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> Spitz Model "B"
Ron Walker
post Feb 25 2007, 01:47 PM
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After the smaller "A" series planetariums and before the "A3P" came out, Spitz developed a planetarium for a larger dome that competed with the large Zeiss. It still used pin hole projection for most of the stars which saved both money and weight.

(IMG:http://img524.imageshack.us/img524/4430/spitzmodelbforwebte2.jpg)

This projector was most unique in its mounting as only thin aircraft cable was used allowing the machine to appear to float "weightless" in the planetarium chamber as the lights went down. The cables were attached in an "X" design and connected to the East/West axis of the machine. The four cables that went up could have been a problem as they would get in the way of star projection. Since very few stars would be blocked at any one time this probably went unnoticed by the audience. The only time that I could see them becoming noticeable was when they "cut through" the projection of the Milky Way. This must have been very slight however as I have never read anything that mentioned this as a problem. Only three of these projectors were ever built.

Here is a close up of the cable support attachment.

(IMG:http://img122.imageshack.us/img122/7967/spitzmodelbsupportkh5.jpg)
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mrgare5050
post Mar 22 2007, 07:57 PM
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Here is a close up of the cable support attachment.
(IMG:http://img122.imageshack.us/img122/7967/spitzmodelbsupportkh5.jpg)
[/quote]


im trying this in my dome, because 1) its probably never been done but these 3 times so its fun 2) my dome aint that big, so the added footroom MIGHT be worth it

i just cant see how the spitz didnt VIBRATE when it moved, hanging as it did from these cables, what do you think ron, are any of these actually still viewable around the country? g
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Ron Walker
post Mar 23 2007, 12:44 PM
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Remember that it didn't technically hang from the four cables. There were four more cables continuing down to the floor. Thus the projector was actually under tension from eight points. Try an experiment with a foot long piece of 2X4 and then tension eight strings against it and you will see a very stable 2X4.

The problem is that you don't really save a lot of foot room as you still have the four cables connecting to the floor. Easy to trip over in the dark. Also remember that this becomes a VERY permanent instilation. You can not move it easily at all.

Only three were made, as you know, and the two installed in the US have been replaced. One was at the Longway Planetarium in Flint, Michigan and the other at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.

The third and first installed was in Montevideo Uruguay in South America. It still may be in operation.

One interesting note is this instilation of a Spitz Model "C" (never heard of that one before) which looks very much like a Model "B". More info here:

http://www.aplf-planetariums.info/index.ph...&filtre=465

As far as supports go, I think a miniature of the original from the Zeiss II would be kind of fun.
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mrgare5050
post Mar 23 2007, 06:10 PM
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oh i didnt know about the downward vertical supports, i suppose thats a necessity. but why couldnt it hang straight down like a light fixture, with 4 parallel thin wires from the celing? it would swing if someone bumped it, but you could put a small railing round it or something.

g
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Ron Walker
post Mar 24 2007, 01:30 PM
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As soon as you started any motor you would probably get enough vibration that it would show up on the dome if you didn't have the bottom support. The projector needs to be under tension from both the dome supports and the floor tension members to be stable.

Personally, I think you should just stick with a normal support and use your talents on other endeavors.
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mrgare5050
post Mar 25 2007, 05:36 AM
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Talents? I like to do EVERYTHING! (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif) I admit its not practical, yet oft times its seen that 'outside the box' experiments lead to other discoveries, or at least 'good junk' (i love that term) sitting around the may find a use some day! gare
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Ron Walker
post Mar 25 2007, 12:03 PM
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Yes, I must admit, the term "good junk" came to me on one of my better days. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/laugh.gif)

Getting that beautiful copper cylinder out of the crate would be up on the list for me. Like you've said, "Having a main support structure that all of the different star globes could be connected to with just a few screws would be wonderful".

Speaking of the copper cylinder, Is it set up with Polaris directly center of the top end? Also what does the opposite end look like? The end where the light source is probably connected. We should come up with a design that would allow use on a new central core.
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Ron Walker
post Mar 25 2007, 12:07 PM
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QUOTE(mrgare5050 @ Mar 25 2007, 04:36 AM) *
Talents? I like to do EVERYTHING! (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif) I admit its not practical, yet oft times its seen that 'outside the box' experiments lead to other discoveries, or at least 'good junk' (i love that term) sitting around the may find a use some day! gare


Perhaps rather then "Talents", I should have said "Time". Basically I've found there is only so much free time available so I must do the basic things first and then play with other ideas later. However, it is true, you do have an operational system happening there so you can afford to spend some time with experimentation.
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mrgare5050
post Mar 24 2008, 05:15 AM
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Its been a year since we visited the fabulously rare Spitz Model B, yet scrutinizing the pictures ron posted, LOOK at the starballs - they arent ROUND - they are some sort of unique tiered structures unique to any projector Ive ever seen.

I still have dreams of hanging a projector - Charles you would love this - the projector could seem to 'float' in mid air, and you could pass your hand underneath it to prove it was levitating!

