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Repairing an Electric Typewriter

Electric Typewriter
The electric typewriter has long since been replaced by the PC and then the laptop. Finding someone to make repairs can be difficult and expensive, you can save money if you make the repairs yourself. This is a page about repairing an electric typewriter.
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56 Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

September 12, 2022

I have a Olivetti CX 440 plus. It types totally incorrect characters. I've checked the daisy wheel integrity and it seems fine.Everything else functions normally.

I was able to correct the wrong character problem once by using some combo of keystrokes, but lost the fix when I cycled the power. Any help?

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September 12, 20220 found this helpful
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I think you need to reset the daisywheel and then to check the daisy wheel, if it is locked into the carriage correctly.
Examine the keyboard area. If there is any debris it may need to be cleaned.

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February 1, 2011

I plugged in my Smith Corona electric typewriter (color gray and portable) into a 230 volt socket and it needs only 110-120 volts. It turned off suddenly and smells bad, but no smoke came out. It burned. It didn't burn like a burnt piece of wood. Can it still be fixed? If yes, what does it need to have replaced? There are a lot of electricians in my place.

By David from Philippines

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February 1, 20110 found this helpful
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Nope. You've fried the circuitry and modules. If you contact the company they may be able to send you new guts. Good luck!

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November 18, 2019

I have a Brother electric typewriter GX-6750 that I haven't used for a couple of years. It types great, except the letters I type in do not coincide with the letters that come up.

The 3 lines of letters, Q thru M, come out fkiN.nm:MaW;pctsulrbg,hoie. What the heck is happening?

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Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 168 Feedbacks
November 18, 20190 found this helpful
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Didn't know if I'd find something to help with your problem until locating this easy as pie how to directions from Brother typewriter. Hope this is helpful; if not, I'd recommend calling or sending an email to the company for additional help.

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help.brother-usa.com/.../wrong-characters-are-typed

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 105 Posts
November 19, 20190 found this helpful
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It appears that the daisywheel on the typewriter needs to be reset. The best way to do this is to look at the images from Brothers and follow these instructions. help.brother-usa.com/.../wrong-characters-are-typed

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July 28, 2021

I own an Electronic Typewriter AX-22 and the "Line" light is on but the typewriter has this consistent ticking sound. I can use any of the other keys.

How do I fix the ticking and is it associated with another issue and not the "Line" button?

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Silver Answer Medal for All Time! 440 Answers
July 30, 20210 found this helpful
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Is this consistent ticking sound the speaker, or is it mechanical?

You'll never find a Service Manual for Brother AX-22 electronic typewriter and if you maybe use an Owner's Manual, it won't cover anything like these problems.

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Very often, good cleaning and lubrication solves many problems with typewriters. But it is better for specialists to do it. Your best bet would be to look out for an established typewriter repair center.

But you can take off any easily removed covers, and look for anything out of place. If you can see the power supply, look for evidence of capacitor problems (bulging at the top, split open vent on top, or discoloration of the circuit board from an electrolyte leak, not to be confused with the glue they often put for mechanical support). Power it up, and watch for moving parts. Try to find what's causing the clicking sound. Make sure any sensors you find are clean and don't show signs of corrosion.

Also the printwheel might be somehow damaged, such that a sensor thinks it's in a certain position and it's not or one petal is bent and catching on something.

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Your problem might be a sensor but it's just as likely that it's a failure in the electronics, in which case it's hopeless.

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January 1, 2020

I was typing on my typewriter when it got stuck moving to the right and acting like it is advancing the paper, but still moving to the right. How do I get it back to the right position and to start typing again?

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
January 1, 20200 found this helpful
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There is a rail the carriage is on. It has teeth. If the teeth are damaged you will need servicing. You can read more here help.brother-usa.com/.../the-carriage-is-stuck-and-the-machine...

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 105 Posts
January 2, 20200 found this helpful
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This can be an issue with the cable that controls the carriage return on the typewritter. You can check inside to see if you have any damage to the cable on the typewriter. If you you could have an issue with the teeth on the typewriter being stuck or broken. Normally these do spin around when they move from right to left.

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You can check to see if this is stuck or not. If you try to oil the machine and manually move the carriage this can sometime fix your issue. If this is not the issue then you may need to take it to a repair shop to fix.

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March 25, 2021

The return key on my Olivetti ET Compact 60 is not working. All the other keys appear to work well. The individual back space also works, so the carriage can go to the left side, but not when the return key is pressed.

Any ideas on what may be causing this?

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Gold Feedback Medal for All Time! 949 Feedbacks
March 28, 20210 found this helpful
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I'm not familiar with this model but usually the first thing to check with any key or part that stops working is to make sure your typewriter is clean.

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The manual and the electric typewriters are notorious for collecting dust and small pieces of debris. Most people do not clean them often enough and the junk collects on the 'oily' residue on all parts of the typewriter. Just look at the dust that accumulates on shelves, tables to get some idea.

Your machine may not be easy to open up to clean but most likely you will have to investigate because whatever is causing your problem will have to be fixed from underneath/bottom.

