Jukeboxes, AMI to Wurlitzer (revised
February 11, 2019
Seeburg Wallbox/Stepper operation
Replacing Cam or Transfer switches with Microswitch & Relay
Here is a great site in the Netherlands that has very nice pictures of various jukeboxes to help you identify your machine!
Here are some files of interest for jukebox collectors:
WICO 1961 Catalog Jukebox Tube Chart from 1945 to 1961 (.PDF)
WICO 1961 Catalog Update your jukebox to the Modern Look! (.PDF)
WICO 1961 Catalog Update your 3W1 Wallbox to the Modern Look! (.PDF)
Other useful information:
An open source Title Strip on-line maker for 45RPM labels. Try this first..
Here is another web page on title strips (broken somewhat)
For the best commercial label maker visit Low Profile Software
Tube chart for the late 40's to early 60's jukeboxes
Tube chart for the mid 50's to the last tube jukes in the 60's
Fuse PDFs: MDL, MDQ, and AGC. (lots more info on fuses here)
General repair tips for Jukeboxes:
Selection Pinbank repairs (Rowe/AMI and Seeburg):
I took the pinbank from a Rock-Ola
1493 apart to fix a sticky pin - I got the pin fixed but now I can't get the thing back together! With both sides removed the pins will toggle to positions either too wide or too narrow to fit the slots in the cover. Anyone know a good trick for aligning the pins so that the first side can be re fitted?
I'd attempt the re-assembly with two (or more) large elastic bands to hold the pins in the correct positions. At our shop I'd grab some 6" pinball rubber rings if nothing else was at hand. You can cut and glue pinball rubbers with "Crazy-Glue" (Cyanoacrylic) to make them any size you like.
However I prefer to not take one of these apart! What I use is MG Chemicals "NuTrol" control spray. I spray the stuff on, then work the pins (all of them) back and forth a number of times (10+), then a second spray, rework the pins. This works for ALL pinbanks - both Seeburg (M100A to the tormats) and Rock-Ola. This fixes intermittent selection (pin flips on early machines but the magazine won't rotate due to dirty contacts on the pin wiper switch) and sticky pins. I've been doing this for over twenty years and the results are very long term - in ALL cases my customers do not have a problem for a minimum of ten years and some have never called me back for a pin bank issue.
Initial service tips
As with any electromechanical device, a simple thing to check first is all the switches and microswitches with the aid of an ohmmeter. Look for switches that do not go down below 1 ohm in resistance AND/OR bounce all over the place when closed (details below). I find that this process, if done carefully, will find most of the problems in a jukebox. You will probably need a burnishing or points file to take care of switch contacts on the keyboard, also some "Tuner Spray" or contact spray cleaner applied to the keyboard internal switch will often help. See this page for testing an AMI model jukebox as an example.
Lastly, if your jukebox is one that has selection system that scans on a pin being moved, then you also spray those pins and work them back and forth to improve the contact there. DO NOT USE WD-40 or anything other than electrical/electronic rated contact spray. We carry a good grade of contact cleaner. As for oiling, Home Hardware (or the equivalent in your home area) might carry "ZOOM-SPOUT" oil, this is very good for jukeboxes as it is a paraffin based oil and evaporates with no sticky residue, and it has a nice pull out tube for those awkward corners. We also sell this oil.
Problem: Noise coming from speaker when record is picked up or replaced in the magazine by either Rock-O-La or AMI jukebox.
This noise is coming from the gripper motor, you might find that the brushes are badly worn OR that the commutator elements are gummed up with carbon worn from the brushes and held in the grooves with a bit of oil that has leaked around the bearing. I take those motors apart and clean the commutator with a burnishing tool (used in EM pinballs and old car/motorcycle points), this thin polishing tool fits perfectly into the grooves of the commutator and careful scraping will clean them out and the motor should generate less electrical noise and arcing.
Overhauls: what I do is TEST every single microswitch in the jukebox with an ohm-meter. Each circuit that is used MUST trip to 0.5 ohms (or less) and not exhibit contact bounce (the reading changes as you depress the actuator).
I test these with a pair of jumper leads with alligator clips. First short the alligator clips so you know what the '0' reading is. (Often this will show as, say, 0.3 ohms up to 0.9 ohms. This is your "Zero" reading. Subract this (0.3 for example) from your test measurements. Check the "Zero" from time to time to make sure it doesn't drift without your compensating.) Then clip the alligators to each slip on connector for Common and N.O. (Normally Open) and then actuate the switch SLOWLY. When you hear the click the reading should drop to 0.05 and stay there the further you press the actuator until it bottoms out, then slowly release the actuator. Again the reading should be stable. Slight jumping is OK as long as it does not go above 1ohm. Now repeat for Common and N.C. (Normally Closed) but here (hear?) you will start with a short and the switch then opens as you actuate it to the click point. It MUST NOT SHOW OPEN UNTIL YOU HEAR THE CLICK!!!
