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Pelikan Level 65 pen and bottle


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53 replies to this topic

#1 Blorgy

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Posted 23 November 2005 - 21:21

The Pelikan Level 65 fountain pen uses neither cartridge nor converter nor rubber sac. Instead, ink is stored directly in its barrel. The pen's fascination lies with the large quantity of ink which it holds in its barrel, and with the novelty of its bottle to pen filling system. There are few pens in its price range, which hold as much ink as the Pelikan Level 65. :D

Unfortunately, the pen is also renowned for being difficult to empty of ink, and difficult to flush with water. Even filling and using the pen is complicated. The pen sometimes requires coaxing (tapping, shaking, and centrifugal force) to get ink to travel through the barrel to the feed to the nib, and finally to paper. In its natural state, it is not an ideal beginner's pen.

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1. In photo 1 above, the pens are a Pelikan M800 Souveran with a blue striped barrel; 5 Pelikan Level 65 pens, coloured black, red, white, yellow, and green; and a Pelikan Go with a green clip.

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2. In photo 2 above, the flared caps are off, revealing coloured sections. The pen has a section at one end, and a rotary control at the other end. The steel nibs are fine, medium, and broad. The coloured section is the coloured outer tube. (Inside the coloured outer tube, is an inner tube which is continuous with the barrel.) The rotary controls are coloured green, yellow, white, red, and black. The section, rotary control, and flared cap are all the same colour. The control rotates about 180 degrees.

In photo 2, there is a light grey circular or triangular mark on the side of each control. Above this mark, is a light grey circular plastic prong, which sits in a circular hole in the barrel. The hole is about 1.5 mm in diameter. In each pen there is a total of two prongs, which sit in holes on opposites sides of the barrel. The prongs hold the control firmly in the barrel. One prong is light grey and easily visible, and the opposite prong is dark and usually difficult to see.

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3. In photo 3 above, there is a dark prong on the control. If you decide to remove the control from the barrel, simultaneously depress both prongs firmly, grasp the control and pull it out of the end of the barrel. This procedure may need two pairs of hands to accomplish.

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4. Photo 4 above, shows the Pelikan Level 65's ink bottle. The soft plastic bottle is compressible. The cap can be removed by unscrewing it. There is a valve in the cap.

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5. On the right of Photo 5 above, is the top of the cap of the ink bottle. On the left are the rotary controls at the end of the yellow and the white pens. In the yellow pen, the control has been rotated anticlockwise, causing central depression. In the white pen, the control has been rotated clockwise, causing central elevation. The white pen is ready to be plugged into the top of the cap of the bottle. The yellow pen is not ready.

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6. In Photo 6 above, the rotary control of the pen has been plugged into the top of the cap of the bottle. The control has disappeared inside the cap of the ink bottle. Continuous force is needed to keep the pen plugged into the cap of the ink bottle. Plugging causes opening of the valve in the top of the cap of the ink bottle, and opening of pen valve 1. The pen functions as if it has 4 valves. When the force stops, the bottle spontaneously separates from the pen, causing closure of the cap valve, and closure of pen valve 1.

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7. Photo 7 above, shows the pen's components. On the left is the nib and the feed. Beside them, the red pen lies intact. Next is the yellow pen, and then the yellow rotary control. Last is the green control. The long thin stalk is attached to the rotary control. The stalk on the left looks shorter than the stalk on the right. This is because the yellow control has been rotated clockwise, but the green control has been rotated anticlockwise. Anticlockwise rotation makes the stalk move upwards, away from the green rotary control, and towards the section. If you look closely, you can see that I damaged the prongs when I depressed them. There is a black rubber ring on the control, near the junction of the control and the stalk. The ring seals the outside of the control and the inside of the barrel.

Replacing the rotary control:
To put the control back in the barrel, first find the rubber ring, and then put it on the control. Then line up the prongs on the control, with the holes in the barrel. Push the control into the barrel, and check that both prongs click back into their holes, which are on opposite side of the barrel.

