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Hammond B3 Vibrato Line Box Rebuild

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  • Hammond B3 Vibrato Line Box Rebuild

    Hi, I'm wondering how difficult it is to replace the wax capacitors in the late model metal frame line box in my B3. I purchased a line box kit from Goff Professional. Any tips and/or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Johnny B.

  • #2
    Hi Johnny B -
    Since none of the regular gurus have chimed in, I'll throw in my 2 cents worth. It's not rocket science; you can do it. I'll assume (perhaps incorrectly) that you have little or no experience soldering. Go to www.youtube.com and enter as search for "soldering electronics" or "soldering tube amp electronics." There are dozens of tutorials on techniques and equipment. Watch a few. Then go to Google and search "Hammond Vibrato Line." In the illustrations section, you find dozens of pictures and schematics. Print out the schematic for the line box for your model and use it as an additional resource as you replace the old capacitors one-by-one, checking each for proper value. Do not remove all of the old ones at one time. It's a good idea to count the number of wires or pigtails as you work on each terminal. IMPORTANT: As you move down the line, be careful not to damage or remove the wires to the inductors (coils). For any of those that you must remove to remove the capacitors, just be sure to get them re-installed in the correct place. Take your time and be sure to replace each old capacitor with a new one of the same value. Refer to the schematic if any of the old ones are not legible. Let us know how the job goes and if you are pleased with the results.
    Good Luck !

    Roger Memphis
    C-3 with O-M, 145, 122RV, 2 PR-40's, PSR-36
    CV with HR-40, 2 B-40's

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    • #3
      Thanks Roger, you offer some great suggestions! I'm decent with a soldering iron - my brother was an ET in the Navy and he taught me how to solder. However, my knowledge of electronics is pretty weak. So your suggestion to replace one capacitor at a time makes perfect sense. I also like the idea of printing out a schematic. I think I'll blow one up and note the number of leads off of each terminal as I go. Again, thanks for your suggestions.

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      • #4
        Thanks, Johnny -
        I forgot to mention... don't breathe the soldering fumes... toxic. A small fan helps. Also, you don't need a great big iron. A soldering gun or pencil will suffice for that project. Here's a full page B-3 vibrato line schematic: http://modularsynthesis.com/modules/...to_scanner.pdf that appears to be correct... you might check the values against capacitors in your organ to be sure.
        Cheers !
        Roger Memphis
        C-3 with O-M, 145, 122RV, 2 PR-40's, PSR-36
        CV with HR-40, 2 B-40's

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        • #5
          I just finished recapping my vibrato, not a hard job at all, just take your time. I started on the right, and worked my way left one cap at a time. The far right cap is the .0027uf cap and the far left one is the .01uf cap. I clipped the old cap right above the rivet and didn't pull the old lead out of the top, if you do, you run a good chance of pulling the coil wire out with old cap lead. Although its probably not the best soldering practice, I laid the top lead next to the piece of the old lead and then flowed the solder over both. I think this is a better way to do it than the risk of pulling and breaking the coil wire. And it did work fine for me.
          Last edited by tonye; 05-18-2016, 10:22 AM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by tonye View Post
            I just finished recapping my vibrato, not a hard job at all, just take your time. I started on the right, and worked my way left on cap at a time. The far right cap is the .0027uf cap and the far left one is the .01uf cap. I clipped the old cap right above the rivet and didn't pull the old lead out of the top, if you do, you run a good chance of pulling the coil wire out with old cap lead. Although its probably not the best soldering practice, I laid the top lead next to the piece of the old lead and then flowed the solder over both. I think this is a better way to do it than the risk of pulling and breaking the coil wire. And it did work fine for me.
            Good advice, Tonye !
            In this circumstance I agree it's a better way than removing the entire lead of the old ones.
            Roger Memphis
            C-3 with O-M, 145, 122RV, 2 PR-40's, PSR-36
            CV with HR-40, 2 B-40's

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by tonye View Post
              I just finished recapping my vibrato, not a hard job at all, just take your time. I started on the right, and worked my way left on cap at a time. The far right cap is the .0027uf cap and the far left one is the .01uf cap. I clipped the old cap right above the rivet and didn't pull the old lead out of the top, if you do, you run a good chance of pulling the coil wire out with old cap lead. Although its probably not the best soldering practice, I laid the top lead next to the piece of the old lead and then flowed the solder over both. I think this is a better way to do it than the risk of pulling and breaking the coil wire. And it did work fine for me.

              Definitely leave the old leads on and re-attach the new ones to them. Don't want to disturb the inductor coil wires.
              Still working on the mall organ coffee table book for cork sniffers

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              • #8
                Great advice! Thanks! The only thing I'm wondering is should I remove the line box from the organ, or just leave it in place and work on it there?

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                • #9
                  I sat on the floor with a light clipped on a boom mike stand and it wasn't uncomfortable at all, no need to remove it.

                  Click image for larger version

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                  • #10
                    When I want to re-use leads, I sometimes bend the new leads into a spiral around another wire (I use a thumbtack, actually) and slip the spirals over the old leads. Makes soldering a snap. They used to make special-purpose splices like this commercially.

                    Wes

                    - - - Updated - - -

                    tonye - tip - see that capacitor on the far right? I don't like to pull the leads like that, there is a very very very very small chance that you can introduce a fine crack into the epoxy which can cause the capacitor to fail decades down the road. The other replacement capacitors with the leads bent away from the body will not have this issue.

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                    • #11
                      Wes - I realized that after soldering it in but decided to leave it as is rather than resolder and rebend it because that was the post i learned that you don't pull the old cap lead out or you'll pull the coil wire out

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                      • #12
                        I hear you - and that's a good tip. One I will be sure to heed, thanks!

                        Wes

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