Hi All, This posting is in regards to the question about accessing the
bleeds in the Amphion Tracking mechanism without opening the bellows.
According to the Amphion Service Manual, "Each side or section of this
pneumatic is connected through small internal orifices to a single
supply tube, which is connected to one of the decks of the action."
Since bleeds that get clogged with paper dust are a constant problem in
most player pianos, I've come to rely on two "tools" to get them
'unclogged'. One is the simple trackerbar pump. As I've stated
before, a properly working trackerbar pump can easily produce in excess
of 200 inches of water vacuum.
The second "tool" is my mouth. Armed with a suck tube, that starts
with 3/4" tubing (at the mouth end) and ends with 9/64" tubing at the
other end, I 'suck and blow' until the debris is dislodged. Naturally,
I end up with a mouth full of paper dust -- which I imagine most people
would find disgusting -- but who, as a child, hasn't eaten paper (spit
balls) or gotten dirt in their mouth (sliding into home base)... ??
Bleeding trackers, like the Amphion system, rely on three things:
a constant vacuum source, 100% air-tight bellows, and clean bleeds.
Surprisingly, the most common problem is not clogged bleeds but rather,
slightly leaking bellows. If the tracker is sluggish, or slow to
react, them I would suspect clogged bleeds. On the other hand, a
'permanent' imbalance points to a leaking bellow.
John A Tuttle
Brick, New Jersey, USA