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8. Diagram 1 above, is a diagrammatic representation of the barrel and some of its contents. The rotary control is at the left end of the diagram, and the section is at the right end. The stalk is black, and moves lengthways in the centre of the barrel. The barrel is blue. The pen functions as if it has four valves. The valves are two way valves. Red arrows point to valves 2, 3, and 4. The blue parts of the valves are attached to the inside of the barrel. The black parts of the valves are attached to the moving stalk.

For diagram 1, the control is rotated clockwise. The stalk moves to the left. Valve 2 is open, valve 3 is closed, and valve 4 is open.
The pen is plugged into the bottle, the cap valve opens, and pen valve 1 opens. Fluid can pass from the bottle, through the cap valve, through pen valves 1 and 2, into compartment A. Fluid can pass from compartment B, through valve 4, to the section. Fluid cannot pass from compartment A to compartment B, because valve 3 is closed. Closure of valve 3 prevents continuous flow of fluid through the pen. In reality, compartment A is much larger than compartment B.

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9. For diagram 2 above, the bottle is unplugged from the pen, causing closure of the cap valve, and closure of pen valve 1. Then the control is rotated anticlockwise. The stalk moves to the right. Valve 2 is closed, valve 3 is open, and valve 4 is closed. Fluid can pass from A, through valve 3, to B. Fluid cannot pass from B, through valve 4, to the section.

Edited by Blorgy, 30 January 2007 - 20:48.


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#2 Dillo

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Posted 23 November 2005 - 21:29

Hi,

I was able to get the innards out of mine without marking the dots. It was simple for me and I did it a few times. :D If you read my review, you will see the pros and cons of the filling system. I did not need to do much to get the ink to the feed, I just let it sit there. :)

Take care,

Dillon :)

Stolen: Aurora Optima Demonstrator Red ends Medium nib. Serial number 1216 and Aurora 98 Cartridge/Converter Black bark finish (Archivi Storici) with gold cap. Reward if found. Please contact me if you have seen these pens.

Please send vial orders and other messages to fpninkvials funny-round-mark-thing gmail strange-mark-thing com. My shop is open once again if you need help with your pen.

Dillon


#3 Dillo

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Posted 23 November 2005 - 21:32

Hi,

This should help supplement all the information about the Level that we have here. :)

Nice!

Dillon

Stolen: Aurora Optima Demonstrator Red ends Medium nib. Serial number 1216 and Aurora 98 Cartridge/Converter Black bark finish (Archivi Storici) with gold cap. Reward if found. Please contact me if you have seen these pens.

Please send vial orders and other messages to fpninkvials funny-round-mark-thing gmail strange-mark-thing com. My shop is open once again if you need help with your pen.

Dillon


#4 Dillo

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Posted 23 November 2005 - 21:38

Hi,

Use a rubber piece to press the dots, that will help you get them out without damaging them. I press them in one at a time.

Dillon

Stolen: Aurora Optima Demonstrator Red ends Medium nib. Serial number 1216 and Aurora 98 Cartridge/Converter Black bark finish (Archivi Storici) with gold cap. Reward if found. Please contact me if you have seen these pens.

Please send vial orders and other messages to fpninkvials funny-round-mark-thing gmail strange-mark-thing com. My shop is open once again if you need help with your pen.

Dillon


#5 Blorgy

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Posted 23 November 2005 - 21:54

Hello Dillon,

Last time I used metal to remove the control, and I damaged the plastic prongs. I only remove the control once on each pen.

(I edited this post to remove the wooden toothpicks idea.)

Edited by Blorgy, 14 August 2007 - 18:48.


#6 Blorgy

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Posted 24 November 2005 - 14:32

Like many others before me, I realised that valves 3 and 4 were detrimental. I suspect that the pen would have been more widely accepted if Pelikan had omitted valves 3 and 4. Some time ago, I had an original thought :eureka: which led me to cut the stalk.

