BR Handiprinter ticket machine question

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broadwater

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I have one of these now-ancient machines but cannot get it to issue a ticket, so question for anyone who used these long ago: how do you issue a ticket? Key is in top key-slot, ticket roll and audit roll are loaded, but handle will not turn. Handiprinter1.jpg
 
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Dr Hoo

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I presume that you have a 'slug' fully home. I.e. the machine recognises that you are trying to print a ticket rather than just advance blank paper?
 

Roger1973

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I've not met one of these, but a few thoughts based on various forms of bus ticket machine -

Is it just one handle to operate, or is there one button / lever you have to press / hold in first to allow the operating handle to turn? (many bus ticket machines had something like this, to protect the conductor from issuing a ticket accidentally.)

As Dr Hoo has said, there may be a mechanical interlock so as well as the suggestion about the 'slug', are all the sliders properly clicked in to place? (and there may be a minor mechanical defect that means they look in place but don't line up properly any more, so go by feel rather than how it looks) and is the cover closed and lock / catch engaged properly?

And in your photo it's showing a zero fare value - have you tried with other fare values? Some bus ticket machines were set up so a conductor couldn't issue a zero value ticket, although this was more usually an interlock to stop you setting a zero value in the first place, rather than one that would let you set it up on the dial but not issue a ticket (while there were some exceptions, on a lot of companies there was no legitimate reason to issue a zero value ticket.)

does it feel like it's trying to move, or completely solid? It may simply be that the mechanism is very stiff, but I'd not recommend just heaving and hoping for the best - sometimes that can free a mechanism that's stuck, but it can also cause more damage.
 

Dr Hoo

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They were terribly messy/inky machines. The audit roll was 'read' by optical recognition of inky 'blobs' if I remember correctly. Things could easily get 'splurged out'. Is there a pad inside that is stuck or dried out or jammed, perhaps?

Have you tried WD40?
 

broadwater

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Thanks for responses.

It has been tried with different fares so not a "zero fare" issue; slugs have been fitted and still no action. Knob on side has been depressed, pulled, pushed etc with key in different positions, but without luck. Ink roller is freely moving and not clogged; in fact the achine is in good ex-service condition. The mechanism does not seem to be jammed and is capable of very slight movement, suggesting there is some hidden locking mechanism. (The Almex A machine has, besides a key to lock the machine, a simple lever inside which can be turned to lock the machines when left unattended; I guess the Handiprinter may have something similar but nothing is obvious).

Same issue applies to two other BR ticket and one BR parcel Handiprinter (latter does not use slugs) known to exist.

What I was hoping was that someone who had experience of these at BR would come up with the simple answer!
 

Fleetwood Boy

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I’d suggest joining the Transport Ticket Society. Very good value for money, and someone there will know what’s what.
 

calopez

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I used these machines for a while back in the late 1980s, before we got APTIS. I'm sure you had to press something to release the handle... but I'm sorry, I can't for the life of me remember what :{
I hope someone else comes up with the answer - it's bugging me now!!
 

AY1975

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I presume that's the kind of thing that guards on PayTrains would have used in the days before (S)PORTIS machines (the portable "cousin" of the APTIS)?
 
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Dr Hoo

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I presume that's the kind of thing that guards on PayTrains would have used in the days before (S)PORTIS machines (the portable "cousin" of the APTIS)?
Did these issue pink tickets with purple printing?
The Handiprinter was a 'fixed'/'office' machine only. Far too big and heavy to lug around.

The loosely equivalent portable/'guard's' version was the Omniprinter. Those typically issued the tickets on pink paper.

To confuse matters, some Omniprinters were used in small ticket offices but could only sell a limited range of tickets. The advantage of the Handiprinter was being able to put in alternative 'slugs' that essentially created additional data fields.

Both types of machine used a printing concept called 'stereo'. Some of the characters (most obviously the fare and station codes) were set by the sliders. Other characters on the ticket came from a fixed printing block. On the Handiprinter the fixed fields were on the slug. On an Omniprinter there was an internal 'static' slug-equivalent called the stereo. These usually listed the station codes for reference. When machines were re-allocated between lines, station were re-named or new ones opened they were given new stereos but this was a back office/off line job, not usually done by front line ticket issuing staff.
 

peteb

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I recall the omniprinter being used at Hagley in the 1970s as all tickets issued were pink. The tickets had a fixed list of stations/codes with the to, from, class, price, date being varied. Very hard to alter if I recall. I might have a ticket somewhere that I could photo if anyone is interested? At Hagley all unusual tickets were handwritten on an excess pad, if I recall correctly.
 

