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Unknown Parie Organ model

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  • indianajo
    replied
    That is a pretty extreme insulation test on the transformer. Transformers that put out 450 VDC (typical B+ rating) are usually built with 600 vac rated wire, so any ringing could subject the insulation to rather extreme voltage. Mostly people on diyaudio recommend on tube power tranformers that any conection to the Mains AC should involve putting at least a 1000 ohm 3 watt resistor across the B+ winding to damp down any ringing and keep the voltage in the rated zone.
    Other than that, concur. The megger test is great, if you can get ahold of one. I had use of one at work, but it was never loaned out.

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  • onefortynine
    replied
    wow, thanks for the advice. when you break it down into steps for me, it doesn't seem that daunting - one step at a time eh
    I am nervous about the transformer part but my brother is an electrician so I might try persuading him to have a look
    I will be taking photos along the way so I will keep you up to date.
    how do I set this thread to notify me of updates?

    edit - I think I figured the notifications part out
    Last edited by onefortynine; 10-09-2013, 02:08 AM.

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  • Lucien Nunes
    replied
    Some assorted suggestions:

    Key contacts - take great care with the black conductive plastic covering on the busbars. Its function is to make contact gradually over the millisecond or two it takes for the wire to press against it. Bare metal would make contact instantly and cause a crackle or pop sound every time you pressed a key. Don't scrape it or attack it with chemicals! Likewise at this stage don't bother with cleaning the contact wires. Brush the dust off for now and check that the key action all works correctly without keys jamming or contacts failing to meet their busbars. Leave serious repairs in this area until you have the organ playing, when you can judge the keying performance by whether any notes are weak, variable or missing some footages that would indicate poor contact. It's sometimes sufficient to rotate the busbars to bring new un-worn plastic in line with the wires.

    Large electrolytic capacitors - change them, ask if you want any guidance on correct substitutes. Use only good quality new replacements, electrolytics are not all alike. Keep the old ones for now until the whole job is done, in case of error or discrepancies later. While you have the old Ducatis on hand, check them for date codes, they may be the easiest way to date your organ.

    Transformer - (CAUTION! - dangerous voltages present - risk of electric shock and fire - proceed only if competent to do so and with suitable safety precautions). There are different ways to test your suspect transformer but this is what I would do if it were on my bench:
    Disconnect all leads marking what goes where and taking photos. Identify the leads that connect to the AC power line - these are for the primary winding. Carry out an insulation test at 500V using an insulation tester (Megger) from the primary to all the other leads and the frame for 10 seconds. (Any electrician will have an insulation tester, perhaps you know someone who would lend you theirs or do the test for you). If acceptable, connect only the primary back up to the mains supply via an RCD (Powerbreaker), but with a 60w tungsten light bulb connected IN SERIES with the primary (must be a filament lamp not low energy!) and all other leads disconnected and separated from each other. The lamp should either not glow at all or very dimly. Leave energised but under supervision for 1 hour. If the lamp lights brightly, there are shorted turns and the transformer is useless. Disconnect and feel transfomer - should only be lukewarm. If all these tests OK, then probably usable and secondaries can be re-connected but still at increased risk of burnout due to earlier incident.

    Generators - do not dismantle. If they turn freely, lubricate very sparingly with good quality machine oil and leave it at that. Lubricate motor likewise, don't use cheap household oil.

    Electronics on PCB - while working on and around PCB, do not disturb the settings of the presets. A couple of them are for biasing the amplifier, if they are maladjusted they can cause multiple transistor failure when power is next applied.

    Drawbars - The sliding contacts probably won't work correctly with the warped board, which in turn will make the organ almost useless. I have had success with clamping a board between flat metal plates and leaving in a warm place for 6 months. You might get quicker results at higher temperatures but if the tracks peel off you are in trouble!

    I hope you have fun with your project. I have had a lot of fun repairing organs although the amount of work required can be surprising, even for a small instrument like the Parie. And please post pictures of your progress

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  • onefortynine
    replied
    thanks for the reply.
    I understand what you are saying - it will never be worth money. Selling it was never my goal, I just think it would be a shame to lose any instrument if there is a possibility of getting it to play.
    So I'm going to do it, but I am going to take my time. I am not in any hurry to hear it make noise so I'm going to start with your advice and check all the manual controls first. the drawbars look wonky because the board above it has warped up into a bow. I'm not sure what can be done there.
    the tone generator assembly actually moves quite freely, I was also amazed to feel elasticity in the belt. But I will definitely take it out and clean it up.

    As far as soldering and multimeter testing goes, I have previous experience with both and should be ok there but I'm generally a disaster when it comes to electricity - I nearly fried myself a couple of years ago wiring up an outside sensor light for the house. So before I tackle anything like that I may need your advice.

    I am not sure how often I will get to it or how fast I will work so I hope you stay patient with me and check back from time to time. I can't seem to find the option to email me when this thread is updated, hopefully you do get updates.

    So thanks for all your advice so far and I will definitely keep you posted with photos when I can.
    Niall.

