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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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N2DE Rating: 5/5 Mar 9, 2004 16:29 Send this review to a friend
Blue Nostalgia  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I couldn't quite resist the temptation to have a Blue Racer with a blue base in the display cabinet, so I ordered a Blue Racer 2000 from Vibroplex ... This truly is a nice looking bug, and to my eye the Blue Racers have the most attractive form factor of all Vibroplexes. Compared to some older Vibroplex bugs that I own, I was surprised to find that you can adjust it down to fairly moderate speeds (I always thought of the Blue Racer as a high-speed only bug), and the workmanship seems as good as with any other Vibroplex key that I have seen. Although I'm much more at home with my Begali iambic paddles, and for bug nite I would probably prefer my Frattini Semi-Magnetico, I think this one will not only collect dust in the cabinet - it just looks too nice to not be taken out every now and then!
VE7BGP Rating: 5/5 Dec 14, 2003 13:29 Send this review to a friend
As Cute as a Little Bug  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I recently picked up an old Blue Racer Standard and a Mint '68 Original Standard from a local ham that put an add in the local Static our club's news letter. Boy was I thrilled to see a little post WW II Black Based Blue Racer sitting there. The serial # label is missing but it has the black crackle painted base and the lock screw for the trunnion pin making making it circa '48 to '51. It needed a real good cleaning, TLC and I got a couple of correct looking weights made up by machinist friends. Oh Boy! do I ever like this little Bug it has a real nice feel and action to it. It's a "real" Blue Racer with the smaller Castings not like the new sawed off Original they So Call a Blue Racer and charge Big $$ for. I am looking forward to the next Bug Nite and hope to see other Blue Racer and Lightning users out there on the air. See you on 40 or 15 low end.
AF8X Rating: 5/5 Mar 10, 2003 11:19 Send this review to a friend
Great key  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The first Blue Racer I ordered was damaged in shipping. The second was also damaged in shipping. I emailed Mitch W4OA, owner of Vibroplex and he assured me that the problem would be taken care of. I think next time I will order directly fro Vibroplex rather than save a few buck from a dealer. As far as the quality of the key, it is first class and pretty to boot.
K6TBR Rating: 5/5 Jul 24, 2002 18:22 Send this review to a friend
Silky Smooth Bug!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I've operated CW primarily since upgrading to General class and have only used a Vibroplex bug except for a straight key for slower speeds. I started with a Original Standard , brand new, and loved it despite lack of 'jeweled' movement. I then found my father's old Standard Blue Racer, circa 1954, which also lacks the jeweled movement, but oh, the ol' Blue Racer is so much smoother than the new 'Original'! One drawback to these bugs is the inability to set less than about 25 wpm character speed, but one is able to separate words to compensate. Haven't used a bug tamer per se, but have added extra weight to existing hardware to slow things to about 20 wpm characters, give or take.
KB8WFH Rating: 5/5 Apr 15, 2002 22:20 Send this review to a friend
A pleasure to use  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have an old champion bug and a new Millennium Blue Racer. Aside from the attractive looks of the Millenium bug, I very much enjoy using it. I was able to adjust the bug to a proper sending speed and smooth operation. My champion is a good key also, but the Blue Racer is a clean, simple key to use with my FT-100. My experience with this key has been very positive and I would recommend it to others.
ADAM12 Rating: 5/5 Dec 7, 2001 21:23 Send this review to a friend
Wonderful !  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I recently bought a Deluxe (all-chromed) Blue Racer 2000 and I love it !

I had a recent "Original Deluxe Bug" before it and the Blue Racer 2000 Deluxe is every bit as good as the "Original" which is not surprising considering most of the parts used are the same.

Although lighter and narrower than the "Original", the solid 2.5 inch wide base is plenty heavy and stays where it's put.

The chrome is truly immaculate, the adjustable contacts can be made to meet perfectly and the mechanism is very smooth after tightening everything up (above and below deck).

I also had some dealings with Vibroplex Customer Service as I thought there was a problem with the bug (problem was actually with the radio). They bent over backwards to be of help and I can't say enough good things about them.

