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Reviews Categories | Keys & Paddles | VizKey Right-Angle Bug Help

Reviews Summary for VizKey Right-Angle Bug
VizKey Right-Angle Bug Reviews: 47 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $232
Description: A modern handcrafted version of the right-angle bug.
Product is in production.
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Page 1 of 5 —>

W4JBB Rating: 5/5 Aug 7, 2015 06:22 Send this review to a friend
A "Sleeper"  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I use "sleeper" in reference to the disguised hot-rods of the 50s - early 80s.

I do not have as much experience in CW or with bugs as a lot of your readers here, but I know what I like. I did have to pass a 13 WPM test for my General back in 1994 but only recently (2012) decided that I really like CW. I can only compare this bug to the 2013 Vibroplex Original that I also own.

The new owner of VIZKEY, Curt Nixon (KU8L) was very easy to deal with and was very communicative throughout the entire process from pre-order, order, finishing, and shipping. I had seen a swirl finish on some pictures of the right-angle bug and I am not a fan of the swirl finish. Curt said that he could make a brush finish and it turned out great. I also asked if he could make the bottom speed a bit slower. He added an extra weight that goes on the end of the pendulum and is easily removed without moving the damper. The speed range is about 14 - ?? WPM (faster than I'll ever copy).

About this particular bug. First, it is much smaller than the Vibroplex. This means a smaller footprint on the operating desk and it is a bit lighter too; however, it does *not* mean that it walks across the desk. The bug stays put.

Second, the bug is *very* quiet. It is quieter than my paddle.

Third, it only requires a light touch for operation. There is no wrist twisting with this bug. You can use just the touch of your thumb and finger to get the bug into motion and operating properly.

Fourth, the bug comes pre-adjusted for proper operation. However, if you like a different feel, the instructions are included for adjusting to your taste. My bug was ready right out of the box.

I am very pleased with the Vizkey Right-angle bug. I recommend it for anyone wanting a more nostalgic ham radio experience. It is comparable in price to the Vibroplex Original but with an all-brass construction.
ON6AB Rating: 3/5 Jun 27, 2015 16:09 Send this review to a friend
Needs adjustment  Time owned: more than 12 months
A review after +1 year.
There are a few things on this bug that are not quite right.
1- the rubber damper. This is not a damper at all.On the contrary, it bounces back the arm. The result is that your first few dots will be sent at a higher speed than the next ones.Also, the more power you apply, the faster the dot-speed. I built a real mini-damper for it " Hi-Mound style" with a small weight absorbing the arm energy. This solved the issue completely.
2- The contact spring is far too stiff. The result is that for decent dots, you need to make the swing excessively big resulting in slower maximum speed, reduced comfort and increased wrist-power. With a Dremel tool, I reduced the width of the blade spring to about half the size. Dots are now generated perfectly at small arm-swing. Also, much more correct and equally spaced dots are now generated in a single push. Ideally, the standard weigth can now be reduced 3 or 4mm at each side for a smoother speed-range.
3- There's too much flex in the paddle arm because of its length in combination with the thin brass stock material. I really bends during use. I shorted the arm to 24mm and made a wooden custom build paddle to fit all the way over the remaining 24mm brass stock. The feeling is now much more direct and precise.
Other than that, I love the right-angle concept and the quiet action.
KC3OU Rating: 5/5 Feb 19, 2014 04:46 Send this review to a friend
Wow  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
My first reaction on opening my extremely well-packed VizKey Right-Angle Bug was "wow". The appearance and craftsmanship of the VizKey make this is one beautiful key, and I'm saying that as the owner of a Begali Signature and Vibroplex 100th Anniversary Original.

But the best part is using this key. It is very smooth and requires only a light touch. Almost like a paddle. In fact i can go back and forth easily between a paddle and the VizKey, something I couldn't do with my Vibroplex bugs. It's hard to describe in words how smooth this key is. It makes it an absolute pleasure to use.

In addition to the smoothness, the VizKey is very quiet compared to the Vibroplexes. Further, the smaller size and right-angle orientation result is a smaller footprint on the desktop.

Finally, if you prefer slower CW, the VizKey can slow down to about 17 wpm in my estimate, so you don't need to switch to a paddle or straight key as often if you're working slower operators.

