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Author Topic: Restoring yet another antique Teletype machine  (Read 20900 times)
Prof. Convict Archfiend
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« Reply #50 on: September 26, 2014, 01:31:58 am »

ouch that sounds like A LOT of work.....

Thanks for the awesome up dates on this. I don't often comment of builds, I just like to watch........( insert pun HERE  Tongue )
Its been great to watch this restoration pop along

Really need a "LIKE" button!!!

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Just call me "Greenie"....
(much quicker to type)
oldskoolpunk
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« Reply #51 on: September 29, 2014, 06:47:21 am »


Slowly, the typing quality improves.

A little more progress. The spacing of the first character on the line has been adjusted, a process which requires two wrenches and turning a hex nut half a flat at a time. The variation in print density across the line was at least partly due to yet another cracked lockwasher, which has been replaced. The "X" typebar is rubbing against the adjacent typebar and doesn't get up enough speed to hit the paper. (The typebars are only powered for the first third of their travel; the rest of the way they travel on inertia. This prevents both damage from pileups on a stuck typebar, and serious injury to the operator if they get a finger in the typebar area.)

As mentioned previously, the rightmost four typebars in the type basket show signs of abuse. If I can get the slightly bent and damaged "S" and "X" typebars to work properly, the rest of the problems can be fixed.
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Maets
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« Reply #52 on: September 29, 2014, 05:12:00 pm »

Nice to see it progressing.
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oldskoolpunk
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« Reply #53 on: October 11, 2014, 06:05:06 am »


As good as it's going to get without typebar replacement.

Well, all the machine functions now work. The typing quality isn't too good. Some of the typebars are bent. The "X" typebar seems to have its type slug soldered in at a slightly wrong angle, so that in LETTERS shift, the puctuation mark on the typebar hits the platen above the ribbon. So nothing prints for "X", although a "/" character is indented into the paper without any ink.

I'm going to see if I can get a new type basket.
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oldskoolpunk
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« Reply #54 on: October 12, 2014, 07:53:15 am »

I'm getting a new type basket, but it's not complete.  Between the old type basket and the new one, I should have enough parts to assemble a good type basket. More pictures of that job once I get the new type basket.
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oldskoolpunk
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« Reply #55 on: October 17, 2014, 06:48:27 am »


Incoming replacement type basket parts. (Before cleaning)


After cleaning. One of those typebars is not like the others.

I now have some replacement type basket parts, from a junked Teletype machine. The typebars I really need, "X", "S", and "V", are all in good shape. "Q" and "0" are present, but not "1". The typebar segment, the big curved casting into which all the typebars fit, is there too. There's a good typebar guide, too. No ribbon guide, though. So I should have enough parts to rebuild the type basket.

This is not going to be a fun job. If it was just replacing a few typebars, this would be easy. Replacing the typebar segment is a huge pain, because all 26 typebars, springs, and pull bars have to be removed and replaced. Holding the type basket together during reassembly is a pain, because there's not much holding it together when it's not attached to the carriage. This will probably involve masking tape.
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soul9boyz15
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« Reply #56 on: October 21, 2014, 03:26:51 pm »

Just picked up my first teletype, an Army Signal Corp TG-7-B, Model 15, in dusty but good original condition. Everything seems to to move, but slowly for now.  Thanks for the great descriptions and photos, they'll help a lot. Don't know too much about the electronics of it, but the mechanics seem straight forward enough. Are there people or places to get small parts for it - like the two thumb screws to hold the printing unit to the typing unit on the right side, and the paper advancement crank (although I have a german wind up phonograph crank that works pretty well). Anyway thanks for this, and your great website!!
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oldskoolpunk
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« Reply #57 on: October 21, 2014, 07:19:03 pm »

Great!  That's a Teletype Model 15 in olive drab.

There's a mailing list for people who work on these things. You can often get parts that way.

The thumbscrews are ordinary 1/4" UNC bolts, the standard thread in the US for 1/4" bolts. (Most Teletype screws are UNF, "fine thread", which is harder to get, but I just checked, and the thumbscrews are coarse thread.)  A standard bolt and washer will work.

Cranks are hard to get. They tend to get lost because they're removable and stick out beyond the case.

Here are some things to do to get started:

- Hand crank the machine slowly. The motor fan, viewed from the rear of the machine, turns counterclockwise. The big printing bail should move back and forth, and lots of things rotate, but no typebars should rise. 

- Hold down the plate of the selector magnet with a coffee-stirring stick or other light insulating object. Hand crank the machine. After one cycle of the printing bail, the clutch should disengage and continued cranking should result in the machine just idling, with no printing bail movement. That's the normal idle state with the machine running.

-  Release and press the plate of the selector magnet while cranking. This is sending random data to the machine. Some random typebars should rise. They won't reach the paper at hand-crank speed; they're only driven through the first third of their motion. Inertia takes them the rest of the way.  If a typebar rises, the carriage should also advance one space.

