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Author Topic: Vibroplex Lightning Bug Question  (Read 7565 times)
NK6Q
Member

Posts: 202




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« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2012, 09:39:48 AM »

Charles:

I've heard about silver tarnish being conductive, but in my experience the bugs work and sound a whole lot better when the tarnish is cleaned off.  Also, I doubt if I'm removing much material with mild silver polish- those contacts will be around a lot longer than I will.

A year or so I bought a Junker straight key with the contacts so tarnished it was impossible to make a closed contact until the oxidation was removed.

This all is just my personal experience.  That, and a buck sixty-five'll buy you a cup of Starbucks
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N6GND
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Posts: 379




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« Reply #16 on: March 14, 2012, 10:41:03 AM »

A Begali is God's way of saying you have too much money

(just kiddin', HI)

Bill in Pasadena

Too true, Bill. It's a curse which I regret every hour of every day.  Grin
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NK6Q
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Posts: 202




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« Reply #17 on: March 14, 2012, 01:03:15 PM »

Yeah, I bet!
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W4AMW
Member

Posts: 1




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« Reply #18 on: March 14, 2012, 04:14:09 PM »

The Lightning lives up to its name -- it is fast. Mine belonged to my friend, George Wilson, W4OYI (SK) who was a superb CW op. Back in the Cold War he was rag chewing at about 25 wpm with a Russian ham one night about an upcoming agricultural fair in Louisville, KY when the Russian sped up to 45-50 wpm and sent, "Can you help me defect?" George pulled back the weight on the Lightning and said he would try. They they QRS'd back to 25. George called his friend in the State Department and the Soviet delegation returned home minus one delegate. I am really proud to have that key.

If you want a bug that is designed to slow down to about 12-13 wpm get a Vizkey made by K4VIZ. My Vizkey is the one I use most of the time including Field Day. I have the right angle model. Don't let the right angle configuration throw you off. It is a GREAT key. Replace the appx 1 oz weight with a half ounce and you can make smoke at 40 wpm. Tom, the builder, is a delight to work with and I can't recommend him or his work highly enough. Never put a clothespin on a bug. They have feelings you know and clothespins embarrass them.

73, 72, have fun and QRQ! 

W4AMW 
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W5LZ
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Posts: 477




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« Reply #19 on: March 18, 2012, 04:32:25 AM »

All bugs are pendulums and speed is determined by the length of that pendulum or it's mass.  Increase length or mass and it slows down that pendulum's swing timing (it's period).  That's how you speed up/slow down a pendulum clock too.  
How you go about adding that length and/or mass is a matter of being practical.  Some ways are just easier (cheaper) than others.
Instead of the supplied weights, I use gold in the same shape/size.  Slows things down nicely!
 - Paul

(you believe that about the gold, right?? Smiley)
« Last Edit: March 18, 2012, 04:34:55 AM by W5LZ » Logged
N6GND
Member

Posts: 379




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« Reply #20 on: March 18, 2012, 12:43:58 PM »

I hadn't thought about the gold angle, but after reading the above comment I remembered that I had a gold nugget which has been in my family since California Gold Rush days. The nugget is about the same size as a standard Lightning weight.

Before anyone goes to his or her ancestral nugget or tooth collection to see if there's enough metal there to cast or machine (I think a nicely-machined gold tooth bug weight could add a brilliant touch to one's radio desk!) into a weight, I must tell you it didn't work very well for me. When I fastened my gold nugget to end of my Lightning's pendulum with tape, it only slowed the dit speed to 19 wpm from the usual 25 wpm with the original weight. I do think it would have looked smashing if I'd cut a slot and drilled a hole into the nugget so that it could be attached like the regular weight. I would need a bigger nugget, however, to get the speed down low enough.

But another thought occurs: there are heavier metals than gold! Lead is heavier. (Actually it's not, but when I originally wrote this I thought it was. Then I looked it up! The purpose was humor rather than scientific veracity so I am holding to my position.).

And plutonium is heavier yet! (Actually it's not, either. Plutonium just about the same as gold. So go ahead and machine yourself a plutonium bug weight if you want to.) Of course plutonium is even harder to find lying around than gold nuggets or giant gold-capped human teeth. And plutonium gets lighter over time because of atomic decay. The good thing is that its half life of 100K years means that your Lightning's speed won't change appreciably during your lifetime.



« Last Edit: March 19, 2012, 04:12:37 PM by N6GND » Logged
AB2CF
Member

Posts: 5




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« Reply #21 on: June 08, 2012, 11:07:59 PM »

W7IS' Extend-a-Dot is excellent. They allow adjustment on the fly and more granular control of the speed.
Until buying from Frank i used Vari-Speeds.  the Vari-Speeds are clunky, can't smoothly be adjusted during xmission and tend to overwhelm the feel of the bug.  None of which is a problem with the Extend-a-dots. 

For the money and the control Extend-a-dots are my favorite (have about 8 or so).  Check the reviews.
Good luck
AB2CF
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