Today’s post will not be not be one of my toys. Instead, it will be of one I don’t have. The Vibroplex Key. Or also known as the Vibroplex bug. Its been in continuous production since 1905. Yep 105 years and counting.
In a traditional telegraph or radio installation, the operator had to manually create the timing for the dots and dashes for the Morse code. The original Vibroplex bug was an semi-automatic key. If you move the lever to the right, it would activate a pendulum and keep sending dots until either you quit holding the key to the right or the pendulum ran down. To the left, you got just a manual contact and could create a dash. You could also briefly move it to the left and create a dot. Just depended on how long you moved it to the left. Hence the term semi-automatic. The dots were automatic, the dashes were not. It requires no additional electronics or electrical apparatus. Just connect it to the line or radio and go.
Anyway, they are still available new using much of the same design and methods as in 1905.
This one has a list price of $380:
Or they can be had for $200 if you can do without the bling: