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Want to slow down that vibroplex?

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by K9NUD, Nov 21, 2021.

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  1. K9NUD

    K9NUD XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I just got a bug and I'm enjoying the heck out of it. But damn, that thing is fast! At its slowest setting, the dits are around 24 WPM. I began noodling for a solution. The rule was that the solution had to be located within 36" of the key.

    After 30 seconds or so, I discovered that a female-female UHF coupler fit snugly on the shaft protruding past the damper. I understand that not all models have enough shaft to do this. Mine is a 1990's vintage Original Standard. Adding this weight is an easy way to QRS for ops with a slower fist. This mod appears to give you 16 WPM dits. It's super-easy to switch back and forth. You can also try various adapters, panel jacks, and so on. Have fun!

    [​IMG]

    Since then, I went ahead and added the official Vibroplex Vari-Speed, which costs $40 shipped in the US.
    [​IMG]

    Also note the paperclip mod (the "ditmeister") which pre-loads the contact spring, making for more succinct dits.
     
  2. W6MK

    W6MK Ham Member QRZ Page

    The problem is usually called "contact bounce." Your "pre-loading" may affect the dit length at slower speeds.

    One of the challenges of using bugs properly is maintaining appropriate dit weighting for overall speed. Bug-sent code does not sound
    good if dits are not long enough for the sending speed.
     
    K9NUD likes this.
  3. K9NUD

    K9NUD XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Good point, Michael. The amount of pre-loading will impact the dit length. My first attempt seems to be spot on, with the RBN spots showing 16-18, based on the vari-speed setting. My dits were a mess beforehand, partly due to experience, but mostly due to the soft contact. The modern rigs seem to have a hair trigger.
     
  4. K1LKP

    K1LKP Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    STEVEN,

    THANK YOU FOR SHARING UR NIFTY TIPS ON SLOWING DOWN / STABLIZING A BUG.


    BUG SLOW DOWN.jpg

    73 ES==== happy-tks table.gif
     
    K9NUD likes this.
  5. W6MK

    W6MK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Different rigs will be more or less sensitive to contact bounce (and not just on bug contacts).

    Due, probably, to the almost-universal use of rigs' built-in keyer circuits, keying circuits of many contemporary
    rigs do not deal well with manual key contact bounce.

    There are a number of approaches to dealing with this problem. With one of my more-sensitive-to-contact-bounce
    rigs, I use a debouncing circuit between my manual keys and the rig. This takes care of the problem completely, with
    any type of manual key.

    A further point regarding bug adjustments for producing good code is to accept that bugs usually do not respond
    in an optimum way to other than very minor changes in dit speeds as adjusted at the pendulum. The traditional
    use of bugs was at a single speed, usually about 25 wpm, and the bug would be adjusted to perform well at that particular
    speed. At 25 wpm a bug is very useful if you are going to be sending Morse Code for hours at a time. Otherwise, at speeds up
    to 20 wpm, a straight key works just fine for most people.

    Last, a bug set at, say, 22 wpm or so (typically the minimum speed for most bugs) can very effectively be used at a significantly slower speed by simply increasing spacing between characters and words. This is my usual method for CW with ops who choose to work
    at speeds below 20 wpm. I have never received a complaint that I'm sending too fast. Of course being able to increase spacing between characters and words is yet another skill to be learned. One of the chief ingredients in difficult-to-copy code is the inability of some
    ops to provide adequate spacing between characters and words.
     
    K9NUD likes this.
  6. WN1MB

    WN1MB Ham Member QRZ Page

    That's brilliant!

    I checked my 1964 Original Standard, and the shaft is too short for the F-F UHF coupler, but others
    I have the Vari-Speed on my bug mentioned above and found it works well with that particular model/year.
     
    K9NUD likes this.
  7. W4HAY

    W4HAY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    The beauty of the Varispeed is that by properly positioning and adding or subtracting weights, the change in speed can be made to come close to 2:1 by just swinging the varispeed weigh through the limits of its arc.
     
    WB5YUZ and K8PG like this.
  8. DD5RK

    DD5RK Ham Member QRZ Page

    K9NUD, K1LKP and WN1MB like this.
  9. K9NUD

    K9NUD XML Subscriber QRZ Page

  10. K9NUD

    K9NUD XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Agreed, I really appreciate the vari-speed. I go from 16-25, depending on the QSO. But the 1:1 SWR model shown above improves my match, hi hi
     

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