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W0EB's Dot Stabilizer

For Semi Automatic (Bug) Keys

Dot Stabilizer mounted on a late model Vibroplex "Original"

Back in the late 1920's early 1930's, T.R. "Ted" McElroy (Morse copying World Champion) who also manufactured telegraph keys, came up with a nice innovation he called his "Dot Stabilizer" This nifty little gadget pre-loaded the vibrating dot contact spring by a very small amount, effectively ensuring better dot weighting and came very close to completely eliminating the very rapid contact bounce occuring when the contacts "break" which creates what many call "scratchy dot syndrome".

T.R.'s original version required replacing the existing dot contact assembly with his stabilizer and fit only the McElroy manufactured keys. For some unknown reason, most information on the original Dot Stabilizer was either lost or ignored during the WW2 years and after except by a very few people. I'm quite happy that I was able to resurrect something from the past that does such a nice job of making a bug able to send better CW without having to severely modify a nice key.

After accidentally rediscovering it a couple of years ago, I undertook a slight redesign of McElroy's original device to eliminate the necessity for replacing the vibrating dot contact assembly. This allows the device to be easily installed and removed quickly with simple tools. I also came up with a further variation on McElroy's design that can be used on even the "Flat Pendulum" bugs such as the Vibroplex Lightning Bug, Military J-36, Zephyr and Champion models as well as various copies of them and even the Japanese Hi Mound "Coffin" bug.

I currently make "Dot Stabilizers" for the Vibroplex, Speed-X and McElroy keys having the round pendulum and bugs with the flat pendulum, such as the Vibroplex Lightning Bug, Zephyr, Champion and WW2 military J-36 bugs (including the Lionel models) which are based on the Lightning Bug design.

I can also manufacture them for other bugs such as the Japanese Hi Mound ("Coffin") bug, European made (metric sizes) bugs, etc. as long as you can supply me with the diameter (round) or thickness (flat) of the pendulum and a sharply focused digital photo of the actual bug you want it for. (I only need photos and pendulum dimensions for bugs other than the McElroy and Vibroplex models.) They can be made out of either aluminum or brass though aluminum is the preferred material as it is far less expensive.

They mount to the arm with a socket head set screw and the proper Allen wrench is included along with a printed set of instructions explaining installation and proper adjustment. Also, they are made entirely by hand so there may be slight differences between each one (this won't affect the operation at all).

The prices are $28.50 post paid for the aluminum and $38.50 for the brass ones to domestic USA customers.

Due to large postage increases and the extra, complicated Customs forms I need to fill out for export, International prices are US$51.50 for the aluminum ones and US $61.50 for the brass ones. This does include international First Class shipping.

If you decide to order one or more, I will need the make/model of the bug(s) you want stabilizers for, whether they are "left" or "right" handed (the bug, not you) and be sure to include your mailing address as well.

I take personal checks, USPS money orders (made out to Aubrey J. Sheldon) sent to my QRZ listed address or PayPal to w0eb [at] cox dot net .

International customers MUST, repeat MUST use PayPal as it is the only form of payment I can accept from customers in countries outside of the United States.

I'll be happy to answer any further questions you may have. Jim Sheldon - W0EB




For further information or to order one or more, contact Jim, W0EB.

Vibroplex, McElroy, Johnson SpeedX, Lightning Bug, Champion, Hi Mound, etc. are trademarks of their respective companies.


Page last updated by W0EB - 5/4/2018 @ 15:00 UTC