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Author Topic: Stuck bencher BY-1 paddles  (Read 1220 times)
AB2T
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Posts: 246




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« on: July 27, 2010, 12:34:04 AM »

Elmers,

The Bencher's paddles are stuck together and fused to the electrical contacts.   I've fiddled around with the various screws to loosen them up, but I can't seem to get them to work independently.  Is this a problem with the spring adjustment?  Do I have to disassemble the paddles and build them up again?     

If this was already covered at eham or some other website, just post the link.  Thanks for the help.     

Jordan
AB2T/VA3AIT
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KA2UUP
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Posts: 388




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« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2010, 06:04:42 AM »

Jordan,

You mentioned they were "fused".  There is no way that could happen unless the paddles have been connected to a high current outlet directly and causing the paddles to solder themselves to the contacts.

I own the BY-1 myself.  My experience is that the adjustments tend to be very hard to move.  Have you tried to loosen the contacts with the Allen wrench provided?  Corrosion may the problem.  Try a drop of WD-40 oil right on the contacts and then turn the adjustment to see of they will loosen up.

I don't think this is a spring problem.  The spring does not have the force to tighten the paddles with that force.

Good luck!

Bert @ KA2UUP
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K8GU
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« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2010, 06:22:35 AM »

I'm a little confused as well by your description of the problem.  Are you saying that the contacts stick (or are stuck) when you engage one of the paddles?  Or are you saying that both of the paddles move together?  There is a (relatively rare, I believe) version of the classic Bencher for single-lever (not iambic) keying.  Is this what you're describing?

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VA7CPC
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« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2010, 08:34:54 AM »

If (on your paddle) each paddle-and-contact assembly is screwed to its own metal plate, and has its own pair of pivots, you have an iambic BY-series paddle.  [They're common; Bencher claims 140,000 have been sold.]  The BY paddles have a spring which goes over a post, and the tension on the spring is _not_ adjustable.   [The spring _force_ is adjustable -- see below]

If both paddle-and-contact assemblies are screwed to _one_ metal plate, you have a non-iambic ("single-lever") SP-series paddle.  [They're not common, but they work OK.]  The SP series has a spring that goes through a threaded rod, that goes through a post.  The spring tension _is_ adjustable, with a nut on that threaded rod.

Look at the parts diagrams here:

http://www.mtechnologies.com/misc/keyadj.htm#Bencher

It's likely that somebody really screwed up the adjustments.  If your paddle is mis-adjusted, those steps should get it back into working order.   PB-Blaster or some other penetrating oil might free up the screws.  Avoid getting it on the contacts, and clean them well (with solvent) before re-assembly.

My suggestion if that doesn't work:

. . . Under the base, there's a screw that holds the "main bearing block" onto the base of the paddle.  Take that screw out, and (unless things are really welded together) the main bearing block will loosen up and come off, and the paddle arms will be free to move.

If the paddle-arm contacts are really welded to the stationary contacts, you have a problem.  Bencher sells parts, but the cost of parts (two paddle arms, two may be greater than the cost of a used Bencher.

                 Charles 
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AB2T
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Posts: 246




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« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2010, 08:42:29 AM »

Oops, okay maybe fused wasn't the right word.  The paddle arms aren't physically welded to the posts.  The paddle is probably just completely out of whack.

Thanks for the link and suggestions Charles.  The spring is deformed.  If I can't get the paddles to work with the deformed spring I'll have to email Bencher and get a new spring. 

Thanks everyone for the advise.

Jordan
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KE4DRN
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« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2010, 08:28:55 PM »

hi,

Bencher has outstanding customer service.

73 james
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NR4C
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Posts: 306




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« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2010, 05:06:36 AM »

Note that if you are trying to adjust the adjusting screws, there is a set screw that locks these adjustments that must be loosened first.  Need a small allen wrench.

...bc
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