Repairing an Electric Typewriter

Category 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The electric typewriter has long since been replaced by the PC and then the laptop.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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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.

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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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.

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

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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.

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

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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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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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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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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. 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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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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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.

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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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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.

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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.
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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I recently got a Canon Typestar 10, but when I turn it on some shapes come up on the LCD for a few seconds then the shapes go away and it won't do anything.

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My Brother Model 7300 electric typewriter powers on. The space bar, tabs, return, and shift all work fine. However, no letter or number key does anything.

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This is the Correct-o-Ball xl-1. Inside it looks totally mechanical so no electronics involved that I can see. Any help?

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January 18, 20180 found this helpful
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Some of those keys may have dirt or crumbs in there. You have to take the key cap off to clean it. Here is an article that tells you how. www.justanswer.com/.../7ke94-electric-typewriter-letter...

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April 1, 2013

I just acquired an old Smith and Corona Electra 220 typewriter and am hoping to get it in proper working order. The typewriter is in near perfect condition except for the fact that the "V" key does not work. If I press the key the arm does not move and the bit that holds the ribbon where the key strikes has a complete spaz. Interestingly enough, I can move the arm manually with my finger, but I can't move any of the other keys this way which leads me to believe that something has become disconnected. All of the other parts work well and if I can get this key to work then I'll have a great typewriter. Thanks for the help.

David

By David W.

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September 29, 20140 found this helpful
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Hello,
There is a bar that connects the key face with the finger key. You will need to look inside the typewriter and carefully reconnect them. You should see the "V" bar dangling inside and the hook to connect it to will stand out as different than the rest of the bars.
Good Luck!

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I have a Smith Corona SL500 electric typewriter that I haven't used since got computer. When turned on the lock light blinks. The manual is missing. Would any one have an idea how to fix or where can get manual? Thanks for any ideas.

a-frugal-lady from Lewiston, ME

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November 25, 20060 found this helpful
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Hello Frugal Lady,

You may just have a genuine antique on your hands.

I had one until recently and decided I would sell it, but I remember that light going on and think it may be the shift lock light. Try hitting the shift key.

Meanwhile, I did a Google search and found the Smith-Corona website that has some operating manuals:

www.smithcorona.com/.../Manuals.cfm?cfid=1805948&cftoken...

Check out the various manuals (you need Adobe to open the pdf's) and see if you find a solution. Play around with the keys. You probably can't break it! Before you do anything, first try shutting it off, unplugging it and doing a fresh start-up, just to see if it resets.

Good luck,

An old secretray who started out on manual typewriters in the 1960s.

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I have a Triumph Adler Gabriele 9009. I haven't used it for about 15 years. I've just plugged it in and turned on the switch and it won't come on. I changed the fuse on the plug, but it still won't come on. I love this typewriter, can anyone help me?
Thanks in advance.

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December 2, 2016

My IBM Selectric just started acting odd. Once turned on, and when the carriage return button is pressed, the carriage moves all the way to the left and stays there, and the machine hums. Normal typing is impossible. Turning the machine off is the only "remedy".

What could cause this?

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December 4, 20160 found this helpful

so the carriage return is sticking or freezing. I would look for a typewriter or electronic repairman who would fix it. This may be difficult or even impossible, but worth a try. Also try googling your machines name and you might get some advice especially if you add your town or city and country

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December 4, 20160 found this helpful

Sometimes you can get very helpful advice from the original manufacturers if they are still about. I'd check to see if there are other extant makers of electrical typewriters. E-Bay might provide some leads.
Otherwise you could find an electrician who works with small appliances and ask him to have a go.
Sorry I can't help more.

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December 6, 20160 found this helpful

Lots of good information at the following link, videos too:
www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion...
Best of luck.
EJ

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December 8, 20160 found this helpful

Parts were no longer available for mine but a local technician fiddled with it and made it work. He reached underneath and pushed something up. When I retired he bought it from me for parts.

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January 19, 20170 found this helpful

IBM Wheelwriter Series II lost memory, an acting strange. Is it beyond repair?

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November 5, 20170 found this helpful

won't turn on!

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August 28, 2019

I moved to France in 2012 and brought my Brother SX4000 with me. I only recently pulled it out and tried to use it with a converter US to EUR. the typewriter clicked and then powered off. Is it beyond repair because of neglect? Are the power sources not compatible with a simple plug converter? Do I need to get an actual amp converter? Any other trouble shooting you could recommend?

Thanks. It will be super hard for me to get it repaired in France and I don't want to buy one here with a French keyboard.

Thanks!

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December 8, 2019

This Olympia Reporter electric typewriter was working perfectly when last used 25+ years ago. However, when plugging it in now and turning it on, there's a humming noise, but the keys only move up part way (ie. not far enough to strike the page).

Does anyone have any quick fixes or troubleshooting ideas? It would be a shame to trash it.

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I have had this Brother AX10 typewriter for a while, but set it away for a time since I had a small child that hates the noise. I took it out today though, and powered it up.

Everything seems to work fine, except that the keys 3-C and 4-V do not work. I can press them as many times as I want, or as firmly as I want, but nothing happens.

All the other buttons happily comply with what I want, although the exposed ribbon was a little dry and needed a score or so keystrokes before becoming crisp and clear.

I have tried to pull of the keys and use the vacuum cleaner to get out some of the dust, spiders, and crap, but it has had no effect on the affected keys. I think I could clean the parts underneath, if only I knew how to open the thing. There are no screws like there are on a laptop to remove the keyboard from the rest of the machine, or to remove the keypad from the sensors below them, at least that I could find.

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August 8, 2018

I have an old electric Olivetti. I was using my typewriter when suddenly the carriage got stuck and I was able to hear the motor spinning without it moving. I had to restart the machine, but this problem keeps happening, even 2 or 3 times a row. Sometimes the motor spins without moving after 2 seconds, but this also happens and the carriage starts to shake left and right.
What can I do?

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June 25, 2018

I can't get the typewriter to come on or make any noise at all. Yes I've plugged it in and turned on the power button. Help! What could cause this?

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My Brother, model GX 6500 electric typewriter powers on. When the machine is turned on it starts beeping, the car is locked, and no key works, but the whistle continues.

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June 11, 20180 found this helpful

Unplug the typewriter. Move the cover out of the way. Check the carriage to see that there are no foreign objects. Move the carriage back and forth with your hand only. If you cant do this, the machine requires servicing

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I have an AT&T electronic typewriter, model 6500. I turned on the typewriter with the carriage locked, now it will not type. There is a little window where you can see what you are typing and the letters appear there, but it will not type.
Any ideas?

Thank you.

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May 29, 20180 found this helpful

You may need to replace the daisy cassette wheel.

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March 14, 2018

My son was writing a research paper on his Electra 220 when the light on the machine turned off. It acted like it was off even though it was in the on position, and now it won't turn back on. It was plugged into two different outlets, still no power.

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March 15, 20180 found this helpful

I think it's going to be hard to find a person to fix this and/or get parts. Try to find another electric typewriter at an estate sale. They should be cheap, as people are using computers now.

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May 30, 2017

I bought an AT&T model 5300 electric typewriter and when I started it up and began to type my name after the first letter the typewriter stopped typing. Then it started beeping and the only solution was to turn it off. Also, the right margin key and the tab set key would beep when pressed. The shift lock key lights up when a number/letter key is hit.

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May 30, 20170 found this helpful

You could try oiling the key. Typewriters became obsolete. You may be able to find someone to repair. Even parts are hard to find. Good luck!

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