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> Rare Birds - Unusual Planetariums
mrgare5050
post Feb 26 2007, 06:34 PM
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http://www.pa.msu.edu/abrams/History/Spitz_Projector.html

Inspired by Rons Spitz B pictures, why not start a whole topic on weird projectors .. I was just perusing my ol Alma Maters site, Abrahms at MSU, where I havent been since I graduated in 75, and lo and behold, they had back then a rare spitz! Spitz didnt make many dumbbells, but look at this one, each 'bell' was half a dome. g
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Ron Walker
post Feb 27 2007, 08:38 PM
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The projector your talking about was called the Spitz ISTP and was a cross between the model "B" and the "A3P" in that it had two star projectors placed at either end of the classic dumbbell design. The planet "analogs" were based on the planet projectors developed for the A3P. The interesting thing (and in my opinion, the downfall of the design) is that it did not rely on simple mechanical design. Planetarium projectors up to that time had the 23 1/2* earth axis tilt built into them mechanically. This design relied on a computer to drive the 23 1/2* tilt by manipulating the base of the entire projector in conjunction with the other axises. As with all computers their life time is short and their problems are many, thus the probable demise of this design. I note that it was replaced with a Digistar computer video projector which was replaced again in only five years. Here is the best picture I've found of this particular projector which shows its design clearly.

(IMG:http://img408.imageshack.us/img408/4521/spitzistpplanetariumbo6.jpg)
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mrgare5050
post Mar 1 2007, 06:34 AM
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http://www.smccd.net/accounts/csmastronomy...lanetarium.html

rare birds can be newest as well, look here at this hybrid of two leading edge technologies .. also a cool picture of a geodesic dome being lowered into place. the term 'hybrid' is everywhere these days, and can be old as Ron is doing with older units or new as shown here. gare
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Ron Walker
post Mar 1 2007, 12:59 PM
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Now this could go under the forum: "It's nice when other's agree with one's thinking."

As a staunch advocate of not tossing out the "old" star projector with its very sharp stars for a video projector so a trip to a black hole is easy, but with soft "blob" stars, this is music to my ears (let alone opinion and ego).

(Was that a run on sentence?)

Yes, calmer heads are prevailing, and the need for a good star field is catching hold. I can't wait to see the new Griffith planetarium in operation because they have combined the latest Zeiss with the latest laser projected computer.

More and more I love the idea of combining the A3P with the E-5 and then using the dome mirror to run trips to Andromeda via video projection. Might not be state of the art, but then, neither am I.
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mrgare5050
post Mar 18 2007, 06:56 AM
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[quote name='Ron Walker' date='Mar 1 2007, 06:59 PM' post='10844']
Now this could go under the forum: "It's nice when other's agree with one's thinking."
As a staunch advocate of not tossing out the "old" star projector with its very sharp stars for a video projector so a trip to a black hole is easy, but with soft "blob" stars, this is music to my ears (let alone opinion and ego).
(Attached File  spitzSL1.jpg ( 240.64k ) Number of downloads: 6



sky and telescope magazine, august 1966, page 95 - this Spitz haunted my dreams for years, it looks bigger than the more commonplace spitz of today. rons right, the old skys are sharp and crisp and starfields, not movies ... gare
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Ron Walker
post Mar 18 2007, 01:02 PM
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The A3P was and is a great projector. It's biggest problem (in my opinion at least) is that the planet/sun/moon projectors were electrically interlocked and did not use "good old gears". While not computer controlled the electronics still will develop problems sooner just by their very nature.

The unit was about six feet long (the star ball is 18 inches in diameter so you can get a good idea) and could not be used in a dome smaller then 24 feet in diameter. This was because of the offset of the planet projectors and how far they could be adjusted to project properly on the dome above.