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The photograph above shows a yellow rotary control attached to an intact stalk. Next to it, is a green rotary control and a deliberately severed stalk. After I cut the stalk, I put the control back into the barrel, but I left the severed stalk out of the barrel permanently.

Severing the stalk causes permanent opening of pen valves 3 and 4. It allows continous flow of air, water, or ink through the pen. It makes flushing with water, emptying, and filling with ink, much easier than before. It causes increased flow of ink during writing.

To operate the modified pen, I use two Pelikan Level 65 ink bottles.

Flushing is easy. This is done over the sink. Fill one Pelikan Level 65 bottle completely with water. Screw the cap back on the bottle. Rotate the pen's control clockwise. Plug the pen into the cap of the bottle. Hold the bottle below the pen. Give the bottle a single gradual big squeeze. Water rises inside the pen and eventually emerges from the nib and the feed.

Emptying is easy. This is done over the sink. Pour the water out of the bottle, and replace its cap. Rotate the pen's control clockwise. Plug the pen into the cap. Hold the bottle above the pen this time. Give the bottle a gradual big squeeze. Air moves down inside the pen and eventually emerges from the nib and the feed.

Filling is easy, provided both flushing with water, and emptying, have been mastered first. Go to the sink. Fill one bottle completely with ink. Screw the cap back on the bottle. Rotate the pen's control clockwise. Plug the pen into the cap of the bottle. Hold the bottle below the pen this time. Give the bottle a single gradual big squeeze. Watch the fluid level rise steadily inside the barrel. Stop squeezing before ink trickles out of the nib and the feed. Disconnect the bottle from the pen. Hold the pen vertically with the nib down. Wait for a while to allow a few drops of ink to drip from the nib into the sink.

#7 Dillo

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Posted 24 November 2005 - 14:37

Hi,

It can make the pen a bit messier though and removes its airplane safe capability.

Dillon

Stolen: Aurora Optima Demonstrator Red ends Medium nib. Serial number 1216 and Aurora 98 Cartridge/Converter Black bark finish (Archivi Storici) with gold cap. Reward if found. Please contact me if you have seen these pens.

Please send vial orders and other messages to fpninkvials funny-round-mark-thing gmail strange-mark-thing com. My shop is open once again if you need help with your pen.

Dillon


#8 Blorgy

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Posted 24 November 2005 - 15:10

Hi,

It removes its airplane safe capability.

Dillon


It's largely a question of personal preference. I'd rather own a pen that writes well at sea level but leaks on a plane, than a pen which neither writes at sea level nor leaks on a plane. I'm unlikely to go on a plane in the foreseeable future.

Edited by Blorgy, 24 November 2005 - 15:12.


#9 Dillo

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Posted 24 November 2005 - 15:15

Hi,

It is personal preference. :)

Dillon

Stolen: Aurora Optima Demonstrator Red ends Medium nib. Serial number 1216 and Aurora 98 Cartridge/Converter Black bark finish (Archivi Storici) with gold cap. Reward if found. Please contact me if you have seen these pens.

Please send vial orders and other messages to fpninkvials funny-round-mark-thing gmail strange-mark-thing com. My shop is open once again if you need help with your pen.

Dillon


#10 Blorgy

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Posted 24 November 2005 - 16:12

Hi,

It can make the pen a bit messier though 

Dillon

Pelikan's instructions are more likely to cause problems than my instructions. For example, my instructions are to begin by flushing the pen with water at the sink. If spillage occurs, it is only water that is spilt. It will be spilt in the sink, not on the carpet.

Pelikan's suggestion is to begin by filling the pen with ink. Pelikan does not suggest filling the pen at the sink. Pelikan does not mention the possibility of spillage occurring during filling. If anything goes wrong at the first attempt, it is ink that will be spilt, not water. Pelikan does not even mention that the cap of the unusual ink bottle can be unscrewed.

Edited by Blorgy, 24 November 2005 - 19:03.


