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Reviews Categories | Keys & Paddles | Vibroplex Blue Racer Help

Reviews Summary for Vibroplex Blue Racer
Vibroplex Blue Racer Reviews: 21 Average rating: 4.4/5 MSRP: $189.95 (Standard), $229.95 (Delu
Description: Colorful bug
Product is in production.
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You can write your own review of the Vibroplex Blue Racer.

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WB2LQF Rating: 5/5 Jul 12, 2014 19:06 Send this review to a friend
I'm very pleased with my new 2014 Blue Racer   Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I wanted a new Blue Racer but was initially put off by reports that Vibroplex' quality had declined. I turned to eHAM but the most current review was dated 2012. I decided to "take a chance" because Vibroplex has a return policy. I'd like to report that my Blue Racer arrived well packed and with enough cardboard to serve as effective direct protection. Then the key box was overpacked in a larger box with peanuts. There was no damage whatsoever and nothing was loose or otherwise affected by shipping. I carefully inspected the entire key and can report that the finish was excellent all around. I set the new Blue Racer up with an auto feeler gauge to the same settings I use on a 1945 Blue Racer Deluxe. Then I hooked both keys up in parallel and did a comparison. I could detect no significant difference between the way the two keys,separated by 70 years, felt or sounded. Then I installed a round arm Vari-Speed and hung the two stock Blue Racer weights plus a heavier 1 ounce weight on the extension arm. This slowed the Blue Racer down to about 12 wpm which was my goal. In summary, I am totally satisfied with the "new" 2014 Blue Racer in terms of both cosmetic and operational quality. I'm keeping my Blue Racer and I refuse to judge an otherwise excellent bug because the plate is no longer stamped brass.
PA3CVV Rating: 2/5 Sep 1, 2012 00:12 Send this review to a friend
Poor workmanship  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
The Blue Racer is a classic key with a great reputation. However, if you buy a new one you might be in for a disappointment. Mine arrived with dents in the blue coating; the damper hung at an angle; the contact points could not be properly aligned (the pole holding the fixed point is too tall, causing a vertical misalignment of at least a millimeter). On investigation the fixed contact point turned out to have a deep scratch on its surface. The little red plastic bead on top of the pivot was loose and kept falling off. I lost it, and was charged $5 for a replacement (plus $8 for postage).
KD4VQT Rating: 5/5 Apr 30, 2012 14:35 Send this review to a friend
A great key  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I got a 1957 racer and fell in love with the key. I purchased a new standard in Jan and it is used along with my Centenial Bug. It is a great key and occupies a special place on my desk when in use. I recommend it as a piece of history that you can use and enjoy. I really like the small size as my desk is not real large.
KD4VQT Rating: 5/5 Dec 26, 2011 16:36 Send this review to a friend
Good Key  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I recently purchased a 1957 original Blue Racer on ebay. I am very impressed with the key and love to use it. I do not know how it compares with the 2000 model but the quiality in this old key is there and it easily adjusted to my style as a slower CW sender. I gave it the rating of 5 because it is a wonderful key. It is a bit tricky since it wants to go so rapidly but that can be lessened by a vari-speed.
N3DF Rating: 4/5 Jan 8, 2011 21:33 Send this review to a friend
Nice to Look at!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have half a dozen Blue Racers made from the 1920s to the Millenium model. They are all distinctively different and they are all nice. The modern version differs significantly from the construction of the earlier ones. They are not really the same model. I value the easy adjustability of my iambic paddles and keyer so the Blue Racers stay in the display cabinet.
KC4ETW Rating: 5/5 Jan 8, 2011 20:27 Send this review to a friend
I had fun  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Last Febuary I had the pleasure of visiting our local ham fest here in Charleston S.C Wheras a out of state vendor had the venerable Blue Racer 2000 brand new still in the box.I didnt have the couple of hundred dollars the thing cost at the time and the vendor took my debit card information and said that they could bill me when I called and told them the funds were available.I couldnt believe I actually had a Blue Racer all of my own and with a child like glee I stopped at the closest restaraunt and ordered lunch while I opened the box and examined the beauty at hand.After making my way home I just could not wait to try the bug.After reading this artical and that on how to properly adjust the bug,and wanting a magnetic mercury key from Bencher,I slowly realized that with the bug I would have a distinctive CW note on the air and after having the key for almost a year now I dont think I have fully mastered the bug yet.And had to buy a vari speed for it to try to get it to slow down enough so my sending speed would match my recieve speed.I have struggled with the bug and with a magnetic key my struggles would have been over long ago,but.With all of the effort and all of the trial and error I will tell you this.I wouldnt trade the bug for any thing else on the market.I know full well that in time the bug will settle down and fall in line with the way I want to send code and I also know that the bug will send a distinctive and rich CW note pleasing to the senses of all who hear it.This will take time and effort to aquire the skill and to put enough miles on the bug in order to reach the goal I have set for myself.As the old saying goes,I have heard a number of times from long tried and true CW artists.Give the bug time and time will give you what you really want.I give the bug a five because of the things it taught me about CW and the reasons why people still use the mode.I also give the bug a five simply because it is beautiful to look at.And once again I give the bug a five because of the rich and fluid history that surrounds this key that no other key can match.If whoever reads this review decides to purchas a Vibroplex Blue Racer based on what I have said.Stay the coarse and make the bug deliver for you as I and so many others have done.But most of all take pride in your CW and enjoy.I hope to hear you on the air someday.
KD0V Rating: 5/5 Oct 23, 2009 05:18 Send this review to a friend
Good  Time owned: more than 12 months
My Blue Racer is the left handed version. This is the first bug that I have ever used. I own a Begali Simplex Mono and Signature and a Kent KT-1 Professional Straight Key. The Blue Racer when properly adjusted has as smooth an action as the other three keys I own. It requires slightly more effort to use, but that is not tiring or significant. The adjustments on the Blue Racer hold ok, if you do not move it around very much, it therefore is not a good key for traveling. It is fine if you are going to leave it on the desk. It still rate it a 5, because it works very well. There are some operator problems, but they are not the fault of the Blue Racer.
VE3HG Rating: 5/5 Jul 23, 2007 10:39 Send this review to a friend
Bug fixed  Time owned: more than 12 months
My previous review reported on a sticky feel to the paddles. Discovered at Dayton that a Blue Racer should not feel sticky so sent it back to Vibroplex. It was returned quickly with no sticky feel to it. Whatever was causing the stickiness was fixed and the bug works great. Very good service from the Vibroplex folks. The mail department must have dropped the package from a high place as the plastic paddles shattered in transit but Vibroplex replaced them without charge and the bug feels great.
K5RIX Rating: 5/5 Sep 8, 2006 05:34 Send this review to a friend
Super Bug for the Experienced  Time owned: more than 12 months
I must take issue with some here who claim that the "old" Vibroplexes, by definition, are better than these contemporary examples. This current crop from Alabama are of the highest quality, and of much more consistent performance unit-to-unit than any generation of Vibroplexes I have ever encountered.

