Typewriter to Printer Conversion: Current Status

Remington 1212So I had to learn that the 30 solenoids I got, wont have enough power at the low leverage point I wanted to connect them to the typewriter. Making me wonder to either get stronger ones with same pull-in (7mm would do) or get ones that can pull in 3 cm, will have to investigate what is around and affordable.

Finding use for the 30 cheap solenoids I already got should not be to difficult, thinking about a little music making installation. Ideas for other uses are welcome! The ones in the picture are not the ones I have. 

While in Vienna, I had a chance to talk with Manuel Laber from Laber’s LAB about my project. Great guy, always inspiring to speak with btw. He had some improvements for me. Instead of a stepping motor, I will just use the ‘Buehler DC Motor with Gear Train and Optical Detector’ I already got and instead of multiplexing I will use a shift register.

Looking for electronic parts in Toronto, I came across A1 and Active Surplus Electronics, both kind of conveniently located, A1 being close to my girlfriends parents house and Active Surplus being right here on Queen Street West (Thanks Andrew).

upverter sketch

The solenoid issue can be solved by money, of course there is powerful solenoids with enough pull to do the trick, but I need 30 of them, so I am still brainstorming how to get this working.

Some ideas are (not investigated yet)

  • Use electric magnet on each key to pull it down
  • Get just one powerful solenoid that can be connected to any key by a different mechanism (since only one key can be pulled at a time, would be more efficient anyway but was dismissed first since the extra mechanism will cause extra trouble)
  • build up lever action in favor of the solenoid

No matter what I will come up with, I will still use the electronics layout / collaboration cloud tool provided by Toronto based Startup Upverter – already re-learned a lot about electronic engineering because of their tool.

Ideas to help me out? Please let me know!

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Good News Everyone!

After thorough investigations I believe to have solved the last mechanical challenges to make full control of the typewriter feasible. (in the least invasive / visual way)

  • cartridge return can be done by rolling up a string around the corner and released after it is done OR a motor with gears right behind it and raising the bar for the tabs to connect with the gears there (less hidden)
  •  New Line: stepping motor, gear and belt to be able to sit on the cartridge that slides left and right.
  •  key hammers get stuck: not enough power in the spring that was used to pull them back, can be easily achieved through extra weight on the hook of the spring.