So I am getting me a Vibroplex Original Bug

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

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  1. AB2T

    AB2T Ham Member QRZ Page

    What are those two poles on the front fenders for? Parking? Signalling?

    Anyway, I admire all of you for taking up the bug. If I come across a Vibroplex that's been well taken care, I might give it a shot. However, I think I'll practice off the air until I can reasonably mimic a computer.

    73, Jordan
  2. N0IU

    N0IU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Those are "add-on" turn signals since the original model did not come with any.
  3. K7MH

    K7MH XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I don't have one but have watched prices on used Standards.
    Used they seem to usually go for around 65 to 80 bucks plus shipping in pretty good condition and newer models.
    I have seen the 100th anniversary model "seconds" sell for far more than they cost the original buyer. Nice looking even if they are seconds with a blemish or two.
    I always though the Blue Racer was pretty nice. Don't have one though.
    Several are on Ebay and they show up fairly frequently here on the Zed.
    I do have an Iambic Deluxe with the jeweled bearings. It is a flashy sort of thing but personally I doubt that the regular bearings get worn out very often by the average ham unless they are tightened down too much.
    Don't be in a hurry, be a little critical of pictures you see of ones that are for sale. Watch for pitting of the chrome parts. Don't let the I want it now thing take too much control.
    Replacement parts are available for at least the newer ones but some parts are expensive to order. I wanted a new set of all the Phillips head screws for my Iambic but it was more than I wanted to spend to order them. I found the right size of slotted head screws in stainless steel locally for FAR less so went with that instead. It was part of a package deal and ended up costing me almost nothing so couldn't say anything about the condition.
    Before and after;

    Attached Files:

  4. AL7N

    AL7N Ham Member QRZ Page


    Vibroplexes are the best....

    The jeweled bearings are not really necessary however.

    You won't wear out an unjeweled one in a lifetime it it is kept properly adjusted.

    I've got a 1924 vintage Vibroplex Original that was used hard on railroad Morse wires until I bought it from a retiring telegraph operator about 40 years ago...I still use it today.

    It is still one of my best keys, and will still send flawless Morse if i do my part.
  5. K4EET

    K4EET Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks to all that took the time to reply. I now have a beautiful Vibroplex Original bug. I use it every day and love the feel of a bug from yesteryear. Look for me on CW and say hi! 73, Dave K4EET
  6. K3STX

    K3STX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi Dave,

    Glad to hear you got it!! I'll keep an ear out for you this weekend, I am due west of you in Potomac. We can chat and torture each other with our bugs!

  7. K4EET

    K4EET Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Paul, I'll be listening for your call. I hang out around 7.108 MHz +/- 5 KHz most of the time. I am retired and disabled and at home on the air all day long. 73, Dave K4EET
  8. KF7ATL

    KF7ATL Ham Member QRZ Page


    I kept watching Ebay until I found one in a price range I could afford. I bid on it and got it. It is a '71 Original, and is in pretty good shape. All I had to do was clean the contacts and go through the normal adjustment process to get it to work. I'm not fast yet (10-12 wpm) so I added a home made extend-a-dot to slow it down (made from a section salvaged from an old telescoping antenna). It took a bit of getting used to, but now I like it very much. It is almost as easy to use as a paddle, but I think it has a warmer, more "human" sound.

    Garth, KF7ATL
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2010
  9. AG3Y

    AG3Y Guest

    You guys call yourselves "old geezers"; How do you think I FEEL ? ? ? :eek: :eek:

    The best way I have found to use a bug, is to use a "rolling" motion with your wrist to form the elements. Don't just tap a bug with your fingertips. That leads to choppy sending.

    Of course, YMMV ! Have fun with your new toy !
  10. K7JBQ

    K7JBQ Moderator Volunteer Moderator QRZ Page


    Yep, and a lot of us old bug ops use the same rolling motion when switching to paddles. We just use a little less "roll."

    And right you are, it does make for smoother sending.

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