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Skyline - why the transparent window?


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4 replies to this topic

#1 Leftytoo

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 06:17

I have a demi size skyline. A superb pen, with a smooth and slightly flexy EF nib (finer than my Sailor EF).

My question is, why the clear plastic window located at the top of the section/bottom of barrel? Because the pen has a sac, and I assume the ink is supposed to stay in the sac, nothing can be seen in the window. So what is the purpose of the window? Or, is there something wrong with my pen, and I should see ink in the window?

Actually my pen does stop writing after a few paragraphs, let it rest on its side for a few minutes and it starts up again. I sent it off for repair. Maybe missing a breather tube.

Who can tell me what purpose the window serves?

Thanks, Bob
Pelikan 100; Parker Duofold; Sheaffer Balance; Eversharp Skyline; Aurora 88 Piston; Aurora 88 hooded; Kaweco Sport; Sailor Pro Gear

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#2 Wahlnut

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 08:54

Well Bob, It is hard do tell exactly what is going on without a picture to look at, but some of the moire skyline demi's for example had a visualated section (not barrel) where the section area that abuts the barrel threads was clear. In some cases there was a 2 piece section with the dark section friction fit area aligning with the dark barrel threads and a clear neck and sac nipple that were clear plastic screwed into and cemented (shellac) in place to the back end of the dark section and the assembly when pushed home into the barrel aligns the clear neck of the clear section part with the barrel window. The sac goes on the end of that but is above the window and not seen. So based on that and since as you already know it is useless to see a sac through the window, I would have to say that the section is not the correct one for the barrel involved. If you have a picture of the pen available it would confirm what I am thinking (or not).

The ink flow issue could be many things. The breather tube served 2 functions. One was to aid a full fill in the filling process When in use, no ink flows out of the breather tube and into the section, the section has another channel for writing ink flow. These pens with the "breather tube" were actually lever actuated vac filler, where the ink filled with a few repeated lever movements. Air in the back of the sac was expelled through the tube and out the business end of the pen with each stroke and the ink was drawn up the tube, overflowing the tube, cascading down around the tube, filling the sac from the front end up. Each additional lever stroke sent more air from the sack out and another gush of ink was drawn up the tube until most of the air was gone and th sac was almost completely full. The breather tube did facilitate the exchange of outside air with the emptying sac as ink level inside the sac went down and prevented a vacuum from forming. If I had to guess I would say you had a clogged breather tube or the rear of the section where the breather tube belongs is partially clogged and a vacuum is forming in the sac that does not allow the ink to flow properly. When you set the pen down for a while the air pressure inside the pen has a chance to equzlize with the outside air pressure and you get ink flow again. The pen needs to be taken apart and the ink flow areas including the feed channels cleaned out thoroughly I think.
Syd
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#3 ZeissIkon

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 23:42

When the pen is in writing position, or completely full and nib up, you should see ink in the transparent part of the section; in writing position, this is the last place ink will pool, so when you see the surface of the ink drop down into the window, it's time to look around for the ink bottle. The ink can't stay up in the sac, if you're to be able to write with it; rather, it has to fall down into the section so it can enter the ink passages in the feed. The breather tube is for filling, not for writing; it allows the sac to "pump", by preferentially expelling air when you squeeze it even if there's already some ink present; it's pretty much a necessity for a sac type pen that has any ink space behind the feed and before the start of the sac (like any pen with an ink window), since otherwise the total amount of ink you can fill is the change in volume of the sac from compressed to relaxed (and the shorter the sac or longer the "dead" ink space, the smaller the fraction of the reservoir you can fill with a single squeeze).

If your pen is missing the breather tube, you'll still get some ink -- with a Skyline (demi or standard size), you should get a good quantity, just not the kind of nearly complete fill you can get with a properly functioning breather tube. What you describe with the pen stopping until you lay it on its side for a while suggests a restricted ink flow (but failing to see ink in the section window also suggests the ink is "hanging" in the sac, where it's not available to feed the nib -- a common problem I see with the smaller converters in modern pens).
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#4 Leftytoo

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Posted 11 March 2010 - 06:18

Thanks, guys, for the explanations. It appears that something is wrong if I can't see ink in the visualated section. Since the pen has been sent off to a reputable repair shop, I expect the mystery will be solved, and corrected.

This is one of my favorite pens and I await its return.

Thanks again, Bob
Pelikan 100; Parker Duofold; Sheaffer Balance; Eversharp Skyline; Aurora 88 Piston; Aurora 88 hooded; Kaweco Sport; Sailor Pro Gear

Eca de Queroiz: "Politicians and diapers should be changed frequently, and for the same reason."

#5 FredRydr

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Posted 11 March 2010 - 13:39

Since the pen has been sent off to a reputable repair shop, I expect the mystery will be solved, and corrected.

You might want to tell your restorer that you want the pen brought back to original with correct parts, rather than repairing it in its Frankenpen state (if that's what it is).

Fred






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