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MMD > Archives > September 2012 > 2012.09.21 > 05Prev  Next

Pianola Problem in Tasmania Museum
By John A. Tuttle

Hi All,  Cath Robinson writes in 120920 MMDigest:

"Hello,  I have a pianola in an exhibition at the Queen Victoria and
Albert Museum in Launceston, Tasmania, but it seems to have stopped
working.  All hoses are attached and the roll is lined up correctly
over the holes.  It was fine, but just will not make any sound anymore.
Would anyone have an idea why this might be the case?  Would appreciate
any suggestions."

Where to start?  If the unit was working fine on Monday and it stopped
working on Tuesday, my guess would be that there's a vacuum supply
problem or loose linkage (most likely the Play/Rewind linkage).  If it
worked two months ago and hasn't been used since then, the problem
might have something to do with gaskets and/or pouches and changes in
the environment.  If the unit has pneumatic switching for the stack
cut-out, there could be a small crack in the hose leading from the air
switch (which senses that the unit has been switched from Play to
Rewind) or the switch itself might not be closing when the unit is in

As to the nature of a vacuum supply problem, I'd need to know more
about the player mechanism.  Does it have an electric vacuum pump, or
regular foot pumps? If it has foot pumps, does the air motor operate
like normal when the system is in the Play mode? Does it rewind the
roll smartly when in the Reroll mode?  If the answer to both questions
is 'Yes', then that's a fair indication that the exhauster assembly
is functioning at least fairly well and that the linkage from the
Play/Reroll lever to the Tempo Control Box is properly connected.  If
not, then it's possible that the linkage has become disconnected or
loose (if clamps are used to hold the pieces of rod together).

These are a few of the simple problems.

John A Tuttle
Brick, New Jersey, USA

(Message sent Fri 21 Sep 2012, 17:35:30 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)

Key Words in Subject:  Museum, Pianola, Problem, Tasmania

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