Discussion:
How to source replacement belt for Apple Silentype
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Stu M
2017-08-25 14:05:41 UTC
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So I recently acquired a Silentype. Opening it up and checking it out I discovered that the belt that drives the printhead is badly deteriorating. Does anyone know how to source a replacement belt? It is a toothed drive belt. I wonder if there is a way to just take measurements and get a standard generic belt with the same dimensions.

Also the plastic drive gear on the motor output shaft is cracking, so I wonder how I can get a replacement for that for when it finally crumbles apart.

Thanks,

-Stu
Stu M
2017-08-25 16:22:15 UTC
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Unfortunately, the printer is also missing the metal shaft and roller assembly that drives the paper feed.

Any ideas on a replacement?

I bet one could be made with a metal shaft about 4mm (haven't measured yet) and some rubber rollers.

Maybe someone in the community that has one could take some pictures so I know what I have to recreate?

Good news at least... the print head works! I was able yo print a few lines before the rubber belt turned to mush.

-Stu
Jorge
2017-09-07 11:58:57 UTC
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Post by Stu M
Maybe someone in the community that has one could take some pictures so I know what I have to recreate?
Stu,
I have one taken apart, will try to take some pictures tomorrow.
Stu, today is tomorrow :-)

https://imgur.com/a/QNp5O

Hope it helps. I was going to measure the diameter but my chinese caliper's battery has run out of juice. My printhead has a pixel almost dead and the flex ribbon is split in two... :-(
--
Jorge.
Stu M
2017-09-07 14:29:26 UTC
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Post by Jorge
Post by Stu M
Maybe someone in the community that has one could take some pictures so I know what I have to recreate?
Stu,
I have one taken apart, will try to take some pictures tomorrow.
Stu, today is tomorrow :-)
https://imgur.com/a/QNp5O
Hope it helps. I was going to measure the diameter but my chinese caliper's battery has run out of juice. My printhead has a pixel almost dead and the flex ribbon is split in two... :-(
--
Jorge.
Thanks Jorge! I'm sorry to hear about your printer having trouble too. I think the printhead is just exposed contacts on a flex cable. If so, may just need cleaning. If the ribbon cable is cracking, then that's probably the source of the problem. You might be able to solder some wires to jumper over the cracks. I bought 10 ft. of silver plated Kynar wire, (blue, 30awg) paid $5 with shipping on ebay. I have found it to be great for jumping around bad traces on circuit boards. I haven't gotten to take mine apart as far as you have. I'll be sure to take care around the flex ribbon.

I'm excited because from the picture you took, it looks like it's just a simple metal rod with rubber O-rings, placed to match up with the rollers in the frame. Should be very reproducable. Hopefully nothing else is missing.
I've noticed that the gear on your motor is black. Mine is white, and has a crack forming. Seems you got lucky with the black gear. Luckily I have a friend that can probably reproduce the gear with 3D printing.
Hint: https://www.tindie.com/stores/option8/
So as long as I can recreate that rod, rubber o-rings should be easy. The hand knob will be another issue, I'm sure I can fashion something like a replacement appliance knob on it for functionality until I can do better, or maybe Charles can print a knob too?

The belt will be the next issue, I promise once I find a proper replacement to post the part number and where to buy.

For now, I'm hiding in the mountains of NC until this hurricane passes!! Hopefully my home will still be standing and inhabitable next week when I have my return flight scheduled!

Thanks!

-Stu
Jorge
2017-09-10 17:13:24 UTC
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I've got some new CR2032s for the calipers so I'll try to take a picture with the diameter "tomorrow" :-)

The black piece that links the paper feed stepper to the rod was broken in mine too, that's why I've wrapped it with the green 3M tape (after applying loctite to the halves). That piece was broken in every Silentype I've ever seen, but a small piece of plastic tube of the proper diameter and not too stiff/somewhat flexible does the trick. The stepper output rod has a bit larger diameter than the other rod but heating the plastic tube a bit you can make it fit on both ends and grip onto them enough and not slip. Will try to take pictures of that too from another Silentype.
Post by Stu M
For now, I'm hiding in the mountains of NC until this hurricane passes!! Hopefully my home will still be standing and inhabitable next week when I have my return flight scheduled!
Ooops, oops, ooops... good luck with that!

