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16-2-2023 20:36:49  #1

SM9 clangy space bar?

Hi all, I have acquired two Olympia SM9s in the past month, one from 1965 and the other from 1977. I will post pics but they are both absolutely typical of what you see on TWDB.

The 1977 is a "black knob" one, of course, and one of the reasons I wanted it was to actually compare the much-lamented stepdown in quality that model brought, more plastic, etc.

I am actually really pleased with both of them. The 1977 feels just like the 1965 (which is the best typer I have ever owned)--except for a slight insubstantial quality, which would make perfect sense if components are of lesser weight but the build tolerances are identical. I also wanted a 1977 because I was hoping for a better-condition platen I might even swap into the 1965 and it did not disappoint. I think it was barely used, and then the owner got a computer five years later--the platen and even the feet are still pliable. A real time machine find.

But to the QUESTION: the only thing that annoys a bit about the 1977 is the space bar makes a little sproingy, clangy noise with each stroke. Someone on TWDB said theirs is like hitting a steel drum; funny, but it's not that bad. But what to do? Is this an adjustment issue, or just a quality of the design--maybe a result of the cheaper component switch-out?

FWIW I get the exact same feeling on my really great-condition 1950 Royal QDL "Dreyfuss/Gray Magic"--I thought it was because of the unusually mounted space bar on that design, but here I am.

Olympia uber alles! (But I still love my Olivettis, please don't tell them I am running around on them...)



16-2-2023 21:57:12  #2

Re: SM9 clangy space bar?

UPDATE: I figured out it is just a sympathetic vibration coming out of the empty back of the machine, from a lot of empty space below the carriage, which is a big ol' metal resonator. I can fix by whoppsing up a wool sock and tucking it under the back lip of the machine: presto, no sproingy noise. This is what all that stuck-on insulation material I guess was for. Very little on this typewriter, again maybe a cost cutting measure. Anyway, I'll figure it out now!

     Thread Starter

17-2-2023 09:19:38  #3

Re: SM9 clangy space bar?

Isn't the space at the back of the machine just as empty on all our other SM9s? Or are you actually missing insulation? I'm just afraid you might have fixed the symptom and not the cause.
On mine, the spacebar is stopped by projections at each end which have rubber bumpers on them, essentially a piece of soft material to cushion the stop. If the bumpers are missing or otherwise not doing their job, it sounds harshly metallic with every spacebar press. The stops are just short pieces of a soft tube or hose slipped over the projections, easiest fix in typewriterdom (well, apart from moving the color selector switch off Stencil).


17-2-2023 12:09:48  #4

Re: SM9 clangy space bar?

Fully agree with Michael. I've had a couple of SMs with the same issue, and it was simple case of replacing the missing rubber bumpers with a bit of hose (although I think I used some heat shrink tubing). 


17-2-2023 12:58:15  #5

Re: SM9 clangy space bar?

Hi--thanks for the responses! My tubing is intact, thankfully, so that is not the issue; there is no insulation in the back of the 1965 machine either. Something about sound insulation in a German machine seems wrong, come to think of it: they would have thought, this is a design problem. Design it better, don't cover it up with insulation!
But I do find it is quieter on a thicker pad, so it might just be as simple as that. Pics to come!

     Thread Starter

20-2-2023 15:02:47  #6

Re: SM9 clangy space bar?

My SM9 still had it little rubber bumpers on the space bar Tabs but they were rock hard.  I got some small diameter, clear "tygon" tubing at the pluming store and that really helped tone-down the metallic sounds of contact.  Use a drop of super glue to hold it in place on the metal tabs.


21-2-2023 18:39:37  #7

Re: SM9 clangy space bar?

Thanks so much, all--I might recover them with better tygon tubing, as noted! Sure is a great little machine!

     Thread Starter

25-2-2023 20:05:00  #8

Re: SM9 clangy space bar?

Here it is, happy to say--my 1965 SM9. The 1977 (the one with the clangy bumpers) is at work.

It is a beauty, in the 11 pt elite that it looks like was pretty common with this machine. In terrific shape except for the nicotine. It was missing one of the plastic paper guards but I don't like them anyway so removed the other one. And the Olympia logo is oddly missing it's paint on the "a"--any thoughts on where to acquire a replacement? And melting the glue to replace it? Maybe I'll just find some chrome touch up paint! A joy to meet every morning!

     Thread Starter

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