Pilot Con-50 Converter Doohickey

Back in March, I did this blog post where I pointed out the metal doohickey that’s now showing up in Pilot and Namiki Con-50 converters. I’m still getting a lot of questions about it though, so I thought it might warrant a video. So here you go!

Long story short, the metal doohickey is there to help keep the ink from hanging up in the back of the converter, which these cartridges are known to do. Since the implementation of these doohickeys earlier this year, I haven’t been hearing about any ink flow issues with these converters (though sometimes you can hear a little rattle inside, which is the tradeoff).

New Pilto Con-50 with metal doohickey (top), and old Con-50 sans doohickey (bottom).

This is how all of Pilot’s Con-50 converters are coming now, and there isn’t a way to easily remove the metal piece. So let’s all get real excited for the doohickey because it’s going to be a part of our lives moving forward šŸ™‚

Write On,
Brian Goulet

2017-10-11T13:49:53+00:00 August 30th, 2012|Tips & Tricks|22 Comments
  • Jay Pulli

    Platinum cartridge are like this, they have a little metal ball inside the cartridge. Agitates the ink and breaks up any air pockets. Works great.

  • snedwos

    I'm considering adding on of those to my Waterman converter. Probably the ball from a cartridge.

  • Stefan Vorkoetter

    This doohickey looks like someone put some serious thought into it from what I can see in the pictures. It's hollow, so it can move within the ink, and not trap ink behind it. But it appears to have a flanged end which almost fills the diameter of the converter, for squeegeeing the ink off the sides of the converter. More scientific than just a little metal or plastic ball.

  • I saw an earlier post on the doohickey and ordered one asap. It seems to have solved my problem with certain inks having startup problems in my pilot VP.

    So far only the Organix Blue-Black and Noodlers Whaleman Sepia give my pen problems after its been sitting a while in my bag, but after installing the new converter with the little metal thing, Organix is starting up with no problem.

    In the Pilot VP, I can hear a slight rattle if I shake the pen, but its not loud or obnoxious. While writing there is no noise at all.

    So far I'm very happy with the upgrade!

  • Yes that's right, and there's a little plastic ball that serves the same purpose in Pilot mixable cartridges, as well as all standard international cartridges. This is the first I'm aware of it in a converter, though.

  • It couldn't hurt.

  • Yes, it does look very intentional, and is no doubt designed specifically to address this purpose.

  • Good to hear! The rattle is worse in the pen when there's no ink in it, and I think that throws most people off-guard. It's not very noticeable when it's being used, like you said. I'm really glad you like the improvement : )

  • snedwos

    The ball is too small. I have noticed the the converter is too wide mouthed to stay in pens that do take international cartridges, like the pelikano Junior, and a cheap supermarket pen I bought. I can't recommend it to go in other pens.

  • Gotcha. Yeah, the Waterman converter looks a lot like the standard international converter, but it's just a little bit bigger in diameter at the mouth, so it only works well in Waterman pens. Annoying.

  • XiaoMG

    Are you sure it can't be unscrewed? I recall taking apart both the old CON-50 and CON-70 with the help of a hair dryer to loosen the thread sealant.

  • David

    The standard blue, black, and red Pilot cartridges have a plastic ball inside them. The Pilot Parallel Pen cartridges (with beautiful colored ink) are identical in size to the regular Pilot cartridges, but they have a metal ball inside. I hate Pilot cartridges for exactly the reason shown in Brian's video, so I've been syringe filling cartridges. I syringe fill the Parallel Pen cartridges because they have the metal ball which seems to work much better. BTW I've never seen a blue-black Pilot cartridge, but there is Namiki/Pilot blue-black bottled ink – but it is rare outside of Japan (hint to Brian). Also, I have used the parallel pen ink in other Pilot pens, and regularly use it in a Pilot 78G-B; even though Pilot says right on the box not to use it in other pens. I've never had a problem, but use at your own risk…

  • I wouldn't bet my life on it, but I'm pretty sure. I could be wrong though. I thought when I was trying to take them apart that I was spinning the metal band around the plastic, but it wasn't unscrewing….but now you have me questioning myself. I'll have to take another look at it. I've taken apart a lot of different converters before, and this one (if nothing else) is certainly harder than most. Lamy's are pretty bad too.

  • Tom G.

    I have a Montegrappa Miya converter which has a similar device in it…. I find it an positive as the ink moves forward for use, as it ought.

    • Yes, it’s definitely an improvement. The only drawback is it slightly reduces the volume of ink in an already small container.

  • Tom G.

    I have a Montegrappa Miya converter which has a similar device in it…. I find it an positive as the ink moves forward for use, as it ought.

  • Yes, it's definitely an improvement. The only drawback is it slightly reduces the volume of ink in an already small container.

  • Brittany

    I use this converter in my Pilot Penmanship and I’m having trouble with the ink sort of…bubbling out of the area here the pen body screws onto the nib assembly. Should I be filling this convertor outside of the pen or attached to the nib assembly?

    • I haven’t used a Penmanship before, but I’m pretty sure ink bubbling out of it isn’t normal! I would make sure the converter is on all the way, sometimes you need to push it with some force to give it a good seal. That would likely fix it.

  • I use this converter in my Pilot Penmanship and I'm having trouble with the ink sort of…bubbling out of the area here the pen body screws onto the nib assembly. Should I be filling this convertor outside of the pen or attached to the nib assembly?

  • I haven't used a Penmanship before, but I'm pretty sure ink bubbling out of it isn't normal! I would make sure the converter is on all the way, sometimes you need to push it with some force to give it a good seal. That would likely fix it.

  • Jenny

    The top metal does screw off very easily by the way.