The current Y2K Blue Racer may not be the way to get your feet wet with regard to semi-auto keys. But if you know yer way around, these little beasts just scream. All the adjustments are there, the exact same as a current Original. The parts are the best in the history of this fabled name. I do wish they still used nickle plating, though. I also wish the 20th Century Limited still ran.

I have a Vibroplex Original s/n 86416 manufactured in 1922 that sends the very best code, but even with two weights doesn't go below about 27 WPM. My Y2K Blue Racer sends about 25 WPM at the low end. Yet I own a c.1940 Lightning bug that can slug along at about 18 WPM. In my oppinion, the Lightning Bug/Champion/Zypher mechanism is inferior. I own a c.1960 Original that will go down to approximately 22 WPM. The whole thing is the spring rate of the particular piece and particular construction of each instrument. Each machine is different. Like the weather, if ya don't like it, just wait.

The current Vibroplex Y2K Blue Racer is a superb key. Even with modern manufacturing, the spring is the thing. Choose yours well. If you don't know, try a bunch. If you can't try a bunch, by all means improve your code and use the one you can get. If the guy/gal on the other end can only go 20 WPM, you can always use the dash paddle like a straight key. In fact, I do believe that was one of the original design objectives of Mr. Martin. Still there, and you don't need to break the law to buy one.
W6TH Rating: 5/5 Mar 26, 2006 10:41 Send this review to a friend
A pleasure bug.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I first started using the Vibroplex bugs back in the year of 1937/1938, both ham radio, commercial and military service. I have tried many different models in time. I find each and every model has a different feel and a different speed, dot to dash ratio.

Of all the Vibroplex bugs I find that my Blue Racer model (Y2K) year 2000 is a very fast bug for the more advanced operator. My Y2K came with just one weight and that is what I found is all needed for my operating skill, you may require two weights.

In my opinion, I believe that the Y2K surpasses all other Vibroplex bugs for higher speed and more for the more experienced cw operator.

Remember: Practice makes perfect, but don't try to sound like a keyboard and we will know who you are just by your sending techniques.

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