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RE: [cw_bugs] Coffin bug

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  • Meir WF2U
    Steve, My first bug was the coffin bug, I bought it in 1965. It was much cheaper than the Vibroplex and I could afford it. A few years later I got my first
    Message 1 of 18 , Nov 5, 2007
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      Steve,

      My first bug was the "coffin" bug, I bought it in 1965. It was much cheaper
      than the Vibroplex and I could afford it. A few years later I got my first
      Vibroplex and I donated the "coffin" to a local ham club.
      A few years ago I bought new, still in the box "coffin" bug on ebay just for
      nostalgic reasons and I use it once in a while.
      It's an OK key, but it's not my favorite bug (neither are any of the
      Vibroplex models I have).

      73, Meir WF2U
      Landrum, SC



      -----Original Message-----
      From: cw_bugs@yahoogroups.com [mailto:cw_bugs@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
      n6vl
      Sent: Sunday, November 04, 2007 11:52 PM
      To: cw_bugs@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [cw_bugs] Coffin bug

      I got a Japanese coffin bug off ebay. This one isn't labeled other
      than "Japan" on the bottom. I think the Hi-Mound BK-100 and the
      Skillman, are the same bug. Whatever one this is, it looks just like
      the BK-100 shown on Marshall's web site in the adjustments section.

      That said, the coffin bug doesn't feel like any bug I've tried to
      date. All my other bugs are Vibroplexes. I find the coffin bug very
      smooth and easy to use. I was able to add a second 1/2 oz flat weight
      to it, which it gets down to about 16 wpm, right in my speed range. I
      immediately noticed I could send much faster and easier than with my
      1953 Presentation, my favorite bug til now. I think some of it is due
      to the single flat paddle. I found it easier to send on the
      Vibroplex, if I didn't use the knob and used the single paddle.
      Perhaps that explains my ease with the coffin bug.

      The coffin bug does have some draw backs. I have to remove the clear
      top cover to change the speed. And I have to loosen the arm, at the
      pivot, to add or remove a weight. On the plus side, it doesn't move
      around, even though the rubber feet are hardened, and I'm not using a
      shelf liner pad.

      I also got a Johnson Speed-X 114-520, off ebay. It is not in as good
      condition. I've been so captivated by the coffin bug, I haven't tried
      the Speed-X yet. It needs cleaning up first.

      Does anyone here have a coffin bug or ever tried one? I am surprised
      it isn't more popular. It seems to self correct some of the sending
      problems I've struggled with, like the letter U. I can't vouche for
      it at normal bug speeds, like 20 wpm and above. But it did seem
      easier for me to send at those speeds.

      The photo is posted at
      http://ph.groups.yahoo.com/group/cw_bugs/photos/view/b973?b=1.

      73,

      Steve N6VL





      Yahoo! Groups Links




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    • walt shipman - KI4OYH
      Had one back in 69, but it got lost during a reassignment. Did, as you say have a good feel, took a little work to adjust, etc. But, didn t have to worry
      Message 2 of 18 , Nov 5, 2007
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        Had one back in '69, but it got lost during a reassignment. Did, as you say have a good feel, took a little work to adjust, etc. But, didn't have to worry about dust, or spilling coffee on it.
         
        73
         
        Walt
        KI4OYH
        :-{)>


        ----- Original Message ----
        From: n6vl <n6vl@...>
        To: cw_bugs@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Sunday, November 4, 2007 10:51:55 PM
        Subject: [cw_bugs] Coffin bug

        I got a Japanese coffin bug off ebay. This one isn't labeled other
        than "Japan" on the bottom. I think the Hi-Mound BK-100 and the
        Skillman, are the same bug. Whatever one this is, it looks just like
        the BK-100 shown on Marshall's web site in the adjustments section.

        That said, the coffin bug doesn't feel like any bug I've tried to
        date. All my other bugs are Vibroplexes. I find the coffin bug very
        smooth and easy to use. I was able to add a second 1/2 oz flat weight
        to it, which it gets down to about 16 wpm, right in my speed range. I
        immediately noticed I could send much faster and easier than with my
        1953 Presentation, my favorite bug til now. I think some of it is due
        to the single flat paddle. I found it easier to send on the
        Vibroplex, if I didn't use the knob and used the single paddle.
        Perhaps that explains my ease with the coffin bug.

