MELLOTRON RANCH UPDATES
Let's get you caught up with the other goings on at the
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
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
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
|...and guess who called during dinner on
|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).
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
Result? Some interesting discoveries that
benefit both versions of the machines.
|Head 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,
|In 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.|
|Another 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. -->