Author Topic: Harrison 4032 restoration?!  (Read 18597 times)

porkyc

  • Member
  • Posts: 39
  • London
Re: Harrison 4032 restoration?!
« Reply #40 on: April 11, 2009, 04:20:57 PM »
Side-car console.
That is the ABBA one, seemingly complete with some extra wires and components. (See references to Leif Mases). It also has the EGC101 VCA daughter board as opposed to the original dBx202. That is a Harrison board, not home-brewed.

Transformers
Neither MCI or Harrison used (ie, would pay for!!) Jensen line in/out transformers, just too expensive. No idea who made the ones used.

Transformers/transformerless. What sounds best?
I would not change that Harrison buss driver stage. It is a good circuit that measures the secondary of the transformer and has this as part of the overall feedback loop.
There was a movement in the late 70's to "ditch the iron" and suddenly transformers were out of fashion. But the transformerless circuits were not necessarily as good as the ones they were replacing.
If you have a mixture of TX/noTX modules, surely they are in sensible blocks of 1-24 or something. The picture you sent of the master with them on would be quad, stereo, mono outs.

About a year ago, I was contacted (along with a load of other people) about a whole load of 32B/C modules from VRT in Belgium. Sadly, the chassis had gone leaving only the modules, which had been heavily hacked about for Broadcast use. I've no idea what happened to these subsequently.

Personally, the thing that has to go in your case is the black 202 VCA, too much distortion.
PC



nrgrecording

  • Member
  • Posts: 565
  • Ger manley (germany) ;-)
    • http://www.energyrecording.de/
Re: Harrison 4032 restoration?!
« Reply #41 on: April 13, 2009, 10:00:53 AM »
Quote
About a year ago, I was contacted (along with a load of other people) about a whole load of 32B/C modules from VRT in Belgium. Sadly, the chassis had gone leaving only the modules, which had been heavily hacked about for Broadcast use. I've no idea what happened to these subsequently.

I think I know someone who has just a few channels... and don't need the frame anymore. But I don't know if or who I could ask at vrt... the modules are probably gone in the meantime.  :-[

Quote
Personally, the thing that has to go in your case is the black 202 VCA, too much distortion.

Maybe it works with Gyrafs Emulation circuit...?
http://www.nrgrecording.de/temporary/4032_vca_replacement.pdf

Just did a drawing for a better overview...
http://www.nrgrecording.de/temporary/4032_overview.pdf

Frank.

« Last Edit: April 13, 2009, 10:05:14 AM by nrgrecording »
Frank Röllen. www.energyrecording.de [FORUM · DIY WEBSITE · STUDIO]°°°° www.frontpanels.de [Engraved Frontpanels]°°°°

nrgrecording

  • Member
  • Posts: 565
  • Ger manley (germany) ;-)
    • http://www.energyrecording.de/
Re: Harrison 4032 restoration?!
« Reply #42 on: April 14, 2009, 01:21:21 PM »
Iam trying to get the first multicore wired to the desk... Thats the first desk I bought which does not have XLRs at the backside.  :)
A sort of splice blocks instead of edac connectors. While iam working for a telecommunication company i accidently had something in my toolbag which seems to work. It pushes the wire into the splice contact and cuts the wire off. Just like the "Krone LSA plus" blocks iam using at work.

Anyone had problems with these blocks? The spring contact may have loose some resilence!?

The right tools seems to work...



Frank Röllen. www.energyrecording.de [FORUM · DIY WEBSITE · STUDIO]°°°° www.frontpanels.de [Engraved Frontpanels]°°°°

porkyc

  • Member
  • Posts: 39
  • London
Re: Harrison 4032 restoration?!
« Reply #43 on: April 16, 2009, 09:17:08 AM »
The punch blocks on the back are USA telephone blocks. The tools you are showing are Krone style punch down tools. They are not the same.
Yes, the jaws of the connectors do lose their "grip". The other point is that these punch blocks are not good with modern soft cable, they are expecting a stiffer stranded US style cable, almost single core.
Usual thing, somewhere I've got some of the punch tools that actually fit.
PC

nrgrecording

  • Member
  • Posts: 565
  • Ger manley (germany) ;-)
    • http://www.energyrecording.de/
Re: Harrison 4032 restoration?!
« Reply #44 on: April 19, 2009, 08:13:52 PM »
Yes, the jaws of the connectors do lose their "grip". The other point is that these punch blocks are not good with modern soft cable, they are expecting a stiffer stranded US style cable, almost single core.

