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

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by AE8W, Aug 2, 2018.

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  1. W9RAC

    W9RAC Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Nice going........ I have been in touch with Alberto regarding the bug you have purchased since that is the same model you use, you can help me. I have a pending order also I placed yesterday. Since you do have one you will better be able to answer my question. While reading reviews on Eham I noticed one remark which caused me some concern. I found it after I had placed the order which I can still change today. I only use single lever keys, paddles. The reviewer mentioned the I1QOD bug uses separate levers, similar to a iambic paddle, here is what he said about it ......

    "One comment on the key not mentioned in the other reviews is that the dit and dah paddles are SEPARATE like in an iambic paddle. That takes a little time to get used to if you're coming from a Vibroplex. "

    What concerned me after reading that statement was that I am coming from a Vibroplex AND I also use a single lever paddle, N3ZN SN that I want to continue using also. Knowing that do you believe I would be able to easily switch between the two without confusion? I have never owned a iambic paddle or used one before. 73 Rich
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2019
  2. W9RAC

    W9RAC Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yes I did incorporate a method similar to that. I used a very low tension rubber band to dampen the vibrations which occur naturally from using it. It did remove some of the "scratchiness" but it was just not as clean as I had hoped or wanted. Not being derogatory toward Vibroplex, I found the design in general is lacking but being more of a nostalgic device that's to be expected. The Vibroplex Vibrokeyer exhibits the same type of shortcomings also. Having taken one of those for a spin for a few 1000 QSO's as well I found much of the same "sloppiness" within the mechanism. 73 Rich
  3. WB5YUZ

    WB5YUZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Of course it does! I never said it didn't!

    Look at what I posted, and what you quoted: "A typical Vibroplex with two weights can only slow down to about 20 WPM.."

    What was unclear or untrue about that? :rolleyes:
  4. K3EY

    K3EY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Really O K mine is magic then.

    Maybe because I am a wizard.

    Lets have a gun fight over this.:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:
  5. W6MK

    W6MK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Not to worry. An iambic dual lever paddle can be used as if it were a single lever paddle by simply avoiding any
    "squeeze" motions.

    I use a bug. I also have used iambic and single-lever paddles with a keyer in bug mode or even in any mode without

    I also have a double-lever bug, made by GHD. It does have a somewhat different feel than a Vibroplex bug. There is no
    squeeze keying with a double-lever bug because there is no software determining the response as in an iambic A or B

    The effect of using a double lever bug is that you can begin to move more quickly towards sending the other character element from
    the one just before. I think it may be useful for high speed bug users, sending at 30 to 40 wpm.

    The practical effect of using a double lever bug at ordinary speeds in the mid-20 wpms is very small, if any at all.

    All bugs have a somewhat different feel. I have several of them and I find them all about the same in terms of
    my ability to send code as perfectly as possible. I think the double lever design is more sophisticated and offers
    a theoretical advantage for most bug users with possible small advantage for really high speed bug users.
    W9RAC likes this.
  6. W9RAC

    W9RAC Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I had ask 4 times for the method you use to accomplish this, with a tap dance for a answer each time. That's OK since of course I know the answer. Thanks for your time, 73 Rich
  7. K3EY

    K3EY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I love you too
  8. W9RAC

    W9RAC Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Just for those remarks I am putting a bug back on the air....... I may practice first OR may not. I might just torcher people while I get back into practice, I wonder who my first victim can be? 73 Rich
  9. W9RAC

    W9RAC Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I did notice Donnie has some nice items he manufactures, including a 1.8 oz weight to slow the bug down to around 20 ish without the Vari speed kit, which I admit looks horrible, to me. Unfortunately Donnie is closing up his shop he said, he has stopped manufacturing parts. Too bad, looks like quality stuff. I whined enough that he decided he felt sorry for me and made a exception by making me a weight. 73 Rich
  10. KG7WGX

    KG7WGX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    If you use what I believe is conventional bug technique and "rock" your hand slightly to press the fingerpieces, you will not be able to tell the difference between a single lever bug and the double lever I1QOD.

    I can't believe I did this, but this spring I bought a GHD bug because it was small enough to pack for traveling. The I1QOD is a massive beast that will probably never leave my main station QTH. So now I have two bugs!

    The GHD only weighs 2 lbs and is 3" x 5". This bug has a single lever and I have no trouble at all switching between the two. The GHD has a very narrow single fingerpiece and I have to hold my fingers closer together than for the I1QOD, but the rocking motion to run it is the same. Fortunately, it also runs with a light touch, so the light weight base doesn't mean chasing it all over the table.

    Can you use the double lever bug incorrectly? Sure. You can press the right lever before letting go of the left lever, and you can press the left lever before letting go of the right lever. This will result in missed dits as the contacts are in parallel.

    I can't predict what kind of trouble you might have, as I have zero Vibroplex experience, but I would guess that if you have absolutely no "squeeze" keying habits to break, you will not want to squeeze the two levers.

    The I1QOD has a heavy enough base that you can slap it around if that is your habit, but IMO, it isn't necessary to use a lot of force. It runs very nicely with a light touch. Not as light a touch as I use for paddles, but still what I would describe as light.

    A note of interest is that Donnie, WA9TGT, says he is retiring sometime this spring, so the 1.9 oz weight source will no longer be available.
    W9RAC likes this.

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