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Lauter-Humana Tracker Bar Cleaner

In some models of the Lauter-Humana player piano there is a feature that very few owners know about because the parts required to make it work got lost over time. Most simply put, it's a built-in trackerbar cleaner. The YouTube video below shows how the device works, but there are a few things that are not explained in the video. Those things are explained below the video.

Link to YouTube video: click here

The picture below show the inside of the box that's shown in the video. What's not plainly obvious is that the pallet valve is spring loaded. So, it stays closed until the tapered part is pushed into the hole.

Below are the two parts that I designed in the CAD program. The parts were 3-D printed by Shapeways. The tapered part was originally made out of brass and the part the interfaces with the trackerbar was made out of wood.

Another feature that's not shown in the video has to do with what I term the Chuck Stop Lever (see image below). It's purpose is to prevent the roll chuck from turning when the trackerbar cleaner is being used. That's important because in order for the the trackerbar cleaner to be as effective as possible, a high lever of vacuum pressure is required. This high level of pressure can only be attained when the player system is in Rewind. That's because the only part of the player system that's normally in operation during Rewind is the air motor and the air motor governor. So, in order to attain the maximum possible pressure, the air motor must be stopped. This is accomplished by moving the chuck stop lever downwards and engaging the tab marked 'A' with the groove marked 'C'. The spring, marked 'B', holds the lever up and out of the way when the chuck stop lever is not in use.

While I don't have a picture to show you, the trackerbar cleaning device is stored in a hole that is located in the bottom board of the piano. The diagram below shows the approximate location of the hole.

Lastly, while the Lauter-Humana Trackerbar Cleaning device is not an in-stock item, I can have to parts printed and the device ready for sale within about 10 days. The cost will be $42.00 plus $8.00 Priority shipping. Included are the two printed parts and the connecting tubing. The leather seal is also glued to the part that interfaces with the trackerbar. To place an order, fill out the Secure Form here and type "Lauter Cleaner" in the Comments Box.

Final Note: It dawned on me while watching the video about how the cleaner is used that Lauter evidently didn't consider the fact that the debris that's getting sucked out of the trackerbar is being sucked down into the pumper assembly. I can only assume that they didn't see that as a potential problem. I may consider designing an in-line filter similar to what's used in a regular trackerbar pump. That way, the user can occasionally clean the filter. If I do, it will most likely be located in the hose that goes from the box on the spoolbox to the connection on the pumper assembly.

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This page was last revised January 4, 2020 by John A. Tuttle, who Assumes No Liability
For The Accuracy or Validity of the Statements and/or Opinions
Expressed within the Pages of the Player-Care Domain.
Cartoon Graphics by E7 Style Graphics (Eric Styles)

Since "Player-Care" is an internet business, I prefer that we correspond via E-Mail (click here to fill out the 'Request Form'). However, if I'm not in the middle of some other activity, you can reach me at 732-840-8787. But please understand that during the hours from 8AM-5PM EST (Mon-Sat), I'm generally quite busy. So, I probably won't answer the phone. If you get the answering machine, please leave a detailed message stating the reason for your call. Also, repeat your name and phone number clearly and distinctly. By necessity, I prioritize everything in my life. And, if you call and just leave your name and number, and ask me to call you back, it might be a day or two before I return your call. Why? Because I don't know why you want me to call and I might not be prepared to assist you in an effective and efficient manner. If you leave me an E-Mail address (which I prefer), spell it out phonetically. The more you do to help me, the more I can help you in return. Don't rush. You have four minutes to record your message.

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