Steno Equipment

This blog post is now dedicated to steno equipment information, repair, and discussion.  I am going to open it up to Allan Dyer of http://oteconline.com/ to be my resident expert in this.  Allan has a company specializing in this area. 

Here is what this blog will be about:

  • Posting weekly technical tips about the writer and related CAT software questions
  • Answering questions that people post about the same
  • Monitoring it daily, on weekdays, to see if anyone has any questions or comments.

 

 


Friday, March 19, 2010

Author
Todd Olivas

Todd Olivas is a court reporter and entrepreneur.
He founded TO&A in 2003.

  Comment by Allan Dyer | Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Adjusting Your Contact Assembly

You can always call me and I`ll walk you through adjusting your machine`s contact assembly over the phone. We don`t charge for this. This can prevent you from damaging your machine.

At the end of this email see the section on avoiding damaging your contact assembly during adjustments. Over-adjusting your contact assembly is a common reason for needing to send your machine in for repair.

If you have stacking it is probably caused by only one or two keys. Determining what keys are causing the stacking are a big step to solving stacking issues.

Adjusting a your steno machine to minimize stacking:

First; stroke depth and spring tension do affect stacking. In general the shorter the stroke depth and the less spring tension; the more stacking you have.

However you can adjust your machine to compensate for this.
Only adjust one or two keys at a time. Then write on your machine for a day and see the results. If you adjust too many keys at a time and things get way out of wack you won`t be able to tell which key adjustment caused it.

Write down the adjustments you make so you can change it back if it gets worse.

Stacking occurs when one stroke is coming up and the next stroke is coming down at the same time. When the strokes overlap you get stacking.

If the electronic adjustment for a key registers when a certain key is pressed half way down, then it won`t be released until you have lifted your finger more than half way back up.

To correct this make the key less sensitive.

On a Mira or Cybra make the number higher, one or two clicks. On all other machines turn the adjustment screw to the left, or counter-clockwise. Watch the label on the adjustment screwdriver to tell how far you turn it.

However sometimes you don`t push a key all the way to the bottom, especially when people are talking real fast. To compensate for this you need to make the key more sensitive.

On a Mira or Cybra make the number lower, one or two clicks. On all other machines turn the adjustment screw to the right, or clockwise, one quarter turn. Watch the label on the adjustment screwdriver to tell how far you turn it.

For many people there are certain keys that cause you problems. If it`s too sensitive then that key causes stacking. If it`s not sensitive enough then you have missing letters. If this happens to you then you need to find the best compromise that works for you.

Avoiding damaging your contact assembly during adjustments. Contact assemblies are fragile. Over-adjusting can damage them. If you have a question on this give us a call.

On a Mira or Cybra don`t turn the adjustment wheels more than four clicks. If you have to do this give us a call. If you make the adjustments too sensitive and then write on the machine you can bend the contact fingers. One symptom of this type of damage is having your adjustment wheels on 7 or 8 and then the key is still too sensitive. When you get to 7 or 8 the key should not show up unless you press the key very hard. The only way to correct this is to have your machine serviced. Call us if you get to 9 and it still won’t register correctly.

On a Stentura, and all other Stenograph and Xscribe machines, don`t turn the adjustment screw more than one full turn. If you have to do this give us a call. If you make the adjustments too sensitive and then write on the machine you can bend or break the contact fingers. One symptom of a bent contact is not being able to desensitize the key enough so that it doesn`t show up. One symptom of a broken contact is the key won`t show up at all, or you have to press it very hard. The only way to correct this is to have your machine serviced.

Steno machines have a contact assembly test mode. Go into the test mode, and then when you press a key down your machine will beep. On Stenograph machines press the 1 BUTTON two times to exit the test mode.





Allan Dyer
OTEC, Inc.
Supporting court reporter`s hardware and software since 1990
206.284.7492
allandyer@oteconline.com
www.oteconline.com

  Comment by Linda J. Moore | Wednesday, February 01, 2012
Mr. Dyer, I have a request for a bench trial I took in 1990 on a case in San Diego. I was contacted by a DA in Contra Costa County to see if I had my old notes. I thought I had tossed them since it had been 22 years, but miraculously I had not. My only problem is that the first day of the trial was apparently discarded last year when I was cleaning out my attic. But I did locate the floppy for that day and the other three days as well. I do have the paper notes for the other days, so I will be able to rewrite the trial on my machine and edit it in my present system. This is a cold case murder that the DA is trying to put together, and they suspect the wife did it. The parties that were involved in the civil matter back in 1990 have either died or their records have been destroyed and I`m the last hope for the DA. Is there any way that the data from the floppy can be read and put into a format that I can use in my system or that I can read the stenotype so that it can be rewritten? I don`t remember much about the Xscribe system that I had, but I believe it was the first one made for court reporters at that time. I think I got it in 1985 while I was working in Marin County Courts. Please let me know if you can be of any assistance. Thanks, Linda J. Moore. 251-259-0004.


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