Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Rooy Portable: Flat Out Fun

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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:

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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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5 Comments:

Blogger Bill M said...

Nice work Joe. I'd love to have one of these for travel. They are neat to use. I got to type on Richard P's during a visit last spring.

One of my Lettera 22s has an AZWERTY KB with shifted numbers and punctuation. I had to revert from touch typing to 2-finger typing to use it. Still the shifted period gets me quite often.

5:50 AM  
Blogger Ted said...

as I said on Youtube, youse a lucky, lucky bastidge :D
I keep hoping I'll run into an American import Roxy, and since there's so many things I hope for, chances are some of them will come true, though that wish seems a tall order.

However, you mentioning Rockets reminds me that you've got a busted motor on yours. perhaps I oughta send you the '51 rocket that I just lost all the body panels screws for. It also has an annoying catch in the carriage travel that I was poking at when I took the screws out - lesson learned about not leaving a machine disassembled for weeks when you have cats. They'll steal your parts! Those screws probably went out to the garbage with several catbox cleanings.. :P

6:46 PM  
Blogger Richard P said...

Typing a page on a Rooy with a French keyboard shows real dedication!
Very nice new handle.

9:25 AM  
Blogger Words are Winged said...

That thing is flatter than a pancake, and now I want one. Also, the carbon-copy idea isn't bad for keeping a log of correspondence; I often forget a good bit of what I wrote about once the letters been sent on its way.

12:13 PM  
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2:32 AM  

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~Joe

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