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Reviews Categories | Keys & Paddles | Vibroplex Champion Help


Reviews Summary for Vibroplex Champion
Vibroplex Champion Reviews: 11 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $9.95 in 1946
Description: Called the "Chevrolet" of Vibroplex bugs, the Champion consists of a Lightning Bug frame and pendulum with the simpler "I" damper. Produced from approx. 1939 to 1980, the bug was available thru the years in black crackle, gray, brown and beige bases.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.vibroplex.com
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N4EES Rating: 5/5 Apr 10, 2013 10:44 Send this review to a friend
simple and reliable  Time owned: more than 12 months
Of the many bugs I have used over the past ten years, only three have have been keepers...one of them is my 1945 black base Champion. It has a simple, no nonsense, down to business styling. It is smooth and precise, and allows me to send good code without having to focus on any shortcomings in my key. This is the highest praise I can give to any key.
 
VE3CUI Rating: 5/5 Dec 3, 2010 09:13 Send this review to a friend
A SUPER Bug...!!!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Back in the autumn of 1973 I'd been licensed for just over 2 years, & decided that the time was right to upgrade from a straight key, to a Vibroplex Bug. Unfortunately, being a student (and short of cash!), my options were limited in terms of price---and so I opted for a brand new "entry level" Champion, which was acquired for the princely(!) sum of $32.50 at the now long gone C.M. Peterson Radio, in London, Ontario.

It's been a great partnership ever since. The Champion is smooth, easy to use, and has a nice range of speeds---actually far greater than that of my 1985 Presentation model!

In 1983, my XYL gave me a new Yaesu FT-980 transceiver with a built-in keyer: I gave a new lease on life to the Champion by converting it to a poor man's Vibrokeyer...but I kept all of the parts that I'd removed in making the conversion (NOTE: I have a good used Vibrokeyer on the way to me as a self-served Christmas present---the Champion will return to its original form & function as a semi-automatic key shortly thereafter!).

Here's a hint to those Bug users who find the low end of the speed scale isn't quite slow enough for them: (A) Procure a wooden spring-loaded clothespin. (B) Slide the Bug weight to the limit of its travel at the slow end of the pendulum. (C) Clip the pin to the head of the locking screw on the weight. (D) Enjoy QRS QSOs!

Still not slow enough for you...? Slip the hood of a PL-259 coax connector (or any other similar-weighted item) atop the clothespin! You may have to increase the separation between the dot-forming electrodes to accommodate TOO much weight, however...

Enjoy!
 
AB2CF Rating: 4/5 Feb 14, 2010 13:16 Send this review to a friend
A good bug still priced fairly  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
after using an Original for 19 yrs decided to get a 2nd bug. Found a beautiful 1944 Champion on Epay.

What a pleasure to operate, smooth, crisp, tactile. Has a similar feel of my '37 #6 and my '38 Martin Flash Key Blue Racer. I miss the shorting circuit for tuning up the T-4XC. It's a good bug and available at reasonable prices.
I've given in a 4 only because 4.5 is not an option.
 
N0NV Rating: 5/5 Jan 5, 2008 23:02 Send this review to a friend
A Bug for Life  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I won a fierce bidding war on eBay to obtain my 1945 Champion. Extremely good condition -- not a single chip in the paint (black base) and all the original parts. It's not as pretty as an Original Deluxe model, but it has a quieter mechanism and I send more consistent code with it. I wish Vibroplex still produced new ones -- I'd scoop one up in a heartbeat!

--... ...--

Jack, N0NV
 
AA0CX Rating: 5/5 Feb 10, 2007 16:40 Send this review to a friend
solid performer  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have a Champion (vintage 1969) given to me by my Elmer, now a silent key. It' the plainest of my bugs -- I have a Blue Racer and an Original Deluxe. But, the Champ is rock solid; never falls out of adjustment, and its utilitarian design is a work of art in and of itself. Every bug operator should have a Champion in their collection. Mine proudly sits at my main operating position.
 
W8ZNX Rating: 5/5 Jun 22, 2006 12:04 Send this review to a friend
good bug to learn on  Time owned: more than 12 months
my first bug was a used Champ

never owned a bug ?
want to try one ?
Champion is the bug to start with
don't have collectors value like othe old bugs

are much easier to master
than the Orignal

you can't go wrong with a Champ

mac
 
WA4DOU Rating: 5/5 Oct 1, 2004 09:59 Send this review to a friend
My first!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought a "Champion" used in 1965. I had to learn to use it right handed; I had used a straight key left handed. Mine may have been missing a weight, I think I used an impromptu weight to slow it down some. It was a fine bug and I learned to use it well. I eventually acquired a Bencher iambic paddle and built an Accukeyer. I kept the two in parallel for a year and would retreat to the bug when I found myself flustered. Eventually I cut the bug loose. I'm sorry I didn't keep it and remain proficient with it, but I made the classic mistake in believing that one should continuously cut loose with the past. If I find another in nice condition, I may acquire it. I recommend it to others.
 
IK0YGJ Rating: 5/5 Oct 1, 2004 07:19 Send this review to a friend
Valuable and cheap ...  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is a fantastic key with wich approaching to the bug. You may find it very cheaply on eBay (30-50$) but it is absolutely perfect to start and to keep after you get experienced. This bug may range from 22 WPM to 50 WPM or so, very precise. It is very similar to the Lightning in term of look and feel.
 
K2JN Rating: 5/5 Aug 17, 2004 15:14 Send this review to a friend
A classic!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I inherited mine when my dad passed away in 1997. He purchased it new in 1952 for a whopping sum of $13. Over the years, I grew to know it as one of his favorite toys and it still brings back fond memories of the old man working late night dx. Itís seen a lot of use over the years but it still keeps on ticking. A classic and a solid workhorse.
 
K7JBQ Rating: 5/5 Jun 8, 2004 16:07 Send this review to a friend
bought new in 1959  Time owned: more than 12 months
It's hard to believe, today, that this was the "entry level" model. I've used it since I upgraded from Novice to General in 1959, and the only thing I've done since is added the new, heavier" weight to slow it down to speeds that seem more common on the air now.

I must say that the customer service from the "new" Vibroplex company is great. This is one piece of gear you can buy (seriously) used with full confidence. Take the time to adjust it properly, practice sending until it's second nature, and you'll never use a "keyer" again.

And yes, I switched to a keyer for awhile, then came back to the bug. There really is such a thing as "too perfect."

73,
Bill, K7JBQ
 
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