What more can I say? This is a wonderful key.
VK7CW Rating: 5/5 Dec 8, 2013 20:14 Send this review to a friend
Superb  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I had never used a bug before and always wanted to get my hands on one. I had been looking around for a left handed bug when I stumbled across Tom's website. Could not be happier with the service provided by Tom. He constantly gave updates on shipping and even phoned me in Australia to help out with a problem I had. Turns out the problem was not with the bug but with my older equipment and I needed to place a capacitor across the terminals of the bug (apparently a common problem with bugs). This is a well priced quality handmade product, with exceptional service provided by Tom. If your thinking about getting your first bug I thoroughly recommend this product.
WA6MOW Rating: 5/5 Dec 4, 2013 06:07 Send this review to a friend
High quality and very cool.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I love ham gear and own over a dozen bugs. Most from the 1940's. Some real beauties. My favorite bug for looks and performance is this one. It is relatively small and has a retro look. It has a wonderful feel and newbys will really enjoy its speed range. No need to add weight or gadgets to slow it down. I have no idea how this bug can be sold for such a low price based on its quality, appearance and functionality. Whether your a bug guy or not, this one looks great just sitting on your desk. You won't be disappointed.
KK6AW Rating: 5/5 Sep 4, 2013 13:29 Send this review to a friend
Couldn't be happier  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is the second Vizbug I have owned, The first was a Viz vertical and was every bit as smooth and nice as this Right angle bug. I took this out of the packing and didn't have to set anything. I have owned several Bugs and resold them. I still have a Vibroplex Anniversary model and a Lightning Bug but the Vizbug is the smoothest of all of them. I won't bore you with repeating all the Kudos of other reviewers, you won't be sorry you purchased this bug. One thing I really Like is that the wiring posts are drilled so that you can insert your tinned, or not, cable ends through the post and tighten down the binding screw, my prefered method, or wrap around the binding screw as most keys are made
Kelsey S KK6AW
K5OGX Rating: 5/5 Jul 29, 2013 17:27 Send this review to a friend
The Viz bug is a very good product.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Do you have a vintage bug that you "love"? Is it somewhat wobbly and creaky? Does it cause you to make mistakes? Does it cause you to try to send too fast because the dit rate is excessively high? I have found a bug that corrects these problems: it is the VIZ bug. This bug may even give you some incentive to invest extra time to practice and improve your "fist". This bug is a pleasure to use and I have been amazed at the error reduction I have noticed. I have used other bugs for many years and have gotten complements on my "fist". But this bug is a "cut above the rest".
F6IRT Rating: 5/5 Jul 23, 2013 07:30 Send this review to a friend
A very good handmade bug  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I agree with all was said below. Rather small,rocky put on the table, easy to change quickly its speed during session, a clear sound (when correctly ajusted)even at high speed, a pretty oldy hand made look ... and so ...and so. Tom is a kind and professionnal man working well and quickly (mine arrived perfectly inboxed in France winthin 10 days after Paypal payment).

So, 5 on 5 and no less !

Thank's again Tom
ZL1VKJ Rating: 5/5 Mar 11, 2013 18:36 Send this review to a friend
Beautiful key   Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Just recvd my Viz 90 degree Key , am extremely happy
with the key in all aspects , dare i say it but leaves my Vibroplex champion for dead .I find it a very easy (Bug) semi automatic key to use light to touch and very quiet . Thank you Tom from
New Zealand
SANTANA Rating: 5/5 Mar 6, 2013 15:23 Send this review to a friend
silky smooth bug  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
this is what bugs are all about. Some would argue with me though. This bug is so smooth I can't hear any clanging going on when using it. I have a vibroplex chrome bug and it is beautiful shined up, and it has the vibroplex feel, quick and sharp. This Viz bug is entirely different. I play guitar and compare this to a Fender Srtat, american made, and vintage. It's a unique model, both the guitar and this right angle Viz bug. I can get my own distinct rhythm with this Viz bug. I can't understand why there are not more reviews. This is a work of art. I am going to post a picture of it on on my call as soon as I get the time to do so. Then you will see the finish that is on this bug. You would not believe how good this bug looks. Buy one and you will see it for yourself. tell me why you almost never see one of these for sale? If you want me to send you pictures of high detail of this bug, just use my email on Thanks a million Tom. 73
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