COCA: Vibroplex





I didn’t like this guy because he used a Vibroplex semi-automatic speed key and sent his messages too fast. He had a lousy ” fist. ” His dashes were too short — you could easily take them for dots — and his spacing between word groups was erratic. He also bragged too much about his rig. A thousand watts generated by a pair of big Eimac tetrodes in the final amplifier. Anybody could do that if they had the money.

He told me that since his stroke, he’d felt as if he were trapped in the radio room with the door locked from the outside. The receiver was still working, but the transmitter was broken. He couldn’t talk back to anyone. He’d been tapping away with a spoon for days, even though he’d given up hope of being ” rescued. ” Paralysis of his right side had prevented him from writing any messages. # I brought to the hospital an old Vibroplex Sidewinder telegraph key, which was Harry’s favorite for sending Morse code. Harry had spent a good part of his life on oceangoing freighters as a radiotelegraph operator. He told me a story of something that had happened at sea several days before the attack on Pearl Harbor.