Musicland Helios Restoration Thread
« on: April 21, 2020, 01:53:22 PM »
It was suggested that I start a thread about the Musicland Helios Console which I am restoring. I have had this console for 7 years and I have used it since then. Over these years I have collected parts and learned a lot about what was used on these consoles, and some of the variations that occurred over time. I certainly don't claim to know everything about these, but anytime I stumble across new information or meet someone who has worked on these, I take notes.

As I go through the process of taking this apart and putting it back together I will share some photos or other information. And I will be completely honest, even though I have enough parts to get this project rolling, there is still much more that I am in search for. I have said this before, and I will say it again, this is a project of love. I absolutely love the sound of the records that were recorded on these, and I love the old-school process of recording, twisting knobs and capturing a moment in time. But always remember, no matter what equipment you have, if you can capture music - capture it. Performance trumps equipment, always.

To start off this thread, I will share a photo that I downloaded almost exactly a  year before buying the Musicland Console. I saved this photo because I thought the console looked so cool and I someday wanted to have one just like it. It wasn't until after buying the console and receiving it that I went through my notes and many of the photos and diagrams I had previously saved. To my very surprise I stumbled across this photo for the second time and at that moment I remembered the reason why I saved it. The same writing on the bottom of the console, is the same writing of the console I bought a year later...

I don't care how many tapes I must bake, Analog is still the best!

My YouTube Channel (Analog Noise :: Studio Gear, Music, and Life)
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCu4ZqdUdgNd6IOnymsdULlQ


Re: Musicland Helios Restoration Thread
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2020, 04:10:18 PM »
Great! Thanks

Whoops

Re: Musicland Helios Restoration Thread
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2020, 05:12:22 PM »
Great photo!

I guess sometimes things start that way, just an idea from a picture.

Thanks for this thread looking forward to check Out your restoration.

All the best

Re: Musicland Helios Restoration Thread
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2020, 01:02:14 PM »
Great photo!

I guess sometimes things start that way, just an idea from a picture.

Thanks for this thread looking forward to check Out your restoration.

All the best

Thanks you!
I don't care how many tapes I must bake, Analog is still the best!

My YouTube Channel (Analog Noise :: Studio Gear, Music, and Life)
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCu4ZqdUdgNd6IOnymsdULlQ

Re: Musicland Helios Restoration Thread
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2020, 01:21:23 PM »
Sometimes the simplest things can give us the hardest of troubles. The top row of the Helios uses 15 pin Painton connectors for the majority of the passive equalizer modules. There are a few exceptions. These are the same connectors used in Painton Faders.

Some day I will post more photos of the console from over the years. Currently the top row has most of those Painton connectors removed, and that is how it came when I bought it.

I decided the first step for this new chapter in the restoration was to put in the replacement paints I bought a while back.

Yesterday I tried to loosen the nut on the rack panels that had these replacements on them, and then SNAP! The mounting nut and screw broke out to the connector.

 :-[ ...Guess I got to glue that one...  :-[

I then added WD40 to all of the nuts and let it sit for a day.

Today I placed a NOS male into the female connector to try to brace the lug in place, while ever so gently trying to loosen another nut, and yet again...SNAP!  :'(

The photo attached shows the snapped connector from yesterday on the left, and the one I tried to loosen today on the right. I have tape holding the broken bits in place. It appears the plastic is so thin on the edges that it cannot take any torque whatsoever. Granted these are old and the plastic may also be brittle, this thinness still doesn't help. I may give it one more try with attempting to clamp the connector on it's sides with a woodworking clamp and seeing if it the pressure will prevent it from breaking.

If anyone has any suggestions on how to save these or have had to deal with instances like that please feel free to share your experiences.
I don't care how many tapes I must bake, Analog is still the best!

My YouTube Channel (Analog Noise :: Studio Gear, Music, and Life)
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCu4ZqdUdgNd6IOnymsdULlQ

Whoops

Re: Musicland Helios Restoration Thread
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2020, 05:56:50 PM »
Sorry for that,
maybe you can 3D print a small part to fit on both ends and glue that to the original connector

Whoops

Re: Musicland Helios Restoration Thread
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2020, 11:31:58 PM »
found this nice  picture of Musicland


Re: Musicland Helios Restoration Thread
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2020, 02:51:50 PM »
found this nice  picture of Musicland



That is a beautiful picture. Crispin of Helios in the UK sent me another photo during the shut down too. I will have to ask him if I can share it.
I don't care how many tapes I must bake, Analog is still the best!

My YouTube Channel (Analog Noise :: Studio Gear, Music, and Life)
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCu4ZqdUdgNd6IOnymsdULlQ

Re: Musicland Helios Restoration Thread
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2020, 03:06:07 PM »
Today I retried getting the nuts off of the Painton connectors by soaking one of the broken pieces in sunflower oil.

IT WORKED!

Now I am going to hope that it works on the rest of the connectors. I definitely lost traction on the project after hitting this snag. It took a lot of thinking and writing down my goals to reorganize and get back on to the horse again.

I posted a pic on Instagram of them sitting as we speak: photo of helios console painton connectors sitting in sunflower oil.
I don't care how many tapes I must bake, Analog is still the best!

My YouTube Channel (Analog Noise :: Studio Gear, Music, and Life)
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCu4ZqdUdgNd6IOnymsdULlQ

Whoops

Re: Musicland Helios Restoration Thread
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2020, 12:56:04 AM »
Today I retried getting the nuts off of the Painton connectors by soaking one of the broken pieces in sunflower oil.

IT WORKED!

Thanks great.
Moving forward


Re: Musicland Helios Restoration Thread
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2020, 02:21:53 AM »
That what I call gear envy, a Helios from Musicland, you sir are a lucky gentleman indeed

boji

Re: Musicland Helios Restoration Thread
« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2020, 03:08:22 AM »
Wow!  You're the new steward of a legendary console. How cool is that!   

Quote
ever so gently trying to loosen another nut

I was going to suggest using a slightly stronger version of WD40, called 'Penetrant Spray', and more importantly, shocking the screws/nuts with a crescent wrench during the wicking process.  Might be due to luck, but I've found after tapping fairly hard on the tops of seized bolt/nuts, it tends to allow the penetrant to seep in and get the satisfying crack off a welded thread.  It shouldn't take all night for the seep, btw; the shocking speeds this up.  However, I'm afraid from your picture I can't really see what it looks like before the plastic breaks, so it's hard to determine what else would work.

Good luck on your adventure!  It's got to be an amazing joy to have a piece of history under your care.

And btw,  yes please, more picts!~~ as many as you're comfortable sharing!
« Last Edit: July 27, 2020, 03:20:04 AM by boji »

rp

Re: Musicland Helios Restoration Thread
« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2020, 11:48:36 AM »
I just noticed the patchbay-in-a-drawer in that picture of Musicland. Pretty cool.

Best of luck with the ongoing restoration!


 

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