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> More on Spitz Model's A, A-1, A-2
moonmagic
post Feb 15 2011, 05:26 PM
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Sometimes it’s good to go through some of your old stuff.

OR

“Answers to questions we’ve pondered”

OR



"MORE ON SPITZ MODEL'S A, A-1, A-2"


This past weekend I went through a few old boxes and one bookcase. The bookcase cleaning stopped when I ran across a small book I had purchased 40+ years ago. ($1.95! ) I sat down and re-read most of the book and found it more meaningful today than when I first got it. I certainly had more appreciation for it this time around. Perhaps my new found appreciation is because of my renewed interest in all things Planetarium, mainly a direct result of all of you on this forum. (As you might guess, that was the end of the clearing out project for this time.)

When I saw the little 176 page book I recalled the one time I was introduced to the Author (1970?). At the time he was using one of his special cameras to photograph a launch of a Saturn V rocket from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. While remembering bits and pieces of that day, it dawned on me that this gentleman had passed away just under two years ago. (May 2009)

Those of you living in the westerns states (which most of this group does) may recall Richard Norton (O. Richard Norton). Over his lifetime he has published a number of books on astronomy, meteorites, and planetariums. He was once a consultant for Minolta planetariums when they were first trying to enter the United States market. (Calif. had the very first Minolta at DeAnza College [MS-15] which I recently understand is for sale. I had the pleasure of working with the 2nd Minolta in the US and the first model MS-10 in the U.S.

Most of my knowledge about Mr. Norton stems from the work he did while he was the Director of the planetarium/atmospherium in Reno at the University of Nevada. He had also been the assistant Director of the Morrison in San Francisco, CA and was eventually the Director of the Flandrau (sp?) Planetarium in Tucson, AZ.

For those of you not familiar with the book in question, you must add to your collection “The Planetarium and Atmospherium, an Indoor Universe” by O. Richard Norton.

Norton spent a great deal of time talking with some of the engineers and designers at both Zeiss and Spitz in preparation of this book. Several of the people at Spitz reviewed an entire section of the book, in particular Chapter 4 from which I draw the following information:

Considerable discussion and debate within OUR community has occurred, in particular to some of the Spitz products. This information is found within Chapter IV, page 70-73.

1. The first Spitz projector was completed in October of 1947 was installed in Eastern Mennonite College in Harrisonburg, VA. This unit [was a plastic dodecahedron] and used an incandescent light source. This unit was the Model “A.”

2. Around 1950 a new model called the“A-1” was introduced that superseded the model “A.” [This unit used the metal dodecahedron.] One of the main features of this model was the addition of a simple optical system to reduce in size and increase in brightness the twenty-three brightest stars. These lenses were inserted in front of the aperture forming the star, which acted as a simple collimator concentrating the light coming from the pinhole onto the dome, thus producing bright and relatively small images. This model also offered (as an option) the Milky Way projection, which was produced by a series of lens cells encircling the star globe on the proper plane. Each cell contained a negative lens (double concave) that helped spread the light along the plane of the Milky Way. A small transparency in each lens cell when projected produced a section of the Milky Way. The light source that produced the star images also produced the Milky Way.

3. On page 73 Norton tells of the addition later on of the Astronomical Triangle projector and the geocentric Earth projector among other small changes that comprised the model A-2. (Although this is within the body of the text, the photograph on the same page showing the machine with the triangle and geocentric earth projector(s) is clearly still captioned as model A-1.)

This is the only place I have found ANY documentation that mentions a particular difference between the Model A-1 and A-2.

The text continues on about the development of the planet analogs for the A3P, the Xenon light source when the A3P was referred to the A3P-Prime Sky, and much, much more.

For those of you that may have additional interest I have already scanned in several pages of this information. If I have any trouble uploading it directly to OC I will email it in sections to Ron and ask as he can find time would he please post it somewhere appropriate on the site? (Yea, cause Ron doesn’t already have enough to do…sorry Ron!)

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Ken Miller
post Feb 15 2011, 05:41 PM
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Thanks for the info on the model A's. I'm always interested in learning more about the one that I have.

The De Anza Projector owner is asking about $11K. It's a lot of money, but he says he has that much invested in buying it, removing it, and storing it.
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moonmagic
post Feb 15 2011, 06:06 PM
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moonmagic
post Feb 15 2011, 06:08 PM
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moonmagic
post Feb 15 2011, 06:19 PM
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moonmagic
post Feb 15 2011, 06:21 PM
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moonmagic
post Feb 15 2011, 06:22 PM
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moonmagic
post Feb 15 2011, 06:23 PM
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moonmagic
post Feb 15 2011, 06:24 PM
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moonmagic
post Feb 15 2011, 06:26 PM
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moonmagic
post Feb 15 2011, 06:28 PM
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moonmagic
post Feb 15 2011, 06:31 PM
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moonmagic
post Feb 15 2011, 06:32 PM
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moonmagic
post Feb 15 2011, 06:33 PM
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Ken Miller
post Feb 15 2011, 06:47 PM
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I've got to go through my piles of books to see if I already have this one. I would really like to get all the books organized, but remodel and rearrangement after rearrangement has made it difficult. I know that I considered buying it at one time, whether I did or not.
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Owen Phairis
post Feb 16 2011, 09:34 AM
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QUOTE(Ken Miller @ Feb 15 2011, 03:41 PM) *
Thanks for the info on the model A's. I'm always interested in learning more about the one that I have.

The De Anza Projector owner is asking about $11K. It's a lot of money, but he says he has that much invested in buying it, removing it, and storing it.



Ken offered it to the Museum, but I could not justify the expense already having a nice Minolta and having a complete spare set of optics including starballs and planet cages.

"O"

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Ken Miller
post Feb 16 2011, 10:17 AM
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QUOTE(Owen Phairis @ Feb 16 2011, 07:34 AM) *
Ken offered it to the Museum, but I could not justify the expense already having a nice Minolta and having a complete spare set of optics including starballs and planet cages.

"O"

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By the way that "Ken" is Ken Hawthorn, not Ken Miller. Ken worked as an outstanding "old school" program presenter at the De Anza planetarium. His wife still works there. He had a personal attachment to that projector, so he made a point of saving it, and storing it in a controlled environment. His priority has been finding a good home for it, and his hope was that it could be restored to service in working planetarium.
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Ron Walker
post Feb 16 2011, 10:54 AM
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“The Planetarium and Atmospherium, an Indoor Universe” by O. Richard Norton.

That is one of the best books I have ever found. Perhaps, one day, I should scan it as a pdf if for nothing other then protection.
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charles jones
post Feb 16 2011, 08:12 PM
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This book looks like it gives a real history of Spitz.

I would love a pdf copy if you ever take the trouble to scan it all.

Do you think a copy is available someplace?

Charles
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Owen Phairis
post Feb 16 2011, 08:39 PM
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QUOTE(charles jones @ Feb 16 2011, 06:12 PM) *
This book looks like it gives a real history of Spitz.

I would love a pdf copy if you ever take the trouble to scan it all.

Do you think a copy is available someplace?

Charles



Hi Chuck,

There are 3 copies of it available at ABE books.

http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResu...amp;x=0&y=0

I thought you did a dissapearing act?

"O"
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