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Electric Typewriters » Quick question about selectrics » 02-6-2023 19:26:25

Paul1986 wrote:

Hello everyone
Is it possible to "transplant" the carriage of a selectric 1 onto a selectric 3?

It is possible but probably not practical.  Many improvements were made through the iterations of the Selectric.  Using the much older carrier will likely require you to replace the return cable as the end connections will be different in order to work with the carrier.  I know of people who have replaced the Selectric III 210 bicycle ribbon carrier with the Selectric II Selective Ribbon System carrier.

Electric Typewriters » Selectric repair » 04-12-2022 19:17:13

robmck wrote:

Typewriterguru, I'm curious: why the Selectric III over the I/II? (or is it just the longevity that you mention?)


Just a personal preference because I like the Selectric III keyboard better.  The keys are shaped differently compared to the Selectric I/II keys.  Other than that, I like the Selectric II just as much which I also own.  The only reason I wouldn’t buy a Selectric I is the lack of the correction feature which again is a preference for me.

Electric Typewriters » Selectric repair » 04-12-2022 00:25:14

lazydog wrote:

Bought a Selectric (I) from a retired guy two months ago, and I guess true to form it had not been turned on for a LONG time because it was his wife's to do invoices for their business, and so last week I kicked it on for maybe the fifth time and I get nothing. I understand that it is probably just old grease and gunk; the motor still hums, I can hear it. So I popped it open because how hard can it be and wow it is hard. I knew it was complicated but I was / am really empowered by my recent forays into manual refurbish and of course this is Vulcan chess comparatively. And apparently I don't even have the right tools to actually get in there and break it down and clean it up and lube it and put it back together even if I tried.

I don't have a question -- I know where the nearest real repair person is and will probably work on it with YouTube videos until I bollox it up real good and then take it to them. I guess just people think I am a little nuts for caring so much about old technology, and being sad about the expertise to keep them running dying without having been handed on to apprentices as much because there is no market, and it is really sad to see expertise die. Maybe I'd feel the same way about, say, scrimshaw making. But typewriters are different because they were such an important central part of the whole literary and business culture for so long and now they are just gone except for weirdos like us.

My go to typewriter is a Selectric III.  Once they are cleaned and lubricated with modern synthetic oil and grease, they will go forever.  I did replace the plastic hub in mine with an aluminum hub as the plastic hubs crack with age.  I bought the service manuals and by reading through and and many YouTube videos, I was able to teach myself how to work on these.  I have helped out dozens of Selectric owners in the last several years.  Feel free to reach out and I am willing ti help guide you.

Electric Typewriters » Selectric Composer type balls » 04-12-2022 00:18:51

robmck wrote:

Just a random curiosity: Can you use a typeball for a Selectric Composer on a monospacing Selectric (I/II, or III)? Sure the spacing will be all wrong, but are the letters where they are supposed to be?

IBM Composer elements might fit in a Selectric but they will not work as intended.  The letters on the element are in different spots so the letter corresponding to the key pressed will not be the letter that appears.

Electric Typewriters » Proportional Spacing Electronic Typewriters/Word Processors » 08-4-2020 08:01:10

Hello all,

I am interested in getting a later model electronic typewriter/word processor.  However, I would like one that offers 10,12, and 15 pitch, and proportional spacing.  Finding what is offered is difficult.  It looks like it's mainly the Wheelwriter and Xerox typewriters that offered this.  Did Smith Corona ever make a PWP that offered this?  Any other brands?

Thank you.

Electric Typewriters » Ode to IBM » 04-12-2015 08:59:07

M. Höhne wrote:

Repartee wrote:

M. Höhne wrote:

.... snip ....
Darn! .... a search for other Selectric II's for sale seems to return about 70% as-is, for parts, needs repair and etc. So I gather they have passed the end of their useful service life, and keeping one functioning will be expensive. Is it the complexity of the mechanism? A 1924 Royal 10 I bought cheap recently is nowhere NEAR the end of its service life - though it looks like it got some new rubber somewhere along the road.
.... snip .....

No, Selectrics aren't at the end of their "service life". It's just that they are more precision than we are used to in typewriters and more dependent on proper adjustments and lubrication. Most problems are due to dried lube and dirt. OTOH, cleaning and adjusting is much fussier and many of us aren't up to the demands. Of about 8 that I've acquired, 2 worked fine right away, 2 have broken parts (which are available,), and the others are just stuck until I can do something about it. One of the working ones had been used right up to the time I got it; regular use helps.

You're right, though, to infer that you don't want to just dive in and "repair" it.

Have Fun!

About 10 years ago I acquired two Selectric IIIs.  One has the 92 key keyboard, the other the 96 key keyboard.  The 92 key keyboard had to be cleaned and lubricated before it would work but I was able to get it working.  I use both Selectrics on a weekly basis for typing short letters, addressing envelopes, and typing out checks.  As long as you take care of them and use regularly, their services life is far into the future.  Not only that, the print on paper is very clear and crisp compared to what most computer printers generate today.

Type Talk » Olympia typewriter that types musical symbols » 01-7-2015 09:01:11

I thought you might find this interesting.  I came across an Olympia Musicwriter GS-3 Musical Notation typewriter.  I have never seen one of these before.
There are photos in the eBay listing:

Type Talk » Favorite/Least favorite brands » 12-6-2015 13:58:18

JustAnotherGuy wrote:

typewriterguru wrote:

What is wrong with it?  What are the symptoms?  I have been learning to repair selectrics.  I have purchased several on eBay that were not working, repaired them, and then sold them.

Oh, nothing serious. It skips occasionally (and inserts a -) and the keys don't pop back up. I'm thinking I just need to clean it.

It sounds like the keyboard levers need to be cleaned and oiled.  The random hyphens are usually caused by an interposer that is sticking.  This is also underneath the keyboard.  Cleaning and oiling it should fix it.

Type Talk » Favorite/Least favorite brands » 12-6-2015 08:55:03

JustAnotherGuy wrote:

I do quite like Selectrics, if only I could get my own to work!

What is wrong with it?  What are the symptoms?  I have been learning to repair selectrics.  I have purchased several on eBay that were not working, repaired them, and then sold them.

Type Talk » Favorite/Least favorite brands » 11-6-2015 14:06:25

JustAnotherGuy wrote:

I've just been wondering, what is everybody's favorite and least favorite brands? My favorite by a long shot is Royal, because all of the "real" Royals I have used (not counting the mass produced Japanese portables)  have had a very sold feel and they tend to just be very reliable and durable machines. My least favorite is Olivetti because of the two I have owned I am not very impressed with quality or feel. Olivetti seems to have put their major focus on design rather than the mechanics themselves, and usually their designs are too outlandish and modern for my taste anyway.

I'd rather take one beat up Royal over three pristene Olivettis!

It sounds like most people here are really into manual typewriters.  I do have a manual Royal typewriter.  It's more modern with a plastic body.  Of all the typwriters that I have used, my favorite is the Selectric III.  I like it for its solid construction, ability to easily change fonts, and of course, correct errors.  When I was in high school, I typed my papers on an electronic Smith Corona.

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