        The coffin bug does have some draw backs. I have to remove the clear
        top cover to change the speed. And I have to loosen the arm, at the
        pivot, to add or remove a weight. On the plus side, it doesn't move
        around, even though the rubber feet are hardened, and I'm not using a
        shelf liner pad.

        I also got a Johnson Speed-X 114-520, off ebay. It is not in as good
        condition. I've been so captivated by the coffin bug, I haven't tried
        the Speed-X yet. It needs cleaning up first.

        Does anyone here have a coffin bug or ever tried one? I am surprised
        it isn't more popular. It seems to self correct some of the sending
        problems I've struggled with, like the letter U. I can't vouche for
        it at normal bug speeds, like 20 wpm and above. But it did seem
        easier for me to send at those speeds.

        The photo is posted at
        http://ph.groups. yahoo.com/ group/cw_ bugs/photos/ view/b973? b=1.

        73,

        Steve N6VL



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      • Eric Lawson
        I have one of these bugs. I used it as a novice back in the early 70s. It was kind of clunky, but I discovered that one of the 1/16 inch ball bearings was
        Message 3 of 18 , Nov 5, 2007
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          I have one of these bugs. I used it as a novice back in the early 70s.
          It was kind of clunky, but I discovered that one of the 1/16 inch ball
          bearings was missing from the pivot assembly. After installing the extra
          bearing, the bug started working quite nicely...no more clunkiness.

          Along the way, I also discovered that I better liked how the bug worked if
          I didn't use ANY lube on the ball bearings.


          The only reason I quit using the Skillman bug was that I found a Blue
          Racer that better fit my speed range. The Skillman's speed was about
          15-25wpm and the Blue Racer was an odd one that would slow down to about
          20wpm.


          I still use the Skillman when I want to slow down but don't want to use a
          straight key.

          Perhaps it is for the same reason--starting out with the knobless
          Skillman--I, too, don't like using the knob on a bug.

          I always thought the plastic cover was a great thing. My novice
          transmitter was an Eico 723. It used cathode keying. The plastic cover
          would keep my fingers from "straying"..and me from being jolted awake.

          Eric
        • David Ring
          Meir, I happen to respect your taste in keys - especially straight keys - those you love are the same as I love! I agree with you on the coffin bugs. In
          Message 4 of 18 , Nov 13, 2007
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            Meir,

            I happen to respect your taste in keys - especially straight keys -
            those you love are the same as I love!

            I agree with you on the coffin bugs. In addition, I always found them
            terribly difficult to adjust to sound sweet.

            Regarding Vibroplex, I have to say that I prefer those made in the
            1940s vintage - they play very well. Second to that, their bugs up
            until about 1970 seem to be very good. I would assume that the
            decline in wire telegraphy that saw the good fortunes of J.H. Bunnell
            and Vibroplex caused concern at Vibroplex and that concern was
            evidenced by declining quality of their instruments. The Albright
            family who had owned the company for many years, probably saw their
            fortunes were going to change, and sold the company to John LaHiff
            their long time mechanical engineer about 1965, then John passed away
            and his family sold the company to Peter Garsoe an investor (non
            telegrapher) about 1979. I believe Bunnell whose keys and sounders,
            peg boards, etc. were the main stay of telegraph stations in North and
            South America had little or no "radio" market and closed its doors -
            yet the corporation remains to sell parts and a re-issue of their tiny
            key on board which had been given as a commemerative gift of
            recognition for years.

            With Peter Garsoe the new owner of Vibroplex came changes - the LaHiff
            mainspring was taken out of the Presentation, the trunnion height
            adjustment on the main lever was discontinued which makes re-adjusting
            to make the contacts align more difficult - although it can be done
            with the bottom trunnion screw for a small amount and if not, a rubber
            mallet and vice to move the pressure fitted main lever.

            Why the reason in quality? I supose it is because of the way the keys
            play. I trace most of the problem to the new practice of plating the
            mainspring. This makes the swing stiffer which makes the energy in
            the swing lesser, and the speed of the swing higher.

