Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net

   Home   Help Search  
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Low cost Vibroplex bug "tamer"  (Read 4619 times)
AB2EZ
Member

Posts: 3




Ignore
« on: November 13, 2004, 01:08:02 PM »

Hi!

I have a Vibroplex bug tamer that I am using on one of my bugs... but I wanted to see if I could make one inexpensively and simply from standard hardware.

Here's what worked for me:

I bought an aluminum "spacer" at my local hardware store ($0.62) that was 1/4 inch in diameter, 1 inch long, and which came with a 9/64" hole drilled through it.

I used a 5/32 drill to enlarge the original hole half way through from one end. This fits the lever on my bug.

I used a 10-32 tap to thread the original hole half way through from the other end.

I put a drop of oil on the inside of the 5/32 end.

By threading a 10-32 steel screw into the threaded end (I found that a 1-1/2 inch screw was just right for the effect I wanted)... and slipping the entire assembly over the end of the bug's lever... I was happy to see that my home-made "tamer" worked just fine.

It just slips on (and off)... I didn't make any effort to do anything else to hold it in place.

Stu
AB2EZ
Logged
WB2WIK
Member

Posts: 20574




Ignore
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2004, 03:15:12 PM »

Stu, you didn't explain what you meant by a "tamer," but I suppose you meant a way to slow down the dits by adding weight to the end of the lever.

For about 70 or 80 years, it's been pretty common practice, if this is what you want to accomplish, to just wrap some solder around the end of the lever, which adds adjustable weighting to it.  More wraps of solder means more weight and slower dits.  Less means less.  Cost is about two cents, and the adjustment is precise and adjustable from no additional weighting to a lot, depending on how many wraps of solder you use.

Is this what you meant?

WB2WIK/6
Logged
AB2EZ
Member

Posts: 3




Ignore
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2004, 03:38:31 PM »

Yes. Vibroplex sells an object called a "bug tamer" (in addition to selling extra weights). It extends the pendulum... and allows you to hang the weights further back (on the other side of the damper, beyond the edge of the base). That is what I was trying to duplicate using cheap and available hardware.

As you know, an increase in the size of a weight, an addition of a weight and/or an increase of the distance from the flat spring to a weight will slow the bug down. The "bug tamer" approach (extending the distance) produces a very large slow-down effect without causing too much of a disturbance of the cosmetics of the bug. It is also quick and easy to remove. For my home made bug tamer... you just slip it on and off the regular pendulum. For the Vibroplex bug tamer, you slip it on and tighten a set screw.

Best regards
Stu
Logged
N7DM
Member

Posts: 671




Ignore
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2004, 04:47:05 PM »

I used to use a fairly large alligator clip...that would accept number  12 screw. I'd take a one inch or so screw, feed a few 1/4 inch screws loosely over the threads, then screw that into the clip. Clip the 'Gator onto the end of the rod, and she will positively go:  Dit......Dit.....Dit
Logged
K7KBN
Member

Posts: 2788




Ignore
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2004, 08:22:41 AM »

Clothespins always worked for me to slow my Vibroplex down -- and then I discovered that I could send quite well without the clothespins, and even by sliding the weights UP the pendulum, at 45-50 WPM.  And yes, I could (and still can) copy that fast  ;>)
Logged

73
Pat K7KBN
CWO4 USNR Ret.
AB2EZ
Member

Posts: 3




Ignore
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2004, 01:26:18 PM »

As an update...

I made another "bug tamer" that is even nicer (cosmetically). Again, I used standard hardware store pieceparts.

Again, I started out with a standard hardware store aluminum spacer: 1" long, 1/4" O.D., pre-drilled with an 9/64" hole. This spacer is designed to slip over a #6 screw, and may be labeled as such in its bin at the hardware store.

I tapped one end of the spacer half way through for an 8-32 screw. An 8-32 screw has roughly the same outer diameter as the pendulum arm... and thus it accomodates a standard Vibroplex weight.

I drilled the other end of the spacer half way through with a #20 size bit (just slightly larger than 5/32", but smaller than 11/64"). This slips nicely over the pendulum arm of the bug I'm using it with.

I am using a 1-1/4 inch long 8-32 steel screw (but any length will do).

On the screw (before threading it into the aluminum spacer) I placed both a brass 8-32 knurled nut and a regular 8-32 steel nut.

The regular 8-32 steel nut is used to keep the 8-32 screw from going too far into the spacer, and to set how far it goes into the spacer. The 8-32 brass nut serves as a decorative weight whose position can be adjusted.

The combination of the steel and brass hardware makes a nice looking bug tamer... and the use of an 8-32 screw (instead of the 10-24 screw I used earlier) provides a neater appearance... as well as matching the diameter of the pendulum arm.  
Logged
K0EWS
Member

Posts: 38


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2004, 07:19:35 PM »

You can also get more weights from Vibroplex too. I used to use a socket from my set that I taped to the existing weight, and that worked well.
I later found that the Vibroplex Presentation that I have , which was make in the 50s, featured an adjustable mainspring.  There are 2 screws on mine that allow the spring to be lengthened from the paddle assembly, thereby making it longer and slowing it down.  I cannot figure out whey they didn't offer this on the later produced model.  
Logged
KB2HSH
Member

Posts: 220


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2004, 10:25:48 AM »

I have two Vibroplex Originals....one is faster than the other.  My XYL bought me the real "Bug Tamer" for my 32nd birthday this year.  But, for the other one, I too, use an alligator clip with a screw in the end for "variable weight"

Works Just Fine.

John
HSH
Logged
VE7ALQ
Member

Posts: 349




Ignore
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2004, 03:16:03 PM »

...and I use a clothespeg on the arm as my "bug tamer"
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!