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08-11-2014 02:41:45  #1


Olympia SF Ribbon Vibrator Sticking

I bought an Olympia SF deluxe to write with because the computer just no fun. It worked fine when I received it, but after about two weeks of light use the ribbon vibrator started having problems. At first the ribbon would jump to meet the type-slug and then return about half way to its original position. The text would be blocked, but the ribbon still 'fed' because of the downward motion, however slight it was. Now, the ribbon meets the slug and sticks, no downward movement and no feeding of the ribbon. I have to press the margin release to unstick it. This is not a very effecient way to type (and I'm sure it isn't good for the machine to carry on like this).

Strangely, the typewriter often starts off working fine, and then after a couple of paragraphs I run into the problem. When I try again the next day, the cycle repeats.

So I've tried cleaning the typewriter with some isopropyl alcohol: brushing it onto the hinges of the ribbon vibrator mechanism, typebars, slugs, ect. I figured there might be some grime build-up that gravity couldn't overcome. No luck. Now, I didn't do the most thorough job because I still don't know what the hell I'm doing despite a good deal of online research. The typewriter is quite clean anyway. 

Any opinions on this? Is it a matter of cleanliness, or maybe a mechanical issue? I've heard that Olympias are workhorses, and I'd like to be able to get the typewriter working well enough for daily use. 


"Everyone must believe in something. I believe I'll go canoeing"- Henry David Thoreau
 

08-11-2014 14:37:25  #2


Re: Olympia SF Ribbon Vibrator Sticking

My first reaction was that the entire mechanism needed a good cleaning, but it doesn't sound like that's helped you. Is is possible you didn't get all the pivot points? Without removing the bottom cover of the case there are at least nine points in that mechanism that should be thoroghly cleaned. I would also make sure that there isn't anything mechanically binding in all of those linkages. Does the vibrator stay stuck (after you've reset it) with every key, or are some worse than others? I would in particular examine the linkage that ties the type bars to the vibrator (it's on the right side at the very bottom between the rbbon spool and keyboard) because if it isn't moving freely the returning typebar won't reset it.

Olympia machines are workhorses and the SF De Luxe is a pretty stout machine, so I'm sure this is just a small problem that can be easily fixed. Good luck!


"To save time is to lengthen life."
 

11-11-2014 15:04:10  #3


Re: Olympia SF Ribbon Vibrator Sticking

 I guess it's wrong to say the cleaning didn't help, when I had the typewriter dismantled and finished the initial cleaning I tested the typewriter. It typed fine for two pages, so I was confident it would work when I put it back together. It did for awhile, and then of course my first post... The problem occurs with all keys equally.

You're right, I certainly didn't hit 9+ pivot mechanisms, I only did the most basic pivots on the vibrator lever--q-tips were a pain to clean with--which probably helped the typewriter to work initially in the dismantled state but didn't give a full measure. Now I've got some paintbrushes and the innards should be easier to reach and clean. I've been playing around with the keys and finding all spots of movement where it might be getting stuck. I'll post an update on whether or not it works the second time around. 

 

 


"Everyone must believe in something. I believe I'll go canoeing"- Henry David Thoreau
     Thread Starter
 

11-11-2014 17:53:17  #4


Re: Olympia SF Ribbon Vibrator Sticking

Well, I think the problem is solved, in a strange way. After cleaning the typewriter very thoroughly, it still didn't work. Close inspection revealed what I think you were talking about Uwe. The linkage between the ribbon and keyboard, right under the tension adjuster was the thing getting stuck, "binding" up. I had been keeping the key-tension on the lowest setting, thinking it help me type more easily. I just adjusted the tension to the highest setting, and what do you know...the typewriter began to work flawlessly. My typing is faster and more crisp, too. I don't know how I overlooked this. It makes sense that increasing the tension, and therefore force of the spring, would overcome the force necessary for the mechanical parts to work smoothly, rather than a squishier setting. The typewriter just feels healthier when I use it. I think this one is all wrapped up... Does this sound plausible?


"Everyone must believe in something. I believe I'll go canoeing"- Henry David Thoreau
     Thread Starter
 

01-6-2017 11:58:05  #5


Re: Olympia SF Ribbon Vibrator Sticking

"I would in particular examine the linkage that ties the type bars to the vibrator (it's on the right side at the very bottom between the rbbon spool and keyboard) because if it isn't moving freely the returning typebar won't reset it."

Hey Uwe, I'm having the same problem with my Splendid 33. I seem to have found the cause of the issue, the linkage to the keyboard is not returning when a key is typed. I don't have the same problem when the shift is engaged. Not an expert on typewriters, so forgive my lack of understanding but how do I fix this?! Driving me crazy!

 

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