How to ďFixĒ a Cipher
If a cipher occurs during a service, turn the organ off after you finish playing the piece. Sometimes the cipher will stop. If not, continue to turn the organ on and off as needed to complete the service.
After the service, find the rank that is ciphering. First, close the Swell shades, Choir shades, etc. if the sound becomes softer, you know youíve found the correct division. If not, the cipher is coming from the Great, Positiv or Pedal divisions. The next step is to find the particular rank. Pull each stop, one at a time, and run up the keyboard. If itís a full cipher, youíll find the ciphering rank. Take your hand and quickly slap the keyboard around the ciphering note. In about half the cases, youíll dislodge the dirt from the pallet or armature. If this doesnít fix the cipher or itís a light cipher, the next step is to go into the organ chamber. If itís a full or light cipher, take a dollar bill and move it across the tops of the pipes. The dollar is light enough not to move the tuners and spoil the tuning.
If you can find the pipe and itís not too heavy, pull it out and lightly insert a thin rod (straightened coat hanger) into the toe hole and lightly push the pallet down many times. This will clear most ciphers. If it is still ciphering, you can put a piece of tape over the toe hole and if the pipe is too large to lift off the chest, stuff a rag in the mouth.
In either case, if you can live without the pipe, weíll take care of it on our next tuning visit. If you need it, give us a call.
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