Thanks for sharing your insight.
I second your approval of the Vari-Speed. I was originally skeptical
of it because of torsion effects, which I reasoned could rub the dot
contact vertically during use, especially considering the thinner main
springs currently manufactured into Vibroplex Originals. I notice no
bad results, however.
The flat version of the Vari-Speed is especially useful with a
Vibroplex Champion model, which has no damper bridge to restrict the
position or rotation.
With my configuration, the dot speed is 15 to 28 WPM. If any of you
can send 18-20 wpm with a straight key for an hour or more with no ill
effects, more power to you -- I can't.
Jack - N0NV
--- In email@example.com, "Trail Fox" <KT5X@...> wrote:
> From my observation across (fifty years) of bug use...
> * Additional weights so increase the mass of the pendulum as to make
operating it both different and non-instructive. during professional
use days that simply wasn't done even for learning.
> * adding more weights doesn't slow the bug down much because they
wind up being placed closer to the pendulum.
> * The large diameter weights used by some Mac bugs and E F Johnson
have a MUCH better effect on speed becauseit puts more weight further
out on the pendulum.
> * Wrapping solder around the wieght at the end of the bug will slow
the bug down much more than adding a second weight.
> Unfortunately, the large diameter weights are harder to come by, and
the holes in them don't necessarily fit on vibroplex bugs.
> Rather than extensions that add SO much mass and change the feel of
the pendulum, or extra weights that do the same thing with relatively
little effect on speed, I use the recent remake (by Tim Soxman) of the
Hills Speed-changer. vibroplex sells them under the name, Varispeed.
> The Varispeed uses one weight, and the device itself is about the
equivalent of a second weight. it provides near instant speed
changing by rotating the arm. It will slow the bug down way slower
than second, third, or fourth weights because by rotating it the small
weight can extend the length of the pendulum which does more than
adding weight does. in so doing it does not add mass like extra
weights or the extension arm.
> the Varispeed is the way to go IMHO. Here is a Varispeed on my
(restored) 1918 Vibroplex...
> And the very best configuration of all is a Varispeed on the old
U-shaped damper blue Racers, because without the damper in the way,
the varispeed and its weight can rotate straight back and slow the bug
down to a crawl.
> A few other comments on bug speed...
> The slowest American bugs I have encountered are the 1930's vintage
> The slowest bug I have ever encountered, by far, is the Australian
Simplex-Auto. This is a right-angle bug that uses a release mechanism
like Coffe's Mecograph of the early 1900's. It will go ten wpm,
> Western Union established a fixed speed of 28 wpm. I have found old
bugs with the weight soldered in place at this speed.
> With best wishes,
> FD - kt5x
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]