- Get an ohmmeter and measure the resistance of the selector magnets. It should be 55 or 220 ohms, depending on whether the two magnets are wired in series or parallel.  Find the external connection (often a 1/4" phone plug) which connects to the selector magnets.  That's where your data goes in. Check that it's connected to the magnets. Check for a short to the frame. Crank the machine to a point in the cycle where the selector magnet plate moves freely. Then apply a 9V battery to the data input and see if the selector magnet clicks.  If that works, the selector is OK electrically.

- Take a look at the motor. If it has a flywheel with black and white stripes, it's a "governed" motor.  If it has a General Electric data plate identifying it as a synchronous motor, it's a synchronous motor.  The governed motor is kind of a pain, because you have to get a strobe lamp or tuning fork with slits and adjust its speed. Motors are interchangeable and there are two Teletype synchronous motors on eBay right now. They're as cheap as $10.

- Assuming you have a sync motor, using the ohmmeter, check the resistance at the power plug for the motor. It should be about 4 ohms. Check for shorts to the frame. If those are OK, the motor is probably OK to try to start.  I'd suggest blowing it out with compressed air first, though. When you first start the motor, I'd suggest using an outlet strip with a circuit breaker, and a GFCI. The motor is the component most likely to fail, and replacing the motor is often necessary.

- As the sync motor starts, there's some sparking and ozone in the first second, as it comes up to synchronous speed. That's normal. If you see any sparking after the first second, or the motor won't reach full speed, there's a problem with the starting winding or centrifugal switch.  That usually means a motor replacement, unless you're into electric motor repair. I've been quoted $200 by San Francisco's last electric motor repair shop to repair one of those motors, and replaced them instead.

So there are some easy things to do to see how much work you have ahead.
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AndrewCampbell
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« Reply #58 on: July 13, 2015, 09:03:21 am »

I have always loved watching the restoration of vintage furniture, equipment, and even antique jewellery. The process of seeing them transform back into their beautiful original condition is simply amazing and could be surprising too at times. I used to do my own simple restoration but just with small items which are much easier to manage.
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Banfili
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« Reply #59 on: July 13, 2015, 04:32:20 pm »

This is brilliant!
I am inspired to dredge my old $50 portable typwriter out of the shed (can't be called a workshop quite yet) and get to work!
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OutsourcedGuru
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United States United States


« Reply #60 on: May 22, 2019, 08:47:05 pm »

It makes me cringe to see that TTY called antique. The guy on the next bench fixed them, while I was fixing radios in the army.

Sigh,
Kevin

I fixed Teletypes and crypto equipment in the Air Force from 1981-1987 (and saw many of the earlier Teletypes while in Technical School of course). Some of the Kleinschmidts were so old that they had Swastikas stamped into their parts. Recently in San Diego I went to the U.S.S. Midway aircraft carrier museum in its radio shack, laughed and said "yeah, I worked on those, too".

I worked in depot-level repair shops in Ramstein and at the Pentagon. At the end of my tour there, I received a plaque from the 7th Communications Group which read "The best Teletype repairman in the Air Force" which I'm sure was tongue-in-cheek but it was an assertion that I'd often made and proved. :laugh:

At Ramstein, I worked with two German civilians who each celebrated their 30 years of service sitting in those same two chairs while I was stationed there. They were surprised when I tuned a printer to accept 98% distortion, the highest setting that the signal generator could make (2 * 49% on either side). So the Teletype was sampling from a scant 2% of the middle of a nasty-looking square wave and still printed "5 by 5", as we used to say.

We had 600 parts in supply bins and I had the most-used ones memorized. People would walk up to me with a commutator brush and I'd say "145" or the cap to the commutator brush and I'd say "32". That way, they wouldn't have to lookup the bin location in the microfiche machine, saving them time. It's odd that I still remember those from 1985.

We had numbered career fields. Teletype repair was 306x2 and the Teletype operators were 291x0 (who we called "too damned dumb" which sort of rhymed with "291"). In order to get their "5" level they had a typing test so they'd call over to one of the sergeants who would okay me to go over there out of the scheduled maintenance routine and adjust the ball-assembly at the bottom of the keyboard which prevented two keys from being registered at once. There's a sweet spot on that channel; there's a moment in which the balls are super-loose but still won't allow two keys at once, that produces the fastest typing you can get. What's wild is that I arrived into the Air Force as an expert typist myself (115wpm on an Underwood) so I'd then test things with the quick brown fox at blazing speed and everybody on-site would have to pay homage. ha

My partner-in-crime was Brad Crabtree and he and I would go around like the "Pros from Dover" of M.A.S.H. fame. We got away with more things than you'd ever imagine.
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OutsourcedGuru
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« Reply #61 on: May 22, 2019, 09:02:11 pm »




THE QUICK BROWN DOG JUMPS OVER THE LAZY DOGS BACK 0123456789 TIMES.

We used all that to push things out to almost 70 characters across so that you could see how it looked at the end of registration.
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