Re: [cw_bugs] Re: Coffin bug
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the spring has been replaced by a hack machinest who didn't understand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
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
There are files in the "Files" section of this group - about bug
adjustment and cleaning.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, "n6vl" <n6vl@...> wrote:
> > Bill,
> > You can use Vibroplex flat weights.
> > 73,
> > Steve N6VL
> > --- In email@example.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
- --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, <wf2u@...> wrote:
> Then came the Telegraph Apparatus "hole in the wall" bug about ayear ago
> or so, and immediately it became the number one key in my preference.gadgets.
> 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
> 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
> So now I have the TAC key set for high speed (it's much better at high...///snip///
> speeds and smoother than the Vibroplexes), and the Speed-X set for low
> speed at my main "modern" operating position.....
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