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  • Lucien Nunes
    replied
    Hmmm.

    You have a lot of work ahead if you want to restore it. Most people would not bother, because the finished organ would still be worth next to nothing, i.e. it falls squarely into the 'labour of love' category. I fear the damp has taken its toll more than anything else, and the parts we can't see are as likely to have been damaged as the parts we can. The Parie is a very simple organ but like every old piece of kit there are certain components that are difficult to replace or substitute if damaged, so you must be prepared to find you run into a roadblock and have to engineer your way round it. If you are lucky you will get an instrument that works reasonably well within its limitations. It was a low-cost home organ that is now of interest primarily for its unusual technology rather than for any specific musical qualities. I like mine, although not very versatile it has a cheerful sound that makes it fun to play. Yours has a more comprehensive set of drawbars, probably another octave on the generators and should have more tonal flexibility and crispness as a result.

    Let's have a look at the obvious problems and concerns:

    The reservoir capacitors on the power supply PCB attached to the transformer have split open. They will be shorted and were probably the cause of the smoking transformer. All the other Ducati (yellow) electrolytics should be changed. The Philips (blue) ones will be deteriorated too although some of the small ones could perhaps be left until later in the overhaul as they are probably at least semi-working. They would not cause carnage in the same way as the large ones when faulty. The transformer might be OK, might work for a while and then fail, or might already have been killed by the shorted caps. For safety's sake, it needs careful testing. Some or all of the following might have been damaged by the damp and dirt: Speakers, key contacts, reverb, generator bearings, key mechanics (e.g. keybed warped). The generator belt might be fine, or it might have set into the position it's been in for so many years without moving. Be prepared that it might not be up to snuff, the organ is no good without it so you would probably need to have something made specially. The drawbars look wonky - perhaps they are OK or maybe something is broken. The keying busbars are covered with a conductive plastic coating which is an essential part of their operation. Hopefully they have survived exposure to the elements without harm but they (and the contact wires) will need careful cleaning in order to work reliably which is a slow and fiddly process. If the conductive coating is damaged you may have to find other makes of organ to cannibalise some from and adapt it to suit. I cannot comment much on the case as it is difficult to see but there appears to be some cosmetic damage from the moisture, quite apart from the warped particleboard shelves. You will have to factor in whatever degree of cosmetic restoration you think worthwhile. There are a few small parts missing e.g. scanner belt.

    If I were restoring it I would tackle it it as follows: Electronics can always be fixed so I would leave those until last. I would first clean and check the manuals and key contacts for insurmountable problems. Maybe not overhaul them yet but at least confirm they are usable. The I would take out the tone generator chassis, clean it, check over the bearings and get it running smoothly using an external source of power and preamp. Then I would do whatever needed doing to the case and finish the manuals and pedals, then reassemble, change the suspect capacitors, and try to get the whole thing working well with its own electronics.

    OTOH if you simply want to hear it make some noise, you will have to start with the electronics. Are you familiar with using a multimeter to carry out voltage and resistance checks? How about soldering parts on PCBs? How do you fancy testing the transformer and recapping the PSU and amp for starters...?

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  • onefortynine
    replied
    Hi Lucien,

    Here is the link to my dropbox folder -https://www.dropbox.com/sh/y26pfxvmluz73zl/PU01SKKDU2

    the images are large so I chose to upload them there instead of adding them directly to the thread (not sure of the size limit).
    I hope they help and if you need more, that's no problem.
    I listened to the audio clips above and it sounds amazing. hopefully mine will sound that good too some day

    - a quick edit to say that you can download the images from there too if you want the full size versions

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  • Lucien Nunes
    replied
    Hey Indy, this is a European organ - no rubber wiring! But what it will probably have is shorted reservoir and smoother caps, hence the burnup. I'm looking foward to Niall's pics to see exactly what's in there. Another thing in its favour is that the generators are well enclosed, it's quite hard for dirt to get in. The HT in these is not very high, just typical B+ voltage. It does not need to be because the generators have a large capacitance modulation and they are fully energised all the time because it uses audio keying. Something like the french Dereux with its very fine waveform traces and polarisation keying has to start out with higher voltage, my model AB runs at 900V which as you rightly point out is not current limited and therefore fairly lethal.

    For anyone who didn't get the audio links to work try these - it's the organ in the Flickr pictures:
    http://www.geejay.eu/parie/parie/par...rmyWeather.MP3
    http://www.geejay.eu/parie/parie/par...hastobeYou.MP3

