Last Sideman photo–a major weak point

An old organ technician told me something amusing. He says that the relay shown here is a MAJOR weak spot in the Sideman’s design. It was custom made for Wurlitzer, it’s a high-impedance coil that burns out easily, and replacements are impossible to find.

It has 12 poles–ever tried to buy a 12-pole relay?

The fix is even more stupid. All this relay does is to enable the drum pattern (via the START knob on the panel). Simply hold the relay closed with a rubber band, and control the output with the volume control. But people who find old Sidemen rarely think to try this….sidemansolenoid.JPG

One thought on “Last Sideman photo–a major weak point”

  1. Hello,

    Thanks for this blog post!

    I managed to get my hands on a sideman here in Windsor, ON for $50! At first the rhythm patterns didn’t work, only individual sounds. I opened the thing up and not knowing much about electronics (even “retro” stuff like this) I was hesitant to try to “fix” it.

    Good thing I cam across this post. Your rubber band solution did the trick! It was the only thing I had to do to bring my Sideman back to life and 100% functional. Oh, I did put a couple drops of bike chain lube on the worm screw and couple other parts to make sure everything was moving smoothly. That’s the first time I’ve had to oil my electronics!

    It’s great to have this piece of music history in my drum studio. The oak case is beautiful and it’ll be great for my students to see and hear this relic from the past.

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