The Model B. Rare bird.. g
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chemed
post Mar 24 2008, 07:39 AM
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http://www.usafa.af.mil/uploads/keep90days...loses040730.htm
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Owen Phairis
post Mar 24 2008, 09:41 AM
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QUOTE(chemed @ Mar 24 2008, 06:39 AM) *


I was aware of the closing, another sad note! That is the planetarium where I got the Connic Coperican Helio-Centric Projection Orrery and also the binary star projector from. I wonder what ever happened to their Model-B?

Owen
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mrgare5050
post Mar 24 2008, 09:48 AM
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thanks adam for posting that, I had forgotten where the model Bs used to be. owen, you have parts from it? gare
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Ron Walker
post Mar 24 2008, 10:39 AM
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QUOTE(mrgare5050 @ Mar 24 2008, 04:15 AM) *
Its been a year since we visited the fabulously rare Spitz Model B, yet scrutinizing the pictures ron posted, LOOK at the starballs - they arent ROUND - they are some sort of unique tiered structures unique to any projector Ive ever seen.

I still have dreams of hanging a projector - Charles you would love this - the projector could seem to 'float' in mid air, and you could pass your hand underneath it to prove it was levitating!

The Model B. Rare bird.. g


It is interesting to note the time frame of this projector. It was before the A3P and before the company went public. Going public took control from Spitz but brought in needed capital required for R&D.

That star ball could actually start out life as a flat sheet of material which would make drilling it extremely easy. Once complete, the material between the usable "fins" could be cut out and then the rest brazed together forming the globe. This is pure conjecture on my part but does fit the design.
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pielock373
post Mar 24 2008, 12:22 PM
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The other interesting thing about the model B was it had no gears in its planet cages. It was completely pulley and belt driven. Spitz loved to build in service needed items into their machines, Rubber belts love to break! Longway planetarium in Michigan removed their model-B 4 years ago and shipped the remains to one of the last remaining Model-B's in South America. The Model-B used a Mercury arc lamp and shot it into a parabolic first surface mirror to reduce the size of the arc to improve the star image, a very elaborate arrangement!! Also, originally Armand wanted the star projector to be two-half Dodecahedrons instead of the half sphere design. Some of the early ad's showed it with Dodecahedrons. At that point Armand was falling out of favor with the company, it was growing in size and he was starting to loose the decision making power. The Worth Brothers had dumped their money into the company and they brought a new engineer into the company and Armand and the new guy didn't see eye to eye. The mid-50's was the beginning of the end of Armand's control of the company!

Steve


Steve P
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charles jones
post Mar 24 2008, 02:08 PM
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Also note that the patent (covering the famous Spitz "analogs") for what would become the A3P also showed the star ball as a dodecahedron.
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Ron Walker
post Mar 24 2008, 03:56 PM
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QUOTE(pielock373 @ Mar 24 2008, 11:22 AM) *
The other interesting thing about the model B was it had no gears in its planet cages. It was completely pulley and belt driven. Spitz loved to build in service needed items into their machines, Rubber belts love to break! Longway planetarium in Michigan removed their model-B 4 years ago and shipped the remains to one of the last remaining Model-B's in South America. The Model-B used a Mercury arc lamp and shot it into a parabolic first surface mirror to reduce the size of the arc to improve the star image, a very elaborate arrangement!! Also, originally Armand wanted the star projector to be two-half Dodecahedrons instead of the half sphere design. Some of the early ad's showed it with Dodecahedrons. At that point Armand was falling out of favor with the company, it was growing in size and he was starting to loose the decision making power. The Worth Brothers had dumped their money into the company and they brought a new engineer into the company and Armand and the new guy didn't see eye to eye. The mid-50's was the beginning of the end of Armand's control of the company!

Steve
Steve P


Hi Steve,

Was the new engineer the fellow who designed the A3P and the analogs?
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bjsullivan
post Dec 18 2008, 08:25 PM
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QUOTE(Ron Walker @ Feb 25 2007, 02:47 PM) *
After the smaller "A" series planetariums and before the "A3P" came out, Spitz developed a planetarium for a larger dome that competed with the large Zeiss. It still used pin hole projection for most of the stars which saved both money and weight.

(IMG:http://img524.imageshack.us/img524/4430/spitzmodelbforwebte2.jpg)

This projector was most unique in its mounting as only thin aircraft cable was used allowing the machine to appear to float "weightless" in the planetarium chamber as the lights went down. The cables were attached in an "X" design and connected to the East/West axis of the machine. The four cables that went up could have been a problem as they would get in the way of star projection. Since very few stars would be blocked at any one time this probably went unnoticed by the audience. The only time that I could see them becoming noticeable was when they "cut through" the projection of the Milky Way. This must have been very slight however as I have never read anything that mentioned this as a problem. Only three of these projectors were ever built.

Here is a close up of the cable support attachment.

(IMG:http://img122.imageshack.us/img122/7967/spitzmodelbsupportkh5.jpg)

I found a couple of blog entries last night on www.startribune.com, the Minneapolis St. Paul newspaper, about the Spitz Model C. (I have never seen a picture of a model C - can anyone post one?) Note the interesting reference to The Saint STP. If the Saint is from Model C background and only 3 were ever built, then which one of the three was later morphed into the Saint STP? Up to this point I was under the impression that the Saint STP had star globes from a Model B. Can anyone help solve the mystery? If there were three Model B's, and three Model C's, which one went to NYC and was it a B or a C?

