Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Rooy Portable: Flat Out Fun


Post-Script: I'm impressed that a typewriter this thin can perform as well as it does. What's also interesting are the similarities to the Hermes Rocket/Baby, especially the carriage return lever and ribbon covers. I suppose attempting to achieve certain common design goals, such as an ultra-portable, results in similar design solutions.

Here's a photo of the Rooy folded up; note the 35mm slide for size comparison:


You might have noticed the brass carrying handle. That was my add-on, since the original plastic handle was badly worn and broken in two pieces.

Aside from being in desperate need of cleaning and degreasing, I had to repair the ribbon spool drive system. The spools would not turn as I typed, the sprockets under the spools were a bit too high to engage the drive pawls. It turned out that a set of retainer springs was oriented incorrectly, perhaps installed incorrectly at some time. The spring motor was too slack, as the carriage would quit moving near the right side as the drawstring would go slack. I had to disconnect the drawstring and wrap it one full turn around the spring motor, then thread it again under the platen (while under tension) and reattach it to the right side of the carriage.

The feet on the bottom were badly worn, so this afternoon I cut a set from a thick neoprene washer and glued them on. The machine will not slide, regardless of how hard you return the carriage with that short little return lever.

This machine uses 7/16" wide ribbons, rather than the standard 1/2", in smaller sized spools; so I've ordered some to use. In the meantime I've resorted to carbon paper for these initial typings.

Speaking of typings, the keyboard on this machine is AZERTY, rather than the conventional (for America) QWERTY, evidence of its French heritage. It also has shifted numbers and a shifted period, along with numerous accented characters. Fun to type on while using carbon paper!

Here's a video I made, reviewing the machine:

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