            So Meir, what is your favorite bug?

            I like my 1940-45 Vibroplex (and perhaps older), my 1940s McElroy bugs
            best. Second place are the Vibroplex bugs up to the 1970s.

            73

            DR

            David, N1EA
            =30=


            On 11/5/07, Meir WF2U <wf2u@...> wrote:
            > Steve,
            >
            > My first bug was the "coffin" bug, I bought it in 1965. It was much cheaper
            > than the Vibroplex and I could afford it. A few years later I got my first
            > Vibroplex and I donated the "coffin" to a local ham club.
            > A few years ago I bought new, still in the box "coffin" bug on ebay just for
            > nostalgic reasons and I use it once in a while.
            > It's an OK key, but it's not my favorite bug (neither are any of the
            > Vibroplex models I have).
            >
            > 73, Meir WF2U
            > Landrum, SC
            >
            >
            >
            > -----Original Message-----
            > From: cw_bugs@yahoogroups.com [mailto:cw_bugs@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
            > n6vl
            > Sent: Sunday, November 04, 2007 11:52 PM
            > To: cw_bugs@yahoogroups.com
            > Subject: [cw_bugs] Coffin bug
            >
            > I got a Japanese coffin bug off ebay. This one isn't labeled other
            > than "Japan" on the bottom. I think the Hi-Mound BK-100 and the
            > Skillman, are the same bug. Whatever one this is, it looks just like
            > the BK-100 shown on Marshall's web site in the adjustments section.
            >
            > That said, the coffin bug doesn't feel like any bug I've tried to
            > date. All my other bugs are Vibroplexes. I find the coffin bug very
            > smooth and easy to use. I was able to add a second 1/2 oz flat weight
            > to it, which it gets down to about 16 wpm, right in my speed range. I
            > immediately noticed I could send much faster and easier than with my
            > 1953 Presentation, my favorite bug til now. I think some of it is due
            > to the single flat paddle. I found it easier to send on the
            > Vibroplex, if I didn't use the knob and used the single paddle.
            > Perhaps that explains my ease with the coffin bug.
            >
            > The coffin bug does have some draw backs. I have to remove the clear
            > top cover to change the speed. And I have to loosen the arm, at the
            > pivot, to add or remove a weight. On the plus side, it doesn't move
            > around, even though the rubber feet are hardened, and I'm not using a
            > shelf liner pad.
            >
            > I also got a Johnson Speed-X 114-520, off ebay. It is not in as good
            > condition. I've been so captivated by the coffin bug, I haven't tried
            > the Speed-X yet. It needs cleaning up first.
            >
            > Does anyone here have a coffin bug or ever tried one? I am surprised
            > it isn't more popular. It seems to self correct some of the sending
            > problems I've struggled with, like the letter U. I can't vouche for
            > it at normal bug speeds, like 20 wpm and above. But it did seem
            > easier for me to send at those speeds.
            >
            > The photo is posted at
            > http://ph.groups.yahoo.com/group/cw_bugs/photos/view/b973?b=1.
            >
            > 73,
            >
            > Steve N6VL
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > Yahoo! Groups Links
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > No virus found in this incoming message.
            > Checked by AVG Free Edition.
            > Version: 7.5.503 / Virus Database: 269.15.21/1109 - Release Date: 11/4/2007
            > 11:05 AM
            >
            >
            > No virus found in this outgoing message.
            > Checked by AVG Free Edition.
            > Version: 7.5.503 / Virus Database: 269.15.21/1109 - Release Date: 11/4/2007
            > 11:05 AM
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > Yahoo! Groups Links
            >
            >
            >
            >
          • wf2u@starband.net
            David, The Vibroplex Deluxe Original I got in 1969 - used, a couple of years old then - is still with me and used regularly. I also have (all post WW2 with the
            Message 5 of 18 , Nov 13, 2007
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              David,

