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Player-Care Technical Series
Notes That Don't 'Turn Off'

Hi Gaylan,

(Actually, the notes that are "drawn down" are reacting. The 
problem is that they won't STOP reacting as they should.)

In all cases, when notes activate by themselves you can be 
certain there are either air leaks in the system or something 
is shrinking. In your case, the problem is most likely associated 
with 'shrinking', which I will explain more fully in a moment. 
However, before you can truly understand why the notes are 
activating by themselves, you need to learn how they are suppose 
to operate under normal circumstances. To help people learn the 
basic principle of operation used in all player pianos, please read:


If the problem is constant all year long

During the Winter, the pouches in most player pianos shrink a 
small amount. Also, it's not unusual for the wood to shrink a 
small amount. 

If the pouches shrink enough, they act as though they are 
being triggered by perforations on the music roll and they 
push up (or out) on their associated note valve/s and cause 
the note/s to 'play'. 

If the wood shrinks enough, air will leak into the 
system somewhere between the trackerbar and 
the pouches. If this happens, the pouches inflate as 
though they are being activated by perforations in 
the music roll. 


As for notes that stay 'on' all the time, there are at least a half dozen 
possibilities. Basically, any air leak between the trackerbar and the 
pouch well can cause a note to stay 'on'. The air leak can be caused 
by a cracked or poorly fitting hose, a leaking gasket, or a loose fitting 
where the hose connects to the stack. Also, any debris that prevents 
the note valve from seating properly can cause the problem. Also, if 
the leather valve facing is deteriorating and leaking, that would cause 
the note to stay 'on'. Also, if the pouches are dried out or have shrunk 
enough to hold the note valve open, that would cause the problem.... 

Troubleshooting notes that stay 'on' starts by eliminating all of the 
possible problems one at a time......

At 09:59 PM 1/11/04, you wrote:
John,  thank you in advance for taking a moment to acknowledge my 
I have a Lakeside upright player piano that our tuner told us was 
built in approximately 1918.  Twelve of the eighty-eight keys draw 
down as soon as we begin to operate the foot bellows.  I enjoy doing 
many types of repairs myself.  I have removed the player from the 
piano as to be able to work on it.  Upon visual inspection, I do not 
see any difference in the small bellows that draw down from those 
that remain in their positions ready to react when they are supposed 
I will appreciate if you could give a brief explanation of what might 
be the cause and how the repair would be done.
I live in Aberdeen, South Dakota and will be happy to purchase repair 
parts from you.
My email is gaylanlang@netscape.net
Thanks again,
Gaylan Lang

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This page was created on January 13, 2004 by John A. Tuttle, who Assumes No Liability
For The Accuracy or Validity of the Statements and/or Opinions
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