Cheers,
--
Jorge.
Jorge
2017-09-10 22:01:41 UTC
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Post by Jorge
I've got some new CR2032s for the calipers so I'll try to take a picture with the diameter "tomorrow" :-)
The black piece that links the paper feed stepper to the rod was broken in mine too, that's why I've wrapped it with the green 3M tape (after applying loctite to the halves). That piece was broken in every Silentype I've ever seen, but a small piece of plastic tube of the proper diameter and not too stiff/somewhat flexible does the trick. The stepper output rod has a bit larger diameter than the other rod but heating the plastic tube a bit you can make it fit on both ends and grip onto them enough and not slip. Will try to take pictures of that too from another Silentype.
Hi Stu, tomorrow is today. The diameter is 0.25"

https://imgur.com/a/id3MH

And here is a video of the "fix" for the coupling of the paper feed stepper to the rod:


--
Jorge
Stu M
2017-09-10 22:51:28 UTC
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Thanks for the info! I'll check it out a little later. I've fled to NC to escape the hurricane in FL so my hobbies are on hold. I did however decide to invest in another printer. There was one on eBay, I probably paid too much, but for $100 I'll now have a second to play with, and at least will have the missing parts. I definitely will work on making the replacement parts for the one I currently have.

-Stu
Jorge
2017-09-10 23:07:37 UTC
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Post by Stu M
Thanks for the info! I'll check it out a little later. I've fled to NC to escape the hurricane in FL so my hobbies are on hold. I did however decide to invest in another printer. There was one on eBay, I probably paid too much, but for $100 I'll now have a second to play with, and at least will have the missing parts. I definitely will work on making the replacement parts for the one I currently have.
I saw it too.. and was tempted to buy it! But 3 is enough (my wife said to me). Wahaha. There's another one right now in ebay.co.uk...

I wish you the best of luck with the hurricane business.
--
Jorge
Stu M
2017-08-26 18:53:33 UTC
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Need pictures of the paper feed parts so I can try to fabricate replacements.
Does anyone have a Silentype and not mind taking a couple pictures?

I have the paper feed motor, but everything forward of that is missing. Is there a metal rod with rollers? Or does it look more like a typewriter platen?

If I had some pictures, I could get a metal rod and make some rollers.

The Silentype is my favorite Apple printer. It's so small! Quiet! And you never have to worry about finding long out of production ribbons. Thermal paper will be around forever, and most people don't know that there's nice quality cut sheet thermal paper that's just like regular paper but a little glossy. I'm excited to get this thing working.

Thanks!

-Stu
Post by Stu M
So I recently acquired a Silentype. Opening it up and checking it out I discovered that the belt that drives the printhead is badly deteriorating. Does anyone know how to source a replacement belt? It is a toothed drive belt. I wonder if there is a way to just take measurements and get a standard generic belt with the same dimensions.
Also the plastic drive gear on the motor output shaft is cracking, so I wonder how I can get a replacement for that for when it finally crumbles apart.
Thanks,
-Stu
Jorge
2017-08-27 18:25:49 UTC
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Stu,

I have one taken apart, will try to take some pictures tomorrow. The belt in mine is also bad, if you find a solution please let me know.
--
Jorge.
Michael J. Mahon
2017-08-27 18:55:51 UTC
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Post by Jorge
Stu,
I have one taken apart, will try to take some pictures tomorrow. The belt
in mine is also bad, if you find a solution please let me know.
These timing belts are available in many sizes, like O-rings. It shouldn't
be hard to source.
--
-michael - NadaNet 3.1 and AppleCrate II: http://michaeljmahon.com
Hugh Hood
2017-08-27 23:21:31 UTC
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Jorge,

Michael's right. I used to use a company called 'Small Parts Inc.' and
had their printed catalog that contained timing belts as far as the eye
could see.

It appears they are no longer with us, but here's a link for you to a
current source:

<http://www.sdp-si.com/products/Timing-Belts-and-Cables/index.php>

Sure, you'll need to take some measurements, but, you I _know_ you
didn't want an easy solution. ;-)





Hugh Hood
Post by Michael J. Mahon
Post by Jorge
Stu,
I have one taken apart, will try to take some pictures tomorrow. The belt
in mine is also bad, if you find a solution please let me know.
These timing belts are available in many sizes, like O-rings. It shouldn't
be hard to source.
europlus
2017-08-28 10:22:21 UTC
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Post by Stu M
The Silentype is my favorite Apple printer. It's so small! Quiet! And you
never have to worry about finding long out of production ribbons. Thermal
paper will be around forever, and most people don't know that there's
nice quality cut sheet thermal paper that's just like regular paper but a
little glossy. I'm excited to get this thing working.
My favourite, too - and until you can get it working, you can always use my
Silentype Font on modern computers (including iOS via AnyFont):

https://the.europlus.zone/resources/silentype-font-v2-0-released/

Good luck with the repairs, I look forward to seeing that it's all up and
running.

Sean
--
europlus
--
https://the.europlus.zone
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