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Sticking top C keys on Allen MOS-1

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  • Sticking top C keys on Allen MOS-1

    On my Allen MOS-1 console - even early MOS-1 as the keys are not multiplexed, but simple switches, every top C is sticking.

    When you depress them, it's fine - they just don't return all the way up, and are really sluggish in their movement.

    It seems to be only the top C; so I'm wondering if they are rubbing against the key cheek somehow???

    Any thoughts on how to fix this?

    - Thanks! -

  • #2
    Dave,

    Can you provide more information? If you have a flashlight, see if you can see between the top note and the key cheek. If you cannot, perhaps a key has warped. Have there been any spills inside the organ to your knowledge? That could cause the wood to swell. Has the organ been exposed to moisture/a moist environment (unusual during the Winter)? If so (but less common), the felt under the key could have absorbed moisture and is not allowing free travel around the guide pin under the keys.

    I hope this helps a bit.

    Michael
    Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
    • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
    • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
    • 11 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 7 Pianos

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    • #3
      Hi Michael!

      Thanks for your reply...

      The console is sitting outside in the garage, so it could be moisture swelling things - I hadn't thought of that.

      It's not a single key - it's the top key on 3 of the 4 keyboards; so I'm thinking perhaps the cheek has gotten a little
      swollen... or, as you say, it could be the felt.

      Do you think this problem my just resolve itself when I get it inside to a dryer environment?

      - Dave -

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      • #4
        Dave,

        I had an Allen 122C and I had the very same problem with the last C on the swell keyboard. I'm not sure what the deal was with that - it wasn't sticking when I first got the organ but after a few months it started up. Very interesting....
        Craig

        Hammond L143 with Leslie 760

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        • #5
          All Allen organs (except the low-cost models such as the "chancel" series) use the same keyboards, the same basic keyboards they've used since the earliest analog days. A wooden keystick, quite similar to a piano key, with a plastic attachment on the playing end. These wooden sticks have felt bushings in the middle (where the key rids on the balance rail pin) and in the front (where the key goes down over the front guides). These are the same bushings found in piano keys, and they are subject to the same problem -- either the wood or the felt or both can swell with humidity, and cause the bushing to bind on the metal balance rail pin or front guide pin.

          In some cases, it can be necessary to actually remove an offending key (take off the plastic nut under the front end, pull the key upward, then detach the spring at the rear). Once the key is out of the organ, you can use the felt-compressing pliers ("key-easers") that piano tuners carry with them to pack the felt and wood a bit, thus opening up more room for the metal pins. This method nearly always works, but it is possible to easily over-do the compressing, and wind up with sloppy-feeling keys.

          Another cure involves lanolin. Lanolin is nothing more or less than an extract of raw wool, and it is a natural lubricant that makes wool fibers much smoother and slicker without making them greasy. You can buy lanolin in a drug store. It is sold, oddly enough, as a nipple cream for nursing mothers, but they'll gladly sell it to you to use on your organ too. (that doesn't sound right either...)

          Anyway, get a tube of lanolin, and using a Q-tip, apply a tiny bit to the metal pins that go up into the fronts of the keys just behind the piston rail. If you wish, you can also apply it to the felt in the balance rail area. But you will be very surprised at the immediate effect, as the lanolin quickly attaches itself to the felt in the bushings and makes the movement of the keys very much smoother and more even. You'll like the feel of it so much you will want to put the lanolin on all your keys, not just the ones that are sticking!
          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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          • #6
            Originally posted by Dave Rivers View Post
            It's not a single key - it's the top key on 3 of the 4 keyboards; so I'm thinking perhaps the cheek has gotten a little
            swollen... or, as you say, it could be the felt.

            Do you think this problem my just resolve itself when I get it inside to a dryer environment?
            It may resolve itself, however, there is a quick test you can try. You can gently, but firmly move the key from side-to-side, which will temporarily compress the felt and release the key. If the key works temporarily after that test, you'll have a reasonably good idea the moisture and felt are the issue. Then John's solution is the way to go.

            Michael
            Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
            • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
            • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
            • 11 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 7 Pianos

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