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Reviews Categories | Keys & Paddles | Vibroplex VibroKeyer Help


Reviews Summary for Vibroplex VibroKeyer
Vibroplex VibroKeyer Reviews: 31 Average rating: 4.3/5 MSRP: $149.00
Description: Timeless Classic.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.vibroplex.com/
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W0WCA Rating: 5/5 Nov 14, 2017 04:22 Send this review to a friend
Great Key!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I recently listened to a podcast featuring Scott robins – the owner of Vibroplex – in which he states that he uses a Vibrokeyer. Robins gives a couple of pretty good reasons for using this particular key and so I decided to try one. I bought one from an Ebay vendor that turned out to be heavily damaged and filthy but salvageable. After several hours of straightening, fixing, cleaning, polishing and painting I have a pristine and wonderfully functional single paddle Vibrokeyer. From the very first, I love the thing!
It is ergonomic, comfortable, precise, stable and solid. I use it with the contacts set very close and the springs light to medium.
Five full stars!
 
AA4OO Rating: 5/5 Oct 23, 2017 06:40 Send this review to a friend
Got it right the first time  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased a used Vibroplex Vibrokeyer. According to the serial number it was made in 1960 which is the first production year of the Vibrokeyer. That makes it 57 years old at the time of this writing. It's chrome is still bright and the jeweled pivot bearing still moves smoothly. But this is no shelf princess; it has been used so much the textured paint under the dah finger-piece has been worn nearly through to the metal by a previous owner. It has stood the test of time.

The Vibrokeyer key looks like a stunted Vibroplex Bug. Vibroplex took the frame, pivot and lever mechanism straight from the Bug and simply did away with the spring pendulum. After all, why wouldn't they? The Vibroplex Bug had been one of the best selling keys for sending Code for decades, and its design had barely changed since 1947. Vibroplex had a winner with the Bug.

But did that same design translate well to a key for use with an electronic keyer?

The roots of the design
Vibroplex carried over the roots of their design principles, and two things stand out that make them different from other modern day keys designed for use with an electronic keyer... The finger-pieces and the non-symmetrical, left-right movement.

The ergonomic finger-piece
The tip of our thumb obviously does not reach as far as our index finger without contorting your hand, so why do most key manufacturers make finger-pieces that assumes your thumb reach is equal to your other fingers?

The Vibroplex finger-piece takes the shorter thumb into account by allowing the thumb to contact nearer the hand than the index finger. It just makes sense, right?

Non-symmetrical lever operation
The split, and unequal length design of the lever requires different forces from the DIT and the DAH side. Again, this is a carry over from the Bug, but it makes ergonomic sense. We employ more force from our thumb than our index finger when moving the paddle lever. It's simply the natural mechanics in the hand when it's in that position. So, the Vibrokeyer not only provides different spring pressure adjustments, but also makes the mechanics of the DIT side different from the DAH.

I don't know whether this was intentional or just making use of their existing Bug design, but in my opinion, the result makes the Vibrokeyer a better paddle with regard to the dynamics of our hand movements than keys with a symmetrical design. Our thumb and forefinger do not move symmetrically. The force and stroke length of the unequal lengths of the Vibrokeyer lever compliment our non-symmetric design. Maybe it's my imagination, because other keys allow for independent tension and distance adjustment but the Vibrokeyer just feels different. It feels more natural.

What's not to like?
The Vibrokeyer seems to check all the boxes, and patents have long since expired. So, why don't other modern keys copy this design? For one thing it's a single lever paddle... In the 1970s IAMBIC keyer circuitry became popular, sparking the surge of dual-lever paddles that took advantage of squeeze keying. Single lever paddles seemed to fall from grace for all but the QRQ crowd.

When Vibroplex created their first paddle-key, I think they got it right the first time

Article, photos and video at:
http://www.hamradioqrp.com/2017/10/vibroplex-vibrokeyer.html
 
KG7OR Rating: 5/5 Sep 21, 2017 11:36 Send this review to a friend
Well built; easy to adjust, solid performance  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
My headline pretty much says it. I had initially purchased an MFJ iambic paddle--insert photo here of me doing forehead slap!

After getting my money back from the MFJ (which tended to fall apart upon use), I invested in the Vibroplex. A world of difference! I can count on it to do what it's supposed to do upon the first touch, then keep on doing it, every time.
 
