Bug Keys

I have never owned a large number of bug keys and the ones I do own I dont use very much prefering iambic paddle keys but they are a thing of bueaty and a cool thing to have and try to master. You first problem is going to be getting the setup right. Once setup it than practice, practice practice. there are some truley terrible fists on HF using bugs and the are some superb fists. Get the mechnical setup right first and then practice and listen to your morse. Compare it to a straight key or paddle. Feed the tone into a CW decoding program and see if it will decode your fist. If it does then you are sending good well times morse.

This is my Eddystone Bug key dating back to the late 1940’s. Sometime I will respray the case but its a joy to use. It does not have a serial number so is from the second batch after Eddystone sold them materials on to another company.

The Eddystone model S 689. Made from about 1948. A Bug key that looks a bit like a huge beetle ! Only about 350 were ever made. A first batch of 250 were produced in 1948, followed by an order for another 250 in 1949, but sales were poor and only 100 odd of the second batch were completed. The serial numbers can be found stamped onto the connecting strip on the underside of the base. In 1952 a quantity of S689’s were sold to Chas H. Young of Birmingham and he sold them around that year from his Amateur Radio shop and these keys do not generally have a serial number. A marvelous design of semi-automatic morse key, with a distinctive shape. Dimensions are 8″ overall length by 3.5″ wide by 2.5″ high (203mm by 89mm by 65mm). I find these Eddystone bug keys easier to use than some bug keys. You can slow the dots down quite a bit, and the handle is moulded nicely to the shape of the thumb and finger. (An excellent article on the EDDYSTONE S689 by Colin Waters G3TSS can be found in the Vail Correspondent. No8. July 1994

My Vibroplex Keys. The origional bug i bought I eventually sold it in flustration as I could not get the hand of it. Got the opertunity to get this Presentation model and its a fun key to use. Very fast though and tricky to setup. This one dates to 1955

Finally for now here is my Blue racer. this is a modern version of the Vibropled classic and an excellent key. A smaller footprint than the Presentation and I have added a few small modifications to assist in sending.