpful for learning how to master that beast. The bug is now my most often used key. If I feel like going slowly, I use the straight key. My single lever paddle is for high speeds (and always operated with the right hand, because I find that using the paddle with the left ruins my straight key and bug timing).

    I got the "jewel"-version, because that will prevent any wear in the bearings. It should also yield a little less friction, because you can make ceramic surfaces a bit smoother than metal ones (and make them stay smooth).

    You might also consider getting a Varispeed for your bug, i.e. a "bug tamer" as Paul/K3STX already suggested. The Varispeed helped me a lot in the beginning to get my timing right. You will find that getting the timing for the dahs right is the most difficult aspect of mastering the bug. Being able to go slowly helps a lot. I still use the Varispeed, but now mainly for the extended speed range it offers.

    I was quite surprised how quickly I got the feel for the bug (I am 44 years of age). Probably being used to operating a straight key helped.


    Marcus / DL7GEM
  9. W6MQI

    W6MQI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Not to put down Vibroplex keys I have several of them , but if you get a chance check out Vizkey at Tom's right angle bug is a real pleasure to use. I like it better then my Vibroplex keys, and it seems to hold adjustments better then the Vibroplex I find the adjustment screws tend to loosen up with use on the Vibroplex at least in my experience, and the Vizkey holds tight.

    That's my 2 cents anyway good luck and enjoy your bug which ever one you purchase.

  10. N0IU

    N0IU Ham Member QRZ Page

    I do!


    #1 Tip: Stay in the slow lane when heading up hill!
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page