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Thread: Allen TC-4 Project

  1. #191
    ff Fortissimo Silken Path's Avatar
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    We has vibrato!

    I sat down and studied the different diagrams for the Whind machines, none of which are exactly the model my '67 has. Then I went and looked at the thing. It says "Adjust to 9 VAC" on the front, but the analog training guide says ignore that and use 6 VAC. Tweaking around the pot behind it did nothing. Then I noticed the pot on the other side. Tweaked it a little, and the meter suddenly started working. Also saw the blower light on the organ start flashing.

    Now it's a matter of tweaking the Rate and Depth settings until it sounds best with vibrato on. (One can certainly make it sound pretty bad with the controls.)

    So the vibrato is a little bit of AC superimposed on the keying voltage and it comes to the organ piggy-tailing on the B+ through the red cable and using ONLY the 4-pin connector.

    I can get a steady 5 VAC indicated and the needle begins to swing as the depth setting is moved. Somebody marked red positions on "Rate Adjust" and "Amplitude Adjust" and RMW was on Medium.

    I don't think it's working exactly RIGHT, as the toggle switch has to be on "More" RMW to get the voltage indication up, but it's audible with the meter down low and barely bumping.

    It doesn't sound like much like my notion of vibrato. (My Thomas Trianon's vibrato was luscious when it worked. It also doesn't sound like vibrato on the European organs in Hauptwerk or on my 1999 Rodgers.)

    But it sounds like some kind of vibrato, and it works with the reeds and diapasons as well as the flutes.

    This part was easy. It took more time to enter this than to "fix" it.
    -- I'm Lamar - Rodgers W5000C - Conn 643 Theater - Hammond M3 and E-112
    -- 1899 Kimball pump organ (forum thread) -- 1967 Allen TC 4 Project (forum thread)
    -- Public domain hymn search: https://songselect.ccli.com/search/r...t=publicdomain

  2. #192
    f Forte Kurzweil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silken Path View Post
    Thanks - that's generous. How large are they? I may be able to request to Admin to host them. He can be pretty reasonable.
    The service manual itself is two fifty page sections plus a cover. Not sure why I scanned the cover as a separate document; maybe the format - it has the first three pages. Part 1 is 3.6 Meg and part 2 is 4.1 M.

    I have three other manuals from the 1967 Allen:
    Analog Pre-Training Primer - 3.8 M
    Service Manual - Systems 0.4 M (already attached to an earlier post in this thread)
    Service Manual - Devtronix Vibrato - 1.2 M
    Incidentally, I may actually still have a vibrato board. No knowledge of how well they worked. Mine had three gyros.
    Roland Atelier AT-90s, AT-80s, AT-70, 30, and 15. Roland VR-760 combo
    Yamaha S-90, Kurzweil PC-3x, Casio Privia PX-330, Roland E-80, G-70, BK-5, Leslie 760, 820
    Moved on:
    Allen 3MT/Hauptwerk, Technics GA1, Yamaha HX1, AR80, numerous Hammonds, including 2 M's, an L, 2 A-100's, XP-2, XM-1/1c, & an XK-3. Roland Atelier AT-30, 60r, 80, & 20r(2 units), and a slew of Leslies (147, 142, 760, 900, 330).
    Korg Triton Le-61, Casio Privia PX-310 & 110, and Kurzweils: PC-2x, SP-88, Pro-III, K1000

  3. #193
    fff Fortississimo toodles's Avatar
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    1. There is no vibrato on these Allens except via the gyrophonic projector; the effect provided is tremolo, which is an amplitude modulation and vibrato is frequency modulation. Don't expect it to sound like your Thomas vibrato. Rodgers organs up until they changed to digital tone generation all had vibrato, though they called it tremulant--a very few Rodgers models also included some amplitude modulation with the FM. Vibrato generally sounds warmer than tremolo to most people, but pipes actually have an effect that is much more like tremolo than vibrato. Most digital organs emulate pipe sound, so they will sound more like tremolo.

    2. Don't try the "Old English" or the Formby's. Old English can soak into the grain of the wood through scratches in the finish, and make a real mess. Formby's is actually a stripper and unless you want to do a complete refinish, it'll make a mess for you, too. First remove all wax, dirt, grime, and gunk with mineral spirits and naptha--Ronsonol lighter fluid is a convenient way to buy small amounts of naptha. After you are down to the lacquer finish, then you can see if you really need to refinish. If you do, lacquer thinner and 00 steel wool are the best ways to do it and go slowly in a very well ventilated area.

  4. #194
    ff Fortissimo Silken Path's Avatar
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    You've educated me a little more. Thank you. Tremolo it is (and it actually says Tremolo on the organ.)

    The Formby's I was looking at wasn't the stripper - it's the cleaner - supposedly dissolves the old wax build-up. I just cancelled the order (thank you!) and changed it to 12 oz of Ronsonal lighter fuel. Should be here via ground on Wednesday or so. Ventilation is no problem - the organ is just inside a garage door.

    The Tremolo doesn't sound very good. It alters the sound of the Diapason + Celeste negatively, so I wouldn't use it with that combination. It might be like the old hair gel commercial - a little dab will do you.
    -- I'm Lamar - Rodgers W5000C - Conn 643 Theater - Hammond M3 and E-112
    -- 1899 Kimball pump organ (forum thread) -- 1967 Allen TC 4 Project (forum thread)
    -- Public domain hymn search: https://songselect.ccli.com/search/r...t=publicdomain

  5. #195
    fff Fortississimo toodles's Avatar
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    The key with most finishing and wood care products is to know what is in them--if the label doesn't say, don't use it. Generally you can just go get a can of mineral spirits at the hardware store/Home Depot/Lowe's and pay a small fraction of the price of some of the name brand stuff.

