From Wikipedia  Vibroplex is the brand of side-to-side mechanical, semi-automatic Morse key first manufactured and sold in 1905 by the Vibroplex Company, after its invention and patent by Horace Greeley Martin of New York City in 1904. The original device became known as a "bug", most likely due to the original logo, which showed an "electrified bug". The Vibroplex Company has been in business continuously for 109 years, as of 2014. Amateur radio operator Scott E. Robbins, also known by the call sign W4PA, became the 8th owner of the Vibroplex Company on December 21, 2009. The company is located in Knoxville, Tennessee.

An advertisement from Martin's Vibroplex from "Telegraph Age", May 1906 A Vibroplex "Iambic Deluxe" model

The most common Vibroplex models have a single lever with a flat thumbpiece, or paddle, on the left side and a fingerpiece, or knob, on the right side.

When the knob is pressed from the right, it makes a continuous contact suitable for sending dashes (or dahs, as most operators call them). When the paddle is pressed from the left, a horizontal pendulum at the opposite end of the lever is set into motion, intermittently closing a set of contacts, sending a series of short pulses (dits) at a speed that is controlled by the position of the pendulum weight. A skilled operator can achieve sending speeds in excess of 40 words per minute with a bug.

The Vibroplex Original Bug key has been in continuous production for over 100 years, with only minor cosmetic changes. Numerous Vibroplex keys are available to this day; the company presently markets and sells 27 variations of Morse code keys, including the Original Bug, iambic paddles, the Vibrokeyer (an electronic variant of the Original Bug) and traditional straight keys.

  Current Production Bug #1   Current Production Bug #2   Paddle for Modern Electronic Keyers  

  Reproduction of 1905 Bug   Current Production Straight Key   Vintage 1906 Vibroplex Bug

  Video Vibroplex Products

How To Slow Down Your Bug by Stan WB2LQF   Bug Adjustment and Sending Technique by Sandy G∅VQW
Single-Lever Paddle by Stan W1GV Dual Lever Paddle by David KB3IPY

  The excellent Vibroplex Collectors Page by Randy KN6W     ★★★★★    (opens in new browser window)

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