#11 Maja

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Posted 25 November 2005 - 06:13

Thanks for the info, Blorgy! You've explained how to use the Level 65 very well indeed! :)

Edited by Maja, 25 November 2005 - 06:14.

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#12 Dillo

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Posted 25 November 2005 - 12:13

Snip
It causes increased flow of ink during writing.

Snip

Stop squeezing before ink trickles out of the nib and the feed.

Snip

Wait for a while to allow a few drops of ink to drip from the nib into the sink.

Hi,

This is pretty much what I don't want to happen to my pen. :( If you want to do what he is talking about without destroying anything, just remove the washer and white plug on the valve stem.

Dillon :unsure:

Stolen: Aurora Optima Demonstrator Red ends Medium nib. Serial number 1216 and Aurora 98 Cartridge/Converter Black bark finish (Archivi Storici) with gold cap. Reward if found. Please contact me if you have seen these pens.

Please send vial orders and other messages to fpninkvials funny-round-mark-thing gmail strange-mark-thing com. My shop is open once again if you need help with your pen.

Dillon


#13 Blorgy

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Posted 25 November 2005 - 12:41

Thanks for the info, Blorgy! You've explained how to use the Level 65 very well indeed! :)

Hello Maja,

Thank you for your kind words of appreciation. I enjoy reading your messages too. I often click on your messages, when I spot your name. :)

#14 Dillo

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Posted 25 November 2005 - 12:43

Hi,

This is why they put several valves: Lets say, you had an eyedropper with a hole in the back of the barrel. You fill it up with ink. Then ink will trickle out the nib end. The Level is essentially the same. There are good seals in the knob, but apparently not as good as the seals on the control head. When the knob is in dot above dot position, The second reservoir is open to the nib and the main reservoir is closed to the nib. This provides a completely sealed ink chamber to the feed and will prevent leakage even if the seal on the knob are not working as they should. (The ink will stay in there because of surface tension). With their approach, I can fill my pen safetly at my desk even when it is mostly full because there are no worries of ink coming out of the feed. When you turn the knob, it shuts the bottom of the secondary reservoir and opens the valve to the main reservoir. :)

As you see, the stem is operated by a screw, and the rubber with the hole does not open or close. :unsure:

And yes, I completely took my Level apart the day I got it to clean out all the ink inside and to find out how it worked. :P

Take Care. :)

Dillon

Edited by Dillo, 25 November 2005 - 12:52.

Stolen: Aurora Optima Demonstrator Red ends Medium nib. Serial number 1216 and Aurora 98 Cartridge/Converter Black bark finish (Archivi Storici) with gold cap. Reward if found. Please contact me if you have seen these pens.

Please send vial orders and other messages to fpninkvials funny-round-mark-thing gmail strange-mark-thing com. My shop is open once again if you need help with your pen.

Dillon


#15 Dillo

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Posted 25 November 2005 - 13:12

Hi,

A diagram of the bottle. :)

Dillon

Stolen: Aurora Optima Demonstrator Red ends Medium nib. Serial number 1216 and Aurora 98 Cartridge/Converter Black bark finish (Archivi Storici) with gold cap. Reward if found. Please contact me if you have seen these pens.

Please send vial orders and other messages to fpninkvials funny-round-mark-thing gmail strange-mark-thing com. My shop is open once again if you need help with your pen.

Dillon


#16 Blorgy

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Posted 25 November 2005 - 14:00

Snip
It causes increased flow of ink during writing.

Snip

Stop squeezing before ink trickles out of the nib and the feed.   

Snip

Wait for a while to allow a few drops of ink to drip from the nib into the sink.

Hi,

This is pretty much what I don't want to happen to my pen. :( If you want to do what he is talking about without destroying anything, just remove the washer and white plug on the valve stem.