30907

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Were these Edmondson tickets?
If you mean Omniprinter, no. Flimsy "pink paper" as stated upthread - like some bus tickets of the period (and not totally unlike the current - vulgo "bog roll" - version, though wider and shorter).
 

SargeNpton

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An example of the tickets that came out of this type of printer...
 

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SargeNpton

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Thanks for responses.

It has been tried with different fares so not a "zero fare" issue; slugs have been fitted and still no action. Knob on side has been depressed, pulled, pushed etc with key in different positions, but without luck. Ink roller is freely moving and not clogged; in fact the achine is in good ex-service condition.
Been over 40 years since I last used one so my memory is hazy; but I think that you used your left hand to hold down that lever top right, whilst then turning the handle with your right hand. Can't see the handle in the photo - do you have it?
 

davetheguard

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I recall the omniprinter being used at Hagley in the 1970s as all tickets issued were pink. The tickets had a fixed list of stations/codes with the to, from, class, price, date being varied. Very hard to alter if I recall. I might have a ticket somewhere that I could photo if anyone is interested? At Hagley all unusual tickets were handwritten on an excess pad, if I recall correctly.

The pink colour was the colour of the blank ticket roll. However, some paytrain routes used a white ticket roll; the Reading to Tonbridge paytrain omniprinters used a pink roll with a green vertical stripe on each edge.
Were these Edmondson tickets?

No, Edmondson tickets were small pre-printed pieces of thick carboard. The ticket machines being discussed here printed ticket information on to a blank paper roll.
 

SargeNpton

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I recall the omniprinter being used at Hagley in the 1970s as all tickets issued were pink. The tickets had a fixed list of stations/codes with the to, from, class, price, date being varied. Very hard to alter if I recall. I might have a ticket somewhere that I could photo if anyone is interested? At Hagley all unusual tickets were handwritten on an excess pad, if I recall correctly.
Something like this for the Omniprinter? Never used one, but these tickets occasionally turned up.
 

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Dr Hoo

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Yes; those are from an Omniprinter. The coloured stripe was supposed to designate the 'day', to make it easy to spot if someone was (re-)using an old ticket. There was an office reference sheet of 'what colour roll should we put in the printer today'. Sometimes a station would read off the wrong date or colour, or forget to change it so if you 'picked up' a 'wrong-un' you had to be careful to check the printed date before accusing someone of fraud or evasion.
 

1997D

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Greetings,
(1) The two key holes at the top right hand side of the machine should be turned so that the red paint is at the bottom (there might not be that much red paint left)
(2) Insert the key in the bottom key hole and turn it clockwise to access the inside of the machine
(3) Open the audit roll compartment by turning the latch anti-clockwise
(4) Pull the audit roll mechanism. The unused roll should be at the top and wrapped around the mechanism so that the paper is on the side of the machine away from you, the new/used roll at the bottom, make sure the backing plate is clipped on
(5) Reposition the audit roll mechanism (give the knob on the far right a push up and then give the whole thing a gentle shove)
(6) Close the door, turn the latch clockwise, turn the key (still in the bottom keyhole) anticlockwise to lock the audit roll compartment
Audit roll check is now complete
(7) Open the ticket roll compartment on the back of the machine and check the roll is fed correctly. This should be obvious. Push about 1/2 cm of roll through the slot.
(8) Re-close the ticket roll compartment
Ticket roll check is now complete
(9) Push the dater at the back of the machine down (away from you). This allows the date to be changed and the machine will not operate while it is this position.
(10) Pull the dater back up towards you
Dater check is now complete
The machine is ready to operate - whether it will print depends on whether or not the ink has dried up!

(1) Flick the S/R lever on the left - S = single and will print a one part ticket, R = return and will print a two part ticket
(2) Ensure the slug slide is positioned left
(3) Carefully insert the slug and slide it into the machine (if you lose it in the machine, it can be retrieved with the end of a metal coat hanger)
(4) Set class and fare (the machine will operate whether you do this or not)
(5) Turn the handle twice. You need to 'hold down' the little thingy majigy above the handle as you start to turn it. A crap clerk would use their left hand to do this while turning with their right. All good booking clerks use their thumb and 'release' as they start the turn. As you are a novice I won't think any less of you if you opt for the former. If you do the latter a few thousand times, you'll develop a nice callus on your right thumb. That and the permanent machine ink on the end of your left thumb from the slugs will identify you as one of us to other Handiprinter clerks.
Good luck
RC
 
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Littlejohn

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Has yesterday's post helped you get it going or are you still in trouble?
For my sins I worked on these for 30+ years, together with the Omniprinters, Multiprinters, Rapids, Miniprinters, Flexiprinter, followed by Aptis, Q buster and gates.

Please let me know if I can help.
 
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