              The Vibroplex Deluxe Original I got in 1969 - used, a couple of years old
              then - is still with me and used regularly. I also have (all post WW2 with
              the NY address) a black and a gray Lighning Bug and a black Original. I
              also have a Lionel J-36 military bug. It's about the same in action and
              the level of my preference as the Vibroplex bunch.
              Then came the Telegraph Apparatus "hole in the wall" bug about a year ago
              or so, and immediately it became the number one key in my preference.
              As you know, McElroy was involved with that company, so it's still a
              McElroy key... I'd like to add a McElroy brand key to my collection
              eventually.
              A few months ago I bought a Speed-X bug at a hamfest, and i fell in love
              with it... It has an incredible speed range without any external gadgets.
              So now I have the TAC key set for high speed (it's much better at high
              speeds and smoother than the Vibroplexes), and the Speed-X set for low
              speed at my main "modern" operating position.
              My WW2 vintage US Navy station (RBB-2, RBC-2 and RAL-6 receivers, TCM-2
              transmitter) is set up with the J-36 key.
              The 1944 vintage Victory ship radio console (Federal FT102 with the MacKay
              167-BY transmitter and the RMCA AR-8506B receiver has the original MacKay
              key mounted on it.
              I try to keep the key types in line with the vintage and model of my
              vintage radios...

              73, Meir WF2U
              Landrum, SC

              > Meir,
              >
              > I happen to respect your taste in keys - especially straight keys -
              > those you love are the same as I love!
              >
              > I agree with you on the coffin bugs. In addition, I always found them
              > terribly difficult to adjust to sound sweet.
              >
              > Regarding Vibroplex, I have to say that I prefer those made in the 1940s
              > vintage - they play very well. Second to that, their bugs up until
              > about 1970 seem to be very good. I would assume that the
              > decline in wire telegraphy that saw the good fortunes of J.H. Bunnell
              > and Vibroplex caused concern at Vibroplex and that concern was
              > evidenced by declining quality of their instruments. The Albright
              > family who had owned the company for many years, probably saw their
              > fortunes were going to change, and sold the company to John LaHiff their
              > long time mechanical engineer about 1965, then John passed away and his
              > family sold the company to Peter Garsoe an investor (non
              > telegrapher) about 1979. I believe Bunnell whose keys and sounders, peg
              > boards, etc. were the main stay of telegraph stations in North and South
              > America had little or no "radio" market and closed its doors - yet the
              > corporation remains to sell parts and a re-issue of their tiny key on
              > board which had been given as a commemerative gift of
              > recognition for years.
              >
              > With Peter Garsoe the new owner of Vibroplex came changes - the LaHiff
              > mainspring was taken out of the Presentation, the trunnion height
              > adjustment on the main lever was discontinued which makes re-adjusting
              > to make the contacts align more difficult - although it can be done with
              > the bottom trunnion screw for a small amount and if not, a rubber mallet
              > and vice to move the pressure fitted main lever.
              >
              > Why the reason in quality? I supose it is because of the way the keys
              > play. I trace most of the problem to the new practice of plating the
              > mainspring. This makes the swing stiffer which makes the energy in the
              > swing lesser, and the speed of the swing higher.
              >
              > So Meir, what is your favorite bug?
              >
              > I like my 1940-45 Vibroplex (and perhaps older), my 1940s McElroy bugs
              > best. Second place are the Vibroplex bugs up to the 1970s.
              >
              > 73
              >
              > DR
              >
              > David, N1EA
              > =30=
              >
              >
              > On 11/5/07, Meir WF2U <wf2u@...> wrote:
              >> Steve,
              >>
              >> My first bug was the "coffin" bug, I bought it in 1965. It was much
              >> cheaper than the Vibroplex and I could afford it. A few years later I
              >> got my first Vibroplex and I donated the "coffin" to a local ham
              >> club.
              >> A few years ago I bought new, still in the box "coffin" bug on ebay
              >> just for nostalgic reasons and I use it once in a while.
              >> It's an OK key, but it's not my favorite bug (neither are any of the
              >> Vibroplex models I have).
              >>
              >> 73, Meir WF2U
              >> Landrum, SC
            • David Ring
              WF2U de N1EA I agree with what you say 100%. I believe (haven t measured them) that the Telegraph Apparatus Company (TACo) bugs built by McElroy in Chicago
              Message 6 of 18 , Nov 13, 2007
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                WF2U de N1EA

                I agree with what you say 100%.  I believe (haven't measured them) that the Telegraph Apparatus Company (TACo) bugs built by McElroy in Chicago and the Speed-X bugs have a larger vibrator.

