Amateur Radio Station N4EKV
Telegraph Keys

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Rigs & Amps        Antenna Tuners
1939 Vibroplex Martin Junior

  • 1939 Vibroplex Martin Junior
  • Base is a trim 3" by 6"
  • Nice light action like a Blue Racer
  • Restored by AB7R
1978 Vibroplex Lightning Bug Deluxe

  • 1978 Vibroplex Lightning Bug Deluxe
1954 Vibroplex Blue Racer

  • 1954 Vibroplex Blue Racer
1942 Bunnell J-36

  • 1942 Bunnell J-36
  • The rarest of the three J-36 keys (Vibroplex and Lionel being the other two).
  • Made for the U.S. Army during WWII.
  • Serial number 2312.
  • My fastest key, nice light action!
1940s Standard Radio Co.

  • Standard Radio Co. New York U.S.A., S/N 1520.
  • Model No. is blank, but there is a 3 stamped on the lever arm.
  • c.1943. More info at the K5RW online telegraph key museum.
  • Bug restorer and collector KT5X discovered an original shipping box for this bug which positively identifies it as WW2 era U.S. Army Air Corps equipment.
  • Here are KT5X's notes from his bug collection website, now apparently defunct.
  • Obvious Vibroplex copy but engineered to a higher tolerance and beefier dimension.
  • Very light touch and crisp action.. a pleasure to use.
  • Split posts keep contact screws tight enough for use even without locknuts engaged making the key very easy to adjust.
  • Standard Radio Co. supposedly made this model in japaned bases and colored bases. This one is beautifully nickle plated.
  • My new favorite bug!
  • I'd like to hear from anyone who can provide info on this key.

  • 2002 GHD GN127WS double lever bug from Japan.
  • Can convert to single lever bug.
  • Precise instrument with a very light touch.
  • Shown with high speed weight. I also have the standard weight that is 3x this one's size.
1936-1938 Telegraph Apparatus Company CP-810

  • Telegraph Apparatus Company (TAC) CP-810 c.1936.
  • Nicknamed the Hole-in-the-Wall bug.
  • Heavy! On wide 4-inch chromed steel base.
  • Fast mainspring but lever feels slow side to side.
  • Good action but fatigues me faster than a Vibroplex.
  • Dits make a great metalic sound.. like a rattlesnake!
1965 Vibroplex Presentation

  • 1965 Vibroplex Original Presentation.
  • LaHiff adjustable mainspring.
  • Jeweled trunion bearings top and bottom, very smooth, no slop.
  • Has a tiny grounding strap between the moving arm and the yoke as the jewels would otherwise insulate the moving arm from the yoke and prevent the circuit from closing.
1922 Vibroplex Original

  • 1922 Vibroplex Original.
  • Acquired with original carrying box.
  • Great action, very light touch combined with a fast mainspring makes for near-effortless keying at higher speeds.
  • Base restored by KT5X. See before restoration.
1923 Vibroplex Original

  • 1923 Vibroplex Original.
  • Base is crinkle-coat, not original, nor is the weight.
1929 Vibroplex Nr. 6 Nickel finish

1938 Mac-Key

  • 1962 Vibroplex Lightning.
  • Suprisingly good action.. makes crisp characters but requires a bit more umph to get it to play.
1941/2 MacElroy P-500

  • McElroy P-500 from 1941-2.
  • A tank! This key is massive.
  • Better action that the 1930's Mac-Key, but still clunky.

  • 1948 Vibroplex Original.
  • Still works great and has a great feel.
  • Original patina intact.
GHD GH-GF601MP sideswiper

  • 2005 GHD GH-GF601MP.
  • Sideswiper aka cootie key.
  • Can be rewired as a single paddle for use with an electronic keyer.
  • Yes, that's a piece of an actual hacksaw blade! See the teeth?
Bunnell Martin Flash Key

  • Bunnell Martin Flash Key Type No. 5-48.
  • Very fast and light action.
Les Logan Speed-X 501

  • Les Logan Speed-X 501.

  • 1960's Skillman bug from Japan, still available as the Himound BK-100.
  • Adjusts from very slow to slow.
  • Clunky action, very loud, more so with the cover on!
  • Click to see under the cover.

  • Schurr Profi 2.
  • The best iambic paddle I've ever had the pleasure of using!
  • Perfect weight, perfect feel, perfect.
  • Price reference: Ebay auction on Aug 11, 2003, $202.50

  • model P1PADW.
  • Excellent implementation of touch keying.
  • Paddles custom spaced by factory to match Schurr Profi spacing.
  • Front-mounted pots and top-mounted switch are my custom mods. parts list.

  • 1970's Cricket 1 keyer.
  • I had one like this when I was 16.. this one came from eBay.
  • Ten-Tec like paddle's motion is crude but usable.
  • Click to see rear of keyer.
Kent SP-1

  • Kent SP-1 single paddle.
  • I use this as a sideswiper (cootie key).

  • Ten-Tec KR1B.
  • Requires 12VDC for adjustable electromagnetic paddle return mechanism.
  • What were they thinking?

  • NYE Master key.
  • Mushy feel due to the lower contact being mounted on the thin stamped metal bottom cover!
  • I had one like this when I was a Novice.. this one was $25 at a swap meet. The pivot pin was loose so I soldered it.. lovely job!

  • U.S. Army J-37 Key.

  • 1940 W.T.8 AMP No 3 MX1.
  • British WWII key made in many variations and in large quantities.
  • Suprisingly good action.. I need to find a good base for it before the next SKN.

Rigs & Amps        Antenna Tuners

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