Whilst unpacking from my trip to the Fort Wayne hamfest and a few more days seeing the sights of northwestern Ohio, I got to thinking of the bug tamer projects. Don't you love it when a mechanical problem can be solved in ten minutes?
The core of this project is the use of an electrical neutral/ground bar - the kind that goes into an electrical panel and has lots of screws in it, designed to fasten wires. These are available in many styles from any electrical supplier and most hardware stores. The one I used is made by Ilsco.
I've tried to attach the pictures and put up a copy in the Photos section. An intact bus bar is also shown. I got these free from someone giving them away at a ham flea market years ago and knew I'd find a use for them eventually. If you buy one you can of course buy a much shorter one. This is a perfect use for some electrical scrap that many people have access to.
For each piece, I just cut the bar to separate two of the screws and ran the vibrator of the bug through one wire hole and the new extension vibrator through the other. It's copper so very easy to cut and file smooth. I used a cutoff saw but a hacksaw will work fine. You could cut the bar so the two pieces are identical and smoothly finished but this was my first shot at it.
For the extension vibrator I used a piece of 3.75mm aluminum knitting needle from Wal-Mart. You can use a nail, chrome utensil handles, or what I usually use to build bugs, pegboard hooks.
Now since this is so easy to make I used two pieces of the ground bar next to each other. This adds some more weight as well. It seems as though having two of these is more secure but using only one appears to be sufficient. If the screws tend to work a loose a drop of Locktite Blue will keep them secure and be removable.
I believe it works pretty much like any other bug tamer but doesn't require machine work, finding specific tubing, or affect the alignment of the bug, and if carefully made doesn't look like a complete kludge.