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Problems with the Carter Ringing Machine

With any machine approaching 100 years of age it must be expected that problems will arise. The machine is demonstrated occasionally and it is always of come concern whether the machine will operate correctly or not. The following is a record of machine activity and problems noted. Sometimes the problem can be tracked down to a need for adjustment or repair, at other times it is unreproducible and hence must be ignored until it gets worse. The aim is to get the machine into a state where it can be expected to behave reasonably well!

Sunday, 30th May, 2010

The Taylor Bell Foundry organised an open day to coincide with the Annual Meeting of the Central Council which took place in Derby this year. During the meeting, the machine was demonstrated three times with varying degrees of success. Little Bob on 12 bells was rung and most of the audience were pleased with the results. During the setup two faults were noted:
  1. The release mechanism on the handstroke side was unreliable. This was traced to the fact that the release ratchet (#730) had become loose on the release shaft (#729). More details.
  2. The electrical connections were not totally reliable. The wiring is now fairly old and I simply tweaking the wiring harness was enough to correct the behaviour. More details.

Friday, 23rd July, 2010

I visited the Museum to confirm the wiring arrangements. I had decided to replace the wiring but needed to construct the harnesses at home and so it was necessary to make sure of the dimensions of the harness and to ensure that the various connections were made correctly. At the same time I removed the release shaft which had been causing trouble to see how it could be fixed. As the program for Little Bob requires only one row for the hand stroke, the lack of the release shaft and associated levers should not be significant. I would hope to restore it before any demonstration anyway!

I also checked out the operation of the bells using a modern power supply. This is rated at 24V 1.04A and it seemed to be adequate but further tests are needed. The reason for this is the existing power supply is theoretically 24V, but it has no smoothing and may peak above 30V which exceeds the limits specified for my computer interface which I hope to be able to insert into the output for monitoring purposes.

Friday, 22nd October, 2010

This visit was made with three goals: Overall this was not the most successful visit, but at least the two major problems are now believed to be fixed. Time will tell.

I had hoped to make some video recordings of the machine in operation but time ran out too quickly and I was unable to do so on this occasion. I hope to make a return visit soon to make further progress on this and the interface.

Page created by Bill Purvis, Last update: 24th October, 2010
Contact me at: bill 'at'

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