Parts and service are available for current VIBROPLEX and BENCHER products.
(note: The below presently only describes Vibroplex parts and service. If you need Bencher parts, send us an email describing what you need to vibroplex@vibroplex .com)
Parts: Repair parts for all current production model keys built 1945 to the present day are available. We do not have pre-1945 parts. Consult the serial number chart to find the year of manufacture of your Vibroplex key.
The most important step is this one! To order Vibroplex parts, consult the machine drawings and parts lists links shown below for each model to determine what parts you need before contacting us. The 4 digit part numbers on the parts lists are the ones we use. Do not use the model part numbers like VK-1 or O-20.
Once you've got your part numbers, there are 3 ways to order. 1) Phone: Call us at (865) 309-5073 with Visa, MasterCard, or Discover. We are open 8:30 a.m.- 5:30 p.m. U.S. Eastern time Monday-Friday. 2) By email: Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the part quantities, part numbers, description. We will then total your order and email you a PayPal payment request, which you can pay with either PayPal funds or a major credit card. 3) By regular U.S. mail. Print out the parts list, write what items you need on it and mail it with a check, money order, or credit card information to us directly. Our address is Vibroplex, 1001 N. Broadway St., Knoxville, TN 37917.
Postage cost for small parts orders: USA addresses typical first class mail shipping cost is $4.45. Due to US Postal Service regulation changes in January 2018 we can no longer ship parts international first class mail at the cheaper flat envelope rate. International shipping from the United States is very expensive. Typical small parts shipping cost to Canada is $14.01. Europe, $14.98. Asia and Australia, $18.71.
Service: Service is available on current models of Vibroplex keys built 1945 to the present day and most Bencher items. We do not service pre-1945 Vibroplex keys. $45 standard flat fee for service work on usual repairs. A usual repair would be a key that perhaps needs a few replacement parts, needs disassembly and cleaning, adjusting etc. Standard service is disassemble the key to the base, clean the base, clean all the parts, replace anything heavily corroded, re-assemble, test and adjust so the key is ready to use. The cost of any parts replaced is additional to the $45 flat service fee. Keys that will need extra labor work above the $45 standard fee are ones that are heavily rusted out/damaged, multiple broken parts, mostly or completely disassembled or have some other major issues. You may email or phone prior to sending items for repair to assure we have parts available and can do service work on your key, but this is not required. Do not mail a check for $45 with your key - there are return shipping costs and parts may need replacing. We will contact you for payment after service is complete.
Notice for customers in the United Kingdom: Effective 1/1/2021 we are presently unable to ship parts to UK addresses due to new regulations in effect requiring UK VAT be collected by online sellers.
TECHNICAL DATA, CURRENT MODELS:
VIBROCUBE iambic paddles - machine drawing, parts list, adjustments
WHAT'S A JEWELED MOVEMENT?
Click here for a pictorial document describing jeweled vs. non-jeweled movements.
CAN WE TALK ABOUT THE COLOR RED?
The tone of the red finger pieces used on Vibroplex keys has varied over the years from a more purplish deep red to a brighter red color in recent decades. If you have a key with a broken #4001 oval thumb piece(s) or the #4000 red knob as used on the bugs and Vibrokeyers it's unlikely an exact match is available as the tone we are using today doesn't quite even match the color from vintage era. This is only important if it matters to you that the color of the two pieces be an exact match. If so, order both #4000 knob and #4001 thumb piece or in the case of iambic paddles, two of #4001.
I WANT TO CLEAN MY KEY. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
Cleaning can be easy. The best way to clean it is to disassemble the key all the way to the base, and clean all the individual parts and them re-assemble it. We have machine diagrams above to assist you with re-assembly. If you want to take it completely apart and clean it: Disassemble the key to the base. If you have an ultrasonic cleaner, start by cleaning the parts with it. If you don't have one - soak all the parts except base, rubber feet and the finger pieces in warm water with a little bit of dish soap for a few minutes. Scrub them with a toothbrush, wipe down with a clean rag. For the base, we use a product called Simple Green available at many hardware and household stores. Another option is 70% isopropyl alcohol, though alcohol leaves streaky looking markings on chrome parts that then needs to be cleaned off with water and a rag. Spray the base with the Simple Green and let it sit for a few minutes. Scrub the base with a toothbrush, rinse with water, dry with a clean rag. Finger pieces and rubber feet, spray with Simple Green or alcohol, rub dry immediately with a rag. For chrome parts if grime or dirt won't come off with the warm water use the Simple Green on those also. You can use chrome polish on the chrome parts but the small threaded parts can be quite messy and hard to clean with this. For the older brass nameplates we recommend to not use an abrasive cleaner like brass cleaner. It will scrape the red color off the bug on the nameplate and the little crevices and grooves from the numbers and letters will not allow it to be cleaned up well. Use Simple Green or isopropyl alcohol to clean dirt or grime. Before re-assembling, let everything dry overnight. This gets any liquid in the grooves of threaded parts to evaporate before you put it back together. If you don't want to disassemble the key: Read the instructions above. Instead of taking it completely apart, use warm water, Simple Green, or alcohol and a toothbrush to scrub it down. It will be more difficult to get dirt or grime off hard to reach places. Wipe down with a clean rag after cleaning and allow it to dry.
INFORMATION ON VARIOUS VIBROPLEX MODELS:
HOW OLD IS MY KEY?
We have a serial number chart available by clicking this link to determine age of your VIBROPLEX key. Please note that no model information corresponds to serial numbers - the serial number only indicates date of manufacture. This chart was created in 1996 and only has serial number information up to that date. Addendum to serial number information: Keys with serial number plates that read "MOBILE AL" were built from the mid-1990's to 2009 and were serial #100000-112999. The last key built in Mobile AL was #112777. #112778-112999 were built in Knoxville TN using Mobile AL nameplates in 2009-2010. Keys with serial #113000-113999 with "KNOXVILLE TN" were made in 2010. Serial numbers from 400000 upward with "KNOXVILLE TN" started in late 2010 and are used to the present day.
THE VIBROPLEX COLLECTORS GUIDE by Tom French, W1IMQ
The Vibroplex Collectors Guide was written by Tom French, W1IMQ (SK) in 1990 and was revised through a third edition by 2006. 130 pages in .pdf format of all things Vibroplex including patents, very early machine drawings, pictures and descriptions of all models and the various versions of serial number plates used over the years. Click here to download.
MANAGING INTERSTATION INTERFERENCE by George Cutsogeorge, W2VJN
Managing Interstation Interference, written by former INRAD owner George Cutsogeorge, W2VJN, is now available as a free .pdf download courtesy of the author as a service to Amateur Radio in lieu of publishing a subsequent printed edition. Thank you! We are pleased to host this for you. Click here to download.
AUTOPLEX (electromagnetic predecessor) 1902-1905. K9WDY collection.
DOUBLE LEVER - independent dit and dah key levers. 1906-1927. Restored by W4PAL.
MODEL X. 1911-1927. Restored by W4PAL.
"No. 4" BLUE RACER. 1914-1966.
UPRIGHT VERTICAL BUG. 1917-1919.
MARTIN JUNIOR (reduced size version of ORIGINAL BUG). 1921-1939.
LIGHTNING BUG. 1927-1979. Tech data: machine drawing - parts list
CHAMPION - cheaper version of LIGHTNING BUG. 1939-1979.
Tech data: machine drawing - parts list - adjustments
ZEPHYR - narrow base version of CHAMPION. 1939-1958.