                In any case, I agree they send better.  If I had to have one bug, it probably would be the chromed "hole in the wall" bug by TACo as I like the chrome!

                Those bugs have a big hole in the base - probably for a big bolt to hold them down!  Thus the name.

                I have a McElroy "Teardrop bug" model S600 which has a wide speed range and is a ballerina at 50 wpm.  It handles divinely at high speeds as most (if not all) McElroy bugs do.  I love the art deco design and I also like the McElroy Deluxe bug of 1939 with the Marbelite finish - a good sender, but the Teardrop bug is better or at least wears better makeup and has much better curves.  (;-0)

                73

                DR

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                On 11/13/07, wf2u@... <wf2u@...> wrote:
                > David,
              • wf2u@starband.net
                David, My TACo bug mechanism pivot support is chrome with black base. I think it s called hole in the wall because the arm support pivot is in a block with a
                Message 7 of 18 , Nov 13, 2007
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                  David,

                  My TACo bug mechanism pivot support is chrome with black base. I think
                  it's called "hole in the wall" because the arm support pivot is in a block
                  with a big round hole as opposed to the bridge or arch like structure a la
                  McElroy and Vibroplex...

                  The teardrop McElroy is cool looking! I like the old T handle McElroy looks.

                  Talking about the teardrop - a friend of mine got an Eddystone teardrop
                  bug recently. It is really Art Deco!

                  73, Meir WF2U
                  Landrum, SC

                  > WF2U de N1EA
                  >
                  > I agree with what you say 100%. I believe (haven't measured them) that
                  > the Telegraph Apparatus Company (TACo) bugs built by McElroy in Chicago
                  > and the Speed-X bugs have a larger vibrator.
                  >
                  > In any case, I agree they send better. If I had to have one bug, it
                  > probably would be the chromed "hole in the wall" bug by TACo as I like
                  > the chrome!
                  >
                  > Those bugs have a big hole in the base - probably for a big bolt to hold
                  > them down! Thus the name.
                  >
                  > I have a McElroy "Teardrop bug" model S600 which has a wide speed range
                  > and is a ballerina at 50 wpm. It handles divinely at high speeds as
                  > most (if not all) McElroy bugs do. I love the art deco design and I
                  > also like the McElroy Deluxe bug of 1939 with the Marbelite finish - a
                  > good sender, but the Teardrop bug is better or at least wears better
                  > makeup and has much better curves. (;-0)
                  >
                  > 73
                  >
                  > DR
                  >
                  > ## ## ## ######## ###
                  > ### ## #### ## ## ##
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                  > ## #### ## ## #########
                  > ## ### ## ## ## ##
                  > ## ## ###### ######## ## ##
                  >
                  > On 11/13/07, wf2u@... <wf2u@...> wrote:
                  >> David,
                • n6vl
                  ... Wow David! I find my coffin bug to be very easy to adjust. That said, I ve kind of torn betweent the coffin bug and my 1953 Presentation. The latter really
                  Message 8 of 18 , Nov 14, 2007
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                    --- In cw_bugs@yahoogroups.com, "David Ring" <n1ea@...> wrote:
                    > I agree with you on the coffin bugs. In addition, I always found them
                    > terribly difficult to adjust to sound sweet.
                    >

                    Wow David!

                    I find my coffin bug to be very easy to adjust.

                    That said, I've kind of torn betweent the coffin bug and my 1953
                    Presentation. The latter really does feel smooth. I am thinking of
                    putting the Vibroplex conversion paddles on my Presentation. The lesson
                    I've learned from the coffin bug is that prefer two fingers pieces,
                    rather than the one finger piece and knob of the Vibroplex bugs.

