Typewriter Talk

You are not logged in. Would you like to login or register?

15-6-2017 16:36:36  #1

Help Adler Contessa Tab Key

I just purchased an Adler Contessa. It's working good so far. I had to adjust the arms on 2 keys and now it works well. I just can't figure out how the tab key operates. There is a key marked "tab" so i have to assume it has some kind of tab function, i just don't know how to set the stops (or maybe i haven't found them). 
I assumed it was the tiny chromed-teeth looking things behind the machine, but no luck.

Any input would be much appreciated. 
Thanks guys!



15-6-2017 21:33:45  #2

Re: Help Adler Contessa Tab Key

Some typewriters have factory-set tabs that cannot be changed, hence no Set and Clear keys. Preset tabs are often every ten spaces or 1 inch or some regular distance. Set your margins to their full outside settings and then tab across the line and notice whether the carriage stops every X spaces, possibly on each 10, 20, 30, etc. mark on the bail index. 


16-6-2017 00:59:22  #3

Re: Help Adler Contessa Tab Key

Hi Schyllerwade

​Although I've never handled one of these machines, the chrome V-shaped tabs do appear to be the adjustable tab stops. My first guess would be you'd push them down or pull them up to unlock them, then move them left or right. All the best,



16-6-2017 14:40:51  #4

Re: Help Adler Contessa Tab Key

Hey guys thanks for the reply

M Höhne:
I have moved around the stops to the four edges of both sides and when I press the tab key, it will move the entire length of the carriage if I let it, nothing stops it.

You are correct, you can press down slightly and move them around the notches but I can't help but wonder if they were installed backwards, there is a little tooth  that sticks out at an angle but it faces away from the carriage railing and I wonder if it shouldn't be turned around. Of course I'm not sure if that's doable but now I will have to look and see.

     Thread Starter

16-6-2017 15:20:32  #5

Re: Help Adler Contessa Tab Key

 guys one mo thing...I took off this back cover and uh, looking at where the margin sets are, and where the tabs stop are, I can't help but wonder if someone installed them in the wrong place? 
I know close to zero about this stuff, but if the tab is going to stop the carriage, shouldn't it be on the same rail  as the one that has the margins?

See the pictures, maybe I don't know what I'm talking about...




     Thread Starter

17-6-2017 11:39:48  #6

Re: Help Adler Contessa Tab Key

Hi Again

​It is possible that the entire tab rail has been installed upside down. With this cover off, hold the carriage somewhere close to center and while looking at the back of the machine, see if a metal stop under the tab rail moves when you press the tabulator key. Now that I can see what is currently the bottom of the tab stops, it would make far more sense to have the single point indicating the tab position as opposed to the V-notch. As for trying to mount the tab stops on the margin rail, you'd simply jam the whole machine up.

I would suggest start by removing the two screws on the tab rail and rotating the whole rail assembly 180º keeping the side that's presently facing out still facing out. This will put the single points over the tab scale on the cover you just removed. I feel that as long as you don't force anything, you're not going to hurt or damage anything by trying the tab rail in different positions. I would suggest controlling the carriage movement with your hand when you try each position, you don't want the carriage to fly across and damage anything. Let us know what you find out. All the best,



17-6-2017 14:07:12  #7

Re: Help Adler Contessa Tab Key

Thanks sky
ill give that shot and see what happens. Yes, I never let the carriage just slam into otherwise I always slow it down  with my free hand. Although I would think that those v-teeth would need to face inward, no?
For the time being I will defer to you, but it seems like there's nothing on that side (if I keep the outward facing side the same as it is now.) 

Will post after tinkering has concluded

     Thread Starter

17-6-2017 14:37:56  #8

Re: Help Adler Contessa Tab Key

I think they are likely in the correct direction. Unless I am misreading the picture/angle; it looks like they would catch on the margin stops if reversed. The V shape is probably facing outward to make it easier to move and set. If it is not catching, I would check the mechanism that is suppose to catch the tab stops. I think it is more likely there is a problem with that than someone installing the tabulator bar backwards. I'd recommend looking at the back of the machine and pressing the tab button and looking for the part that catches and releases the stops. It may be sticking/misaligned/missing/disconnected/etc. I would check that first, before turning anything around or taking anything apart.


17-6-2017 17:13:28  #9

Re: Help Adler Contessa Tab Key

SoucekFan- YOU WERE RIGHT. I was literally beginning to remove that back piece when I saw your message. I was lazy and didn't feel like taking things apart but it did made sense to have a look first. The mechanism was gummed up with old oil and after a little finagling it came loose. Everything is functioning as it should. BONUS: Also decided to look around back on my new Erika 8 (yup,QWERTY) whose tab was also out of whack. It was as simple as resetting some notches on that machine and viola! 
Your input Much appreciated

Sky: Thanks for chiming in as well, but it turns out we were wrong (admittedly, me more so than you)

BOTTOM LINE: Problem solved!

     Thread Starter

19-6-2017 18:31:35  #10

Re: Help Adler Contessa Tab Key

Man, that Contessa  just can not take a bad picture !


Board footera


Powered by Boardhost. Create a Free Forum

Typewriter Talk