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Down Time


Let's get you caught up with the other goings on at the Mellotron Ranch.


In for repair:  Mellotron Mark II...not so highly modified...and you might recognize a former owner...


In for repair:  Mellotron Mark V...highly modified...and you might recognize a former owner...


Mellotron Mark I...getting de-noised...


We didn't start the fire



Now done with Stewart's three machines (they're in the photo above getting ready for the unveiling), Jerry is continuing work on the "QTron", the Mark II owned by Jon Lupfer of QDivision Studios in Somerville, Massachusetts (right near Boston).

The mechanicals are about done, and tapes are being selected.



There's a bunch of a Mark II in there...somewhere...
Cosmetically the QTron wasn't in bad nick, although Jerry couldn't resist making a few changes, including fixing up some of the veneer and creating a new rear hatch cover:

And who's the former owner of the QTron that you might recognize?  Well, it used to belong to the keyboard player who was replaced by the guy who used to own the machine below...



This is none other than Patrick Moraz's back-up Mark V.  The current owner sent it up to the Mellotron Ranch for mechanical and electronic repair.

As of this MONEYPIT the machine had just arrived, so not much was done.  It's a Mark V's innards, but the original cabinet is long gone, and the electronics had some interesting modifications, including the installation of a phase shifter and provisions for a ring modulator.

...and guess who called during dinner on Sunday evening...
Click the thumbnail to the right to read the tags for the tape sets that came with the machine.  You'd certainly recognize some of these sounds (think "Long Distance Voyager" and "Rime of the Ancient Sampler).


Shhhh...It's Julia

After mixing down "Leaving for the Black Sand" (which you can find in our MONEYPIT adventure from February 2006), I pestered Jerry again to take a look at the hum/noise coming from Julia.

I got an excited e-mail from way up north that several things had been uncovered on Julia, and the noise was now cut way back.

Having a near original Mark II (the QTron) right next to the Mark I Julia allowed Jerry to do some interesting experiments.  Jerry was able to compare the two versions of the machines and swap components around to see where the various noises and issues were coming from.

Result?  Some interesting discoveries that benefit both versions of the machines.

bulletHead block miswired.  Jeez!  How many of these things are we going to run across!!??!!  As with the first Pindertron---and the QTron---the tape heads were not wired correctly at the factory.  They are now.  Jerry-1, Noise-0.
bulletIn an effort to keep the machine as original as possible, Jerry did not replace the capacitors in the power supply.  So much for originality--they're gone now, and the noise was cut further.
bulletAnother Mellotron Mark I vs. Mellotron Mark II difference was uncovered.  There is an extra grounding wire in the Mark I that allows the SSCU ticking noise to bleed through.  This ground wire was removed in the Mark II.  Ground wire gone.

There's still some noise leakage, so I lent Jerry an oscilloscope to help him track it down.  And, in typical fashion, Jerry first cleaned up and fixed the o-scope (thanks, Jerry!) and will now proceed with nailing more noise in the Mark I.


You've Got the Power

Just how many things can you remove from the Mellotron M400 power pack when you toss out the CMC10 and upgrade to an SMS series motor controller?

As mentioned last time, your M400 is wired by default so that the mains voltage is always at the switch.  If the switch fails, there is a tremendous shock hazard at the switch, and it can catch fire.  This happened to Jerry.

Jerry has come up with a modification to the power supply to run the mains voltage through the fuse before it gets to the switch.  Read more about it here.

Picture is #1037's power supply to which Jerry made the modification.  #805's power supply will be making the trip north to have the same thing done.

With the unveiling excitement over it was time for some down time at the Mellotron Ranch. -->