"You should look inside the typewriter. As an electric typewriter, the return mechanism will probably consist of a wheel with springs attached to it and a string going from that wheel to the back of the typewriter, maybe the string has snapped or the springs have become loose.
If it's not too difficult to get inside, having a look inside your typewriter is probably a good idea anyway since there might also be belts that have become brittle and could need replacement.
But mainly, you can see how to clean everything.

I have not been able to find a manual but everyone says the manual is no help with anything.
You cannot get help from Olivetti as they have not made typewriters since 2003.

There are some vintage typewriter forums that help with problems so you might need to contact one or more of these ans ask for help. You will have to join but this question will probably get your foot in the door so if you have problems in the future you'll have a place to seek help.
site.xavier.edu/.../tw-lists.html
forums.qrz.com/.../
typewriter.boardhost.com/viewforum.php?id=1

Reddit is a very good site but not quite the same as a regular forum. Join and ask questions if you cannot figure out how to navigate the site.
www.reddit.com/.../

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November 18, 2017

My typewriter allows me to type, but only half way through the first line of my paper. Any ideas as to why that is and/or how to fix it?


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November 21, 20170 found this helpful
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Your tab keys are probably set wrong. Reset the tab keys.

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August 29, 2021

I have AX-24 electronic Brother Typewriter. When power button is turned on, the Line 1 light just blinks and nothing works. It is cleaned, the daisy wheel, ink cassette and correct tape are all functioning as they should and have been reinstalled. I have done the resets of Code + Line out + Power on and pressed pretty much every key in combination.

I have read the manual completely.An electric typewriter.
 

I have scoured the Internet for help to no avail. Suggestions to get this typewriter up and running. Thank you.

A close up of the keys on an electric typewriter.
 
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May 4, 2021

We have a Scriptor typewriter. It types brackets on its own when we turn it on. Sometimes it will come on, work fine and then go off and just type brackets till we turn it off.

Any way to fix this?

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 140 Posts
May 6, 20210 found this helpful
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This sounds like it needs a cleaning with typewriter oil, for build up ,that keeps going due to buildup over time. A good cleaning is a good start.

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September 9, 2020

I recently just found this typewriter in our storage. Every time I turn it on, the carriage moves a bit to the right, stops, then just beeps continuously. I tried to manually move it, and it works fine.

I also cleaned out everything and even replaced the ribbon and lift-off tape. I have no idea what to do now. Somebody please help me.

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 105 Posts
September 9, 20200 found this helpful
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If the typewriter moves just a bit and then starts to beep this normally indicates that the carriage return is jammed or not moving at all. If you have a computer printer when the carriage jams on the printer all your printer does are beep and gives you an error code. The same happens with the typewriter. You can move the carriage control so it appears that it is not stuck and able to move. Now you need to check the ribbon cable or the feed cable on the carriage return and see if it is moving freely. Try to put a drop or two of oil on the carriage return and see if you can get it to move freely. Try to clean the inside of the machine to see if there is anything that is blocking this and stopping the carriage return from moving back and forth and setting itself to the left of the machine. This could also be an issue with the typewriter head and it is not moving and is jammed and blocked.

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June 1, 2018

My grandmother has a Silver-Reed 8650 portable electronic typewriter and I tried to use it. I've plugged it into 100V, 110V and 220V sockets and it won't turn on. I would like to know what would be the possible problems that the typewriter has.

Just as additional information, when I plugged it in there was no smoke and no burnt smell, but I am still guessing that the problem lies on the circuit board itself. Thank you in advance.

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Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 196 Feedbacks
June 2, 20180 found this helpful
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I love old typewriters!!! This one has a neat history...silverreedresearch.blogspot.com/

If you are handy, there are a few sites that may give you some repair insights:

typewriter.boardhost.com/viewtopic.php?id=1523

www.reddit.com/.../

www.youtube.com/watch?v=cE8v5LK5_-w

If you can figure out what exactly is wrong, before you decide to fix it, you may want to consider going out to eBay and checking out the SOLD parts to see how much they cost...you may decide it is too cost prohibitive to fix.

If you decide to go for it and buy parts to fix it, sort your current eBay listings using the feature lowest price and then make sure you read the person's feedback before purchasing. Sometimes the cheapest price is a rip off if the person has poor feedback.

If you aren't handy, consider calling a typewriter repair company and asking their feedback on the fix. There are still some out there.

I don't know this one personally, but they have a neat website. Even someone out of town may be able to point you to someone in your town who can help.

www.phillytypewriter.com/

Let us know how it goes!!!

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January 12, 2020

We have a Silver Reed 2600. It worked fine when I bought it on eBay a year ago, but now although it still turns on, when you press the letters/numbers the keys don't move so it doesn't type.Repairing a Silver Reed 2600 Typewriter - electric typewriter

 

Any ideas regarding how to fix?


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January 12, 20200 found this helpful
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Check to see if there in anything jamming the keys and if not then try and oil them if you can.

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