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Demonstration of the Electric
Vacuum Pump Kit sold at Player-Care.com



The tune being played is "When You're Smiling"

Occasionally, people will ask about the safety and quietness of the pump kit. And, sometimes a picture can be worth a thousand words. While that is not entirely true in this case, the picture at the right does make it easier to understand why the pump is both safe and quiet.

After years of testing (since the early 70's), the one aspect of building a quiet pump that stands out above all other aspects is noise dampening. For many years, the pump motor was supported by moderately soft rubber that had very little compressibility. While this was convenient, it still allowed the vibration of the motor to be transferred to the wooden box. (We'll talk more about that shortly.) However, as newer rubber and synthetic rubber compounds were invented, it was found that softer, more compressible seals and supports reduced the transfer of vibrations significantly. Now, the top seal is made of a soft, compressible sponge rubber that provides excellent air-tightness and a soft cushion. All around the perimeter of the motor, a thick felt-type material lines the walls of the box to reduce the high-pitched noise created by the brushes and commutator as well as reducing the noise created by the rushing of air over the blades of the turbine (inside the motor). Next, the bottom motor support is comprised of three stages of dampening. The first stage is two rubber washers which dissipate the noise created by the bearing. This also reduces motor vibration while allowing the bearing to 'breathe'. Underneath the washers is the support platform. It is in this area that significant improvements have been made within the past few years. In prior models, the platform itself was only 3/8" plywood. Now, it is made out of 9/16" thick MDF board. Under the platform are four strips of of oak to provide even support. The motor box is made out of 7-layer 3/4" professional grade plywood with an oak veneer. Lastly, there's a swatch of carpet material stapled to the bottom of the pump. It serves two purposes. One, it helps isolate any remaining vibrations in the pump box from the bottom of the piano, which acts somewhat like a soundboard. Two, it provides a surface to which an adhesive can be applied to secure the pump box in place, insuring that it won't move during shipping. Together, these features eliminate virtually all of the motor noise. Lastly, a felt-type baffle now covers the exhaust air port, which further reduces the noise of the air moving across the turbine.

NOTE: Applying an external vacuum source to a player system via a "T" fitting can only be done in a few player systems. Namely the Simplex and early Aeolian players. Almost all others have devices inside the exhauster assembly which control the flow of vacuum to the stack, air motor, and air motor governor (and other peripheral devices -if there). A better alternative to drilling a hole in the reservoir is making a new spring access panel. Most reservoirs have a spring access panel on the front or back of the reservoir. So, you can remove and save the old one for when you want to return the system to its original state.

The name of the song that's playing in the video is "When You're Smiling". Here is the roll label.


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This page was last revised on May 31, 2018 by John A Tuttle.

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Disclaimer: Player-Care assumes no liability with regards to the suitability of any product sold at this web site. In other words, how you use the product is up to you. Player-Care is only liable for the quality of the material, and any product that is found to be defective will gladly be replaced.


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407 19th Ave, Brick, NJ, 08724
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