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Cautionary Case of the Consarned Converter

Posted by Dirck on 13 January, 2014

Let me tell you about the wisdom of checking facts before acting.

Once again.  It’s sad, isn’t it, how some lessons don’t stick.

Some months ago, while glancing through the pictorial shelves of eBay, I spotted an interesting object– a push-button converter for Pilot pens.  I made a note of it, and after the passage of some time I decided to treat myself.  It looked like having a better capacity than the other Pilot-compatible converters, and as I enjoy pushing my Vanishing Point about, more capacity is an attractive prospect.  It was very much a whim that clicked “Buy It Now”, and no more thought was given that was necessary to engender the smug complacency about sufficient reserves in the Paypal account.

The necessary time passed, and in a box far larger than required appeared the item.  The Pilot CON-70 is a very nifty little object, working on a pump principle not very different from the Vacumatic—  there’s a little rubber bobber transfixed with a very wee breather tube, so when the button is depressed air is easily transported from the closed end of the converter, and when it’s let up, ink can flow past the bobber easily.  Vast capacity, too, as far as converters go– about 1.0 ml.

The capacity I did not discover through filling the Vanishing Point, though.  When pen and device were side by side, I realized two things.  Thing One– a button-actuated converter is not a smart thing to put in a pen which is itself button-actuated.  Each opening and closing of the pen would bring a festive squirt.  That really wasn’t an issue, though, because Thing Two is the entire impossibility of cramming the CON-70 into that pen.  It doesn’t seat in the point unit, and is both too long and too wide to go into the upper barrel.  I had, as I so frequently do on eBay, bought from a low-context picture.  Usually, my assumptions about the item I’m buying (which is a pen or a familiar component) provide the sense of size.  In this case, I was assuming it would be much the same size as other Pilot converters.  This is not the case, as you can see in this updated picture from my site:

#1 is an old long/short’s converter, and is atypical. 2, 3 and 4 are “normal” and 5 is the newcomer.

It’s huge.  Of course it holds a full millilitre of ink.  It also doesn’t fit in any of the Pilot pens I own.  It will mount in the sections of the 78G and the Metropolitan, but there’s no cramming it in the barrel.  Having discovered this, I then go looking to see what the dickens it will fit into.  The answer, found EASILY, is the Justus 95, the Bamboo, the metal Falcon, and some Custom models.  So I’m well set for converters when I scrape together the money to eventually get one of those.  Until then, it’s a reminder every time I open the box I keep all converters in when they’re not on duty– think!

Happily, it was an inexpensive lesson.  Not even one limb lost!

Today’s pen: Parker 180
Today’s ink: Private Reserve Supershow Blue

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