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Conn 532 Tremolo Switch

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  • Conn 532 Tremolo Switch

    Greetings! I stumbled upon a beautiful Conn Minuet 532 last fall. (So pretty I put it in the house). It's in great shape but dusty like dry wall dust. It sounds great except the tremolo is always on. I installed a new quality 2 prong power cord and got a service manual. I can see how the 3 switches operate and how I'd troubleshoot. My problem is I can't figure out how to get to them. Back and top are off. There are 3 larger screws at the rear of tremolo switch cover plate but the cover won't release. I'm afraid to force anything. It appears there are 2 screws up from underneath that hold the cover. Is there an old thread that addresses this or could someone enlighten me?
    You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 2 photos.

  • #2
    I don't have Conn experience, but I'll take a SWAG at it. (Scientific Wild-Assed Guess)

    From the photo, it looks like the front of the tremolo switch cover plate is held in somehow. It may be folded over a rail and needs to be pulled forward to clear the rail. If the front of the plate is held in from below with those two screws you mention then you'll probably need a right-angle screwdriver to remove them.

    Hope this helps.

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    • #3
      The keyboard in the organ is hinged at the back and will tilt up to access the screws and to work on the key contacts and keying rods.
      On my Conn, (a different model, but the access should be the same), the top keyboard is held down by two ball catches. If the keyboard hasn't been lifted in along time, the catches may be a bit stiff. For your information, to tip the lower keyboard up, lift it enough to release the catches, then slide it towards you before hinging it up.
      Ed Kennedy
      Current Organ - Conn 645 Theater

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      • #4
        John and Ed THANK YOU. The keyboard lifted just like you said. I was able to get at the 3 Tremolo switch. On every tab there is a stiff wire with a hard plastic "tit" (as my grandfather used to say) which fits through a hole in the switch itself to keep it all aligned. This switch opens or closes as you turn the TREMOLO tabs off and on. One switch is 2 terminal the other 2 have three. One of those small plastic "tits" was broke so that the tab could not stay aligned with the switch. One had slipped out. Of course that little know broke the second I tried to guide it back into the hole. I was able to stop the Tremolo by pushing on the switches. ,As I look down the row of tabs, many of these plastic couplers was broke or out of the hole. I'm going to snoop around for those plastic things now. Or else I gotta think up a way to make something...

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        • #5
          Glad you got it open. Take some pictures of the switches, both good and broken. Someone on this forum may have seen this problem before or have a great idea on how to fix it.
          Ed Kennedy
          Current Organ - Conn 645 Theater

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          • #6
            Here are photos of the Tremolo tabs from underneath. 1st pic is an example of how it should be with the nipple sticking out. Others in the picture are broken' Click image for larger version  Name:	20190406_132014.jpg Views:	0 Size:	58.7 KB ID:	654276Click image for larger version  Name:	20190406_132047.jpg Views:	0 Size:	103.1 KB ID:	654277 The second photo shows the 3 tremolo switches. Most of the switches are 2 terminal so they don't seem touchy. The tremolo med and hi are 3 term...very touchy. See my blob of pipe putty in the second. It sort of worked but not stable. I'll draw the part and post it.
            Attached Files

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            • johnbeetem
              johnbeetem commented
              Editing a comment
              I recommend doing an internet search for "plastic end cap". You might find someone who makes something suitable.

              Also, you might be able to find a "plastic screw anchor" that's the right size, or can be carved down to the right size. Then add some glue and "Bob's your uncle".

              If you have a good hardware store nearby, take a look at the drawers of miscellaneous parts. You might find something there that can be used or adapted.
              Last edited by johnbeetem; 04-07-2019, 08:25 AM.

            • johnbeetem
              johnbeetem commented
              Editing a comment
              Here's another possibility: a "D sub jack screw". This is the kind of bolt used for D subminiature connectors like VGA and RS-232. The hexagonal head is threaded like a nut. Here's a typical part: https://www.sager.com/7228-5-15242.html

          • #7
            It might be a LOT of work, but you may have to "carve" some replacement sticks out of toothpicks or something like that. No chance of fixing the plastic parts themselves, and I doubt that putting any kind of putty or glue on the leaf switch itself will work very well. Shame that Conn used such a vulnerable part, though to be fair it has lasted 60 or 70 years...
            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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            • james
              james commented
              Editing a comment
              I remember this was the first Conn I ever played. It was so interesting, and the sound was awesome compared to the bland Hammond I was used to as the as the spinet Baldwin's that were so brassy and buzzy sounding at the local dealers. These old analog tube organs just can't be beat. When Conn went to the theater mode of sound it seemed to me it changed them quite a bit. I don't know if anyone else would agree with me here or not, but of coarse we all know what we do like. I like organs to sound like organs, and the many bells and whistles are just not for me.

              James

          • #8
            James I agree. All I ever knew about were Hammonds. In the 70s we dragged Ls & M3s all over Michigan for gigs. I got a few M3s this fall for nostalgia and then fell into this Conn looking for a Hammond E. This little conn is so smooth and solid feeling. Also it is very beautiful.

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            • #9
              Ah, those infuriating rocker tab actuators. The tips slipped over the ends of short rods that extended down from the tabs, and were actually a rubber compound that became hard and brittle over time such that the little tits broke off. Sometimes the entire tip split into bits. I remember replacing hundreds of them toward the end of my tech tenure in the late 70s.

              I'd look into something like small automotive-type neoprene tubing of the equivalent internal diameter as the original tip with something non-conductive inserted into the end as the tit.
              Rodgers 660 with additional analog rack sets (practice), 36D/C in digital conversion, Yamaha CVP-107

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              • #10
                OK...been thinking all week. I'm going to get tight fitting heat shrink and slip it over the wire leaving about 1/4" over. After heating, I'll experiment will carving it to a point with a razor knife OR cutting off thin sewing pins and shoving them through the existing hole into the heatshrink covered wire. I'll let you know how it works later in the week.

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                • #11
                  Got it. I bought a selection of heat shrink tubes. From there I kept screwing around with how they shrunk. I found a combo that worked. Different finessing for all 3 switches. It appears solid. I've played it a lot over this weekend. Thank you everyone!

                  -Mike Skory
                  Attached Files

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