Ok. I soldered the mic inputs directly to the pins. The old cables had been punched to the blocks but it looks like someone used a knife to press the two parts of one pin together. There was tin-solder on every of these pins. Looks like this is a kind of "message".  ;)

Somehow I feel that I have to remove these punch blocks later... because the grey wires at the patchbay are really short! So if I can't pull the patchbay out of the console I think I have to unscrew the blocks?! (just if there are any problems at the patchbay)

Frank Röllen. www.energyrecording.de [FORUM · DIY WEBSITE · STUDIO]°°°° www.frontpanels.de [Engraved Frontpanels]°°°°

porkyc

  • Member
  • Posts: 39
  • London
Re: Harrison 4032 restoration?!
« Reply #45 on: April 21, 2009, 07:19:39 PM »
There should be enough of an "S" on the back of each patch bay pair unit to allow you to work on the rows themselves. There always was on MCIs anyway. To work on one set of patch bay rows did, however, require you to remove 2-3 of them around the one you wanted to actually work on. Yes, you do end up by soldering onto the punch blocks.
All grounds down on the console please, sort any ground looping out at the other end! Use the console as central audio common.
The beauty of the punch blocks is that they are shallow. Any other style of connector will take up more depth in the back.
PC

tchgtr

  • Member
  • Posts: 433
  • Los Angeles
  • Not Insane
Re: Harrison 4032 restoration?!
« Reply #46 on: April 21, 2009, 08:22:23 PM »
Hey,
    You were asking about more stories of artists who used these consoles.
From an article in MIX magazine about Frank Zappa's UMRK (Utility Muffin Research Kitchen):

"In addition to the recording rooms, the facility included a couple of acoustic echo chambers, one of them set up for eight sends and eight returns, along with a shop area and a tape-storage vault. The console, a Harrison 4832, fed two 24-track Ampex MM1200s and a 16-track 3M M79, plus 2-track and 4-track Ampex ATR-102s with interchangeable 1/4-inch and 1/2-inch head stacks."

It's not the same model as yours, but thought you might be interested.
A very good article about FZ and his recording gear/techniques.
http://mixonline.com/recording/business/audio_mothers_sound/

I've been following your restoration and wish you much success..
Jim
Resistance is not futile. It is voltage divided by current.  (thanks, Bill)

analogtodd

  • Member
  • Posts: 14
Re: Harrison 4032 restoration?!
« Reply #47 on: April 21, 2009, 11:31:02 PM »
Cool to see a Harrison getting the refurb treatment!  I got tired of the punchblocks on my MCI, the MCI JH528 I'm working on right now has been gutted, it felt great to dump the punchblocks.  I think when they were new, they were probably great, but 30yrs on, and who knows how many bad punches with incorrect wire gauge, they aren't so hot.

porkyc

  • Member
  • Posts: 39
  • London
Re: Harrison 4032 restoration?!
« Reply #48 on: April 22, 2009, 06:17:26 PM »
It's all very well saying you dumped the punchblocks, but what was your alternative?!
Some people have put EDAC/Varelco connectors on the back panel so you bring your multicores just up to the outside back of the console, but that looks awful. There's a JH542C for sale in UK like this. What a mess.
You could put these EDAC connectors (wired to AMEK standard please) on the bottom of the console under the patch bay which would at least allow you to box the cabling in.
I don't like DL connectors (as used on SSLs) because they are a lot more expensive than EDAC/Varelco and who cares about zero insertion: how many times are you plugging/unplugging this stuff.
PC

