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 Post subject: First time owner come a cropper (HMV 99)
PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2020 4:38 pm 
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Victor Jr
Joined: Tue May 19, 2020 6:06 pm
Posts: 7
Hi Folks,

So, after five joyful minutes of ownership I appear to have broken something... :oops:

I'll lay out what I did and what happened in the hope that it might you shed some light on the problem for me.

As a record was coming to an end, the machine started slowing and I put in 30 cranks while it was still running (I think this is where I made my error). The machine increased speed but the handle seemed reluctant to "lock" and felt inclined to spin backward. It did lock, for about 30 seconds before what (to my untrained ear) was the main spring unwinding all at once (The handle did not spin).

Now, I can put about six turns in, with increasing resistance before hearing a clunk and a total drop off in resistance.

Would any of you good folks have and advice on how to proceed?

I did have a look at the main spring, but not knowing what to look for it meant nothing to me. I could snap a few pictures of course.

Many thanks for reading this far!


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 Post subject: Re: First time owner come a cropper (HMV 99)
PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2020 4:55 pm 
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Victor V
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 4:21 pm
Posts: 2779
Location: Biggenden, Queensland, Australia
It sounds like you've broken the main spring, but pictures are indeed a big help.
The spring may have just come unhooked from the centre arbor, but normally I wouldn't expect to get 6 cranks before hearing it slip if that was the case.
Actually, 30 cranks seems a lot for such a small motor but then again I never count them and wind them more by feel.
You're lucky to have found a 99.
I've wanted one for 40 yrs and still haven't come across one.


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 Post subject: Re: First time owner come a cropper (HMV 99)
PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2020 5:07 pm 
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Victor III
Keep winding up
Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:58 am
Posts: 545
Location: Anywhere the Wind blows
Something bad has happened, if you can't wind the machine for more than 6 turns before hearing a clunk and then losing resistance. Without guessing what has happened, the machine should be serviced, meaning someone should open the spring container and check the main spring, and also check the governor etc. I just came home after 8 hours servicing another HMV 102 with a 270D motor (with the terrible lock ring at the end of the winding shaft that I still have not reasoned out how to easily remove and reinstall).
I well understand if you dont want to open the spring container yourself on your HMV 99. You may, however, try to find a cheap machine (HMV 101 is a good place to start) to teach yourself the basics of servicing a HMV portable, and for instance watch Graham Barbers youtube videos on how to service the HMV 101. You will need some tools, but not too much. If you can't or won't walk down that lane, you need look for a person to help you, that know how to do this work. ( Finding someone here on the forum, is recommended).
A good advice, as I see it, is never to start using a HMV machine, without checking the machine. To date, I have never bought a HMV machine that did not need servicing before I could use it, and if I had started to use them without servicing I would quickly have broken the springs on my machines, or even worse...broken a hook inside the spring container. Been there done that, and creating a new hook in an average garage with basic tools, is not something I want to do weekly, for sure.
Good luck, there is always a way out, you have not destroyed your machine, but may possibly need a new spring. The good thing about these machines, is that they are sturdy, at least the earlier portable models !


Last edited by nostalgia on Sat May 30, 2020 6:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: First time owner come a cropper (HMV 99)
PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2020 6:13 pm 
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Victor Jr
Joined: Tue May 19, 2020 6:06 pm
Posts: 7
Thanks for taking the time folks!

I'm guessing the central arbor is the notch on the spindle? It just slid right out, seemingly no connection to the spring.

Would any other photos be of assistance?

I'm quite intent on getting this machine up and running again, I have to admit that I was a bit of a vinyl snob but the five minutes of listining I've enjoyed so far have certainly converted me. The massive tracking force of the needle does boggle my mind though, having been used to measuring tracking down to the .05th of a gram! :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: First time owner come a cropper (HMV 99)
PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2020 6:28 pm 
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Victor III
Keep winding up
Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:58 am
Posts: 545
Location: Anywhere the Wind blows
I have never serviced a HMV 99, since they are hard to find. I did not know that their springs are connected to the spindle with an "eye". This is contrary to the springs found on HMV 101/102. When looking at the spring it is a terrible mess inside, like asfalt. When looking at the spring it may just have discoennected from the eye, since it is unable to wind the spring due to the terrible state of the spring. You need stop trying to wind it up, and get the spring out, by someone who can do it in a professional way, clean it and re grease it, and then it may enter the eye again, possibly by tightening the last section of the spring if your winding has stretched it.
I had the same problem with an old Beka external horn machine today, when I for the first time serviced a double eye main spring. The spring would not attach to the spindle, since it had been streched, and I had to use a pliers to bend it back. Not a job for someone new to servicing main springs though. It takes some time to understand how all this is working....


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 Post subject: Re: First time owner come a cropper (HMV 99)
PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2020 6:59 pm 
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Victor Jr
Joined: Tue May 19, 2020 6:06 pm
Posts: 7
nostalgia wrote:
I have never serviced a HMV 99, since they are hard to find. I did not know that their springs are connected to the spindle with an "eye". This is contrary to the springs found on HMV 101/102. When looking at the spring it is a terrible mess inside, like asfalt. When looking at the spring it may just have discoennected from the eye, since it is unable to wind the spring due to the terrible state of the spring. You need stop trying to wind it up, and get the spring out, by someone who can do it in a professional way, clean it and re grease it, and then it may enter the eye again, possibly by tightening the last section of the spring if your winding has stretched it.
I had the same problem with an old Beka external horn machine today, when I for the first time serviced a double eye main spring. The spring would not attach to the spindle, since it had been streched, and I had to use a pliers to bend it back. Not a job for someone new to servicing main springs though. It takes some time to understand how all this is working....