    By the way, the issue with lacquer thinner is that it is extremely volatile--it evaporates really quickly. All of these cleaners should be used with good ventilation, but lacquer thinner, acetone, and methylene chloride are especially dangerous fumes. Methylene chloride can cause cardiac problems,

    The tremolo if properly adjusted should sound OK--about like a pipe organ trem. It won't be "lush" like a vibrato can be, but can be pleasing. I avoid using trem with celestes--the amplitude beats and celeste beats seem to work against each other.

  6. #196
    ff Fortissimo Silken Path's Avatar
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    Thank you, sir Toodles. I'm just getting started on the finishing end. I appreciate the warnings and information.

    I think the Allen has been waxed religiously, as in the church cleaning crew probably polished it every month or so. None of the guys I got it from (sons who bought it for their mom to play, but she was diagnosed with dementia at about the same time, so it sat uninstalled in the oldest son's basement), knew/remembered/said they remembered which church it came from, which I thought was a little odd.

    Although the RMW needs to be in the "More" position to move the meter up into range, leaving it on "Less" or "Medium" still provides vib--- tra-tra-tremolo! I can see the meter barely bumping and the flash in the blower light is softer. Thus it may not be a strong effect, but it works without having to spin the gyro and it works throughout all the stops. It's definitely worth having.

    I'll continue to tweak the adjustments for tremolo. I may also take the tremolo section off the shelf and see what's going on inside it. I'm curious if the poly sleeve is still over the neon lamp that helps contribute noise. (We all need noise.)

    Then the next project is to see what's up with the balky magnets.
    -- I'm Lamar - Rodgers W5000C - Conn 643 Theater - Hammond M3 and E-112
    -- 1899 Kimball pump organ (forum thread) -- 1967 Allen TC 4 Project (forum thread)
    -- Public domain hymn search: https://songselect.ccli.com/search/r...t=publicdomain

  7. #197
    fff Fortississimo toodles's Avatar
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    I have a copy of a field service bulletin from 1985 with info on replacing the neon lamp for noise with a zener diode--Allen quit providing the neon lamp after they found the zener diode to be more effective and reliable than the other noise sources.

    1N4744 is the diode part number. Another bulletin mentions that the zener doesn't work with some of the late organs with solid state keying (the TC4 does not qualify) but any NE-1 neon lamp can replace any of the other neon lamps they used from time to time. The NE-2 is a very low cost neon lamp available generally, and here's one source: https://www.jameco.com/z/NE-2-Wire-T...SABEgJOjPD_BwE

    By the way, here's a good book that takes all the mystery out of wood finishes: https://www.amazon.com/Understanding...finishes&psc=1

  8. #198
    ff Fortissimo Silken Path's Avatar
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    Thank you, brother Toodles. I'll add that to my info file. Wow, that IS low cost.

    I ordered the wood finishing book. Looks useful. (I can test the wax removal by setting the organ's back cover up on saw horses outside.)

    About the tremolo - I found a combination that is pretty good and it has started working better. I've been gradually bumping the level adjustment up so that it's more evident at lower volumes. This has been the most common refrain on this old organ - use something for a while and it starts to work better.

    Except for me! Sitting way up there on that bench and peering down to the pedals and up at the music rack, I'm sore in places I didn't even know I had. This, too, shall pass.
    -- I'm Lamar - Rodgers W5000C - Conn 643 Theater - Hammond M3 and E-112
    -- 1899 Kimball pump organ (forum thread) -- 1967 Allen TC 4 Project (forum thread)
    -- Public domain hymn search: https://songselect.ccli.com/search/r...t=publicdomain

  9. #199
    ff Fortissimo Silken Path's Avatar
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    Well, Deoxit D5 was not the cure for the two reluctant stops that won't "clear." They both go down just fine as presets, so I can live with until I can stick my nose back in there. One of them is the Diapason on the Great, which isn't too swell. Both of them do that "last mile" thing where if you get a stop high enough, it will pull up the rest of the way by itself.

    As described in the service manual, the organ does have sufficient magnet power (14VDC) to pull ALL the stops up or put them all down.
    -- I'm Lamar - Rodgers W5000C - Conn 643 Theater - Hammond M3 and E-112
    -- 1899 Kimball pump organ (forum thread) -- 1967 Allen TC 4 Project (forum thread)
    -- Public domain hymn search: https://songselect.ccli.com/search/r...t=publicdomain

  10. #200
    Moderator myorgan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silken Path View Post
    Well, Deoxit D5 was not the cure for the two reluctant stops that won't "clear." They both go down just fine as presets, so I can live with until I can stick my nose back in there. One of them is the Diapason on the Great, which isn't too swell. Both of them do that "last mile" thing where if you get a stop high enough, it will pull up the rest of the way by itself.
    John & others,

    Could this be the same issue I've run into on the ADC Allens I have? If it is, it is a moisture issue. See if you can find the pin where the stop tab pivots and put a drop of WD-40 on it. I have solved 2 combination issues that way on my Allen ADC organs.

    Michael
    Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
    • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
    • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
    • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 4 Pianos

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