SIXTYNINER

  • Member
  • Posts: 405
  • EU/USA
Re: Harrison 4032 restoration?!
« Reply #49 on: April 23, 2009, 04:33:17 AM »
..............i remember the harrison desk in the studio where i worked ,
was "customized" with a db25 panel (gold plated pins)
and mogami cables.
(db25 with gold plated pins are very much less expensive then elco eccc...)
6T9R
"1 Picture can say what billions of words cannot"
"SMD Kill the DIY STAR"
"Why a fo


porkyc

  • Member
  • Posts: 39
  • London
Re: Harrison 4032 restoration?!
« Reply #50 on: April 23, 2009, 04:38:56 PM »
The later/current Harrisons use 25D connectors for everything in blocks of 8 signals. There is a standard pinout for this, (Tascam) which needless to say Harrison did not use! The Harrison pinout is designed around the use of a 3M screened ribbon cable that has pin 1 as ground/shield, and the Tascam pinout does not use pin 1.
The advantage of 90-way edac connectors is the fact that you work in 24-pair cable, which was what we all tended to use at the time. The discussion at the moment is to overcome the failings and limitations of a 30-odd year old connector without re-harnessing the whole console. The Edac/Varelco pins were a 1/10th of the price of the DL pins/connectors that SSL used, and you could de-pin them without wanting to kill the next person who came in the room!
I did an MCI where the owner wanted Mogami in the console; could we tell the difference? Who knows.
Deciding to scrap the punchblocks requires a bit of thought so that the alternative isn't a total pain and also doesn't look like a dog's dinner. But the current problem with these punch blocks is actually resolved by soldering the outside world cable on, which you have to do now anyway, because the oxygen free stuff is too soft for the blocks, and if the blocks were new, they'd cut through the OF cable instead of gripping it.

analogtodd

  • Member
  • Posts: 14
Re: Harrison 4032 restoration?!
« Reply #51 on: April 24, 2009, 11:18:32 AM »
On my MCI, I'm fabricating a couple rack panels on the back to do a mixture of 90pin Elco and some XLR.  I'd thought about dropping some cabling right out the bottom right underneath the patchbay, so its good you mentioned that!  If I go ahead and extend the bay with a couple more patchbays, I'll probably do that, the desk was built for it! 

Fun stuff... 

SIXTYNINER

  • Member
  • Posts: 405
  • EU/USA
Re: Harrison 4032 restoration?!
« Reply #52 on: April 24, 2009, 11:26:16 AM »
the sound go crazy for 24k gold conductors
6T9R
"1 Picture can say what billions of words cannot"
"SMD Kill the DIY STAR"
"Why a fo

nrgrecording

  • Member
  • Posts: 565
  • Ger manley (germany) ;-)
    • http://www.energyrecording.de/
Re: Harrison 4032 restoration?!
« Reply #53 on: May 16, 2009, 04:29:11 PM »
@tchgtr:
Thanks for the info! It seems like everyone used harrisons... from A to the Z... like... Abba to Zappa  ;D

There is some little progress...

I bought some contact cleaner D5 and G5 from CAIG for 150€... and a brush for 50€  :o :D


In the meantime.. the second bus connector pcb is 'in the service':
One connector in the mastersection had a broken pin so I had to remove all connectors. It was quiet easy... 90 screws. But it needs to be done with two people... the "screwer" and the "nut-holder" at the other side.  ;) I only had a metric nut screwdriver... with some tape it even worked for the inch screws.


I found the 'starpoint'. It doesn't look like this is the original starpoint. Some 2,5mm² wire is soldered to the ground-bus-pcbs with the 45 connectors for the channels. Thats located at the 1-32 bus tracks. Someone used 10 wires here.. 2 thick wires were cut.. that was probably the studio ground wire.
The grounds from the psu aren't connected together at the output or on the pcb of the psu. But there is a terminal block at the backside of the console and the grounds were conected with single wires to the starground point.
I think it was a good idea to remove the busbar because these white coloured wires didn't had a good contact!


The wiring from the channels to the led-meters don't seem to be original. Someone used yellow wires for this. But the wiring was broken. The wires are at the top of the console and when throwing the console to the backside exactly these wires have contact to the floor. I used 40 pin ribbon cable (40 channels) and used the free space under the meterbridge to fix the ribbon cable... Its ribbon cable... but its only for the metering...  ;)


It looks like this now:


I build a kind of 'sidecar' out of wood waste for some channels. Thats better for testing/servicing. (I don't like it if the channels lay on each other)


Frank.

