Vibroplex Bug Question - new to this

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by KN4CQB, Mar 22, 2020.

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  1. WA1GXC

    WA1GXC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Theodore "Ted" McElroy who started out as an American landline Morse telegraph operator and became a radiotelegraph operator

    with RCA (he transitioned to Continental Code on-the-job at Radio WCC) at one time held the world-record for Continental Code reception

    in sanctioned competition. He believed in lots of hand body-English keying the bug.

    Other commenters have in past discussions here pointed out, correctly, that because a semi-automatic key has a lot going on mechanically the
    pendulum really has to be displaced a bit to make things sound good. You can set up a bug to send clean fast, set it up to send clean slow, but you
    can't have it both ways. That's why I think many bugs just will not tolerate weight + weight + weight. There is some compromise regime.

    On another subject--Non-Skid for your bug, paddle, or straight key--
    Far superior to a computer mouse pad is the cheapest thing you can find-- Go to any dollar-store, go to houseware items section, and buy
    a roll of rubberized shelf-liner mesh for $1.00. You'll get about 2 yards, enough to outfit the telegraph office at the New York Herald
    or RMS Titanic's radio room with enough left over to open a year's worth of dill pickles. Finely engineered in the PRC for your communications
    efficiency. Wicked FB!
    N2EY, WN1MB and K5TSK like this.
  2. K5TSK

    K5TSK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    My J-36 rubber feet are a bit hard and even with my wimpy style of non-professional bug sending, I move the key around a bit while sending. Asked the wife if she had anything that might help and she brought out some of that stuff. My J-36 sits on a wood block with mesh glued on the underneath surface permanently and a piece temporary between the block and bug. Sits a little higher and rock steady. Hope your problem is a small one.

    On bug style sending. Personally, I think the style of sending ought to be preserved as well as these old bugs that we cherish. After reversing my fingers so that they match the bug style orientation, no one should doubt my sincerity or respect for my J-36. It has been pure Hell trying to undo years of iambic 'bug-backwards' orientation and has ruined the pleasure of 9 months of code sending, but it's starting to come around. Forgive me if I choose not to add another change to the system. Not a mechanical engineer, but the force required to sufficiently activate the thin coupling strip of spring steel such that it sends the pendulum into a frenzy should be the same whatever the style at the finger piece. Maybe not. But, I'm not arguing nor doubting your combined wisdom. As time goes forward, I'm sending less and less like on a contact paddle. 73.
    WA1GXC likes this.
  3. K8JD

    K8JD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think there should be a few days of OFF-AIR work with this BUG before going on he air ! It does take some learning because the Champ is a pretty fast sender without adding some length and weight to the pendulum,. I can slow my Champ down to about ten WPM with a 4 inch extention on the pendulum if I want to do QRS !
    K5TSK likes this.

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