My friend Pete, KK7QW, has piqued my interest in semi-automatic keys. The club museum, W7OS, has a collection of keys and one of them is available for hands on operating, usually attached to the old oak rig. This key is a McElroy model S-600 and is in very good shape. It operates smoothly, though it seems to rattle a little.
Today at the W7DK clubhouse, Pete brought in the first Vibroplex key he bought new. He had not used it for years because he was never able to get the key to produce clean dits. Pete is a basement tinkerer and made a ‘dot stabilizer’ for his key and now it works great. McElroy offered this as an option on their keys and it was available from other companies as well. The device pre-tensions the dit contact spring so that it pulls cleanly away each time. Fine business Pete and let me know when you have contracted a supplier for the matched, nickel plated version.