                    73,

                    Steve N6VL
                  • k4oso
                    Steve, I think you ll find, as your speed on the bug increases, why they used a thumb paddle and knob on the Vibroplex. The separation between your thumb and
                    Message 9 of 18 , Nov 14, 2007
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                      Steve,
                      I think you'll find, as your speed on the bug increases, why they
                      used a thumb paddle and knob on the Vibroplex. The separation
                      between your thumb and forefinger really does matter.
                      73, Milt k4oso

                      --- In cw_bugs@yahoogroups.com, "n6vl" <n6vl@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > --- In cw_bugs@yahoogroups.com, "David Ring" <n1ea@> wrote:
                      > > I agree with you on the coffin bugs. In addition, I always found
                      them
                      > > terribly difficult to adjust to sound sweet.
                      > >
                      >
                      > Wow David!
                      >
                      > I find my coffin bug to be very easy to adjust.
                      >
                      > That said, I've kind of torn betweent the coffin bug and my 1953
                      > Presentation. The latter really does feel smooth. I am thinking of
                      > putting the Vibroplex conversion paddles on my Presentation. The
                      lesson
                      > I've learned from the coffin bug is that prefer two fingers pieces,
                      > rather than the one finger piece and knob of the Vibroplex bugs.
                      >
                      > 73,
                      >
                      > Steve N6VL
                      >
                    • Eric Lawson
                      Have you replaced the ten 1/16 inch diameter ball bearings in the bug? Eric ... (snip)
                      Message 10 of 18 , Nov 14, 2007
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                        Have you replaced the ten 1/16 inch diameter ball bearings in the
                        bug?

                        Eric


                        On Wed, 14 Nov 2007, n6vl wrote:

                        > --- In cw_bugs@yahoogroups.com, "David Ring" <n1ea@...> wrote:
                        >> I agree with you on the coffin bugs. In addition, I always found them
                        >> terribly difficult to adjust to sound sweet.
                        >>
                        >
                        > Wow David!
                        >
                        > I find my coffin bug to be very easy to adjust.
                        >
                        (snip)
                      • n6vl
                        ... I ll keep that in mind, Milt. At my sub-light speeds, it has the opposite effect. 73, Steve N6VL
                        Message 11 of 18 , Nov 14, 2007
                        • 0 Attachment
                          --- In cw_bugs@yahoogroups.com, "k4oso" <k4oso@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Steve,
                          > I think you'll find, as your speed on the bug increases, why they
                          > used a thumb paddle and knob on the Vibroplex. The separation
                          > between your thumb and forefinger really does matter.
                          > 73, Milt k4oso

                          I'll keep that in mind, Milt. At my sub-light speeds, it has the
                          opposite effect.

                          73,

                          Steve N6VL
                        • Bill
                          Did these Skillman/BK-100 type bugs only come with one size weight? Mine seems very small and the bug is real fast. I expected it to be much slower than my
                          Message 12 of 18 , Nov 25, 2007
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                            Did these Skillman/BK-100 type bugs only come with one size weight?
                            Mine seems very small and the bug is real fast. I expected it to be
                            much slower than my AnnieBug, but its faster.
                            Just curious.
                            Bill NT9K..


                            --- In cw_bugs@yahoogroups.com, "n6vl" <n6vl@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > --- In cw_bugs@yahoogroups.com, "k4oso" <k4oso@> wrote:
                            > >
                            > > Steve,
                            > > I think you'll find, as your speed on the bug increases, why they
                            > > used a thumb paddle and knob on the Vibroplex. The separation
                            > > between your thumb and forefinger really does matter.
                            > > 73, Milt k4oso
                            >
                            > I'll keep that in mind, Milt. At my sub-light speeds, it has the
                            > opposite effect.
                            >
                            > 73,
                            >
                            > Steve N6VL
                            >
                          • David Ring
                            There is much more to the speed adjustment that just the weight on the vibrator. The distance the pendulum has to cover also has a great effect. 73 David N1EA
                            Message 13 of 18 , Nov 25, 2007
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                              There is much more to the speed adjustment that just the weight on the
                              vibrator. The distance the pendulum has to cover also has a great
                              effect.

