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Australian Simplex Auto

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  • cloud runner
    I have one of these bugs. They were made from about 1920 into the 1950 s. Most were used by the post office which was the equivalent to our Western Union.
    Message 1 of 6 , Oct 17, 2007
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      I have one of these bugs.  They were made from about 1920 into the 1950's.  Most were used by the post office which was the equivalent to our Western Union.  Morse code went out of their post office in the 70's and they discarded the bugs, most going to the dump.  hence, even though about 7,000 were made, they are scarce.
       
      There are nine versions of them, and die-hard collectors try to collect them all.  in fact, the variations are so small, I can not see the difference.
       
      Of great significance are the following two things:
       
      * these bugs will go slower than ANY other bug, in normal configuration.  Mine will slow to about 12 wpm.
       
      * these bugs are entirely different from Vibroplex, in that they use a release mechanism.  In this they resemble the Mecograph bugs of the early 1900's, the ones that got around the Vibroplex patent, as well they should have.
       
      You may look at several close ups of the mechaism of mine at my website.  < www.kt5x.com
      >
       
      while a recent one of these sold for $230, historically, they have usually sold for around $500.  Considering how unusual they are, and how scarce they are, that is a bargain!
       
      73,  Fred
    • Bill
      I visited you page to look at the Simplex - I had recalled you have one pictured there. Wish you had a photo without the top cover on, so I could see the
      Message 2 of 6 , Oct 18, 2007
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        I visited you page to look at the Simplex - I had recalled you have one
        pictured there. Wish you had a photo without the top cover on, so I
        could see the complete workings.

        Personally, the Codetrol has it all over the others (et al).

        Following the auction will be of interest - educationally. But in the
        end, it is all in the eye of the beholder.

        73,

        Bill
      • cloud runner
        Well, sorry, Bill, the apparent cover is more than that. It is actually the trunion support. in other words, if that is removed the key falls apart, (and it
        Message 3 of 6 , Oct 18, 2007
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          Well, sorry, Bill, the apparent cover is more than that.  It is actually the trunion support.  in other words, if that is removed the key falls apart, (and it is quite annoying to put back).
           
          The key uses a release mechanism.  it is quite simple.  The mainspring is permanently anchored to the base.  The lever, deflects the mainspring, pushes against it, the lever has its own spring that is stronger.  When you move the lever you release the mainspring to vibrate and make dits.  the lever comes to rest against a stop, which you set to be far enough away from the mainspring to not touch it while it is in motion.
           
          If you are unwilling to pay the premium for a scarce antique with history, you can purchase a Vizkey for much less.
           
          73,  FD - kt5x
           
          W5YA / qrp/fists club call
           
           
        • Bill
          You hit it on the head - unwilling! I am only a user. I once was a collector of all kinds of things - keys, mics, old rigs, and guns. Then I got very sick and
          Message 4 of 6 , Oct 19, 2007
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            You hit it on the head - unwilling! I am only a user. I once was a
            collector of all kinds of things - keys, mics, old rigs, and guns. Then
            I got very sick and cleaned house so as to leave nothing for anyone
            else to have to dispose of. It must have been an excellent exercise for
            me - as I have felt great ever since (several years).

            I have a VizKey 90 degree and really like it. It has a small footprint
            and operates wonderfully. Same for the Flame Proof.

            I was afraid you were going to say the Simplex's cover was part of the
            frame. It appears heavy, not just covering material. Am I correct in
            assuming that it the loaded spring that allows the slow speed
            adjustment, vs assorted weights as used on most bugs?

            Bill W2BLC
          • David Ring
            The VIZ key is an excellent key. I have the Merick version which is a very similar design. I d say that the particular key under discussion is better than
            Message 5 of 6 , Oct 19, 2007
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              The VIZ key is an excellent key. I have the Merick version which is a
              very similar design. I'd say that the particular key under discussion
              is better than both - but it also has rarity to increase the price.

              I believe the VIZ right angle is about $180 - but if I had a choice of
              that or a Australian Simplex Auto at $350, it would be an easy choice
              - the Simplex is well worth the money.

              However not all expensive keys are worth they money for their
              non-collection use. The Bunnell Gold Bug comes to mind - very rare
              (people threw them away they were so bad senders) but I envy anyone
              who can send readable code with them.

              73

              DR

              On 10/19/07, Bill <flyer@...> wrote:
              > You hit it on the head - unwilling! I am only a user. I once was a
              > collector of all kinds of things - keys, mics, old rigs, and guns. Then
              > I got very sick and cleaned house so as to leave nothing for anyone
              > else to have to dispose of. It must have been an excellent exercise for
              > me - as I have felt great ever since (several years).
              >
              > I have a VizKey 90 degree and really like it. It has a small footprint
              > and operates wonderfully. Same for the Flame Proof.
              >
              > I was afraid you were going to say the Simplex's cover was part of the
              > frame. It appears heavy, not just covering material. Am I correct in
              > assuming that it the loaded spring that allows the slow speed
              > adjustment, vs assorted weights as used on most bugs?
              >
              > Bill W2BLC
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > Yahoo! Groups Links
              >
              >
              >
              >
            • cloud runner
              Was interested to learn that the Vizbug right angle behaves well. Have never seen one, but it sure looks good! I was afraid you were going to say the
              Message 6 of 6 , Oct 20, 2007
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                Was interested to learn that the Vizbug right angle behaves well.  Have never seen one, but it sure looks good!
                 
                I was afraid you were going to say the Simplex's cover was part of the
                frame. It appears heavy, not just covering material. Am I correct in
                assuming that it the loaded spring that allows the slow speed
                adjustment, vs assorted weights as used on most bugs?

                Bill W2BLC
                 
                i guess one could say the covers serves as a frame though its only service is that there is a cone shaped almost hole for the upper trunion support.  In the eraly ones it is obvious as it is adjustable.  In the later ones the only trunion adjustment is on the bottom.
                 
                The mount for the mainspring, and the mount for the dit spring are both posts mounted on the base.  The mainspring is deflected or released by the lever.  The dit spring has its own separate adjustment which impacts the dot to space ratio.  there is a sliding weight for the speed adjustment, but the mainspring is softer and longer than on a Vibroplex, hence its speed range is slower.
                 
                73,   FD  KT5X
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 

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