That experience aside, I'm thrilled with the Blue Racer 2000 Deluxe and it has center stage on my operating desk.
K6JHR Rating: 5/5 Sep 22, 2001 21:57 Send this review to a friend
A1 Quality  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After reading the previous reviews here, I wasn't sure I wanted a bug. But I kept remembering how, years ago, when I was first on the air, I had saved my quarters and dollars until I could afford one. I remembered how much I had enjoyed the feel, how much I practiced with it to learn its ways--so much different than a straight key.
So I bought one (with the knowledge that Vibroplex has always stood behind its products with a no-questions-asked money-back policy). It arrived 3 days ago, and it is beautiful. The chrome glistens, the blue is flawless--and the operation is perfect!
It was almost completely set up, but I went through the drill anyway, a quarter turn here, a trial with the VOM there. Then some getting used to it. Watch those extra dits! Careful of the length of the dahs.
Muscle memory began to take over after a while, but I still have a ways to go. But I've been smiling all day.

Cap, K6JHR
KD7IZZ Rating: 2/5 Apr 4, 2001 01:36 Send this review to a friend
Disappointing  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
The Blue Racer was the vibroplex I didn't have. I had all the other models in the post WWII era and had tested them out, taken them apart, and learned their speed and feel. So I ordered a Millenium Blue Racer and tried it out. I was disappointed. There is no set screw on the wand so that the height of the wand can not be permanently set on the trunion post. The wand is simply press fit on the pivot post. The result is that the contacts cannot be securely lined up on the Millenium Blue Racer. That is why some reviews and some users have found it impossible to line up contacts.

Also, this bug feels loose and sloppy when used. This contrasts with the bugs I have studied and used from the 1960s and 1970s and is the true test of a bug. My deluxe original from 1966 is smooth and silky, wonderful to use. I am unsure why there is this sloppy quality in the action of the Millenium Blue Racer. I had a crackle blue model, not the deluxe, and so it was not a jeweled movement (at least not in the model I had). This may explain some of the difference but I doubt if it explains all the difference in feel. To add to this, the paint on the bug on the label is poorly applied and does not speak to good quality. In sum, I was greatly dissapointed by the Millenium Blue Racer. There are better vibroplex bugs around for those of us who are fascinated by cw, radio, and the romance of the vibroplex name.
VE3HG Rating: 2/5 Mar 28, 2001 14:13 Send this review to a friend
Not Satisfied  Time owned: more than 12 months
I'm not thrilled with my Blue Racer. It feels sticky when compared to a much older Lightning Bug bought at the Rochester, N.Y. flea market over 10 years ago. The Lightning is very smooth. Cost $25 (U.S.) and aside from a chip out of the corner of the chrome base is a joy. My new Blue Racer doesn't measure up. It lacks smoothness and the dahs feel sticky like the mechanism was jamming a bit. I'd buy another bug, as I like the feel and the romance of cw, but I'd buy used and only after I'd tried it out. 73- Peter - VE3HG
KC4TXR Rating: 5/5 Mar 28, 2001 11:00 Send this review to a friend
Morse Utopia, a delightful, well behaved bug!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Nothing beats a bug on a 2.5" wide base! They just look better that way. Vibroplex sure has come a long way since the Portland, ME days about five years ago. The first thing I noticed was the chrome plating is perfect. The colbalt blue powder coated base is nearly indestructable. This paint is not going to flake off as it did in years gone by. Another welcome change is that the brass tag is once again riveted to the base. I have the standard version but both the standard and Deluxe versions come with jewelled bearings (I called Vibroplex to make sure mine wasn't a fluke). Another welcome change is a slightly thinner mainspring so you can slow this bug down to about 16 - 18 WPM. Bugs made since around January 2001 have this thinner spring. My Blue Racer was made in 1999 but I replaced the spring to give me more low end before I have to switch over to the straight key. Mine is a very sweet handling bug, crisp clean, well behaved and a thrill to use which I do every day.

This bug takes you into a telegraphic zone that is uniquely Vibroplex. Dits and dahs disappear. It's like a Morse mind meld.

Bugs are not for everyone but they aren't as tough as some people think. They like wider spacing than a keyer and they take a bit of wrist action. You kind of slap 'em around more than a keyer but they're really fun once you get the hang of it. The Millenium Blue Racer is a wonderful re-creation of the Blue Racer of years gone by. It uses the "original's" full sized top parts so it's a tad bigger than the old Blue Racer. It is a unique and wonderful telegraphic instrument in its own right. I absolutely love this key and would give it a "6" if I could.
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