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Reviews Categories | Keys & Paddles | Vibroplex "Code Warrior Junior" Help

Reviews Summary for Vibroplex "Code Warrior Junior"
Vibroplex   Reviews: 33 Average rating: 4.1/5 MSRP: $99.95
Description: Compact iambic key featuring a soft adjustable magnetic action.
Product is in production.
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You can write your own review of the Vibroplex "Code Warrior Junior".

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N7OH Rating: 3/5 Apr 8, 2011 06:56 Send this review to a friend
Less than I expected  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I had high hopes for this paddle, after reading the reviews here. I looked high and low for a low-cost paddle. Something that I could get my feet wet with. I had already made a home-brew touch keyer that did not suit me. Then I rigged up some legos to make a mechanical paddles. But it did not have good enough tolerances (go figure) so I could not adjust it to be the way I really wanted it. By this time, I think I had a good idea of what I wanted, but could not afford it. I wanted something with some high tolerances that I could adjust to my preferences. But since I am just learning CW, I didn't want to shell out for a Begali (which is looking very shiny).

When I got the unit I tried it out straight from the box. The instructions say that most people will not need to adjust anything. My foot! The magnets were set so the tension was very high and then the contacts had to travel more than 1/16 of an inch. It took me a bit to find the adjustment locations because you actually have to disassemble the whole paddle in order to change anything. In order to change the return screws, you have to remove the levers and contact posts. To use an allen wrench to adjust the magnet screws, you have to remove the levers. The only thing that you can adjust without any disassembly is the contact posts. So get everything in place and then adjust that.

One thing that really bugs me is the low tolerances that it is built with. The nylon washers are too big for the screws that go in them and too small for the holes they fit in. That allows the parts to wiggle around and hard to align everything. And to attach the cord, you have to loosen the screw, which will mess up any adjustments you have made. The adjustment screws are really quite coarse which makes fine adjustments rather difficult. The pivot points are not bearings, but rather just a screw in a hole. The tolerances on that hole are not very tight, which allows for a slight vertical and horizontal wobble unless you screw the screw in so tight that the lever no longer swings freely. I was misled by the photo (the washers looked like the tops of some bearings) so I was most disappointed here.

After I got everything adjusted to my satisfaction, I made sure to tighten all the nuts and screws well so my settings would hold. And then it mostly operates to my satisfaction. But I am still not happy about the pivot screws. They are not sufficiently long enough to provide a stable pivot for the lever arms. As a result, the lever arms are able to move vertically. This extra play in movement is exactly what I was hoping to avoid by purchasing a quality machined paddle.
WA6MOW Rating: 5/5 Dec 21, 2008 06:32 Send this review to a friend
Great key, great service!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I did a previous rave review on this key and decided that I wanted the looks of the chrome warrior for my desk. I bought a used one and found that the left arm bushing had to much play for my liking. Even though it was 3 years out of warranty, Vibroplex sent me a new arm without any hesitation. I love the key and cetainly like dealing with an old school first class company like Vibroplex.
K6WHP Rating: 4/5 Dec 15, 2008 21:23 Send this review to a friend
A tick above "O.K."  Time owned: more than 12 months
This review is NOT being written by an expert and verteran brass pounder, but I wanted to throw my two cents in for those who are interested in these paddles. They are everything the other folks say they are and more (or less) but there is one thing to consider before buying these paddles: the actual plastic paddles themselves are very fragile.

I have taken my set out to the mountains and lugged them along on FD expeditions and have gone through two sets of these at $4.00 per side.

So, if any of you see these as the rugged, outdoorsy type of intrument they appear to be, guess again. You could find yourselves out in the wilderness able to make dahs to your heart's content but end up on the short side if dits are needed.

Guess it's o.k., if your name is Tom and you are talking to your mom about the sounds cows make.

Recommend replacing them with guitar picks or something a little less brittle.

WA6MOW Rating: 5/5 Oct 9, 2008 06:17 Send this review to a friend
Great compact key.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have many different keys and like this one as much as my expensive ones. The secret to this key is to really snug evrything down once it is adjusted to your touch. I use mine fixed, portable, and mobile and think it is a bargain for the price.
WA2DTW Rating: 5/5 Jul 27, 2007 06:04 Send this review to a friend
Excellent paddles  Time owned: more than 12 months
Was purchased to go with my FT817. Very easy to use, no adjustments were needed. Much more rugged than the Bencher paddles that I have used for years. Definitely in the Vibroplex tradition of great workmanship.
NI0C Rating: 4/5 Jul 26, 2007 17:21 Send this review to a friend
Tension adjustments tricky  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've used a friend's Code Warrior during a couple of Field Day contests and liked it very much. I finally purchased one of my own at this years Dayton Hamfest. I opted for the nice looking chrome version. It is a nice size, not taking up too much room on the desktop-- yet has a heavy base for stability. Now that I have it adjusted, I find it comparable to my trusty Brown Bros. paddle.

