One of my latest projects is to bring this old beauty back to life. It is a 99,99 % mechanical computer terminal with almost no electrical parts. You can type and send ASCII chars, receive and print on paper, punch and read paper-tape, all with a blazing speed of 110 baud! It would even accept two keys pressed at the same time, and rather silent due to the muffled enclosure.
I once met a former Olivetti repair-man, and he claimed that it had around 16.000 parts (which i doubt, but still A LOT). He also said that many part would all the time oscillate at their operating speed to overcome delays, and for the same reason the excess amount of springs, and washers and adjustments should be in perfect order. The only “electronic” part in the data path is a high impedance bistable kind of solenoid receiving the incoming data. The motor speed is regulated by a centrifugal switch.
We used it back in the late 70’s when we assembled microprocessor code. The assembling proces would take several hours, so we would start it before we went home for the night. After assembling we made a punch-tape and sent i to a company that would make ROMs for us.
The Olivetti was a leftover from a bank, and already outdated when we used it. I have kept it for many years, stoved away in garages, cellars, barns, etc. Once in a while I would take it out and start it, but the last time I tried this, it gave a loud “poof”, and the lights went out. I turned out to be one of the noise-reduction capacitors that had died:
I have kept copies of two manuals, so it should be easy to fix, as long as faults are electrical and not mechanical. Yes this is all there is, electrical:
If faults are mechanical you can probably get an idea from these (rather poor, sorry) pictures, of how complicated it is to repair. I will post some better pictures, later when I have washed out all the old grease and dust: