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Reviews Categories | Keys & Paddles | VizKey Vertical Bug Help

Reviews Summary for VizKey Vertical Bug
VizKey Vertical Bug Reviews: 27 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $245
Description: The VIZ Vertical
This amazing key features all brass construction, plastic finger pieces, silver contacts and stainless steel main springs. Speed is adjustable from about 8 wpm to about 30 wpm by sliding weight.
Product is in production.
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W2DL Rating: 5/5 Dec 3, 2012 06:40 Send this review to a friend
Magnificent Workmanship!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Early in my career, I worked as an electronics technician for a defense contractor. I was always impressed with the brass devices created by the Machine Shop. My new VIZ Vertical reminds me of that craftsmanship. It is a beauty simply to behold. However, it was a YouTube video "Slow Speed Bug Demo - VIZKEYs and Vibroplex" by WB2LQF, that convinced me this was one to add to the bullpen. As his video demonstrated, the VIZ Vertical can go down much further in speed than other bugs and yet sound great. While I primarily use a paddle, I occasionally like to use a straight key or a bug -- but my Vibroplex Original Standard bug will not go down in speed anything like the VIZ Vertical. It's fun to operate and easy to adjust speeds. See my QRZ page for a photo of it.

Tom (K4VIZ) provides terrific response... communicating with you from order through delivery and follow-up. He packages the unit flawlessly and sends via priority mail. I had the key several days after ordering.

I'm a delighted customer!
Bob - W2TAC
K4YXJ Rating: 5/5 Oct 1, 2012 12:14 Send this review to a friend
Very nice  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I just got back into ham radio after an absence of 17 years. I'm left handed so I ordered the left handed model. Tom made the adjustments and promptly shipped it out to me. When I tried it out, I realized that I had forgotted that I used my right hand on a bug. I asked Tom if there was a simple modification that I could perform. He explained that it was quite complex and takes some time to change it back. I was glad to send the bug back to him plus 30 dollars for his time plus the return shipping cost. When he received it, he replied that he would sell the one that I returned in some manner and, since he was sure that I was anxious to use the key, he would ship me a new one, which he did. Thanks, Tom.
KL7HIM Rating: 5/5 Jun 25, 2012 19:00 Send this review to a friend
Wish I could use two of them.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I received the vertical bug last week and have been playing with it and using it since. This is my third Vizkey. I also have the Cootie and Camel-Back. Like the others, the Vertical is beautifully crafted and works unbelievably well. It's very smooth and extremely quiet unlike my other well known brand of bug.

I've always used a single lever paddle with a keyer or a straight key. I was never happy with my other brand of bug and didn't feel like a semi-auto key and I were ever going to be compatible. But I thought I would give it one more try with the Vizkey Vertical. I'm glad I did. After practicing a bit, using it has become "automatic." This will become my main key at home.
WA9CWX Rating: 5/5 Mar 19, 2012 19:35 Send this review to a friend
Simply the best.....!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have been playing with this CW stuff for a long time. I got my Extra in 68 before incentive licensing could reduce my CW priveleges, I have owned more keys and bugs than I can remember any more, including several of the Vibroplex top of the line bugs, Gold and all.... If you have EVER been curious as to how gravity works on a vertical bug pendulum, OR even just considered sending easier than imaginable CW, on a bug, get this key. Besides being a beautiful work of art, demonstrating superior craftmanship with custom fitting, not just 'to spec' parts, but fitted parts like a fine watch or a top firearm, you won't be dissapointed in Toms' creation. I have had less money in the last few years for radio toys, I also own some 25 or more fine keys already, yet when I saw the price of this bug, and heard one on the air, I had to try it. I am not in the least sorry.
If you own a microphone, even just one, you will likely throw it away after this bug arrives in the mail. You won't want to waste your air time on voice any more.

9V1VV Rating: 5/5 Oct 10, 2011 00:13 Send this review to a friend
Great Bug  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have had the right-angle bug for a year or so and use it all the time. Vizkey just seems to suit my style. In an act of sheer extravagance I recently ordered the vertical, knowing it was similar in design. I just wanted both keys on the desk at the same time so I could chose either on a whim. The vertical stays adjusted like its right-angled cousin and you don't need to fiddle once it is set up. Very smooth and enjoyable bug, and very nice service and attention from Tom as always.
KF7RBK Rating: 5/5 Jul 26, 2011 19:58 Send this review to a friend
Great Stuff !!  Time owned: months
Absolutely first-rate workmanship and mechanicals, and truly unique and beautiful to just sit and look at ‘em. I have the Camel-Back key that replaced a very old brass homebrew from the 30’s, and the VIZ Vertical Bug that replaced my Vibroplex Champion. No real comparison can be made, I think, only that though they do the same thing they seem to do it much better; they DO NOT move around, the Vertical takes up much less room on the desk, both are easily adjusted and hold their adjustments, much smoother, and my hand looks stronger and years younger when using either of these VIZ keys. Both are used on a TenTec Century 21.

