Last year it was in pieces:
But this year?
Well, it was still in pieces.
But it ran and made noise. A little.
I refer to the lovely Rick Wakeman Double-Tron-of-Death, which Chris Dale grabbed just before it was thrown onto the scrap heap, much to the chagrin of Maxine, the missus. And Professor Korb, too, who spent many hours trying to work out the screwy wiring job but was fortunately able to get it running just enough for us to hear.
Essentially what we have are the remains of two M400s, mostly the capstans, the head blocks, tape guides, and some of the electronics (including one motor). Most of the frame within the machine has been replaced with aluminum so thick you could drive a truck on it--this sucker was rebuilt very well when it was done, and most say it was over-built.
The most interesting bit is how the capstans were tied together. The two flywheels were put back to back and tied together using several springs. Yes, springs. So you can turn one capstan and the other will wobble and lag a little to keep up. Why springs and not bolts? If you can answer that, you win a T-shirt!
Double-'tron owner Chris Dale had the cabinet refinished by Hal Herzog in Windsor, Ontario, and it looks super. It's really the electronics (pictured above near their final spots in the cabinet) which need a great deal of help, and Mellotron Professor Jerry Korb has given his all to give Chris a hand and get this thing running. Sure enough it was running and producing sound, but more work is needed to button things down and it to a 100% workable state.
Great job Jerry, Chris, and Hal!
If you know who was behind the bodging of this unit, please give Chris Dale a holler (on the Mellotronists YahooGroup). He'd really appreciate knowing the history of this box. We all would!
Checking out this interesting beastie: