Heidelberg 10x15 Auto-Stop Problems

Hi there—I’m having trouble with the automatic stop function on my Original Heidelberg.
The machine is an older, black ball model, manufactured sometime in the early 1950s. It does not have the central oiling system, but does obviously have the auto-stop feature. I’m not sure if the problem is with the auto stop or with the operator, so I’m hoping one of you will be able to help me figure that out.

This only happens when I’m using heavier weight paper (~300gsm+), but MOST of the time it won’t pick up the first sheet of paper—this prints an image on the tympan, and then auto stops. I am left with an image on the tympan paper and an untouched stack of paper. If I hold the clutch on and don’t allow the press to stop then it begins picking up paper and printing well (will an image offset on the back of the first couple of sheets).
I have adjusted the feed pile and sucker angles as well as completely loosened the auto-stop sensitivity (which I know isn’t necessary when the machine is functioning correctly), and the ‘push to trip suction’ button is in, so suction is on.
I also tried turning the impression off, letting the paper run, and turning the impression on once everything was running smoothly, but activating the impression disengages my clutch and I have to start over with the same problem.

Technically I CAN print, but I’m wasting a lot of paper and time trying to figure it out, so if you’ve got any suggestions, I would be very grateful.

I saw this post (http://briarpress.org/24424), by duncapher and may be having a similar problem.
Bern, I tried your suggested suction test and everything went as you said it would, so I’ve got suction.
Mob, I was going to try cleaning ‘it,’ but I wasn’t sure what you were suggesting I disassemble—the auto-stop screw? I was also hoping someone might be able to tell me what to expect when I start pulling it apart—i.e. any wild springs or pieces I’m SURE to assemble incorrectly?
Thanks for your help.

—I also read this post (http://briarpress.org/24322 ), by kd1 and thought I would check my gripper head as well. I am running an early 50’s black ball as well and it seems to me that the paper is being picked up, but that it is not being grabbed by the gripper although when I looked at this problem up close I can’t see the paper colliding with the gripper.

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Increase your rpm’s. Try closing the the “Blow air for delivery” valve some or all the way. Play with the air pump stroke length. Close the release valve on top of the pump a bit. Check adjustment on your Feed Blower. It should be in the lower position for heavier stock. It may take one or a combination or these ideas to get the press to feed.

“I also tried turning the impression off, letting the paper run, and turning the impression on once everything was running smoothly, but activating the impression disengages my clutch and I have to start over with the same problem.”

This would be the first thing I’d focus on (and then deal with whatever problem remains after its solved) - your clutch shouldn’t “disengage” when you put the press on/off impression.

Your clutch should only disengage when: you manually actuate the handle inwards, you flip up the face guard on the front of the machine, or when on suction & the press misses a sheet.

To troubleshoot your clutch disengaging when it shouldn’t: take a look at the “hook” mechanism that the clutch handle latches onto when the face guard is in the “up” position (preventing the clutch handle from being moved) & likewise rests against when the face guard is “down” and the clutch handle is pulled outward (clutch engaged). When pulled out - the handle rests against this mechanism in a “loaded” state & requires minimal force to trip/release (allowing the handle to snap back inward). You may be able to adjust things, or you might have worn parts. The contact surfaces need to not be excessively worn & set in a way that allows the mechanism to release only as described above (not set so light that it would allow the handle to release & snap back inward from vibration or a jar/bump to the machine)

….Once that’s solved start your press with impression off, let the feed pile raise to the proper height before engaging the suction, followed by immediately by putting the press on impression - That may be the problem in total

*** Edited: Added more description to clutch trip mechanism.

What do you mean when saying it doesn’t pick up the first sheet? Do the suckers lift it at all? Do you use red rubber suckers or black GTO suckers? I’ld always opt for the latter. We have them almost always on (only taking them off for light paper).
In case the sucker bar gets the sheet and drops it a blink of an eye before handing the sheet over to the gripper, it would be normal behavior to continue running. The auto stop should stop the machine if the sheet hasn’t been caught by the suckers within a certain period of time (this time is adjusted by screwing the autostop screw inwards or outwards).
Regarding the problem of printing on the tympan. Keep your left hand on the clutch and grab the black ball with your right hand. Impression is off when you start. Engage the clutch. When the first sheet is in the gripper traveling into the machine turn the impression on - not before! Even when the machine is running on higher speeds there’s plenty of time to put impression on. Right before the platen is completely closed is still fine. It won’t take long and this will be your standard starting procedure and you won’t waste paper anymore.
Regarding the aspect the the clutch disengages when you put impression on seems weird. Technically the clutch system and impression on/off aren’t linked in any way. Are you sure this didn’t happen by accident so that you had to think that there is a link?
Taking the autostop apart isn’t too complex. Start with cleaning everything from the outside especially the golden mash on top of it. Sometimes it helps to slide the trigger inwards and outwards a few times really fast…
Good luck!