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Hi all,

I was repairing another card reader today and it had to happen sooner or later. One of the contact balls dropped out of the reader frame bounced of the table top and disappeared into oblivion on the carpet, (similar color of course) in one of a few boxes of junk, under some paper work, out the door, struck in my sock who knows. They are a bit like trying to follow a mosquito around.

After 2 hours of fruitless searching I was about to give up but decided to clean out the vacuum and give that a try. There is a Beagle dog here which is a panting hair ball, and this fluff gets into everything so I wasn't optimistic.

Anyway, I found it - yay. One good thing, the carper has never been so clean :-)

Try to spot it in the mess.


(08-03-2021 07:17 AM)teenix Wrote: [ -> ]Try to spot it in the mess.
I was probably lucky, but it took me 5 seconds to find it.
Hunts for these balls can be very undignified... At an HHC about 8-9 years ago, Geoff Quickfall was doing a live card reader repair on video and a ball took a similar hop. Videos of several of us crawling around on the floor on hands and knees with flashlights exist somewhere (hopefully to never be seen again) but in the end, the ball was found. It feels so ridiculous, right up until you find it. Smile
That sort of thing never happens with me.
Just by the thread title I knew...…

Congrats Tony, usually once the ball leaves the table the event horizon has been crossed.

In autumn 2019 user NoEqualsButton offered some balls in this forum and he sent me some for free. He lives in Canberra i.e. round your corner Tony.
Thread is here: https://www.hpmuseum.org/forum/thread-13...20663.html
and contains the reference he got from.
Maybe he still has some to offer?

I always use an empty shoe box to disassemble or reassemble the card reader in ...

But I know crawling the carpet to find a circlip or a small spring from the printer :-).
Once the card reader shaft jumped thru the room - so hard to find on the coloured carpet.
Are the balls attracted to magnets?
Somebody should make some custom replacement nylon balls - and make them bright orange!
I lost a small nylon cabestan for an HP-97 card reader - still crying about this.
Any suggestion for something to use as a replacement would be very welcome!
The nylon balls are quite easy to source in the US, $0.04 each in packages of 100.


If someone in the EU wants to act as a local shipper, I’d be happy to send 100 or 200 pieces FOC to someone willing to redistribute on the other side of the pond.

The card drive capstain is problematic as it is custom HP. Tony Duell reported years ago having fashioned one of brass on his micro-lathe which sounds like a straight forward solution - should one have a mini-lathe on the bench ;-)
(08-08-2021 05:34 PM)GreyUser Wrote: [ -> ]The nylon balls are quite easy to source in the US, $0.04 each in packages of 100.


This is fantastic, that there is a suitable replacement! I can't count the times I've had to search for these nylon card reader balls. Probably one of the prime reasons I rarely work on card reader repairs these days.
Search the classifieds for "balls." Smile

Best regards,
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