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Reviews Categories | Keys & Paddles | Vibroplex 100th Anniversary Original Help

Reviews Summary for Vibroplex 100th Anniversary Original
Vibroplex 100th Anniversary Original Reviews: 20 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $209.95
Description: The Vibroplex® 100th ANNIVERSARY ORIGINAL BUG (1904-2004) - This key duplicates one of the most popular early bases, a "weather" black Japan-like powdered coat finish with gold pin stripe border. Chromed upper parts match the Standard Original Bug with black paddles and unique serial numbers.

Product is in production.
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N4LQ Rating: 5/5 Apr 7, 2015 10:26 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Bug  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have many older Vibroplex and MAC bugs but this new one is my favorite. The contacts are very hard and provide excellent feedback.
My only complaint would be the dampening wheel. The old design was better. This one makes a racket. I put a piece of heat shrink tubing over the end of the dit lever to quieten things up. Now it's perfect.
WB0FDJ Rating: 5/5 Jan 11, 2015 19:24 Send this review to a friend
Good workmanship  Time owned: more than 12 months
I'm getting to be an OT now but had no direct experience with a bug, until I bought this unit. A couple of years ago I joined SKCC; decided to take the plunge and ordered the 100th Anniversary Original. This is a solid handcrafted piece of art, nicely built. Like others who are new to bugs I spent a *lot* of time practicing and setting it up. Finally a SKCC weekend sprint came up so I took the training wheels off and went on the air. I haven't had sweaty palms in front of a radio like that since I was a Novice. Yes it's a bit of work learning this part of our art but none of the good stuff is easy. Recommended for newcomers and old hands alike. Thanks to Scott for keeping up the Vibroplex name.
N4LQ Rating: 5/5 Mar 28, 2014 18:19 Send this review to a friend
A bug man's bug.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've been using bugs for 50 years, mostly Vibroplex, and I felt the need to finally patronize the company I so much admired. I ordered a new 100th yr. Original with the upgraded, jeweled bearings. Vibroplex's owner, Scott, told me that he was assembling mine and within a few days it arrived. The glossy black finish and bright chrome is PERFECT. I already had the Vari-speed so I quickly installed it, disconnected my 60 year old Presentation and started sending.
I first noticed how easily it vibrates. No matter how it's adjusted it seems to make endless dits! The contacts on my older bugs seem soft but these contacts are rock hard. Hard contacts translates to tactile feedback and smoother articulation. Dashes have never been smoother. It's really hard to explain but the dash contacts are so hard and provide so much feedback that they seem to bounce back and ask for more :*) My electronic keyer is no smoother.
I have this bug adjusted really tight. Just a tiny movement left and right produces clean dits and dahs. I'm using an Elecraft K3 and the addition of a 1 mfd tantalum capacitor across the key line takes care of any contact bounce. I've found this to help many modern rigs when bugs are used.
I can't say the same for the over priced Begali Intrepid bug which is prone to produce mushy sounding dits full of nasty contact bounce. They seem to be impossible to adjust properly. Vibroplex bugs are very simple and forgiving.
So three cheers for Vibroplex. We will anxiously await the 200th anniversary model.
N6BIZ Rating: 5/5 Jan 2, 2014 21:11 Send this review to a friend
LOVE THEM ALL  Time owned: more than 12 months
K6MJR Rating: 5/5 Jan 2, 2014 18:43 Send this review to a friend
Excellent!!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
What reviewers need to keep in mind is that this key was first patented in the early 1900's. The tooling that is used to produce these fine pieces of functional art are similar to the original "old school" manufacturing processes. Old fashioned castings, machining etc.. This is NOT CNC manufacturing!
When someone buys a "new" Vibroplex key from Scott, they need to understand that they are buying a piece of history that is manufactured by hand (with extreme pride) and not mass produced. The original heritage is evident with the casting marks, occasional tool marks, and other imperfections that one should expect on a piece that was originally designed and built at the beginning of the American Industrial Revolution. I am very proud to own one of these, and I also have a Blue Racer and Vibrokeyer. This is my honest opinion. If you have realistic expectations, you will be very happy!!
WB5WLZ Rating: 2/5 Jan 2, 2014 14:31 Send this review to a friend
No Key For Christmas – Unpleasant/Pleasant Experience  Time owned: 0 to 3 months

This key was the only new Ham Christmas gift I would buy myself this year. I thought I had asked all the right questions before making the purchase. As it turns out, the same condition still exists as reported in the May 12, 2013 review.

My particulars were the weight did not look like chrome, and it had trash in the screw hole. The contact was not seated in the spring that goes on the arm. The back side of the main frame was rough. Chromed over but looked like tool marks, or incomplete casting process. Not finished like the front. When I reported this to the owner, I was told that he built it, and there was nothing wrong.

He said I could not be satisfied, and dispatched UPS for a pickup. In the May 12, 2013 review the person did not report the condition to Vibroplex, but just sold the key. In my case, I report the problem per Vibroplex instructions, and end up being the bad guy.

It is my opinion, that anything that can be viewed from the top side of the key should be finished.

Why can't they finish this one? I just want a quality product like everyone else. I would like to be able to change my rating to a 5 of 5.

On a Positive note, I received a full refund. Additionally, I have been satisfied with the parts I have ordered for my older keys. This gets a 5 of 5.

Recommendation: Regardless of the brand, buy your new keys from a commercial dealer at a Hamfest. You can inspect before you buy.
M0XYZ Rating: 5/5 Jun 29, 2013 07:54 Send this review to a friend
The black beast  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Beautiful key looks great on bench just started to play with the bugs have 3 now the feel of this one excites me even my son starting to play with this one so got to be worth my purchase lets out a wonderful melody once you begin to master it the wife was pleased to start with she thought I had treated her to a new sewing machine until I explained and that was dinner out the window yesssssssssssssss keep taping guys see you on bands. Ady. M0xyz.
W9KDX Rating: 3/5 May 12, 2013 17:27 Send this review to a friend
Functionally great but the finish is not up to what it was.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Don't buy the current Vibroplex keys if you have owned them in the past. The parts are just not up to the finish of the versions of just a few years ago. The chrome is dull, and the inside surfaces are rough and unpolished. An additional problem is that parts currently made are badly matched to older keys. A new chromed weight is dull when added to my key of a few years back and it will not match the original one.

They work perfectly, as always, and it is great to own such a classic key from such a fantastic company with a great history, but it seems to be that parts just can't be made as well as they used to be. Very sad. I decided to get rid of my 100th Anniversary the day I received it.
AF2DX Rating: 5/5 Jun 26, 2012 10:51 Send this review to a friend
Nothing but 100% CLASS  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I had The Vibroplex® 100th ANNIVERSARY ORIGINAL BUG for about 6 months and I made all the adjustments as per what I saw on U tube
I practiced and I feel very confident with my sending.
The black is super shiny and has te nice gold pin striing and the brass plate is not a thin glued on.
This one has rivits.
It's collecting dust and I decided to let it go because i;m just working small QRP CW rigs.I will trade also for some QRP rig of equal value.
AB7KT Rating: 4/5 Aug 10, 2010 19:53 Send this review to a friend
Nice Bug  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Mine came in a box marked from Tennesee but the name plate on the bug itself is marked from Alabama.
I was disappointed that the black finish was a dull, matte finish. From the pictures I thought it would be glossy. The black finish is also like paint: I own several bugs from the 1920s and the black finish is a real thick, glossy finish. I don't really know what japaning is,but I know what it looks like from my three other bugs that are japaned. The new bug looks like regular paint.
All that being said, this 100th Aniversary Bug is the nicest feeling bug I own. I am not real good with a bug, I am just getting into them, but it is easier for me to send accurate clean code than any of my other 7 other bugs.

Bottom line: I would buy another one or any of the newly manufactured bugs. I really like the feel of this new one.
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