K5MH Rating: 5/5 Jan 30, 2017 10:56 Send this review to a friend
It's my favorite paddle  Time owned: more than 12 months
After decades of using a classic Brown Brothers dual-lever paddle, I began making too many sending errors. I thought a single-lever paddle might help me resolve my “crisis of confidence.” My wife bought me a Deluxe Vibrokeyer for my birthday and I quickly began using it as my primary paddle. My keying accuracy has improved significantly, but probably the improvement can be attributed more to extensive off-the-air practice than to the new paddle. I discovered that only a small minority of my sending errors with the dual-lever paddle were caused by unwanted insertion of dits or dahs by the iambic keyer in my transceiver.
Nonetheless, the Vibrokeyer is a splendid device (and a lovely work of art, in the eyes of this radio ham). It has that special, lively feel that is characteristic of a Vibroplex bug. I belong to a cohort of hams that often transitioned directly from straight key to electronic keyer. We often did not become proficient with a bug, and squeeze keying was not yet available. The Vibrokeyer is perfect for those operators who, like me, love the feel of a bug but prefer to use an electronic keyer and resist learning squeeze-keying techniques.
Two years have passed, and I continue to use the Vibrokeyer with my transceiver. I would not part with the Brown Brothers paddle, but it has been relegated to code practice duty. I enjoy using both paddles but feel more confident on the air with the Vibrokeyer.
 
N6BIZ Rating: 5/5 Jun 7, 2015 07:19 Send this review to a friend
GREAT  Time owned: more than 12 months
I HAVE THE DELUXE MODEL...
GREAT KEY...
 
N2QFD Rating: 5/5 Jun 7, 2015 05:56 Send this review to a friend
Great Key   Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I use my Vibroplex as a Vibro-Cootie preferring Sideswiper sending to keyers. It was a factory re-built from Vibroplex and used. A 1977 key and works very well for my purposes. S/N 383209

It was bought to replace my American Morse Equipment Bushwhacker, which developed a dirty contact problem. Tried for a few months to overcome this with cleaning and conductive pastes to no real solution. The guys at AME were good enough to test in parallel and found the same problems and are working on a fix but I sent mine back. The Vibro-Keyer has none of the continuity problems I experienced. These issues are no-problem with a keyer but when you send cootie style you need a good clean electrical contact.

Can't say much more about it, it's am American classic, the chrome is nice, the red phenolic finger tabs feel nice. It says put on the desk but above all it does what I need and I have had compliments on my Morse sending with it. Never thought I'd own one when I was just a no-code tech back in the 90's but now that I am 99.99% QRP CW I've pleased with my purchase.
 
K4YZ Rating: 5/5 Sep 21, 2013 00:42 Send this review to a friend
Love My Vibrokeyer  Time owned: 0 to 3 months

After an industrial accident left me with an ever worsening tremor in my right hand which allowed for un-commanded depressing of the right (dah) paddle, I tried the Vibroplex single-bar keyer. What a difference! Since the bar can only be in one position at a time, there's no unwanted "dahs" added.

The finish, even for the "standard" version, is excellent. I still love my Brown Brothers Iambic paddle, but I'm proud to add the Vibrokeyer to my station desktop. It's a professionally engineered, "Made in the U.S.A." product.

73

Steve, K4YZ
Winchester, Tennessee
 
N3ZJ Rating: 5/5 May 11, 2013 11:48 Send this review to a friend
Solid and simple  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This key is a bit different than most paddles: it sits up higher and has a generally "longer" feel to the travel. What I like most is (a) the 100+ year heritage from which it comes (b) the simplicity of the design (c) the "no mess no fuss" adjustments (d) the height above the table (e) the ruggedness of the assembly (f) the accessibility of the bits and pieces for cleaning.
The fact that the Vibrokeyer is derivative of the bug is faint criticism. In my view, it is a strength. Yes, it is not "fine threaded" and contains no micrometers - but it's wonderfully robust - very American, in my opinion. Highly recommended.
 
VE3CUI Rating: 5/5 Nov 13, 2012 12:41 Send this review to a friend
Super...!!!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I just absolutely LOVE my Vibroplex Vibrokeyer. PERIOD!!!
 
K4EHB Rating: 5/5 Apr 22, 2012 10:11 Send this review to a friend
excellent!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I rarely use my straight key. I am quite comfortable now at around 20 wpm; just a bit too fast for a straight key. Between my bug (yes, I'll get to the vibrokeyer) and the straight key, I ventured into the land of paddles. Prefer A mode to B because I hate rhythm changes needed in B mode for characters such as A and R, N and K, etc. But, all the rigs I own use B mode, so ...

The motion of a bug makes more sense to me. Perhaps one day I'll try a single lever device. In any case though, my FT-950 provides two key jacks and has "bug" mode built in.

I bought a vibrokeyer and it is plugged into my rig along with a bug.

The vibrokeyer is tuned now so that it is very comfortable in the range of 18 to about 23 wpm -- I change speed on my rig just as I would if I plugged in a paddle.

The feel of the vibrokeyer is excellent -- but not as good as the vibroplex bug.

If you use a bug, and have a rig that supports a bug mode (automatic dits and manual dah's), get a vibrokeyer -- it's very easy to change the speed (on my ft-950, I just turn a knob). I have my bug set around 25 wpm use the vibrokeyer for qso's whose speed ranges from 18 to about 23 wpm.

I have the "box" for the vibroplex bug -- now need something similar for the vibrokeyer.

If you do mostly (or only) cw and your rig/keyer supports bug mode, you ought try it. If you use a bug - the vibrokeyer is a good way to extend the speed range.

Enjoy.
 
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