These blogs I pasted here are talking about the old Minneapolis Planetarium, which was demolished in 2002. I wonder what happened to the old projector - I have been researching this but coming up empty-handed like I so often do when looking for these old things. As if it is a secret, shrouded in darkness. I wish I could talk to "RCH" - it sounds like he may have more clues. He must have been closely affiliated with the old Minneapolis Planetarium. And all those old slides.. where DID they go? Hopefully not in the dumpster along with the projector.

Blog Posts:

Planetarium salvage
To mn55066,
The planetarium machine at the old facility was a Spitz Model C projector. Only 3 were ever built, and ours was the last one left operating. It was functionally obsolete and cost a small fortune to maintain. The rest of the equipment (slide projectors, special effect projectors) were also obsolete. The effects they produced can now be done far more cheaply and reliably with digital imagery.

posted by RCH on Oct 21, 08 at 10:06 pm |
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P.S. to Salvage comment
That said, I hope the original machine was salvaged, if only to be sold to a private buyer who could make use of it. I've no idea what happened to it though. One of the 3 Model C's was sold and later ended it's life as the centerpiece of a famous New York '70's gay disco called The Saint. The other lived its life in Rio de Janiero. Minneapolis' was the last to survive as a legit planetarium instrument. By that measure alone it deserved at least a little love (IMG:http://www.observatorycentral.com/style_emoticons/default/smile.gif) The Minneapolis Planetarium also had an enormous slide library. But again, I don't know what happened to that.

posted by RCH on Oct 21, 08 at 10:20 pm |
3 of 3 people liked this comment.
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Ron Walker
post Dec 19 2008, 12:06 AM
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QUOTE(bjsullivan @ Dec 18 2008, 07:25 PM) *
I found a couple of blog entries last night on www.startribune.com, the Minneapolis St. Paul newspaper, about the Spitz Model C. (I have never seen a picture of a model C - can anyone post one?) Note the interesting reference to The Saint STP. If the Saint is from Model C background and only 3 were ever built, then which one of the three was later morphed into the Saint STP? Up to this point I was under the impression that the Saint STP had star globes from a Model B. Can anyone help solve the mystery? If there were three Model B's, and three Model C's, which one went to NYC and was it a B or a C?

These blogs I pasted here are talking about the old Minneapolis Planetarium, which was demolished in 2002. I wonder what happened to the old projector - I have been researching this but coming up empty-handed like I so often do when looking for these old things. As if it is a secret, shrouded in darkness. I wish I could talk to "RCH" - it sounds like he may have more clues. He must have been closely affiliated with the old Minneapolis Planetarium. And all those old slides.. where DID they go? Hopefully not in the dumpster along with the projector.

Blog Posts:

Planetarium salvage
To mn55066,
The planetarium machine at the old facility was a Spitz Model C projector. Only 3 were ever built, and ours was the last one left operating. It was functionally obsolete and cost a small fortune to maintain. The rest of the equipment (slide projectors, special effect projectors) were also obsolete. The effects they produced can now be done far more cheaply and reliably with digital imagery.

posted by RCH on Oct 21, 08 at 10:06 pm |
5 of 5 people liked this comment.
P.S. to Salvage comment
That said, I hope the original machine was salvaged, if only to be sold to a private buyer who could make use of it. I've no idea what happened to it though. One of the 3 Model C's was sold and later ended it's life as the centerpiece of a famous New York '70's gay disco called The Saint. The other lived its life in Rio de Janiero. Minneapolis' was the last to survive as a legit planetarium instrument. By that measure alone it deserved at least a little love (IMG:http://www.observatorycentral.com/style_emoticons/default/smile.gif) The Minneapolis Planetarium also had an enormous slide library. But again, I don't know what happened to that.

posted by RCH on Oct 21, 08 at 10:20 pm |
3 of 3 people liked this comment.


From my understanding only one model "C" was ever built and it was smaller then the "B". What the blogger thinks are "C" models are in actuality "B" machines. The Saint projector star globes are the same size as the model "B".
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Nathan Volle
post Dec 20 2008, 10:42 AM
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Ron--I went to the Air Force Academy planetarium as a fifth grader in 1958 and experienced the awe and wonder of a planetarium for the first time. I attended Lincoln school in Colorado Springs and my teachers name was Mrs. Berg. Several classes went together on a bus. I assume this is the projector that was used-----very amazing. Thanks for keeping a knowledge of it alive! Nathan
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Ron Walker
post Dec 20 2008, 07:13 PM
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QUOTE(Nathan Volle @ Dec 20 2008, 09:42 AM) *
Ron--I went to the Air Force Academy planetarium as a fifth grader in 1958 and experienced the awe and wonder of a planetarium for the first time. I attended Lincoln school in Colorado Springs and my teachers name was Mrs. Berg. Several classes went together on a bus. I assume this is the projector that was used-----very amazing! Thanks for keeping a knowledge of it alive! Nathan


Yes that was a model "B".

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