I feel a sense of victory. One of the first typewriters in my collection–the second thermal typer–I was disappointed when this arrived stuck in Correction Print mode with 1 1/2 line spacing. Upon discovering this, I made a feeble attempt at fixing it, but quickly stopped when I couldn’t open the body of the typewriter for fear of breaking it. So it sat in my garage for several months.
Now, hiding out at home to avoid the Coronavirus, I found myself on a mission to fix it once and for all… or break it once and for all. So I proceeded to use more force without throwing all caution to the wind. I managed to pop the internal latches that previously kept me from opening the body of the typewriter.
The next challenge was figuring out how to disconnect the ribbon cables which were preventing me from opening the body as far as I needed to. After some fiddling, I figured out how they were attached, so I managed to disconnect them. This granted me access to a full view of the guts of the typer. I realized I had to at least partially remove a large metal plate to make the non-functioning switches accessible. Carefully removing and collecting the numerous screws that were holding the plate in place, I was able to lift the plate just enough to spray QD Contact Cleaner on the switches. I did the same thing at the other end of the connection where the ribbon cables had been attached.
Loosely putting everything back together, I plugged it in and turned it on. Where I had been previously greeted with the message, “Correction Print,” it now said, “Direct Print”. I moved the switch to each of the three settings, and the message changed accordingly. Oh, glorious of all glories! It worked.
I laughed to myself, first once, then again. After all this time, it was fixed. I couldn’t believe I had fixed it.
As I did some test typing to check the functionality, another problem reared its ugly head. A little more than an inch from the right margin–as demonstrated in the line above–the print head assembly hangs up just long enough to prevent correct character spacing. This is visible at the end of the second line of this paragraph with the word “an”. Despite repeatedly observing the movement of the assembly, it is impossible to discern what is causing the error. For now, the problem can be bypassed by making the right margin just a little bigger than I normally would.
All in all, this is a fun little typer. It does suffer the loud carriage return that is common in many thermal typers. But its biggest fault is not being able to continue typing during the carriage return. It’s just a second or two, but that could be just enough to interrupt the writer’s flow. Forgetting this quirk, one will lose letters or even whole words, depending on how fast one is writing.
The EXD10 is suspiciously similar to the Brother EP20, complete with off-white body and calculator-style keys. It’s certainly the smallest thermal typer I’ve seen. The typeface is charming, yet reminds us of when dot matrix was king. The display is angled perfectly for easy viewing and isn’t cluttered with a bunch of cryptic settings.
Will this be my go-to thermal typewriter? Definitely not. But I achieved what I set out to do. I fixed the nagging problems that have kept this typer hidden away for so long. I am victorious.