Tour of the cylinder transfer process

Tone arm - long view   [Large version]   (Alternate image   [Large version])

Tonearm plus counterweight are 4.5 feet long. Tonearm is composed of a 3' long section made of semi-rigid carbon tubing, and a 1.5' counterweight portion made of semi-flexible nylon tubing. Counterweight arm absorbs motion induced by imperfect, out-of-round, cylinders. Tonearm output interfaces directly with host computer analog-to-digital converter hardware.

Glenn Sage operating a cylinder transfer   [Large version]   (Alternate image   [Large version])

Detached motor (right), via belt and pulley, drives (antique) phonograph.

Cylinder transfer - front view   [Large version]

Long tonearm traverses cylinders in a near-linear arc. An optical tachometer (visible at the extreme right) provides speed calibration.

Cylinder transfer - side view close-up   [Large version]

A wide variety of stylii are easily mounted in the old-style clip-in cartridge mount. Typical tracking weights are 1-2 grams for brown wax, 2-4 grams for black wax. If cylinder is badly out-of-round, it can be transferred with light tracking by lowering the transfer RPM.

Cylinder transfer software   [Large version]

Software used includes CoolEdit (to capture the transfers), RunMotor (to drive the motor), and Nutshell database.

Motor drive system - enclosure

8" x 6" x 3" motor drive system. Hardware and RunMotor software custom designed and built at by Glenn Sage.

Motor drive system - opened   [Large version]

The motor drive system is controlled by an imbedded microprocessor driving a high-precision microstepping motor. The system also supports an optical tachometer speed calibration system.

RunMotor software - main screen

RunMotor main screen uses a straightforward interface for motor control and RPM settings (accurate to 0.05 RPM or better). The program communicates via a low-bandwidth serial interface between host computer & motor drive system, and uses little host computer time; the motor drive system's imbedded microprocessor does all the heavy computing.

RunMotor software - configuration screen

RunMotor configuration screen. The system drives a microstepping motor with resolution up to 51200 micro-steps per revolution (1.8-degree step motor, 200 steps per revolution, with 256 micro-stepping resolution per step), delivering smooth motion in speeds from less than 1 to over 300 RPM. Includes support for automatic speed calibration via non-invasive precision optical tachometer.
See also the Note to Collectors of Early Sound Recordings

Home Early recorded sounds & wax cylinders Cylinder music shop An Edison commemorative
2nd page Note to early recordings collectors Cylinder of the month Links to related topics
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