With some slight modifacations this projector is still build as a 512 and 1020 with computer control.
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mrgare5050
post Mar 18 2007, 03:11 PM
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Attached File  sssimulator.jpg ( 302.92k ) Number of downloads: 3


good job in id'ing the last one ron, i didnt know ANY of that! now we but flip though to page 97, same issue, and heres something i'll be even steve pielock doesnt have ... think they are still at that address 40 years later ? (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif) gare and his 1966 magazine
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Ron Walker
post Mar 18 2007, 03:41 PM
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Don't you just love the old S&T's. They have a wealth of information on the older projection planetaria. I need to spend some time going through more of them to see what gems I can find.

Gare, try and reduce the size of your pictures to under 600 pixels wide as they take forever to load on my antiquated dial up.
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mrgare5050
post Mar 19 2007, 04:14 AM
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QUOTE(Ron Walker @ Mar 18 2007, 09:41 PM) *
Don't you just love the old S&T's. They have a wealth of information on the older projection planetaria. I need to spend some time going through more of them to see what gems I can find.

Gare, try and reduce the size of your pictures to under 600 pixels wide as they take forever to load on my antiquated dial up.



oops no cable where you live? well i remember dial up, i still have a 200 foot line strung up out to the barn, i had a computer out there that survived zero degree temperatures though it wheezed a bit. 600 pixels it is.

old s&t's are like old planetariums, they hold sublime secrets until you light them up.. g
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mrgare5050
post Mar 19 2007, 05:56 AM
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Attached File  planetariumtunes.jpg ( 139.88k ) Number of downloads: 3


hows this ron, i saved it from the scanner as 'web site picture', the storage seemed alot lower.

this concludes my planetarium related mining of the August 1966 issue of Sky and Telescope - this ad proves there is a heritage of planetarium music releases that we are continuing in our way with the CD's you helped create from the few old lectures I was fortunate enough to find! gare
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Ron Walker
post Mar 19 2007, 10:59 AM
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That's perfect. Pops up right away, no waiting.
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mrgare5050
post Mar 26 2007, 06:34 AM
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ive been wondering about this one, from page 37 of mister aarons japanese book .... early goto would be my guess? dusty


Attached File  mysteryplanet.jpg ( 216.25k ) Number of downloads: 3
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Ron Walker
post Mar 26 2007, 05:29 PM
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I agree with you. I think he either works for or is a consultant for Goto.
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mrgare5050
post Apr 10 2007, 03:46 PM
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http://www.calacademy.org/planetarium/about.php#unique

heres some tasty photos of the historic morrison projector, note the use of punch cards! rare bird indeed gare
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charles jones
post May 29 2007, 11:53 PM
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The Peerless Planetarium

Have you heard of the Peerless Planetarium?


OK, have I stumped you or have some of you seen this:

This was from an article in Sky and Telescope, No. 66 - I guess we can research what year that would have been. It talks about the decision for a planetarium to be built in Puerto Rico in 1945. The article was current leading me to believe this would be 1945 or 46.

The 2 pp article was written by Armond Spitz.

Here is an excerpt:

The Peerless planetarium star projector which is being installed in the 21-foot
concrete dome at Polytechnic Institute. The hemispheres through which star
images are projected are attached to the polar axis, controlled by the lower crank
for daily motion. The upper crank turns the long axis in the plane of the equator
to reproduce apparent latitude changes. Attached to the northern hemisphere are
the sun, moon, and five naked-eye planet projectors. Four lights, two white and
two blue, provide general illumination of the dome. The entire instrument is con-
trolled by hand with switches and rheostats mounted on a panel before which the
lecturer sits.


Id never heard of the Peerless Planetarium until this article. I had always attributed the first use of pinpoint projection to Armond Spitz. But the Spitz projectors (the plastic Model A) were first advertised in 1947 I believe. It appears that Peerless had the jump on Spitz with pinpoint projection.

Does anyone know anymore about this or about the Peerless and how many could ever have been built?

Charles Jones
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Attached File  Peerless_Planetarium.jpg ( 85.7k ) Number of downloads: 0
 
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charles jones
post May 30 2007, 12:26 AM
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Just a slight correction to my post about the Peerless Planetarium.

