ad: Morse-1

so I want to buy a bug .. never thought I would say that!

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by NE1U, Aug 2, 2018.

ad: L-HROutlet
ad: l-rl
ad: Left-3
ad: L-MFJ
ad: Subscribe
ad: Left-2
  1. KE6EE

    KE6EE Ham Member QRZ Page

    I wonder why you think Viskey bugs are not popular. I've had one for several years. I wrote an article for CQ magazine a few years
    ago and in the process interviewed Tom Desaulniers, the original designer and builder.

    As far as I know Viskeys are very popular and those who have them like them a lot. They are well-made and can easily be slowed down to 12 wpm or so.

    There are several contemporary makers of bugs beyond Vibroplex. There's nothing wrong with Vibroplex but some of the
    new designs have speed ranges that include significantly slower speeds without having to add a pendulum extender or
    more weight.
  2. K1LKP

    K1LKP Premium Subscriber QRZ Page


    73 CARMEN.jpg

  3. W9RAC

    W9RAC Subscriber QRZ Page

    While listening in the background to some HF CW and pursuing the CW threads I happened across this older but much relevant post, to me. I had a Vibroplex Original, with the Vari speed kit to get it to a manageable 20 wpm, for me being a slower OP. I used that bug for around a year solid. Having been using only mechanical keys up to that point (j38 or the like) it was almost like a dream. My problem was I could never get it to stay adjusted. It was a constant tinkering, for me. Possibly from my inferior skill level. Additionally, I felt it has a bit of a "scratchy" sound no matter how clean it was. I sold it out of disappointment. I got frustrated with it, but not with the possibility that I may someday find a different style or brand. I have in the mean time been using a N3ZN SN, magnetic paddle.

    Having had the chance to use a magnetic paddle has made me appreciate just how jerky springs are. Finally bringing me to the point of this post........

    I happened across Dean's post (K7WGY) regarding the I1QOD bug which intrigued me greatly. I did some reading from the site and noticed several things which might appeal to me. Firstly its magnetic, ending the continual adjustment issues I had with the Vibroplex. Secondly, In looking the the contact area I am now believing the scratchiness I had experienced with the Vibroplex may be from the design of the contacts?

    I have emailed I1QOD inquiring about his bug. Any other ideas or suggestions on this possible choice? 73 Rich
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2019
  4. WB5YUZ

    WB5YUZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think they do this when the contacts get worn. Mine does it sometimes. However, what I have noticed is that when the dit sounds scratchy on the sidetone, it usually sounds perfectly normal on the monitor receiver. I don't know why that happens, but at least in my case, it does.

    Mine has a worse problem; it's a De Luxe, so the fulcrum has a jeweled movement and the clearance is adjusted by a set screw underneath the base. On mine the threads on the set screw hole are messed up and the bug often won't hold adjustment, leading to up-and-down slop in the pendulum. That leads to scratchy dits every time. So far adjusting the clearance every single time I am through with an operating session keeps the problem manageable, but I am thinking about buying a new bug, now, while they are still making them, since mine is so worn out.

    The guy I bought it from must have used it a lot, and I've used it a lot; it's been my main key now for almost twenty-five years, now, and I've had many thousands of contacts with it.

    BTW a vari-speed should allow you to get right down to 12 WPM with two weights.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2019
    W9RAC likes this.
  5. W9RAC

    W9RAC Subscriber QRZ Page

    Well I was OK with the speed, I run it 18-20 or so. My problem was with the constant adjustments having to be made to get a quality sound. I purchased that bug new, and it was a Original Deluxe also. I probably made 700 contacts with it, mostly rag chew so the contacts looked fine. They never would align properly to me but the manual said the would not.

    Seeing the major difference between the SN key I have and others (I did buy a new vibroplex vibrokeyer also same adjustment problems) have used which used springs the difference is amazing. I was thinking it may be the same with the bug. I really enjoyed using it for sure so I'll see what he says when he writes back. I would expect spring mechanisms to be less consistent that the magnetic. 73 Rich
  6. K3EY

    K3EY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    This is not true. Putting on more weight minus that silly vari-speed does the same. I can point you to a ham who makes heavy weights made for vibroplex.

    But since you are pretty proficient you don’t need anything other than what it comes with.

    I can make any bug sing at 18 wpm right from manufacturer.
  7. W9RAC

    W9RAC Subscriber QRZ Page

    When I order my Vibroplex Original Deluxe I could only get it down to about 23 or 24 with the weight fully extended. I ordered the Vibroplex Vari Speed kit, needed to complete the speed down to 18ish. What did I not do correctly? 73 Rich
  8. K3EY

    K3EY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Send correctly, Seriously
  9. W9RAC

    W9RAC Subscriber QRZ Page

    Is that your answer or am I misreading it? tnx, Rich
  10. W9RAC

    W9RAC Subscriber QRZ Page

    We were not wanting the "swing", 24 wpm dit and 18 wpm dah's, we may not be on the same page with the sound we want. 73 Rich

Share This Page