Sunday, 17 April 2011

Olympia SM4-still not right

Robert Messenger (hi Robert, thank you) pointed me towards an adjustment screw below and in front of the r/h capstan and advised checking that there was nothing fouling the carriage slides, possibly the carriage lock.

Apart from the lower and upper carriage-shift limiting screws (see photos) on each side of the machine - which are in more or less the place indicated by Robert, I can't see any other means of adjustment.  I have checked, and there's no obstruction on the carriage rails and the lock appears to work perfectly.

Compensating for the small amount of play that the carriage has on its rails does overcome the problem of misaligned lowercase type - but I can only achieve this by physically holding the carriage towards me as I type with my free hand. I don't think the machine has had particularly heavy use, so I guess that the amount of free play of the carriage on its rails is normal. 

I can see the bottom shift adjust screw (second photo) but can only get a too-thin screwdriver to it - with obvious results! I'll buy a better-fitting screwdriver and try that tomorrow - but there's still no way to back-off or re-tighten the lock-nut afterward - apart from pretty extensive (for me) disassembly. Just to get the bodywork off means removing the carriage - and no platen would mean I couldn't adjust the bottom stop of the carriage by trial and error typing.

Again, any help or advice gratefully received. Thanks in advance!
Arrowed: top limit adjustment screw
Arrowed: bottom limit adjustment screw (not in as great shape as it was)


  1. Considering the shim comment from another topic. I have trouble seeing how this is supposed to shift, but it sounds like the carriage is going back too far? Can you find some rubber washers and put a slit in them so they will fit between the limiting screw and the body? I wonder if there was a cushioning material in there that's just gone now. Putting a slit in a washer means you might be able to get it on to the appropriate parts without major dis-assembly.

  2. Mike, thanks for the suggestion but unfortunately, no. The shift needs to come down c.1mm lower than at present. Bushing it would raise it. I'm going to leave it for a while and come back to it. Usually works out OK that way. What I can't see is why it would need such a large adjustment - what happened between new and now to make it so out? There's no sign of major trauma. So it could just be wear on the carriage rails?

  3. Ah, I think I understand, though I'll have to take a look at my SM3 to see how the shift works in detail.