My solution to slowing down a Bug

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My solution to slowing down a Bug

Postby ki5ms » Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:11 pm

I purchased a Vibroplex Vari Speed in order to slow down my Bug. However, it did not slow it down enough for what I wanted.
So, I added a home brew method to slow it down even further.
See pictures below.
What I did was take some model airplane fuel line about 2" long and add it to the end of the pendulum.
Then I took a piece of model airplane control rod and stuck it in the fuel line to make it rigid (you could use a small nail also).
Next I started adding 9/16" nuts to the end of the fuel line until I got it as slow as I wanted.
I left the vari speed on the bug so I could also vari the speed.
I have a range of about 10WPM to 18WPM. You can play with the length of the fuel line and different size nuts to get what you want.
Looks ugly, but it works.

Roger KI5MS
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Roger KI5MS
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Postby ki5ms » Fri Mar 04, 2011 6:27 pm

Just wanted to add that you can use anything to slip over the end of the pendulum that will fit. KF7ATI mentioned he used a part of an old telescoping antenna.
Remote Control Hobby stores carry brass tubing of various sizes, so I am
sure you could also find something there to use.

Roger KI5MS
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Roger KI5MS
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My Extender.

Postby k8jd » Sat Mar 19, 2011 9:02 pm

My bug pendulum extender is a wooden, spring chlothesline clip.
It just takes a second to clip on or remove from my Vibroplex Champion.
If I clip it right on the end it slows me down to about ten WPM and if I clip it in the middle of the arm it is about 13 WPM.
Without the extension the Champ only slows down to about 18-20 WPM.
73 from K8JD, SKCC 1395, Centurion 18, Tribune 12, Band Endorsements; 160, 80, 60, 40, 30M, 20, 17, and 10M

Ham radio is real Radio, CW is real Hamming!
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bug user

Postby k5jyd » Tue May 10, 2011 12:30 am

I may need something like that, just getting back into the skcc and I plan to use my old bug more.
k5jyd
k5jyd larry
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Postby WA2WMR » Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:38 pm

I took the vari speed and instead of having it sticking up in the air, I mounted it so that it extended through the snubber. It slowed the key down very nicely.

(Before the vari speed, I had three weights on the arm with the two end weights' screws pointing up at an angle on one side of the arm with the center weight's screw going at the sme angle to the other side. These screws created a cradle into which I dropped 2 50 caliber black powde rifle bullets. This wasn't as effective as extending the varispeed out through the snubber, but it did make it more controllable.)
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Re: My solution to slowing down a Bug

Postby AB2CF » Sat May 12, 2012 11:33 pm

Hello all, 7935, Bob here.
Like many, i got away from radio and lost speed. I bought a couple Vari-Speeds which work but are a bit clumsy to adjust on the fly and doesn't offer the fine tuning.
Eventually i picked up a few Extendadots from Frank W7IS. I found them so much better. They give finer control of your speed. you can adjust it on the fly and without the clunkiness of the Vari-Speed.
W7IS' extendadot is well worth considering. i own a few and very happy with them.
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Re: My solution to slowing down a Bug

Postby W2SH » Thu May 24, 2012 3:32 am

I purchased the Vibroplex variable speed thingy. I found it a bit fiddly, didn't like its appearance and didn't feel that I needed its multiple adjustments.

My bug is a Champion, serial #235529, manufactured in 1963. I bought it from another ham about five years after that.

I wanted to increase its weight in a neat manner. I discovered that the hole into which the adjustment screw that secures the weight to the vibrating arm is threaded completely through the weight from top to bottom. The thread is 6-32. From Small Parts, Inc., which now seems to be owned by Amazon, I bought a length of rectangular copper rod, 0.50" wide and 0.125" thick. I cut off two pieces each 0.625" long. Each exactly matched the footprint of Vibroplex weight. I drilled through both copper pieces to clear a 6-32 screw with the holes positioned so that the two copper pieces would line up exactly with the Vibroplex weight's footprint. I countersunk one of the copper pieces to accept a 6-32 flat head brass screw.

When the weight and the two added copper pieces are assembled and placed on the vibrating arm, the increased depth of this augmented weight is such that it still clears the top of the bug's base. With its attachment screw and nylon washer the original weight registered 22 grams. Adding the two copper pieces and the securing brass screw to the weight's bottom gives me 40 grams, almost double the original weight.

If I had wanted more weight, I could have cut longer pieces of copper that would have extended beyond the weight's footprint, or carved out an appropriately sized hunk of lead.

Although serving me admirably, the Champion is not the top-of-the line Vibroplex bug, but its rectangular vibrating arm uses a weight whose shape has accepted a neat and easily crafted addition. All work was done with basic hand tools.

73/72,

Charles, W2SH
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