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Thread: Planetarium Star Projectors

  1. #561
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Phoenix, AZ
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    I certainly can use all the help I can get! Particularly on these long distance trips. It would make it alot easier to jockey two vehicles if there were two drivers (one for small trips, the other the large truck) - I had to keep getting taxis in between the two. I lost two days onsite in Baltimore - the first day I got caught up in the closure of all lanes of I-695 due to a fatality accident. I sat in traffic for 5 hours - all I needed was a tool at Harbor Freight in the other end of town. This was a fatality accident so I won't complain further about the lost day, but point being, this is the type of thing that can happen, The second day lost was a result of miscommunication at the college where some of the security staff were unaware of my presence, repeatedly stopping the work and reaching for walkie talkies. It would have been better if one person were onsite to handle these matters while the other goes to fetch things. I had to rent two vehicles, truck and minivan as the side roads around Baltimore can be a nightmare for a 26' box. Lost track of how many taxi rides but this did teach me the roads in the area, to see how the cabbies do it. Thanks also to Jem, Brad, and BarthChris for mentioning that they could have helped if they had known I was in the area. I never stopped to think that everyone who reads these posts are certainly spread all over the globe. I attached a couple of pictures of the console which is now serving as house stereo until I can get the projector assembled. I just connect my laptop to the patchbay and launch Soundcloud. The Hafler amplifier is not that powerful but it sounds fine with the four studio monitors that were fetched from behind the dome. As for the wife, I am blessed with a woman who supports me. Life is good! p.s. check out the ancient 20-bit ADAT. I did not make it home on time, I made it as far as Holbrook, AZ on straight shot from MD and that was just plain nuts.
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    Last edited by SpitzSTP; 01-21-2017 at 13:24.

  2. #562
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    Anyone interested in assisting with a planetarium projector removal in the Chicago vicinity? Can cover some expenses. Send PM.

  3. #563

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    I really enjoy from your nice work. Thank you for this.

  4. #564
    Join Date
    May 2017
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    Hollidaysburg, PA
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    Hi all. Really glad I came upon this section!! I've been in the planetarium business most of my total teaching career (48 years). I just retired to south central PA and found the first planetarium I had was not operating. We have raised money and will be getting a new one soon. We have a non-working Spitz A4 RPY and need to remove it from its elevator (also non-working). We are interested is some sort of description of how to start dismantling the projector and or having onsite help to do it (paid, of course) We can turn all axis by hand.
    Thanks for ANY help anyone can provide on this matter!!

  5. #565
    mixedgas's Avatar
    mixedgas is online now Creaky Old Award Winning Bastard Technologist
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    ASTRO-PROF, I ASKED BRETT'S FRIEND TO TEXT HIM, SO HE WILL SEE YOUR POST.

    Steve
    Qui habet Christos, habet Vitam!
    I should have rented the space under my name for advertising.
    When I still could have...

  6. #566

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    Very Important!!! When removing the planet cage, never NEVER, hold or support it from the far end. Always support from the motor end where it attaches to the central core with four nuts. If you try and support from the end, the planet cage structure will bend and destroy the machine. Again only hold or move from the round section that is nearest the center core that contains the drive motors for the various planet analogs.

    The star ball can be removed by taking out the four screws on its mounting plate right above the procession motor. You must open the access plate and remove the arc lamp assembly first however. The star ball is made out of fairly thin metal and easily dented so be careful with it.

    The central core can be removed with the "legs" and base intact.

  7. #567
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    Aug 2011
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    Phoenix, AZ
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    Hi, yes I can step you through the procedure it's not very hard to do, but can still be a lot of work and there ARE a few important safety measures regarding potential mercury spills and how to avoid personal injury because there is potential for that too. You can send a private message, and I will provide contact details?

    IMG_4809.JPG

  8. #568
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    Sep 2014
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    Colorado USA
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    I have fond memories of working on/fixing a Spitz 512 system in the Dallas area, including one time when rising up out of the pit it came off track, crunching up into the fiberglass cover. Wondrous projectors though.
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  9. #569
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    Quote Originally Posted by lasermaster1977 View Post
    I have fond memories of working on/fixing a Spitz 512 system in the Dallas area, including one time when rising up out of the pit it came off track, crunching up into the fiberglass cover. Wondrous projectors though.
    Crunch! The motor and gearbox for the lift mechanism is powerful enough to lift three of these things through the fiberglass and I have wondered if that has ever happened; I do know that these sometimes get stuck in the pit. Speaking of which, if the A4 in PA is dead and in the UP position on the elevator, step #1 is to drill a 3/8" hole through all three steel guide pipes immediately UNDER where the elevator is parked and put a 3/8 steel bolt through those holes. This will keep the beast from dropping into the pit when you sever the elevator chains. I often use gantry cranes to lift the parts off one at a time, which is my only available approach when working solo. I made this crane from lumber and a chain hoist from Harbor Freight.
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    Last edited by SpitzSTP; 06-01-2017 at 10:09.

  10. #570
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpitzSTP View Post
    Crunch! The motor and gearbox for the lift mechanism is powerful enough to lift three of these things through the fiberglass and I have wondered if that has ever happened; I do know that these sometimes get stuck in the pit. Speaking of which, if the A4 in PA is dead and in the UP position on the elevator, step #1 is to drill a 3/8" hole through all three steel guide pipes immediately UNDER where the elevator is parked and put a 3/8 steel bolt through those holes. This will keep the beast from dropping into the pit when you sever the elevator chains.
    Yep, there was a definite crunch when one pivot arm lifted up the edge of the fiber glass cover, tearing it a good 6 inches or so, but fortunately the motor and gear drive came to a grinding halt with the pivot arm shoulder bulging up the cover. I can't recall exactly but I think the reason it stopped were due to circuit breakers in the control board rack tripping.

    This only happened once out of thousands of "lifts" out of the elevator pit. I loved the visual drama in darkness of the 512's cover door rolling back, star ball lite, as the starlit heavens, revealed as the cover rolled opened, swept across the blackness of nothing, followed by the vague, dark round globe of pin-pricked light projections rising out of the pit, dimly lit from the bottom from red lights in the base. But that action to the accompanied sound of Walter Carlos' Clockwork Orange opening number mixed with another selection from side 2 and you get goose-pimply magic.
    ________________________________
    Everything depends on everything else

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