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Author Topic: Loose yoke on Vibroplex bugs  (Read 6035 times)
K3STX
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Posts: 973




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« on: September 09, 2011, 06:21:31 AM »

I have two old Vibroplex bugs that have a similar problem. The dash lever yoke seems to be LOOSE where it attaches to the lever bar. The trunion pin/arbor is not loose and it is correctly adjusted; the problem is the yoke around the trunion pin. The effect of this is when I make dashes there is up-and-down play with the yoke and the dash contact does not always hit dead center. It is annoying.

I have the parts lists/descriptions and pictures of the bugs on my web site: http://k3stx.com/ Obviously the gap is not THAT large, you can not see the problem from the pictures (the bugs in question are the old Originals).

The dash lever yoke is part O-10, the lever bar is O-13, and the trunion pin is O11a (so you can see what I am talking about in the machine drawings).

One thought I had was to "crimp" in the ears of the yoke so there is less vertical play along the trunion pin. Is this a good idea?

Thanks for any thoughts.

paul
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KA5N
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« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2011, 06:33:00 AM »

One of the field service people had a problem with some equipment and called in
for assistance.  Something was loose and I asked:  "What have you considered
doing to fix it?" 
(a moment for thought then) "Well I could take a sludge (sic) hammer and bam it."

I suppose that might do the job, but I would first try a washer or a shim.

Allen
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K3STX
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« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2011, 06:42:59 AM »

Allen, but put the washer WHERE? Are you suggesting I remove the trunion pin from the lever bar and then put washers/shims on the trunion pin (between the lever bar and the yoke) before re-attaching the yoke?  That sounds rather dicey, I have never removed a trunion pin before (I know it can be done, I am just worried about getting the trunion pin BACK into the lever bar).

Wow, lots of lingo!!

paul
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PA0BLAH
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« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2011, 08:22:43 AM »

The problem with restauration of antique   artifacts is always that you MAY NOT "repair it" in a way that it is not possible to bring it back in the unrepaired state. Difficult to understand huh.

That is because as technology evaluates in the coming centuries , it should have been possible tot bring it in the original state
however not when you repair it your way or as adviced on this forum.

So a ground rule is: never destroy something of the original.

Now, said that. there is copper available in thin sheets, different size,  it is possible to make with that or otherwise a thin bushing, I mean outer diameter  nearly equal to inner diameter, that you can put in your worn out hole and fits the diameter of the inner axis.

Another way to do it, more American like,  is just as the man who bought a postage stamp (there were only 2 in the world) on an auction. He paid 200000 dollar for it. He was the owner of the second one and had now both.
Just after buying it, he destroyed in public the second one which he had in his collection. Taking it in two pieces apart and burning it.

So now, well known and proved there was only ONE available all over the world. He sold it next auction for 600000 dollar, So he gained 200000 dollar just by destroying the second one.

Huh?

One idea, but I am certainly not an expert in this field, is to make 2 pieces of copper plate, drill them with the size of your trunion pin and glue them on the dash device with the worn out holes.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2011, 08:33:01 AM by PA0BLAH » Logged
K3STX
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« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2011, 08:53:24 AM »

Morse code keys are to be used, not to be looked at. I don't give a damn about the original state, I want to make it usable. When a Ham in 1920 got a Vibroplex bug built in 1916 with a "defective" yoke on it, do you think he worried much about whether bending the yoke would destroy the collectors value of the key? I have no intention of selling my keys, I buy them so I can fix them up to be functional CW machines.

I find your stupid story offensive since it has nothing to do with my question and is just an attempt to insult American's. I guess the jackass in your story is an American?

paul
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K8AXW
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Posts: 3756




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« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2011, 09:49:17 AM »

Paul: :-)  Down boy!  LOL....

Paul, I really don't understand the terminology used to describe the various parts of the bug, even though I had one once.

However I DO understand LOOSE.  Loose can be fixed by shimming, filling in a hole and redrilling....any number of ways. 

My feelings are, if a device was assembled, MOST of the time they can be disassembled.  Understand that I've spent many hours reassembling something after I forgot the disassembly sequence.  To counteract this, I now make detailed notes, drawings or even digital photos of the before, during and finish. 

