Rockola 440 Jukebox Repair Journal
By Chad Hauris, Retro Electronics and Audio Lab, Midland, TX. 2/27/07

This Rockola had the typical Rockola problem...gummy grease in the mechanism.
The gripper and gears were degreased with Gumout followed up with Con-tak cleaner and then relubricated with Zoom Spout oil. The write-in carriage was stuck...the write-in motor needed to be cleaned and re-lubricated, plus some oil needed to be applied to the write-in track area.

After getting the mechanism to work, selection performance was still poor. A selection would be entered from the keyboard and the write-in carriage would just spin without selecting. This was fixed by spraying the contacts with Deoxit and passing a lint-free cloth under the contact wipers.
The contact circuit board was also sprayed with Deoxit and polished.

All of the speakers were bad, so 2 new woofers and 2 new tweeters were installed. Also 3 new fluorescent ballasts were installed, along with a new silicon rectifier and power cord. The amp had its capacitors checked and ESR was found to be good.

Rockola 440 Jukebox
Front view of completed cabinet.

Locksmith working on the woofer panel.
We had to call Able Locksmith to get the woofer panel open as the original key was lost. The locksmith did a very good job of opening the lock and making a new key, and also repaired the coin box lock.

Locksmith working on the woofer panel.

Locksmith's van.
The locksmith's van is completely equipped as a workshop.

Locksmith's van.
Able Locksmith did a great job and we would highly recommend them.

Rockola mechanism before repairs.
Rockola mechanism before repairs.

Rockola mechanism on service bench.
Mechanism on the service table.

Chad cleaning out the Rockola 440 cabinet.
Cleaning out the cabinet.

Rockola 440 carousel.
Carousel area. The carousel drive gear contains two grooves which activate the mechanism which determines if an A or B side will be played. On one revolution of the carousel, the lever rides in the B side groove and flips the pivot mechanism for the gripper to play the reverse side of the record. Also, a switch is activated so that only activated memory pins corresponding to B side records will stop the mechanism.

The next revolution, the lever slips through a passageway into another groove in the gear which positions the gripper pivot and switching system for "A" side play.
This contrasts with the similar Rowe mechanism which uses a solenoid to determine "A" or "B" side play and can play both sides of a record in sequence, whereas the Rockola cannot. The Rockola mechanism will first play all "A" sides selected and then all "B" sides.

This mechanism relies on metal-to-metal contact of a smooth metal cam riding in the grooves and is very prone to getting bound up by gummy lubrication, resulting in no carousel motion. On this unit, this mechanism was extremely gummed up and was thoroughly cleaned with Gumout and relubricated.

Rockola 440 Write-in motor.
Cleaning and lubricating the write-in motor.

Rockola 440 power supply before repairs.
Power supply before repairs.

Rockola 440 power supply after repairs.
Power supply after repairs. A new power cord and silicon rectifiers were installed.

Testing the Rockola mechanism.
Testing the Rockola mechanism.

Replacing the woofers in the Rockola 440.
Installing new woofers. Both old woofers had woofer foam degradation.

New tweeters in Rockola 440.
New tweeters: one is a Quam exact replacement size midrange, and we were able to adapt a Radio Shack tweeter in for the other one. Both old tweeters had open voice coils.

Testing the Rockola 440 Fluorescent lamps.
Testing the fluorescent lamps.

Chad with Rockola 440.
Re-installing the records.

John cleaning the Rockola 440.
John polishing the 440.

More photos to come!

Rockola Jukebox Page

Retro Electronics Home Page