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MMD > Archives > July 2001 > 2001.07.14 > 06Prev  Next

Electric Drive Motors in Kimball Player Piano
By John A. Tuttle

Hi All,  Just so we can bring things into perspective before someone
goes to a lot of trouble, over the past year I have received four
emails concerning the Kimball electric drive motor.  In every case,
the small fiber gear inside the transmission was badly damaged or
destroyed.  ("And with four votes, you are the Weakest Link"... :-)

I've never received any emails about a failed electric motor.  The
early model Kimballs used an AC drive motor, so there isn't much
that can fail.

The last gear I had made cost me $75, and the replacement gear was made
from brass.  Whether that was a wise choice remains to be seen.  I'm
somewhat inclined to believe that Kimball purposely made the small gear
out of fiber so that it would fail first, thus preventing serious
damage to the rest of the parts in the drive line.

Unfortunately, it doesn't take too much to damage the gear.  Simply
stopping the roll (by hand) from rolling during the Play or Rewind
cycle is enough to strip the gear.

Being a little curious as to the exact series of events that leads
to this problem, I've asked customers to explain.  The most common
response is that during the rewind cycle the roll starts to rip and,
instead of turning off the power, the customer grabs the roll in an
attempt to prevent further ripping.  Hitting the stop button doesn't
stop the roll during rewind, only during play.

In the later model Kimballs they used a DC motor, and to date I haven't
encountered any failed motors.  However, the weak link in the later
models is the relays that control the sequencing.

In my opinion, the most cost-effective way to handle all of the
problems mentioned above is to identify and replace the defective
component(s) on a job-by-job basis.  Typically, the cost of the work
does not exceed the value of the unit once the work is completed.


John A. Tuttle

 [ Thanks, John, that's the sort of information which Mr. Borg needs.
 [ Thanks also to all who told of the Dancing Ivories firm which
 [ may have the parts he seeks.  -- Robbie

(Message sent Sat 14 Jul 2001, 13:11:20 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)

Key Words in Subject:  Drive, Electric, Kimball, Motors, Piano, Player

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