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Author Topic: Key slides around desk  (Read 15503 times)
K0JEG
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Posts: 638




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« on: June 13, 2013, 05:43:40 AM »

I picked up a Vibroplex iambic key that was in a junkbox at the last hamfest. Cleaned up it looks great. The problem is the rubber feet are very hard and this is causing the key to slide around as I use it. It is really making it hard to use (compounded by me still learning code), but I already prefer iambic to straight key even with this issue. It's also making it hard to adjust tension correctly (I seem to do better with a little more tension, which makes the sliding worse). I tried putting a mouse pad and one of those rubber jar openers under it. The mouse pad helps but doesn't really stop it from moving. I don't think I'm ready to rough up the surface of my desk just yet.

My question to anyone who owns one: Are the feet suposed to be hard, slick rubber or should they be softer? Like I said, it came out of a junk box, so I'm sure it was sitting in a hot garage or worse for a while. If I need replacement feet, how easy is it to get them from Vibroplex? I also noticed missing set screws on the actual paddles, so I need to order them too.
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KC7YE
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« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2013, 06:22:00 AM »

Yes the feet are hard and even new will move around. CQ had article several years ago on this problem (Dave Ingram ?) One fix is picture/poster stickum sold at office supply stores to stick to wall and leave no mark when removed. Thats what I use, blob under each foot, push feet into it. Works !
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WX7G
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« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2013, 07:57:21 AM »

I think you are being too rough with the key.
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WN2C
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« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2013, 08:12:03 AM »

Mouse pad
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PA1ZP
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Posts: 214




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« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2013, 08:35:59 AM »

Hi to you all

I know the problem.

What is the surface you placed your Vibroplex on?

I think that an E-mail to Vibroplex asking for a new trio of rubber feet will solve your problem realy quick and cheap.

When my Vibro starts walking around I just clean the feet (remove dirt dust and grease) and clean my shelf and it is in its place again and stays there.
And I can agree with one remark it could be that you are hammering the bug instead of operating it
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W1JKA
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« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2013, 09:10:13 AM »

Buy a small cheap roll of rubberized/foam shelf liner(the small square hole stuff) at WallMart or chain drug store cut to fit under base/feet,I use this on a glass desk top and keys don't move a bit.
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20547




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« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2013, 09:23:46 AM »

I think you are being too rough with the key.

This is probably true.  Many new code ops start out with a pretty heavy hand for some reason, but your touch might evolve to be much lighter over time and then this problem will solve itself.

I have my keyer tension adjusted to be so light if I sneeze it will send for me. Wink  Or just about that light.  I keep the paddles very close together (the Vibro Keyer doesn't provide for that) and the tension set so it's only several grams, I'm sure less than an ounce.  Paddle doesn't try to move at all.  This is the only way to send "fast," at least for me.  Higher tension prohibits really fast sending, it's just too much effort.

I just barely squeeze the paddles using my thumb and middle finger; my wrist or forearm doesn't move at all.  I think this is the way "most" higher speed ops work, and you'll probably find yourself getting there over time.

In the meantime, "sticky stuff" as suggested works!
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NK7Z
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Posts: 737


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« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2013, 09:36:39 AM »

I picked up a Vibroplex iambic key that was in a junkbox at the last hamfest. Cleaned up it looks great. The problem is the rubber feet are very hard and this is causing the key to slide around as I use it. It is really making it hard to use (compounded by me still learning code), but I already prefer iambic to straight key even with this issue. It's also making it hard to adjust tension correctly (I seem to do better with a little more tension, which makes the sliding worse). I tried putting a mouse pad and one of those rubber jar openers under it. The mouse pad helps but doesn't really stop it from moving. I don't think I'm ready to rough up the surface of my desk just yet.

My question to anyone who owns one: Are the feet suposed to be hard, slick rubber or should they be softer? Like I said, it came out of a junk box, so I'm sure it was sitting in a hot garage or worse for a while. If I need replacement feet, how easy is it to get them from Vibroplex? I also noticed missing set screws on the actual paddles, so I need to order them too.
I use a mouse pad...  Solves all of these problems...
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Thanks,
Dave
For reviews and setups see: http://www.nk7z.net
N4IAG
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Posts: 48




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« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2013, 09:55:51 AM »

Buy a small cheap roll of rubberized/foam shelf liner(the small square hole stuff) at WallMart or chain drug store cut to fit under base/feet,I use this on a glass desk top and keys don't move a bit.

That's what I use too. I have one paddle that I wanted a bit higher, for that I wrapped a piece around a plastic CD case.

http://images.lowes.com/product/converted/075353/075353224342.jpg
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I want to die peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather, not screaming in terror like his passengers.
NK7Z
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Posts: 737


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« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2013, 10:11:40 AM »

Buy a small cheap roll of rubberized/foam shelf liner(the small square hole stuff) at WallMart or chain drug store cut to fit under base/feet,I use this on a glass desk top and keys don't move a bit.

That's what I use too. I have one paddle that I wanted a bit higher, for that I wrapped a piece around a plastic CD case.

http://images.lowes.com/product/converted/075353/075353224342.jpg

Never thought of shelf liner, thanks for the idea!!
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Thanks,
Dave
For reviews and setups see: http://www.nk7z.net
AE4RV
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Posts: 934


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« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2013, 12:07:40 PM »

Shelf liner works FB.

For the record, yes, Vibroplex will sell you new rubber feet but if I had to do it over again I would check my local hardware store first, probably much cheaper. You might try some warm soapy water to refresh the old (or even new) feet. And yes, see if you can cultivate a lighter touch. When I took flight lessons I was warned not to "white-knuckle" the yolk.
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N6GND
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Posts: 338




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« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2013, 12:56:07 PM »

Best nonskid pad for a key is one of those rubberlike pads, which are about the size of a key base (or two, if it's a larger pad) . They are available from places like amazon for a few dollars. They are used on a car dashboard to keep a cell phone from sliding around, or sliding off the dash. They are made of a very very grippy soft rubberlike plastic. They can be washed which renews their high stickiness due to collecting dust.

http://www.amazon.com/HandStands-13810-Handstands-Original-Sticky/dp/B0002HBOMO
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AE4RV
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« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2013, 01:53:55 PM »

Best nonskid pad for a key is one of those rubberlike pads, which are about the size of a key base (or two, if it's a larger pad) . They are available from places like amazon for a few dollars. They are used on a car dashboard to keep a cell phone from sliding around, or sliding off the dash. They are made of a very very grippy soft rubberlike plastic. They can be washed which renews their high stickiness due to collecting dust.

http://www.amazon.com/HandStands-13810-Handstands-Original-Sticky/dp/B0002HBOMO

That's probably the best idea so far. The "frilly-ness" of the shelf liner does kind of weird me out a little. Smooth is better.
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W1JKA
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Posts: 1619




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« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2013, 03:51:10 PM »

On smooth plate glass anyway FRILLY sticks,Smooth slides-try both and see for yourself,I did.
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W4TRJ
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Posts: 16




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« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2013, 04:02:15 PM »

Get some new feet from Vibroplex. They're cheap. Then let the "walking around" let you know you're hittin it too hard.

Imagine you are a top-flight radiotelegrapher in 1927, supporting your family with your fist, and you bought your own bug with the little case and all, and you are one of the elite. Would you have modern day anti-slidey stuff on your desk?
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