Frank Röllen. www.energyrecording.de [FORUM · DIY WEBSITE · STUDIO]°°°° www.frontpanels.de [Engraved Frontpanels]°°°°

tchgtr

  • Member
  • Posts: 433
  • Los Angeles
  • Not Insane
Re: Harrison 4032 restoration?!
« Reply #54 on: May 16, 2009, 06:45:59 PM »
Very nice! Much encouragement to you from this casual observer.
I like the "sidecar", and the info about the grounding scheme.
Enjoy!
Resistance is not futile. It is voltage divided by current.  (thanks, Bill)

solderspongebob

  • Member
  • Posts: 118
  • High Wycombe, UK
Re: Harrison 4032 restoration?!
« Reply #55 on: May 31, 2009, 04:43:45 AM »
Here in the UK, I remember Teesbeat Studio in Stockton-on-Tees (North East of England) had a Harrison console. According to what the owner (Damien "Dimmer" Blackwell) told us a lot of channels were either not working or had major faults, so it was in a sorry state! I'm sure there was mention of it previously belonging to someone mildly famous, or at least haven been in a studio someone famous used. No idea what happended to it when the studio closed (early 90's I think).
Current ratio of finger burns to solder joints: 1:10

nrgrecording

  • Member
  • Posts: 565
  • Ger manley (germany) ;-)
    • http://www.energyrecording.de/
Re: Harrison 4032 restoration?!
« Reply #56 on: May 31, 2009, 04:10:55 PM »
a lot of channels were either not working or had major faults, so it was in a sorry state!

Had the desk been in regular service? Or did it have faults even if it was in regular service?
Iam kind of scary now.  :P

I think you can have the same trouble with an ssl, api or neve. Probably the studios who can afford these desks can also pay for a service techician. Very old harrison consoles are quiet cheap these days, maybe the studio owner bought it for not that much money. If it is a 32 series then its maybe 30 years old - and its one of the first desks. Iam pretty sure If I would try to build a desk I would fed up with all that pretty soon.  ;) For me the harrison was a bargain (if I get it running)  ;)

My first desk was a D&R 8000 console. A salesman of behringer bought this 32 channel console for some bucks. He thought... hey 32 channels? the eurodesk has 48 channels so it can't be that big and I can give the broken channels to the behringer techs for repair!  :)
Some time later the guys with the D&R arrived with the desk in a big truck. It was a biig desk, at least bigger than the eurodesk.  ::) You need at least 4 people to move it. (without channels). [much easier to move than the 4032 by the way]  ;) I know one of the technicians at behringer. (thats why I got the behringer meters and some people are building their ssl with behringer meters)  ;) The behringer technician told me about the D&R and that the guy wanted to sell the console. I visited him. The console seemed to be in a bad shape, as what I could see. Leather armrest was tattered, just like the meterbridge of the console. The console even did not power up and the channels weren't built in. I didn't liked to pay much... an I went home. But he abrogated his hiring contract of his flat. He called me one day and said... you can have the D&R if you collect it today! I bought the console.
It was my first big console. A fuseholder was missing, I replaced it and the psu worked fine. (I replaced the cunductive paste,too) Some channels had a problem with the mic preamp, no signal. I think it took 4 hours until I found the broken 10 ohm (fuse) resistors connected in series to the analog devices SSM2015 mic preamp IC. The console worked! (I had not much experiences with audio electronics at that time... i think I just tried to build my first 1176... years ago)
The alps K-Fader (channelfader) had problems, I used Cailube DeOxit and ProGold to clean them (carbon tracks). They work fine until today! I had to replace some potentiometers. I didn't knew the ordering code for the pots so the nice guy from radiohm said I should send him these pots. I received 10 potentiometers of every value for free. Hmm... thanks!  ;D
One day the mastersection wasn't working. I pointed out that it was one 5532. I replaced it and it burned. The problem was that somone in the factory installed the IC socket the wrong way... I removed the IC and replaced it to the right direction of the IC socket... of course that was wrong.  :P One IC later everything worked fine.


