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Re: [cw_bugs] Speed-X (Was: slowing bugs down)

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  • David Ring
    E.F. Johnson (maker of h.f. radios and ham gear such as the Ranger, Navigator, Viking, etc. bought out Les Logan s bugs and marketed them under their Speed-X
    Message 1 of 31 , Mar 22, 2007
      E.F. Johnson (maker of h.f. radios and ham gear such as the Ranger, Navigator, Viking, etc. bought out Les Logan's bugs and marketed them under their Speed-X line of morse keys.

      Bill Nye bought out Johnson and the molds for their keys - and formed NYE-VIKING but only sold the Speed-X straight keys with the oval bases and the rectangular bases.

      So the Speed-X keys were only made by Les Logan and E.F. Johnson - Bill Nye never made them (although I believe he has the rights to them.)


      David N1EA

      On 3/22/07, ai4re <ai4re@...> wrote:

      --- In cw_bugs@yahoogroups.com, "Grover Cleveland" <clevelandg@...>
      > A Les Logan 515 is about the same size as the Blue Racer and generally
      > easier to find, and much less expensive. It will slow right down.
      I've used
      > it mobile before and it's fb.

      I've done just enough research to get confused. When somebody
      says, "Speed-X," I'm picturing a straight key. I'm not wrong. I don't
      know if anyone else made them before, and if there's any connection to
      the Speed-X name on the bugs, but they're most recently made by Nye
      Viking in two different base models.

      But then there are the Speed-X BUGS. Apparently, not are there only
      multiple model numbers given the Speed-X name (of which the 515 was
      one), but the name was used by at least two different companies -
      Johnson and Logan.

      I just share this in case someone else was confused by the "Speed-X"
      name like I was.

      I welcome more discussion from the knowledgable. Information on the
      history of Vibroplex seems easier to come by, but I don't find much on
      other key companies. What's the connection, if any, between Johnson
      and Logan? What the connection, if any, between the Johnson/Logan
      Speed-X bugs and the Nye Viking Speed-X straight keys?

    • nzeronv
      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
      Message 31 of 31 , Mar 2, 2008
        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 cw_bugs@yahoogroups.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,
        heaven forbid.
        > 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]
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