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  • indianajo
    replied
    Clean all dirt off high voltage parts, particularly the circuit between the secondary winding of the transformer, to the high voltage rectifiers, to the filter caps, then on to the exciters and/or pickups on the electrostatic disks. I should tell you how many hours I spent cleaning high voltage igniter circuits to gas corn chip ovens on Sunday nights when they didn't start up the first time.
    Don't touch high voltage circuits with the AC power on. Measure any metal you touch (for cleaning) at below 25 VDC before touching it. Read the safety thread, electrostatic could be particularly dangerous if the current isn't limited below 20 ma like a spark plug is.
    Probably replace the High Voltage (rubber) wire, historic rubber is dirt. How long do the spark plug wires on a car before coil packs last? three years for rubber, 6 years for sililcon rubber? If squeaky clean cleanliness, and caps or diodes or wires that aren't shorted, doesn't stop the burning smell from the transformer (which should be fused on the primary, IMHO), then your best hope is to get Lucien Nunes to tell you what voltages his working transformer puts out. You can piece together a "new" transformer out of various modern ones at the various voltages the old one used to put out.
    Detail on checking out transformer/rectifier/capacitor power supplies is in a trade school text "Electronic devices, the electron flow version" by Thomas Floyd. Or some similar trade school text from a school near you.
    Last edited by indianajo; 10-03-2013, 06:14 PM.

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  • onefortynine
    replied
    Hi Lucien,
    thanks for all the info. your photos look great. looks like new I welcome any and all help/instruction in restoring the organ. I will be at home on Saturday (the organ is in my Dads garage) and I will take more photos then and we can go from there. I tried that website but the links don't seem to do anything other than open a popup.
    Speak to you soon, and thanks again.

    Oh, I'm in Ireland.

    Niall.

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  • Anurae
    replied
    Sadly zero knowledge about those, but im curious if this thing can be brought back to life and how it sounds.

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  • davidecasteel
    replied
    Originally posted by mashaffer View Post
    Ah, so it would be more akin to a Hammond.

    mike
    That was my assumption from looking at the photo (drawbars). Both would appear to be tone synthesis by addition of harmonic sine waves.

    David

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  • andyg
    replied
    Lucien. I think you know that I know there's nothing wrong with an electrostatic organ as such, but my reply was intended thus:

    Electromagnetic - good, there is some support available and other Pari and Pari.e owners out there.
    Electrostatic - bad. You're on your own.

    I fully expected this to be maybe the only one left, but I'm glad to find out that it isn't.

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  • mashaffer
    replied
    Ah, so it would be more akin to a Hammond.

    mike

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  • Lucien Nunes
    replied
    I've uploaded some pics of mine to Flickr, try this link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/1651472...7636130843975/

    I only just noticed the bit about smoke coming from the transformer - seems my caution about powering up was slightly too late! Because the organ has not been used for a long time, certain capacitors will have failed and if power is applied before replacing them they can destroy the transformer. Proper testing needed to see whether it's salvageable.

    Andy, I fear might end up quoting you out of context with your catchy description, when I have to explain a Melotone or something... 'electrostatic means basically bad'
    Luckily for the OP, not quite as bad as thought, since we have some info and knowledge on the Parie collectively.

    Lucien
    Attached Files

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  • Lucien Nunes
    replied
    Hi Niall

    I have a similar electrostatic Parie in good working order. They are quite scarce now - I had to go to Holland to get mine as I could not find one in the UK. It came from Pieter de Jong who is an expert on the Parie and has both electrostatic and electromagnetic models. He and I are both electronic & audio engineers - I hope we can help you get yours working because it is worth saving for its rarity if nothing else - I would guess the number of survivors is in dozens rather than hundreds. The current Pari.E is made in Italy, because Anton Parie contracted out the manufacture of the electromagnetic organs. The electrostatic organ was made in his own factory, not Italy, which is why they don't have any info on your organ.

    'Electrostatic' and 'electromagnetic' refer to the technology used in the tone generators. The later, electromagnetic Pari.E generator is electrically similar to a Hammond, using steel tonewheels to modulate the magnetic flux in pickup coils. By contrast, the earlier electrostatic generator has rotating aluminium cylinders energised with a high DC voltage. They have flats milled into them which pass by teeth inside aluminium pickup rings - as each flat goes past a tooth the capacitance between rotor and pickup ring varies and this induces an AC voltage on the pickup, which is fed to the key contacts. Unlike a Hammond where everything is low-impedance, an electrostatic organ uses very high impedances and hence different circuit designs, but in concept everything apart from the generators is at least similar, e.g. the scanner vibrato, drawbars, filters, reverb, amp etc.

    I'll post some links to pics of my Parie and Pieter's. I would be interested to see some more pics of the inside of your organ. I'd recommend not powering it up again yet, until we have had a chance to study what is what and take steps to avoid anything getting damaged, as it has not been used for a long time. Small problems can become big ones when power is applied to aged parts without certain preliminary checks.

    You might ask - what will it sound like once repaired? You can hear one on Pieter's website www.parie.nl and see some pics too - it is the organ that I got from him that is featured. I look forward to hearing and seeing more about yours... please could you also confirm where you are located?

    Lucien

    BTW Mike - unlike the Wurli which uses subtractive synthesis by filtering a complex wave from the reeds, the Parie uses additive synthesis via drawbars from the prime tones (which are not true sines) of the 72-note rotary generator. Because the generator outputs contain distinctive harmonic content, the Parie has quite a recognisable sound. It lacks the unlocked-phase advantage of the Wurli.

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