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The most reasonable question for me to ask is, when was the tracker bar last pumped out? The tracker bar should be pumped out every 8 playing hours with a Trackerbar Pump. It's extremely possible that the air lines have become clogged with paper dust and the signals are not getting to the tracking device.
Since you have two holes on both ends of the tracker bar, you have a Standard Type tracker. This is interesting since Krakauer Bros. typically uses the Amphion player mechanism, which has little fingers that touch the edge of the roll for tracking. But things are not always what they seem in player pianos. It's possible that only two of the four holes are actually being used for tracking.
In any case, in units equipped with pneumatic tracking (as opposed to mechanical tracking), the signal holes (at the edges of the roll) and all of the note holes should be cleaned first. This might take 30 minutes if done right with a good-working tracker bar pump. If you don't have one, I can send one to you for $58.50 plus $10.85 shipping.
Before you begin testing, check all the screws for snugness, not tightness. Never apply more than 15 in/lbs of force. These are just wood screws. If the screws look like they hold a plate or layer in place, remove them and look underneath, there might be more screws. Once reassembled, pump out the tracker bar.
Once the lines are definitely clean, testing of the tracker can begin. Put a piece of tape over ALL the holes. Put a roll on but leave it rolled up. Put the unit in PLAY. Pump, and keep pumping until the test is done. If the unit has been electrified, turn it on. Note: Once opened, leave the hole open. (1) Carefully pry up the tape so the very first hole opens (on the left). The roll should move to the left. (2) Open the very last hole (on the right). The roll should move back to the right. (3) Go to the left and open the second hole. The roll should move to the left. (4) And again on the right, open the next to last hole and the roll should move right.
If your unit failed to respond to the opening of the first AND last holes but did as it was suppose to with the 'inside' holes, you have a two hole system on a four hole bar and everything is just fine.
If your unit failed any ONE of the four tests. You have a leak, a clog or a problem with one of the valves. Most likely the unit needs to be repaired or rebuilt but it may just need a seriously cleaned inside. Also, the tubing may be loose.
If your unit seemed to move in only one direction and it did so as soon as you started pumping (or very shortly thereafter), you have either a leaking pneumatic or a stuck valve. In either case, the unit should be dismantled, tested, and repaired or rebuilt.
If your unit passed the first two OR three tests and failed either of the remaining two, the pouches probably need to be stretched a little. However, that also requires dismantling the unit.
If you would like to insure that your tracking device is working 100% correctly, send it to me and I'll do whatever is necessary. The maximum charge will be $315.00 (return S&H incl.). I will only do what you authorize. Minimum charge for testing is $55.00, plus the return shipping cost.
In closing, I believe this is the least expensive way to handle your tracking problem. Just hiring a technician into your home can get pretty steep in a hurry. And I will provide you with as much information as you need to successfully install the completed unit. BTW, I've never seen a worn take-up spool. Poorly centered, yes.
Looking forward to hearing from you,
John A. Tuttle (732)-840-8787
At 01:09 8/22/97 -0500, you wrote:
I have a Krakauer Bro's Player Piano that was made around 1908. Everything works great except the tracking system. It will play off tune and on re-roll it sometimes tears the edges of the roll. I've had someone look at it who works on players but he had never seen a tracker system like this. He thought the rolls might be the wrong size. I think the take up reel is worn.
The tracker system is the type that has two slots on either side of the tracker bar. Are there any diagrams or information on my specific player? Have you done any work on Krakauers?
Thanks- Bobby Pratt
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