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Maintenance & Repairs » Electric carriage return, Hermes Ambassador » 18-4-2018 06:13:26

5teve B
Replies: 17

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Hmmm! I wonder whether this Olympia buffer might just help to upgrade the Hermes....https://i.imgur.com/XjfxhPz.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/e6m7IrZ.jpg
There's enough front to back space but not enough vertical height with the current configuration. Also, I've only got hand tools so I can cut/drill/file but not machine any new parts. Definitely something to think about.
My typewriter budget doesn't extend to a platen resurfacing but a pica Hermes to cannibalise would make life easier. Perhaps it makes sense to wait and see what eBay comes up with for a few weeks before embarking on an Elite to Pica transplant with the carriages I already have. . . Though the project does have momentum at the moment!

Maintenance & Repairs » Electric carriage return, Hermes Ambassador » 18-4-2018 00:52:47

5teve B
Replies: 17

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How sophisticated would a carriage return buffer need to be in order to be effective? If I cut a piece of hard polythene from a kitchen chopping board for example and fitted this do you think it would work? The fact that it might look like a real bodge doesn't matter as it will be hidden from view!

Maintenance & Repairs » Electric carriage return, Hermes Ambassador » 17-4-2018 03:35:35

5teve B
Replies: 17

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The ball bearings which the carriage runs on are scored and some are rust pitted. 

The right hand carriage release button is seized but as the left one works it can be moved when necessary.

The typewriter was already missing most of the paper feed mechanism when I got it.  Also, I wouldn't want to use a continuous feed anyway. The rubber on the platen is cracked and several of the paper rollers are seized.  I have a spare 21" carriage which is what I would prefer to use. However it has elite spacing and the electric machine has pica. There is no paper bail bar with the electric machine. Irritatingly, although the carriages are the same size, the platen in my spare one is 5mm too wide to fit. This is due to the the fancy paper feed arrangement taking up more space at the ends of the platen than the standard paper bail.

Options which spring to mind are:
1) see if I can switch the platen, paper rollers and paper bail bar mechanism from the spare carriage. This will require the creation of 5mm extra space somehow to accomodate the wider platen but probably has less work than the next one...
2) exchange all the 12cpi components on the spare carriage for 10cpi components from the machine I am working on. The margin stop bars look like being the easiest. There is a toothed rail which engages with the escapement mechanism - this has vertical adjustment only. The tabulator stops are on a bar which has lateral AND vertical adjustment. So, plenty of scope to get things wrong! Also, this would give a machine with a two colour paint job. Unless I can disassemble the carriage ends and swap the covers. And the numbers on the paper bail would not be exactly in line as the carriage moved - but I'm sure if I get that far I could live with it!

Maintenance & Repairs » Electric carriage return, Hermes Ambassador » 17-4-2018 02:52:15

5teve B
Replies: 17

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https://i.imgur.com/htAme2M.jpg
The lower bar in the picture is the salvaged one. The spur (which has snapped off in the top one) engages with the margin stops.  This brings the carriage to a halt when the sliding bar comes up against its end stops (seen in earlier picture).


https://i.imgur.com/35N9QSW.jpg
This picture shows part of the bell actuator mechanism. The part from the broken typewriter is bent and has a crack in it. It was preventing the smooth movement of the carriage when the bell was supposed to be triggered, requiring quite a push to force it past the margin stop which engages with it to rotate it and ping the bell.
I replaced both broken parts. The carriage now moves sufficiently well to check out whether it will switch the motor off when the right margin is reached. And ... IT WORKS!

Maintenance & Repairs » Electric carriage return, Hermes Ambassador » 14-4-2018 02:28:05

5teve B
Replies: 17

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After partially dismantling the carriage I have found the cause of the margin stop failure - something has snapped off. I think this may be due to a design fault, with the manufacturer overenthusiastically installing some heavy continuous roll feed mechanism onto an already hefty 18" carriage without upgrading the end stop. There is no buffer or shock absorbing mechanism so it is metal to metal contact taking the full deceleration force when right margin is reached (and possibly the left margin - I think the same sliding bar may deal with both stops but cannot confirm this until I have repaired and reinstalled it).https://i.imgur.com/duZWZlP.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/aKfcIGt.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/b1OHEUz.jpg
Off to the garage for a spare part hunt!

