1951 Vibroplex “Lightning” Bug!

WOW!  I just got this from an online auction.  It is a 1951 Vibroplex “Lightning” bug!  I really wasn’t looking for a bug, but when I saw this and it was going for such a good price, I decided to watch it.

Since I’m not really great at CW, I’m sure I will not get the benefit from a Vibroplex like a CW expert would, but its totally cool old school design I just couldn’t pass up.  It also came with a box that is leather on the outside and padded with green felt on the inside.

This bug was left in this box for many years and since it was protected so well, it looks new.

I have a Bencher iambic paddle I usually use with the IC-7600, and have gotten fairly good at using it, but never have used a Vibroplex.  I know these require some attention with the setup to make them work well.  Other hams have told me that there is a lot of tweaking that can and should be done to make a Vibroplex bug work well, so I will need to learn how to do that.

(UPDATE) I just found this awesome vid on YouTube from Jim WB8SIW that shows how to set up a Vibroplex bug properly!  Very nice video:


73! de Nick N9SJA

5 thoughts on “1951 Vibroplex “Lightning” Bug!

  1. I just got bit by the “bug” too and snagged a vintage “original” bug on eBay. Now I’m wondering how to use it with my Flex5000A since it appears to be a 2 wire connection. How do you connect yours?

    • Rick,

      I have never used my Vibroplex on my Flex 5K, but you can hook up a 2 wire key to the key jack with no problem. You may just need to change the keyer type. I have used a 2 wire straight key, and also a bencher paddle with the Flex 5k and both work really great. I like the look of the Vibroplex Lightning bug, but I am really lousy using it. I figure this type of key will need a lot of practice to get used to! Anyway, enjoy your vintage bug. They sure are neat to look at and clever engineering back in the days when you had to be clever to mechanically get something done that now a micro-controller handles. 73 de Nick N9SJA

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