Take the damn thing apart like you would an IED, make detailed notes and drawings and fix it.  I too have no use for antiques.  If I can't use it I don't want it.  It either gets tossed out, scrapped for parts or given to someone who does collect junk.

Good luck!
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K3STX
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« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2011, 11:46:00 AM »

Here is a link to my website with the lever bar, yoke, and trunion pin labeled. http://k3stx.com/  (oops, spelled yoke wrong)
The pix are under MY MORSE CODE KEYS in the 1928 LIGHTNING BUG picture folder

The trunion pin (pole) is JAMMED into the lever bar TIGHT so when you push on the dit paddle (you see a hint of it in the picture), the yoke pushes the lever bar which then rotates around the trunion pin, bringing the dot contact spring into play. For dashes, when you push the dash knob ONLY the yoke moves, the trunion pin/lever assembly does NOT. My yoke is loose VERTICALLY, not horizontally (i.e. it is not the hole in the yoke that is too big, it is the 1/2" gap on the yoke that wraps above and below the lever bar). If I hold the dit paddle in my hand I can "shake hands" with the whole yoke, it moves up and down. The yoke is NOT supposed to be attached tightly to the trunion pin; if it did then sending dashes would set the lever bar in motion to make dits too!

I would love any (constructive) advice.

paul
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PA0BLAH
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« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2011, 12:23:27 PM »

Here is a link to my website with the lever bar, yoke, and trunion pin labeled. http://k3stx.com/  (oops, spelled yoke wrong)
The pix are under MY MORSE CODE KEYS in the 1928 LIGHTNING BUG picture folder

I would love any (constructive) advice.

paul

Yeah Paul, sorry when I upset your mind, I first didn't see a question because stupid questions do not exist,
I look at your website and a guy at least 40 years younger than I am, that has obviously not discovered a shop where they sell electric shavers , laughs to me very nice, thank you. Then I found pictures of keys in a deeper link. But insufficient adstructing your non existing question.

You ask for advice, I gave it you,

I mentioned 2 possibilities. to eliminate the space that is worn out and the reason of vertical movement of dash paddle..
a) glue 2 plates of copper plate
b) fill up the space with copper blade, available per mill thickness.

I can understand that you don't understand it when you can't discover the reason of vertical undesired movement yourself.
Don't blame me, don't kill the messenger please.

You have a vertical pin. It is through the main dot lever. AND it is through the dash lever.
The dotlever has no vertical movement but the dash lever has.
Two possibilities: The vertical pin is through a too large hole in the main dotlever
OR the two holes in the dash level are too wide. (most probable)

When you can move the whole yoke of dashes vertically because the U clamp is too wide, it is probably not an original part, and can be fixed by filling up the space or tightening te U such that the distance between the tops of character U are less.
Hardware open rings can be used. Opening less then diameter of the pin, so you can push one or more of then between dash yoke and dot-mainlevel on he pin.

Your opinion about antique artifacts  is  well known as culture barbarism.

OK BARBarism

good luck.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2011, 01:19:20 PM by PA0BLAH » Logged
VA7CPC
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Posts: 2375




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« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2011, 04:35:38 PM »

PMFJI --


You have run into the reason I never liked the Vibroplex single-lever Vibro-Keyer.

Here's an idea:

Take some thin wire (I'd use stainless steel, but copper or tinned copper would do)  Wrap it around the trunnion shaft, and fill in the space that's permitting the dash paddle to move up and down.  Twist the wire around itself to prevent loosening.

It doesn't affect the motion of the parts, it doesn't damage the existing structure, and it's removable.

            Charles
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WV1N
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Posts: 19




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« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2011, 06:29:20 PM »

Paul,

Pinching or stretching the ears of the yoke might restrict the play on the trunion pin but eventually it will increase the wear and make the situation worse.
Try taking a small washer whose inner hole is the same diameter as the trunion shaft and epoxying (or soldering) it to the wing of the yoke.  You may need to drill out a smaller washer.  If you get a snug fit it will buttress the worn yoke hole.
Put a second one on the bottom side.
My guess is that it will be stiff initially and require some grease until it wears in.
This will, of course, change the appearance of the yoke.  If this is unacceptable than stretching yoke wings would be more successful because the lever body is not in the way.  Clamp the lever body to a workbench and tap the yoke wings with a nail set and tap hammer.
These are just thoughts, I have never tried any of them.  I guess the alternative is an ebay parts key.
Good luck.  Please post your results if anything works.