The starting resistance on the C to N.O. cantacts of the microswitch should normally be anything higher than 10 ohms (coils etc in the circuit) so ignore that, same with the C. to N.C. as when the switch changes state it might only go to around 10 ohms (instead of infinite - but it IS in a circuit still after all!).
These readings are all relative to your '0' reading so if your '0' reading is 1.0 ohms then a pass is 1.5 ohms.
I don't like to recommend that non-technicians solder the wires directly to the lugs, rather I recommend that they just replace any connector that is loose. I see too many units soldered with plumbers solder (acid core!) or solder paste etc...this stuff works it's way into the switch and leads to early failure.
Any switch that fails this test is replaced with a new, tested microswitch. Interestingly enough I find the odd NEW switch fails this test as well.
A comment on this posting from alt.collecting.juke-boxes is good:
> Might be a good idea to replace all of them. We overhauled and sold a
> LOT of 60-70's Rowe EM jukes in the late 1990's, and part of the
> overhaul was to replace every microswitch on the cam plates, as well
> as the stopping switches.
>The above page covers this nicely, though personally I believe in
> soldering the wires direct. In our climate I have seen to many of the
> spade lugs and the switch terminals corrode.
> Finally, with new microswitches, we had some that had a protective
> coating on the enclosed terminals, and needed a reasonable voltage/
> current to "burn through" this coating. (Once it is burnt through, the
> switch will work normally from then on)
> In our case a 9v battery (as that was all we had on hand at the time)
> placed across the terminals and the switch activated a few times did
> the job.
> In some ROWE (any jukebox - JR) cam circuits there was insufficient current to "burn
> through" this coating.
If you talk with your ISP (Internet Service Provider) you should be able to join a jukebox newsgroup - alt.collecting.juke-boxes - a good resource to search through for questions about your machine. www.googlegroups.com is another access point to this and other groups - but not as favored by the experts. If you have a MAC running OS X then I recommend you check out Eudora's mail reader, my favourite. For PCs then the only one I can recommend is Forte's "Agent (Free Agent is good enough for most folks)"
eBay.com might give you an idea of what a machine like yours sold for recently if you need to get an idea of it's worth, remember that eBay is totally unregulated other than feedback and there are scammers operating out there!
- From alt.collecting.juke-boxes newsgroup posting April 23/2010 -
As someone who has 92 of these 200's in retro diner operation, I have
2050 Tube: Is it strong? try it in the trip, then cancel a selection
and see if it glows in the grid area (center)..it should be a deep
violet NOT sky blue.
Wallbox contacts: With the box disconnected, connect an ohm meter or
anything that can measure continuity between the box chassis and the
signal connection (blue wire screw). Without pushing any button,
slowly turn the contact wiper by hand and note that you get continuity
at every rivet and if can measure resistance, check that there is less
than 500 ohms...ideally near zero ohms.
Note also that on these boxes they have the signal line routed into
the credit unit, Stupid idea and will often cause a continuous short
when tow or more credits are established.. you can eliminate this
possibility by cutting the COLORED PLASTIC WIRE at the junction of
letters and number contacts on that circular board where the wiper
blade makes the pulses. The wire will usually be the only colored wire
with all the others being brown cloth. If you are unsure leave it
Beyond this point it depends on how comfortable you are working in
these electro-mechanical environments.
Stepper:Did you replace the 5MFD non-polarized capacitor (1in square
by approx 5in tall) riveted to the side wall of the selection rcvr?
Don't even think of getting reliable selections without changing this.
I use either two 10MFD caps back to-back (100volt or greater for each)
or else make up this value with 5, 1MFD 200volt mylar caps, you can
get these from Rat Shack.Drill out the old big cap and use one of the
holes to mount a terminal strip for the new caps.
That alone will take care of the bulk of stepper probs, however you
should also check for proper mechanical action. Do the wheels go -
completely- back to their starting positions, does the butterfly "Y"
shaped arm in the center stay down until the last pulse has passed and
the unit starts scanning? If not the 300MFD cap right under the
stepper must be changed -use same or greater values.
Check that the transfer relay is engaging with the first set of pulses
and releases during the interval between "letters and numbers" These
rarely give trouble but can cause the symptom you have. Another
problem is the roller contact on top of the letter stepper wheel. This
switch must transfer from the "at rest" top and middle contact, to the
top and bottom contact during the first two pulses. this can be tricky
as the roller should not exert too much pressure on the stepper wheel
or it can cause it to not go all the way back to it's starting
These units also have another roller switch on the number stepper
check the action here also (I always eliminate this switch
There are a fair number of other mods I do to make these more reliable
for commercial use, but these hints will get you started.
Rob in NYC
In a number of cases older Cam, Transfer, or Play/Mute switches are becoming unobtanium. Here is what I did to replace a defective Wurltizer 1700 transfer switch back in 2008. I can make up a kit for anyone who is interested for $85USD plus shipping - just email me!
And if you need a replacement Transfer Switch for your 2700 through 3300 Wurlitzer jukebox we sell them in our online catalog if you click here
You can also join the jukebox mail-list where both collections, owners and dealers in jukeboxes gather to exchange tips, questions and solutions.
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