                              73

                              David N1EA

                              On 11/25/07, Bill <nt9k_skcc@...> wrote:
                              > Did these Skillman/BK-100 type bugs only come with one size weight?
                              > Mine seems very small and the bug is real fast. I expected it to be
                              > much slower than my AnnieBug, but its faster.
                              > Just curious.
                              > Bill NT9K..
                              >
                              >
                              > --- In cw_bugs@yahoogroups.com, "n6vl" <n6vl@...> wrote:
                              > >
                              > > --- In cw_bugs@yahoogroups.com, "k4oso" <k4oso@> wrote:
                              > > >
                              > > > Steve,
                              > > > I think you'll find, as your speed on the bug increases, why they
                              > > > used a thumb paddle and knob on the Vibroplex. The separation
                              > > > between your thumb and forefinger really does matter.
                              > > > 73, Milt k4oso
                              > >
                              > > I'll keep that in mind, Milt. At my sub-light speeds, it has the
                              > > opposite effect.
                              > >
                              > > 73,
                              > >
                              > > Steve N6VL
                              > >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > Yahoo! Groups Links
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                            • n6vl
                              Bill, You can use Vibroplex flat weights. 73, Steve N6VL
                              Message 14 of 18 , Nov 25, 2007
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                                Bill,

                                You can use Vibroplex flat weights.

                                73,

                                Steve N6VL

                                --- In cw_bugs@yahoogroups.com, "Bill" <nt9k_skcc@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > Did these Skillman/BK-100 type bugs only come with one size weight?
                                > Mine seems very small and the bug is real fast. I expected it to be
                                > much slower than my AnnieBug, but its faster.
                                > Just curious.
                                > Bill NT9K..
                                >
                              • Bill
                                Thanks guys, but I am not looking for more weight or to slow mine down. I just want to know if these bugs and the varieties came with only 1 size weight.
                                Message 15 of 18 , Nov 26, 2007
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                                  Thanks guys, but I am not looking for more weight or to slow mine
                                  down. I just want to know if these bugs and the varieties came with
                                  only 1 size weight.
                                  Thanks, Bill NT9K..


                                  --- In cw_bugs@yahoogroups.com, "n6vl" <n6vl@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > Bill,
                                  >
                                  > You can use Vibroplex flat weights.
                                  >
                                  > 73,
                                  >
                                  > Steve N6VL
                                  >
                                  > --- In cw_bugs@yahoogroups.com, "Bill" <nt9k_skcc@> wrote:
                                  > >
                                  > > Did these Skillman/BK-100 type bugs only come with one size weight?
                                  > > Mine seems very small and the bug is real fast. I expected it to be
                                  > > much slower than my AnnieBug, but its faster.
                                  > > Just curious.
                                  > > Bill NT9K..
                                  > >
                                  >
                                • David Ring
                                  Bill, I believe these bugs came with only one weight. I believe all bugs that had square weights came with one weight. The exceptions were the round weight
                                  Message 16 of 18 , Nov 26, 2007
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                                    Bill,

                                    I believe these bugs came with only one weight. I believe all bugs
                                    that had square weights came with one weight. The exceptions were the
                                    round weight models of Vibroplex and McElroy - they were supplied with
                                    TWO small round weights for greater speed range.

                                    I suspect - if your bug runs too fast, that it is adjusted as a new
                                    bug user who is used to electronic keyers and paddles might, or that
                                    the operator who owned it was a real QRQ operator.

                                    You haven't specified a slow speed for the pendulum, so I am guessing
                                    that you are trying to say the bug won't slow down to 16 wpm or so
                                    which was the typical low range of those coffin bugs.

                                    First check the mainspring of the bug - it should be around 0.013 to
                                    0.017 inches thick. Thicker mainsprings send with less vigor and send
                                    slower.at "normal" spacing bug because they don't have vigor, the
                                    operator is forced to make the travel of the lever less, which
                                    increases the speed of the pendulum.

                                    A bug with a 0.013 mainspring will have a lot of vigor and a great speed range.

                                    If you find the mainspring is 0.017 or greater, inspect for signs that
                                    the spring has been replaced by a hack machinest who didn't understand
                                    that he needed the correct spring to have the bug work. It has
                                    happened to me frequently.

                                    If the key is old and a bit dirty I advise owners to do the next
                                    paragraph - because the coffin bug is enclosed this probably isn't
                                    needed.