Maintenance & Repairs » Electric carriage return, Hermes Ambassador » 13-4-2018 13:09:15

5teve B
Replies: 17

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Everything on the main body of the typewriter appears to be working ok now (with the intermittent exception of the tabulator function). I checked the capacitor hadn't failed, made sure nothing live was shorted to earth, disconnected the flexible drive and plugged it in. The motor starts when the carriage return button is depressed and stops when the kick off lever is hit.
With it unplugged but flexible drive reconnected, turning the motor by hand winds back the carriage but it does not hit the lever which stops the motor. It is about 1mm off. Whether momentum is supposed to produce a bit of overshoot I don't know. The margin stops on the carriage are seized so I shall have to look at that next. I need to be convinced the motor will be stopped by the full return of the carriage to the left hand margin before trying it under motor power.

Maintenance & Repairs » Electric carriage return, Hermes Ambassador » 12-4-2018 05:37:37

5teve B
Replies: 17

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https://i.imgur.com/9Pi761R.jpg
These cherry stones, eaten by a mouse, and some ears of corn fell out of the typewriter when I turned it upside down. It also came with several live harvester spiders.

Maintenance & Repairs » Electric carriage return, Hermes Ambassador » 12-4-2018 05:18:58

5teve B
Replies: 17

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Thanks for your helpful comments. This is definitely a machine that has seen better days but I would love to get it usable again. I will turn the motor by hand to get a better idea how everything works and to make sure some critical little lever isn't seized with rust. (The escapement mechanism was partly seized and it took a while to spot that a tiny bar with a small spring was only moving through part of its range - luckily I have a working one to compare it to).

I also thought I would disconnect the flexible drive from the carriage return clutch when the time comes to check the motor on/off controls work properly.

I have attached photos of the carriage which came with the remains of a paper feed attachment. The 18" ruler in the picture is just to show scale. The electric carriage return button is in the place normally occupied by the tabulator button. It is slightly worrying that they chose to label it with the electrocution hazard warning sign!https://i.imgur.com/MH0fkHt.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/5csnmLU.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/KFkEckT.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/UxdlOW3.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/yQ0cVEN.jpg

Maintenance & Repairs » Electric carriage return, Hermes Ambassador » 10-4-2018 09:49:43

5teve B
Replies: 17

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I recently got a non-working Hermes Ambassador with the electric carriage return. It was seized due to surface rust but I have now got the type bars moving freely and am ready to look at the electrical side of things. 

There is an indicator bulb mounted on the front panel and this is rated 16volt 0.2amp. I am not sure if this is supposed to be on all the time the machine is plugged in or only when the carriage return is operated. The drawband is metal and the mainspring is mounted on an insulated block so there is no electrical contact between the drawband and the chassis.  When the carriage is mounted on the main body of the typewriter the mainspring spindle makes contact with an insulated terminal connected to the indicator bulb and isolated from the chassis. Neither side of the indicator bulb is connected to the earthed chassis.  The right hand end of the drawband has a nylon attachment to the carriage, ensuring its electrical isolation. There is a broken off end of wire on a solder tag at the right end of the drawband. Possibly this took power to, or provided switching information from something mounted on the carriage. The platen is 18" wide and there is the remains of what looks like some paper feed arrangement at the front of the platen.

At the back is a motor with a flexible drive to what I presume is some sort of clutch which pulls a drawband connected to a lever at the back of the carriage. If any of you have one of these machines I would be interested to find out if it works, how noisy it is and whether you know how the clutch is supposed to engage/ disengage from the band which operates the carriage return. 

It looks as if there is a capacitor and choke connected across the motor switch so I will check this works and replace if necessary before trying to run the motor.  There is an earthed mains lead which is a reassuring feature!
 

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