I'm sure there was mention of it previously belonging to someone mildly famous, or at least haven been in a studio someone famous used. No idea what happended to it when the studio closed (early 90's I think).

As far as I know my desk was some years in the US. I don't know the price of the harrison 32series but it was probably not that cheap so the first owner probably recorded some famous bands with it.

Today I worked on the grounding and the wiring of the harrison. The wiring from the patchbay to the connections at the backside of the console is totally different to the documentation I got. Thats probably because I have an earlier console but a later documentation. I'll have to find out which of the master channels has be plugged in which connector. (i got 5 masterchannels, 2xquadmix, 2xgroup, 1x comm)
Someone cutted the first 10 wires of the patchbay to connect it directly to the external equpment! I fixed that today. The 3 big bus connector pcbs are back in the console, too. I also soldered some connectors to the bus pcbs for later modifications. (there were some free pins for the automation)

Frank.
Frank Röllen. www.energyrecording.de [FORUM · DIY WEBSITE · STUDIO]°°°° www.frontpanels.de [Engraved Frontpanels]°°°°

solderspongebob

  • Member
  • Posts: 118
  • High Wycombe, UK
Re: Harrison 4032 restoration?!
« Reply #57 on: June 01, 2009, 05:58:57 AM »
Frank, your restoration sounds like a wonderful project. I did a similar thing (albeit on a smaller scale) with a Tascam M3500 desk some years ago and got immense satisfaction out of it.

You mention about people buying big bucks equipment for cheap - I think this is a trap that non-techy studio owners fall into. I remember a local studio near to where I lived got a lottery grant for £10k in the 90's and splashed out on a 24t 2" tape machine (amongst other things). However, they had no idea what the running costs were going to be and found out the hard way.

They called me up one day and asked if I could have a look at it because the idler/pinchwheel seemed to be running tape through too fast (actually, the take-up spool was running too slow). I spoke on the phone to the tech from the company they bought the machine from and he asked me to check the tape tension with a tenselometer - when I asked what one was he kind of made a noise and asked what test and alignment tools we had. I think my reply was a long the lines of "screwdrivers, pliers, etc..."  :D He said we'd have to call an engineer out.

Then there was the phone call to ask me if I knew where they could buy reels of 2" tape cheap  :o

But for those in the know, what a marvelous way to own and restore a piece of musical history.  ;)
Current ratio of finger burns to solder joints: 1:10

SIXTYNINER

  • Member
  • Posts: 405
  • EU/USA
Re: Harrison 4032 restoration?!
« Reply #58 on: June 01, 2009, 06:29:46 AM »
hi frank
if your "Harry" have penny & giles faders
don't use contact spray cleaner for clean it
 ;)
cheers

6T9R
"1 Picture can say what billions of words cannot"
"SMD Kill the DIY STAR"
"Why a fo

nrgrecording

  • Member
  • Posts: 565
  • Ger manley (germany) ;-)
    • http://www.energyrecording.de/
Re: Harrison 4032 restoration?!
« Reply #59 on: June 01, 2009, 10:38:46 AM »
if your "Harry" have penny & giles faders
don't use contact spray cleaner for clean it

It HAS Penny&Giles. Thanks for the info... I read that the conductive plastic types should be cleaned just with water, and if that doesn't help some dish liquid or so. For the metal bars i used some silicon oil. The faders move much quieter now! (the mechanical part)

There is just some tobacco, pubic hairs, dust - but no bread crumbs this time.  ;D
The pre owner used the desk as a computer desk before. I don't know if he ever recorded something with this desk when it was in his house.

Frank Röllen. www.energyrecording.de [FORUM · DIY WEBSITE · STUDIO]°°°° www.frontpanels.de [Engraved Frontpanels]°°°°


 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
8 Replies
1711 Views
Last post April 08, 2005, 06:23:02 AM
by TriggerX
4 Replies
1001 Views
Last post November 27, 2007, 05:10:47 PM
by pucho812
8 Replies
934 Views
Last post June 10, 2008, 02:10:39 AM
by pucho812
16 Replies
2882 Views
Last post July 24, 2010, 03:44:24 PM
by moamps
25 Replies
3276 Views
Last post October 29, 2012, 05:39:47 AM
by r2d2