Author Topic: IBM Selectric review - and how it works!  (Read 5597 times)

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Offline chyros

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IBM Selectric review - and how it works!
« on: Sat, 07 October 2017, 05:41:41 »
I've been wanting to show you one of these for a long time - and today is the day I do! The IBM Selectric typewriter, and how it works. Hope you enjoy the video, this one was a BEHEMOTH to make! xD

« Last Edit: Sat, 07 October 2017, 05:45:26 by chyros »
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Online JP

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Re: IBM Selectric review - and how it works!
« Reply #1 on: Sat, 07 October 2017, 08:01:58 »
I absolutely loved this review, truly a magnum opus. The mechanics of these typewriters are mind blowing. Perhaps you could do a tear down of your your broken unit since you have figured out how they work. These Selectrics are a dime a dozen where I live and I unfortunately have seen many go to the scrapper.
If you're falling off of a mountain you might as well try flying.

Offline chyros

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Re: IBM Selectric review - and how it works!
« Reply #2 on: Sat, 07 October 2017, 08:49:40 »
I absolutely loved this review, truly a magnum opus. The mechanics of these typewriters are mind blowing. Perhaps you could do a tear down of your your broken unit since you have figured out how they work. These Selectrics are a dime a dozen where I live and I unfortunately have seen many go to the scrapper.
Something appears to be wrong with the motor - probably blocked in some way. This is unfortunately not something I know how to fix :/ . Which is a shame, it's a really cool device.

Glad you liked the video :) .
Check my keyboard video reviews:


Offline zslane

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Re: IBM Selectric review - and how it works!
« Reply #3 on: Sat, 07 October 2017, 11:39:15 »
Fantastic video.

1. That black one must be a more recent vintage because it doesn't have the iconic spherical keycaps that your defunct red one does. That also probably helps explain its immaculate condition. Nearly any Selectric old enough to have the classic spherical keycaps is going to be in much more used condition. Back then the Selectric was the Cadillac of typewriters and had not yet been supplanted by word processors or computers. By the time cylindrical keycaps began appearing on Selectrics we were already in the PC era and they no longer got such heavy use.

2. Selectric switches aren't loud per se. Most of that noise comes from the type element impacting the platen, not the key switch itself. I suspect that the Selectric switches are no louder than beam springs (without the solenoid), and that if you could eliminate all the electro-mechanical noise from the Selectric and isolate the switch sound alone, we'd find a surprisingly quiet switch mechanism.

Online JP

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Re: IBM Selectric review - and how it works!
« Reply #4 on: Sat, 07 October 2017, 13:17:07 »
I absolutely loved this review, truly a magnum opus. The mechanics of these typewriters are mind blowing. Perhaps you could do a tear down of your your broken unit since you have figured out how they work. These Selectrics are a dime a dozen where I live and I unfortunately have seen many go to the scrapper.
Something appears to be wrong with the motor - probably blocked in some way. This is unfortunately not something I know how to fix :/ . Which is a shame, it's a really cool device.

Glad you liked the video :) .

I took one apart once. Lets just say it didn't get put back together again. So many screws. The motor is easy to change, that is when everything else is removed. To totally refurbish one of these is not for the faint of heart.
If you're falling off of a mountain you might as well try flying.

Offline klennkellon

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Re: IBM Selectric review - and how it works!
« Reply #5 on: Sat, 07 October 2017, 17:23:38 »
Truly a beautiful and amazing device. I am surprised how modern it looks with that black color scheme.

I also am jealous of all of that IBM swag that came with it!

Offline Prothrin

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Re: IBM Selectric review - and how it works!
« Reply #6 on: Thu, 12 October 2017, 05:44:14 »
Great review, especially with the detailed mechanism description. What a feat it was to design this.

Offline romevi

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Re: IBM Selectric review - and how it works!
« Reply #7 on: Sun, 18 February 2018, 13:08:53 »
Picked one up yesterday for free (not including the one-hour drive I had to make to get it) and found this video to learn more about it.
Had no idea how complex it was! I hauled it from the previous owner's closet and outside to my car, where it was snowing and causing the pavement to become a bit slippery. Thank goodness I didn't lose my footing!

Can't wait to start using it. It worked fine upon initial testing, but after seeing this video and how intricate it was I will have to do a more in-depth typing session.