Operated CW exclusively back in the 50’s and 60’s on homebrew rigs and used what I had to or could afford. I work at anywhere between 5 and 30 WPM. I just got my ticket, after a 40-year lapse while life took a front seat, and am treating myself now to the “nicer” things. I have just ordered the 90 Degree Paddle for my rig upgrade too, an Omni VI+, (I like radios that look like radios) and am like a kid before Christmas with the waiting to be “paddled.”. I have tried a lot of friend’s keys, both foreign and domestic, new and old, and have not found any that just plain fit my fist or work better (and darn few that work maybe as good) than this VIZ equipment. And I feel like I am maybe stealing this stuff at these prices, especially when you factor in the cable, shipping and customer support. But I’m getting over it.

Thanks Tom, KF7RBK
WB2LQF Rating: 5/5 Feb 27, 2011 11:26 Send this review to a friend
Awesome speed range for a 'bug'  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
A week after I got my VIZKEY right angle 'bug' I bought the vertical. based on the incredible 'just right feel' and top-notch workmanship of the right angle, there was no way I was going to let the vertical slip by me!!

It arrived in the same way - overpacked with no regard to expense and shipped Priority mail. Got it in two days.

I've got the right angle set up for about 22 wpm, the 'just right speed' for me to copy in my head.

However, I also enjoy slower speed CW with the 'newer folks' and I am actively teaching a fellow ham Morse at this time. Thus, I needed to get down lower. While the right angle gets down to around 12 wpm, I found I could REALLY slow the vertical's dits down to around 8 wpm. The first thing I did was remove the little black bumper and carefully cut it way down to just a nub. A little dab of Gorilla Glue stuck it right onto the end of the adjuster screw. Now I could run the weight way up and those dits sounds sooooooo sweet and well formed at slow speed. This is a much better solution than extending the dahs to compensate for too-fast dits. With this vertical 'bug' I strive to sound 'my personal best' whether I'm sending 8 wpm or 28 wpm. The bumper DOES make a difference in noise. I like quiet and both of these keys are the most quiet ones I've ever owned. But without the rubber bumper, the vertical's clacking increases. So don't leave it off unless you like (or don't mind) the sound.

Both of these 'bugs' now have their own little niches on my operating desk - one for 'high' speed and one for 'lower' speed. They both feel "just right" and they both hold their setting like no other keys I've owned. I guess there's something about brass. I finger tightened all the settings and the next day when I wanted to make an adjustment I had to use pliers with tape on the jaws to unloosen the locking nut.

The vertical is really worth looking into for anyone who enjoys old-fashioned American quality and craftsmanship (yes, there are still remnants of it such as Tom's VIZKEY business, Elecraft, etc). I feel I got great value for the money and Tom is always available to his customers.

Finally, Tom's vertical is THE solution, in my opinion, to anyone who wants to do slower speed 'bug' work. Again, this is only my opinion based on 51 years of CW, but Tom's vertical seems more content to slow down whereas the horizontal keys seem more like racehorses that are chomping at the bit to do what they do naturally.

N2JNZ Rating: 5/5 Dec 20, 2010 16:44 Send this review to a friend
Great Bug !!!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I had the right angle bug but had a small problem with my thumb hitting a adjuster. Not so with the Vertical !!! Great action and very smooth. Also a bonus is the fingerpieces are a bit closer to the table then a Vibroplex which makes for effortless sending. And very quiet compared to other bugs. Speeds from 5 WPM to about 30 which is great for contesting or chatting. Well built and looks incredible !!!!
AB7KT Rating: 5/5 Sep 23, 2010 15:18 Send this review to a friend
I really like it.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I am very happy with mine. I ordered it, and recieved an email that day confirming my order. I had it in my hands within three days. It was well packed.
With the weight all the way at the top, mine goes at least 20 wpm. Forget about 8 wpm. I emailed Tom, who made me a bigger weight and sent it to me within a couple days. With this very heavy weight mine runs at about 15 wpm. That is good enough for me. I am not looking for anything less than that. This new weight is beautiful. It looks way better than the original being made of octogonal stock.
This key is very good looking.
I would buy it again. Tom is a first class business man.
W2EDN Rating: 5/5 Aug 30, 2010 08:46 Send this review to a friend
Beautiful and Functional!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After a long break from CW, I decided I wanted to get back into it and further my skills. I became curious about bug keys, having never owned one before. After a good bit of research I decided to purchase the VizKey Vertical Bug, and I have to say it's very impressive. It will run slower than a Vibroplex, which is good for someone like me who's been away from code for a while and needs practice to get my speed up. It's really easy to adjust and seems very forgiving in terms of adjustment. It makes perfect dits virtually throughout its entire adjustment range. I prefer a lighter touch, and with the springs adjusted that way it still works flawlessly. And did I say that it's beautiful! The pictures on Tom's web site don't do the key justice. The one I received (S/N 047) has really attractive circular brushed engravings on it, which are not present on the one in the picture. It's rare that you buy something that actually exceeds your expectations. Tom himself is a wonderful guy to deal with. He answers emails promptly and ships his items quickly. What more can I say? If you want something different that will be collectible, that works well, and was crafted with pride by a fellow ham right here in the USA, then go for it! You won't be disappointed.
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