I said the Spitz Model A was plastic. It of course had a plastic dodecahedron star globe. The rest was cast metal similiar to the A -1's. Remember, the Model A also had no desk and the planet projector were a series of moveable rotating rings.

Charles
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Ken Miller
post May 30 2007, 09:45 AM
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QUOTE(charles jones @ May 29 2007, 11:26 PM) *
Just a slight correction to my post about the Peerless Planetarium.

I said the Spitz Model A was plastic. It of course had a plastic dodecahedron star globe. The rest was cast metal similiar to the A -1's. Remember, the Model A also had no desk and the planet projector were a series of moveable rotating rings.

Charles

I'm pretty sure that the later production on the Spitz Model A used metal instead of plastic pentagonal sheets. My older Spitz projector is apparently a Model A "Deluxe" with lenses for the brighter stars (and sheet metal plates). Previously I had a Model A without the lenses (also with metal plates). Here are photos of the Model A "Deluxe":

Attached File  SpitzA.jpg ( 28.89k ) Number of downloads: 2
Attached File  SpittAA.jpg ( 33.22k ) Number of downloads: 2
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charles jones
post May 30 2007, 11:52 AM
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Hi Ken -

Here's an ad for the first Spitz from Nov 1947. I had an opportunity to see one when I was a teen. I didn't realize Spitz made later made the metal globe with the same design.

In these early designs (Model A or what), there is the metal yoke supporting the star globe at the south and NORTH pole as you have. My guess is, originally being plastic, this was the only way to support it. Changing to metal and with some extra support inside the star globe, Spitz was able to go to metal.

Do you have the planet projector drum for this early design? You know they were removable so you could replace them with the Equatorial grid projector depending on the lecture.

Did you get a chance to see my post on the Peerless Planetarium?

Charles
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charles jones
post May 30 2007, 11:59 AM
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Here's the ad

I hope it works this time.
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Attached File  Spitz_Model___A.jpg ( 67.54k ) Number of downloads: 3
 
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Ron Walker
post May 30 2007, 12:21 PM
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QUOTE(charles jones @ May 29 2007, 10:53 PM) *
The Peerless Planetarium

Have you heard of the Peerless Planetarium?
OK, have I stumped you or have some of you seen this:

This was from an article in Sky and Telescope, No. 66 - I guess we can research what year that would have been. It talks about the decision for a planetarium to be built in Puerto Rico in 1945. The article was current leading me to believe this would be 1945 or 46.

The 2 pp article was written by Armond Spitz.

Here is an excerpt:

The Peerless planetarium star projector which is being installed in the 21-foot
concrete dome at Polytechnic Institute. The hemispheres through which star
images are projected are attached to the polar axis, controlled by the lower crank
for daily motion. The upper crank turns the long axis in the plane of the equator
to reproduce apparent latitude changes. Attached to the northern hemisphere are
the sun, moon, and five naked-eye planet projectors. Four lights, two white and
two blue, provide general illumination of the dome. The entire instrument is con-
trolled by hand with switches and rheostats mounted on a panel before which the
lecturer sits.
Id never heard of the Peerless Planetarium until this article. I had always attributed the first use of pinpoint projection to Armond Spitz. But the Spitz projectors (the plastic Model A) were first advertised in 1947 I believe. It appears that Peerless had the jump on Spitz with pinpoint projection.

Does anyone know anymore about this or about the Peerless and how many could ever have been built?

Charles Jones


Hi Charles,

I think I might have heard mention of the Peerless from somewhere or another but had never seen a picture or any kind of description of it before. This is really new to me.

Can you tell be looking at the original picture what the upper full globe projects? It is interesting that the North and South star projectors look very much like the Goto EX-3 that is manufactured today. I'm guessing that the Peerless was manufactured in the USA?

I would love to read the entire article.
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