                                    I tell people when they get a new bug to completely disassemble it -
                                    and make a mechanical drawing of it as they go. It is easy to miss
                                    washers, so look well and try to move washers from posts as they often
                                    stick. Often a new user puts the insulating washers on the wrong side
                                    and the bug won't work.

                                    Polish silver contacts with very fine rouge paper until bright. There
                                    are four contacts on a bug.

                                    Clean, degrease, with ammonia all parts with detergent, then clear
                                    water rinse. Put all parts on paper towels and into an old toaster
                                    oven set at 140 degrees for three hours to dry.

                                    As the Coffin bug also has a race of ball bearings, this would be time
                                    consuming - so just skip to adjustment.

                                    Adjustment - loosen up bug completely, set pivot of trunnion so that
                                    it doesn't wobble but doesn't bind, then adjust damper set limit
                                    adjustment for proper action. Adjust "downward" all adjustments until
                                    the vibrator starts to loose its vigor, then back up untill it still
                                    has vigor.

                                    There are files in the "Files" section of this group - about bug
                                    adjustment and cleaning.

                                    73

                                    David N1EA
                                    =30=



                                    On 11/26/07, Bill <nt9k_skcc@...> wrote:
                                    > Thanks guys, but I am not looking for more weight or to slow mine
                                    > down. I just want to know if these bugs and the varieties came with
                                    > only 1 size weight.
                                    > Thanks, Bill NT9K..
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > --- In cw_bugs@yahoogroups.com, "n6vl" <n6vl@...> wrote:
                                    > >
                                    > > Bill,
                                    > >
                                    > > You can use Vibroplex flat weights.
                                    > >
                                    > > 73,
                                    > >
                                    > > Steve N6VL
                                    > >
                                    > > --- In cw_bugs@yahoogroups.com, "Bill" <nt9k_skcc@> wrote:
                                    > > >
                                    > > > Did these Skillman/BK-100 type bugs only come with one size weight?
                                    > > > Mine seems very small and the bug is real fast. I expected it to be
                                    > > > much slower than my AnnieBug, but its faster.
                                    > > > Just curious.
                                    > > > Bill NT9K..
                                    > > >
                                    > >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                  • aa1ll
                                    ... year ago ... gadgets. ... ...///snip/// Interesting--I also also have a TACO CP-510, a SPEED-X 501, a Coffin key (HI-MOUND BK-100 design), a Lionel J-36,
                                    Message 17 of 18 , Nov 28, 2007
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                                      --- In cw_bugs@yahoogroups.com, <wf2u@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      > David,
                                      .......//SNIP//....
                                      > Then came the Telegraph Apparatus "hole in the wall" bug about a
                                      year ago
                                      > or so, and immediately it became the number one key in my preference.
                                      > As you know, McElroy was involved with that company, so it's still a
                                      > McElroy key... I'd like to add a McElroy brand key to my collection
                                      > eventually.
                                      > A few months ago I bought a Speed-X bug at a hamfest, and i fell in love
                                      > with it... It has an incredible speed range without any external
                                      gadgets.
                                      > So now I have the TAC key set for high speed (it's much better at high
                                      > speeds and smoother than the Vibroplexes), and the Speed-X set for low
                                      > speed at my main "modern" operating position.....

                                      ...///snip///

                                      Interesting--I also also have a TACO CP-510, a SPEED-X 501, a "Coffin
                                      key" (HI-MOUND BK-100 design), a Lionel J-36, and of course several
                                      Vibroplexes, mostly 50s vintage. I agree, The TACO hole in the wall
                                      key is the best, as it has a solid, snappy, smooth feel to it. The
                                      'Coffin' has a kind of plastic feel to it and the clattering noise it
                                      makes is really annoying. Any way to deaden that noise? I also have
                                      trouble dealing with the paddle which is actually like the SPEED-X
                                      (flat, no knob). I actually ended up putting a straight key knob on
                                      the left side of the paddle of the SPEED-X, I hope this doesn't offend
                                      any purists....The SPEED-X is also really fun to use.

                                      73, Paul, AA1LL
                                      Mason, NH
                                      http://www.qsl.net/aa1ll
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