Dillon :unsure:

Hello Dillon,

I understand that many Pelikan Level 65 users would neither wish to alter their pens, nor would not want to increase the rate of flow of ink. In addition, cutting the stalk would not cure problems which are caused by abnormalities elsewhere in the pen, such as the nib or the feed. I also know that experts who repair pens, have been understandably disappointed with the Pelikan Level. Richard summed it up recently when he wrote "Why". :) The first step in solving problems, is to acknowledge their existence.

Some people are interested in learning new techniques of filling pens, and others are not. One advantage of the 65 is that it needs filling much less often than most fountain pens. The inconvenience of the filling process is partially offset by the long intervals between each fill.

Some time ago, I considered removing the tiny black rubber washer which seals valve 3, and the rubber plug which seals valve 4. Removing these rubber components would have the advantage of reversibility. At the time, I dismissed the idea, rightly or wrongly, because I thought that the remaining plastic stalk would probably still cause unnecessary obstruction to the flow of ink in one direction, and to the flow of air in the opposite direction. So far, I have only tried cutting and removing the stalk.

#17 Blorgy

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Posted 25 November 2005 - 21:13

Posted Image
On the photo above, there are two stalks. The white lines are just reflections of the light from my camera. On the lower left, is a slightly smudged, wobbly arrow which points to a black rubber ring, which sits in a circumferential groove, on the outside of the stalk. The rubber ring seals valve 3. On the right of the photo, is another stalk. Its rubber ring has been removed, exposing the underlying groove in the plastic. At the top left of the photo, is the rubber ring. At the top of each stalk is a pale solid rubber cylinder, which sits partially inside a hollow black plastic cylinder. The cylinders are mobile. Below them is a metal spiral spring, which is compressed when the solid rubber and hollow plastic cylinders move downwards. The pale solid rubber cylinder seals valve 4.

Today, I took a new Pelikan Level 65 pen, pulled out the rotary control, and slid the black rubber ring off the stalk. I reassembled the pen, without the rubber ring. I attached a Level 65 bottle of water, squeezed it, and discovered that I could easily produce a continuous flow of water through the pen. Then I attached a bottle full of air, squeezed it, and produced a continuous flow of air through the pen.

I dismantled the pen again, and I put the black rubber ring back in its groove, on the stalk. I attached a bottle of water, and squeezed it again. This time, there was no flow through the pen.

Continuous positive pressure produced a continuous flow of water or air, through the Pelikan Level 65 pen, after the small black rubber ring had been removed from its annular groove on the stalk. (This ring was not the larger rubber ring, which sealed the outside of the control, and the inside of the barrel).

Edited by Blorgy, 25 November 2005 - 22:46.


#18 Maja

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Posted 26 November 2005 - 08:02

Thanks for the kind words, Blorgy :) This Pelikan Level fountain pen discussion is fascinating! Both you and Dillon seem to be quite mechanically-gifted whereas when I first saw the diagrams, I thought "Ok, what kind of science degree do I need to understand how this pen works???" :lol:
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#19 mikeyp

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Posted 26 November 2005 - 16:18

well, the level design as so you dont get ink on ur fingers, when u turn the knob, u seal of the lower chamber. the way i see it:

the knob is ur convertor, and the writing tank is the part of comfertpr holding the ink.
the main tank is ur ink bottle, u fill the "convetor ink tank" from your "bottle"

so every so often as you use the level, u turn the knob to refil that convertor
The beauty of a living thing is not the atoms that go into it but the way those atoms are put together.
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#20 Dillo

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Posted 26 November 2005 - 17:40

Hi,

Mike, I am not sure I understand what you mean. Just a kind tip, spell clearly and use punctuation so that we can understand you here. :)

Dillon

Edited by Dillo, 26 November 2005 - 17:42.

Stolen: Aurora Optima Demonstrator Red ends Medium nib. Serial number 1216 and Aurora 98 Cartridge/Converter Black bark finish (Archivi Storici) with gold cap. Reward if found. Please contact me if you have seen these pens.

Please send vial orders and other messages to fpninkvials funny-round-mark-thing gmail strange-mark-thing com. My shop is open once again if you need help with your pen.

Dillon







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