The drawback for me is the awkward arrangement for adjusting the magnetic tension. It's not at all easy. You basically need to take the whole thing apart, guess at a setting, then put it back together to test it. The instructions provided by Vibroplex discourage the user from doing this with the statement: "Usually the CW operator will not find it necessary to change the initial adjustment." I found the initial setting way too tight and had to go through several iterations.

KILOWATT Rating: 3/5 Mar 20, 2006 16:25 Send this review to a friend
A little disappointed  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Well, it works and I suppose that's the bottom line. Cute little guy and very smooth action but I'm not overly impressed with the workmanship.

The right/dash side lever is nice and snug. The left/dot side is a bit floppy.

I'll keep it but it'll be my last Vibroplex.
KC8QVO Rating: 5/5 Dec 26, 2005 10:26 Send this review to a friend
Great iambic key, feels good with magnetic action - no springs  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I use this key almost daily. I like the size, it is big and heavy enough for base use yet is small enough for portable operations. I have taken this key with me on all my travels throughout the country and to my family's cabin in Canada. It is equally at home on your desk in the shack or at your final destination, and dont forget those couple QSO's at the rest stop when you're taking a break from driving! I love using the key.

The construction is very solid and well designed. The machined parts are great quality. The only thing you have to watch, as with most keys, is that the contacts are tight - ie, the locknutts are tightened down otherwise the contacts will move around on you. Same goes for the screws that the magnets attract to hold the key open. Those need to be tight as well. The magnetic action had a strange feel to me at first, but it didnt take long to get used to it. I really like the way it feels. The gap between the magnets and the screws they attract to open the key is adjustable so you can customize the sensitivity to your liking. The key does not come with a wire and connector, so you need to supply your own. I did not find this to be a disadvantage as I like to solder and put things together myself. I used a metal cased, spring strain relief 1/4" sterio connector from Radio Shack and it works quite nicely. The plastic case connector would work as well but the metal one gives it more of a quality look.

With a little bit of care every once in a while, you cant beat this key with a stick! Its a great all-purpose key for portable or base use. The magnet action is a little different than the spring action that most keys have and provides for a unique feel.

Steve, KC8QVO
N6NVP Rating: 4/5 Aug 3, 2005 22:39 Send this review to a friend
My Favorite Paddle  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This was a prize I gave myself for upgrading my ticket. I loved the size, loved the look, and loved the feel of the action. I started having problems with the JR holding the settings I was comfortable with. A friend pointed out that I needed to tighten down the blocks - all three mounted on the base were VERY loose. It took 5 minutes, then a couple more to reapply my settings. Now I love this paddle all over again and use it for 90% of my QSOs.Haven't had to tweak it in months.
KE6US Rating: 4/5 Feb 3, 2005 18:41 Send this review to a friend
Not awful!!!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
About 20 years ago, I made the switch to an electronic keyer after 25+ years of Vibroplex bugs. I bought a Vibroplex Brass Racer out of brand loyalty, I guess. A piece of crap in my humble opinion. Wouldn't stay adjusted and the paddles wobbled all over the place. I returned it to HRO after 2 days and bought a Bencher BY-2. I bought the BY-1 for mobile shortly after. That one got launched from the passenger seat to the floor more times than I can count. It survived pretty well, though the little plastic pivots are gouged up and need replacing now.

Recently, I was looking for a paddle to complement my K1 on hiking and backpacking trips. I screwed around with Paddlettes, Bull Dogs, White Rooks and homebrew paddles, all of which are SMALL, but they are CRAP. I need to compromise somewhat when I backpack my K1, but I don't need to torture myself.

So...remembering that Brass Racer, but unwilling to suffer from little crappie backpacking paddles, I checked out a Code Warrior Junior. Schur apparently has stopped making their small paddle.

Very nice. Perfect size. Large enough to consider for the base station. Not so large that I'm embarassed to pull it out of my backpack. Rugged. I think it would launch against the floor of the car as well as the Bencher, maybe even better. Solid feel. Not silky, but pleasant. A little noisey, but I spent a number of years slapping a cootie, so it's probably me. Seems to hold adjustments pretty well, though the threads are too coarse. The attracting magnets give it a nice feeling tension.

Clean, simple, almost elegant design. Rugged enough for the trail, yet not too heavy (21 oz...ok not all that light either). And at 100 bucks it is excellent value for the money.

I like it. I'm using it as much at home as on the trail.
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