Bill, WV1N
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N2EY
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« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2011, 08:25:28 PM »

How loose are they? There has to be a little play.

If it's more than you like, just make a couple of shims from beer-can aluminum. They should look like the letter C so you can fit them around the pin. Use a tiny bit of Krazy Glue to keep them in place once you get the right number of shims decided.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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K8AXW
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« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2011, 09:58:52 PM »

Paul:  I think I understand and see your problem.  BTW, excellent closeup photos of the key.

This is something that I'd have to give a lot of thought to.  The solution is not going to be very simple.... if you want to keep the appearance original.  For example, you could take a spring loaded center punch  (small) and "punch" the area close to the hole where the trunion pin goes through.  This will distort the hole and tighten up the vertical 'slop.' But you wind up with a dimple made by the punch. The would be done on both the top and bottom of the yoke.

Another possible solution is to spread the yoke which would tighten the hole sides against the trunion pin.

Both of these off the wall suggestions would have to be done with extreme care because once you go too far with either, then you have a tight yoke, which isn't good. It would take a lot of work with grinding compound to free it up.

The stuffing the wire (think wire braid from a piece of coax) is a possible solution as suggested but I'm thinking that it would wear pretty fast and you'd be back where you started.

You used the term "jammed" to describe the trunion pin going through the lever bar.  I'm sure it was 'pressed' in.  This would have to be a tight fit to keep the lever bar from sliding down the pin.  All of that to say this.  If you can remove the trunion pin then you could have someone weld one hole shut in the yoke, ...redrill it using the hole on the other side of the yoke as a guide.  Then have the other hole welded shut and drilled using the new hole as a guide.  This procedure has been done thousands of times in industry Paul, but it's a pretty radical solution to your problem.  Just something to consider.

The shim stock idea merits consideration if you can find shim stock that thin.  Which I doubt unless the slop between the yoke and pin is large enough to throw a cat through!  Of course redrilling the yoke and shimming it is a possible solution but you'll have to have the patience of Job to do it.

Keep us posted.
 

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KG6IRW
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« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2011, 08:47:06 AM »

Nice discussion.  I have a Vibrokey with similar problems - an early '60s model according to the serial number database at Vibroplex.  While I like the single-lever action, it does feel clunky and has a bit of vertical play that I can't seem to adjust out.

I have reason to believe that my key has seen a lot of action in the past 40+ years from its condition - a good thing.  The yoke's holes that pass through the pin are elongated so that I cannot adjust that vertical play out of the mechanism.  I suspect there may be some wear on the trunion pin as well due to its past use.  I wonder whether this is the case on yours. 

I suspect that the pin will likely need to be pressed out of the lever bar with a small press of some sort.
 I'll bet there's been galvanic metal reaction in there seizing it in place.   Does Vibroplex still sell parts for yours?  I'd suspect that the trunion would be damaged getting it out.

Cheers,

David/KG6IRW
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PA0BLAH
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« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2011, 09:56:35 AM »

Open ring will solve his "problem".

Well I do think in the case of the topic starter it will be impossible without severe damage to get the pin out of the strap.

I remember long time ago, I did it by heating the assembly in oil in a french fried potato maker, to 170 degree, Centigrade.
that is 1.8 times that amount + 32 degree Fahrenheit.  1.8 is 2 minus 10% so 340-34+32=338 F.

I took it out and hold the pin in liquid nitrogen. It nearly fell out, with very little pull with a cotton clothed pliers I could take it out.

Gd luck
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KG6IRW
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« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2011, 10:22:01 AM »

Used to swap ball joints in upper A arms in old English sports cars using a similar hot/cold arrangement.  Should work here, too, on a small scale.

Cheers,

David/KG6IRW
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