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Reviews Categories | Keys & Paddles | Johnson Speed-x 114-500 bug Help

Reviews Summary for Johnson Speed-x 114-500 bug
Johnson Speed-x 114-500 bug Reviews: 2 Average rating: 4.5/5 MSRP: $(missing—add MSRP)
Description: Bug key built by E.F. Johnson from 1947 to 1972. Black wrinkled base with shorting bar.
Product is in production.
More info: http://
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You can write your own review of the Johnson Speed-x 114-500 bug.

W0EAJ Rating: 4/5 Nov 30, 2008 16:40 Send this review to a friend
Rare but fun  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had one since 1963. It was given to me by my Master Chief, while a US Navy Radioman at COMTRAPAC SDIEGO. I had to pass a "speed key" exam to use it on Navy circuits... 25 wpm for 10 mins SOLID - NO mistakes (sending OR receiving).

I used THIS VERY KEY to send msgs relating to the death of President Kennedy, The Tonkin Gulf "Incident", and our "official" entry into the Vietnam war. It's light, so will "walk around" on the op-posit, unless you screw it down or hold it, but trouble-free and will really FLY. To slow it down, you need a second weight (they didn't come with 2 - only one), or a big alligator clip to hook onto the end of the shaft.

They came in several versions, the differences being mostly in paddle material and shape - really early ones had a different style of yoke, too. Johnson also made a Speed-X STRAIGHT KEY series as well, but it's the bugs that are really rare.

TC Dailey - WEAJ
W2BLC Rating: 5/5 Oct 24, 2006 17:04 Send this review to a friend
Easy to use bug  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I bought this E.F. Johnson SpeedX bug on eBay for $40 about a year ago from a ham in Canada.

I have owned, but never became friends with several Vibroplex bugs. This bug is different. It will slow down to 18 wpm with no problem. Construction is similar to a Champion - mostly bolt-together, rather than castings. It is heavy enough to stay put on the desk.

I have never seen one at a hamfest, but if I did - I'd buy it to have a spare.

It is in a class of its own, harkening back to less flashy times.

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