Many thanks!
I've found a clock restorer who also services gramophones close by and sent him a message.
If you don't mind me asking, what do you think caused the failure? Could have been caused by me winding it while it was still playing?

If you want any more photos of the inner working of the 99, I'd be happy to oblige of course.


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 Post subject: Re: First time owner come a cropper (HMV 99)
PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2020 7:08 pm 
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Victor V
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2009 3:08 pm
Posts: 2858
Location: Harrison Township, MI
DancingPriest wrote:
nostalgia wrote:
I have never serviced a HMV 99, since they are hard to find. I did not know that their springs are connected to the spindle with an "eye". This is contrary to the springs found on HMV 101/102. When looking at the spring it is a terrible mess inside, like asfalt. When looking at the spring it may just have discoennected from the eye, since it is unable to wind the spring due to the terrible state of the spring. You need stop trying to wind it up, and get the spring out, by someone who can do it in a professional way, clean it and re grease it, and then it may enter the eye again, possibly by tightening the last section of the spring if your winding has stretched it.
I had the same problem with an old Beka external horn machine today, when I for the first time serviced a double eye main spring. The spring would not attach to the spindle, since it had been streched, and I had to use a pliers to bend it back. Not a job for someone new to servicing main springs though. It takes some time to understand how all this is working....


Many thanks!
I've found a clock restorer who also services gramophones close by and sent him a message.
If you don't mind me asking, what do you think caused the failure? Could have been caused by me winding it while it was still playing?

If you want any more photos of the inner working of the 99, I'd be happy to oblige of course.


Winding while playing did not do this. It was mostly the fact that the spring is 100 years old. Winding it 30 revolutions only demonstrated the weakness of a 100 year old spring. It's like asking a 100 year old guy to run a marathon. It should get a new spring and be well greased, which the old spring needed anyway. In the long run, it'll be good for another 100 years. Bottom line, you really didn't do this, but you kind of accelerated it ;)


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 Post subject: Re: First time owner come a cropper (HMV 99)
PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2020 5:21 am 
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Victor V
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 4:21 pm
Posts: 2779
Location: Biggenden, Queensland, Australia
You said the crank didn't seem to want to lock in after you wound it, so that's a pretty good indication the ratchet failed.
I'm not sure which motor was in the 99, but it's most likely a spring wrapped around the winding shaft that allows it to rotate when you wind it, and the spring tightens around the shaft when you stop winding and prevent the shaft turning backwards...if that makes sense.
Even with the motor apart you should be able to tell if it's working by inserting the crank to make sure it turns clockwise but not anticlockwise.


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 Post subject: Re: First time owner come a cropper (HMV 99)
PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2020 6:40 am 
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Victor III
Keep winding up
Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:58 am
Posts: 545
Location: Anywhere the Wind blows
If you have the option, it could be interesting to see some photos of the governor springs, and the winding shaft area of this motor, that could be the HMV 23B motor, as listed in the HMG book. Then we also can see if it has the typical piano wire spiral ad the end of the shaft, that rejects the winding handle from returning when the motor is winded on other HMV portables. I have lately serviced motors for both the HMV 101/102/87/97, and they all have this system.
I have myself not been able to find close up photos of this motor on the forum, so this is a good chance to also expose this motor in detail. I am myself negotiating to also get hold of a HMV 99, but it may take weeks before that is coming to a conclusion, so I am myself not able to post such photos at this time. We know the HMV 99 was a cheap machine, and it could be interesting to see if this also is shown inside the motor, and the materials used. When servicing a HMV Model 87 portable lately, I was not totally convinced by the materials and solutions used inside this motor...


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 Post subject: Re: First time owner come a cropper (HMV 99)
PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2020 8:46 am 
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Victor Monarch
User avatar
Needle Tins are Addictive
Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2010 8:32 pm
Posts: 4500
Location: Belmont, North Carolina
I agree with Gramophoneshane... when the crank spun backward, it indicates that the ratchet pawl did not engage to keep that from happening. When it spun backwards, the spring probably unhooked from the center drive shaft and then completely unwound. You may not have any more of a problem than an unhooked spring and a gummed up ratchet pawl. The pawl is a crescent shaped hook, usually with a small spring attached that is forced into the main winding gear to stop it from going backward. After 100+ years, the old grease acts like tar or glue and prevents it from operating smoothly. Don't remove the spring from the barrel by yourself, it can be cleaned and re-greased while still in the can. Use automotive brake cleaner to loosen and remove the old grease and then push new grease into the spring. If you unwind the spring, it is necessary to make sure you wind it back in the same direction as originally installed and it can be dangerous to pull the spring out of the can as it will unwind with a lot of force. It is probably better to let someone service it for you.
"The phonograph† is not of any commercial value."
Thomas Alva Edison - Comment to his assistant, Samuel Insull.

"No one needs a Victrola XX, a Perfected Graphophone Type G, or whatever you call those noisy things."
My Wife


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