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Now I've done it.. PLEASE HELP!

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  • Now I've done it.. PLEASE HELP!

    uGH...

    So.. I tried to take the slats of wood that hold the pistons (piston rail?) and stop rail off in order to fix the E-flat on the swell of my Allen 120- C that doesn't spring back.

    So I never quite got the slat back correctly because the holes for the wood screwed never lined up quite right (I later discovered a curious sliding, green 'thing' that appears to be a device to allow automatic centering of holes, if that makes sense). I also did not quite get the stop rail back correctly, I think BECAUSE NOW THREE MORE BLACK KEYS STICK which leads me to believe I'm officially and certifiably screwed.

    I also tried to hook up one of three of my Alesis reverb units to the organ but never got any sound to come through at all, which is odd because it worked just fine on my Allen 600 which is also a MOS 1 instrument. I put everything back where it was before I monkeyed around with it (and lightly cleaned the RCA connectors-- which seemed to take a lot of the crackling AM radio sound out)

    So my three questions are these. 1. how does one open the hood of the Allen 120-C. I imagine that it opens because there are hinges on the back, 2. what am I doing wrong with the reverb, and 3. how much would a simple service call cost to fix sticking keys and put the rails back properly?

    I'm really, really bummed about this. I feel like Charlie Brown did with that Christmas tree, I loved the organ too much and now it's ruined. I don't think I should attempt to put in MIDI myself. I wonder if I should save up for the midi then have the Allen guy come and fix the thing and add the MIDI for me.... Soooo expensive, I bet. Not easy to find an Allen service dude out on the MN/WI border, I imagine. **Sigh*

    Bu (too sad to continue typing my trademark sign off) :-(
    Last edited by buzzyreed; 08-29-2013, 11:45 PM.

  • #2
    Not sure just what you did, Buzz, but the top of the 120 will swing up all in one piece after you remove two screws. One is at each side of the case. There are two varieties of this console, and the location of the screws varies. They are either underneath the edges of the console on the right and left a couple inches from the front, or else they are in the side of the console on each side near the front in the inset strip. Remove these two screws and the top will raise like the hood of a car you can see what you are doing. Very simple!

    No need to remove the piston rail strips. Each key is held down by a plastic nut. To see these, after you raise the hood, go ahead and raise the stop rail off the top of the swell keys. In some versions, it swings up on its own metal rods after you take out the two screws right in front of the stop tabs that hold the rail down to the swell manual. On others it is attached by some screws and has to be lifted out of place.

    If the sticking keys are on the great manual, you don't have to worry about detaching the stop rail from the swell if it doesn't have its own metal bars. Just raise the swell keyboard and it will swing back to reveal the great. Sometimes the swell has a little aluminum bracket at the side attaching it to the great with two screws. If so, remove that bracket and you don't have to put it back on.

    After swinging up the swell, you can remove any great key by taking off the plastic nut and felt washer below the key front and it will pop up. apply the lanolin to the two small red felt bushings inside the front of the key underneath. Just a small amount is all that's needed. Then reassemble the key by putting it back in place and screwing on the washer and nut. Tighten the nut until the key is level with the keys on either side of it.

    This may not be as easy as I think it is, but then I've been doing this for 35 years. But it is not rocket science either. Be patient, take it slow, watch what you are doing. Once you have a key pulled up, you will almost surely see whatever is causing the keys to stick.

    Not sure why the reverb didn't work, though the impedance mismatching issues are well known. Still looks like it would have worked to some degree.... ???

    It may cost a few hundred dollars for a decent Allen tech to come to a remote location, but if you can't take care of the key issue you may have to spring for it. Wish I didn't live half a continent away and I'd love to fix it for you. But I really think you can do it if you try. Don't be so hard on yourself!
    John
    ----------
    *** Please post your questions about technical service or repair matters ON THE FORUM. Do not send your questions to me or another member by private message. Information shared is for the benefit of the entire organ community, but other folks will not be helped by information we exchange in private messages!

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

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    • #3
      Remote Allen calls can be half the price of a 120 and repairing is a great hobby so let yourself go. Many of us have had some trials along the way and parted a few organs that weren't successfully repaired. If something goes terribly wrong (which doesn't happen all that often) you'll make a good price off the dual amps alone to start your next organ fund. And if you can't match the reverb don't let that get you down. It is just the icing on the cake. The 120 is a powerful and majestic instrument on its own when compared to most things you can play at home. Best wishes. Keep trying.

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      • #4
        John,
        It wasn't as easy as you describe. It was much, much easier. I had the whole thing up and running in about 30 minutes once I figured out what i was doing. I didn't even have to take any keys out, I just put a tiny bit of lanolin WITHIN THE VICINITY of the affected area and like Ehrlich's Magic Bullet, it just worked, and remarkably well. If I had not had to move my whole life across the state for the next four days, I'd apply it to all the key bushings because they were so responsive after that.
        The issues which had me feeling so bad were also solved. Imagine removing the stop rail and piston rail without lifting up the hood.. then imagine not realizing that there are some wood screws and some metal screws and imagine not being able to fully screw in the wood screws because they are too long. I thought I had damaged the stop rails permanently. For you see, I was one of those kids who never had any problems in school, every thing was very easy for me, with the exception of Wood Shop. I had a saint for a Wood Shop teacher. I can still remember him working after school, when he thought I didn't see him, pulling my clock project apart because I had glued and nailed part of it backwards and he wanted to make sure it was ready for my parents' Christmas gift. So maybe this is why I get so nervous around organs. I'm afraid I'm going to screw something up so bad that it would take Mr. Skip Davis to fix it. More later. suffice to say things are looking up! Thanks again, Jbird!

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        • #5
          Wonderful, Buzz! Keep up the good work and you might become that Allen serviceman who is so badly needed in your area!
          John
          ----------
          *** Please post your questions about technical service or repair matters ON THE FORUM. Do not send your questions to me or another member by private message. Information shared is for the benefit of the entire organ community, but other folks will not be helped by information we exchange in private messages!

          https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

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