Author Topic: Doc Viljoen  (Read 5390 times)

Offline skollie

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Doc Viljoen
« on: March 28, 2015, 10:33:50 PM »
Is there a complete written history of Doc Viljoen the man, his relationship with the SABC, how he came about designing the Doc Viljoen turntable for the SABC and finally, the concept/design parameters of the turntable, how many were made, how many have been rescued?

A lot of questions I know, but I feel the story of this man and his turntable deserves to be told.  Perhaps not as comprehensively as the Thorens book but along similar content.

Steerpike? Ampdog?

skollie   
If you don't like my principles, I have others - Groucho Marx

Offline Steve Strange

Re: Doc Viljoen
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2015, 10:43:52 PM »
Port Elizabeth

Offline skollie

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Re: Doc Viljoen
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2015, 11:11:57 PM »
Thank you Steve Strange :)

Regds

skollie
If you don't like my principles, I have others - Groucho Marx

Offline Steerpike

Re: Doc Viljoen
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2015, 11:45:26 PM »
I don't know how many Dok Viljoens were made. It did appear in 3 versions, mine being the last (mark 3).

The fake "Studer Revox TT1010" pre-amps that were paired with National Panasonic's "Technics SP10", to replace the Dok Viljoens, of those 1000 were made.

1000 might seem like a lot, but in a time where almost every advert or jingle was on 'record', it meant that every studio needed 4 to 6 turntables in order to line up a sequence of adverts for the show and the intro music, etc.

With "The English Service of Radio South Africa", The Afrikaans Service, Springbok, Radio Port Natal, Radio Algoa, Radio Good Hope, and the few indigenous language stations, plus a finger in South West Africa, that was quite a number of studios. The national stations had studios in each of the big cities too. Plus a few outside broadcast setups like at Milner Park.

The CSIR had a hand in bringing it to reality, and it was going to be sold to the Australian national broadcaster, but that fell through.

Many imported radio shows were on "record" too - those would be 16-inch diameter discs - the Dok Viljoens being one of a limited number of turntables around the world that can play a 16-inch record.

Somewhere I have the patents granted to the doctor on his turntable drive system. I'll dig them out and put them on my web site.

The Dok Viljoen I have came from the recording studio that used to be on the top two floors of a building in President Street (no 123 I think?) I can't remember which studio. When they moved out the place was gutted and the Dok Viljoen was left behind (only in parts) and two Ampex 360s. Late Dok Viljoens used Papst motors but they were originally designed to use Bogen motors as used on the Ampex tape recorders. Mine now has a Grundig tape recorder motor made by Papst.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2015, 12:05:39 AM by Steerpike »

Offline skollie

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Re: Doc Viljoen
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2015, 12:51:40 AM »
Thanks for the kind reply, Steerpike. All of this makes fascinating reading.

Regds

skollie

PS There was a bakkie smash along my street yesterday and I salvaged some amber acrylic bits. They are of course of irregular shape so I will have to first 'dress' the thickest piece before I can fit it into my lathe's headstock chuck and make you the widget for the SCA35. I will send a PM when done - maybe tomorrow.
If you don't like my principles, I have others - Groucho Marx

Offline Steerpike

Re: Doc Viljoen
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2015, 02:02:20 AM »
PS There was a bakkie smash along my street yesterday and I salvaged some amber acrylic bits. They are of course of irregular shape so I will have to first 'dress' the thickest piece before I can fit it into my lathe's headstock chuck and make you the widget for the SCA35.

Thanks so much!

Offline skollie

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Re: Doc Viljoen
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2015, 11:20:38 AM »
Hi Steerpike

I have just measured the acrylic fragments I picked up and the thickest part is 4.74mm.

The SCA35's lens dome is 6.3mm dia and the section behind the lens is 4.70 dia so I will probably have to 'laminate' 3 or 4 fragments with Tensol acrylic glue and then shape this to fit the chuck before turning. If Plan A doesn't work, I will have to sacrifice a piece of screwdriver handle which is identical in colour.

I'll post here when done.

Regds

skollie
If you don't like my principles, I have others - Groucho Marx

Offline alternativeroute

Re: Doc Viljoen
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2015, 12:08:46 PM »
Doc Viljoen gets a mention on page 11 of this BBC DRD5 guide: http://www.vinylengine.com/library/bbc/drd5.shtml




The past, the present and the future walk into a bar. It was tense.  :nutter:

Offline Steerpike

Re: Doc Viljoen
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2015, 05:38:06 PM »
I have some photos of a BBC modified Garrard 301 that uses the same quick start as the Dok Viljoen. The platter lift was done by large motor driving a gearbox, onto a cam, which allowed remote control starting.
I don't know who owns that Garrard though.

Offline u235

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Re: Doc Viljoen
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2015, 07:44:30 PM »
Something wrong with the pics on the Dok Viljoen website?
Upon the plains bleach the bones of countless millions, who on the dawn of victory paused to rest, and there resting died.

Offline Steerpike

Re: Doc Viljoen
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2015, 08:00:14 PM »
Something wrong with the pics on the Dok Viljoen website?

Thanks for the reminder! The original pic hosting site died and I haven't yet re-linked!

Meantime, photos without text references are here:
http://public.fotki.com/pikeimages/dokviljoen/
« Last Edit: March 29, 2015, 08:24:18 PM by Steerpike »

Offline skollie

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Re: Doc Viljoen
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2015, 12:02:14 AM »
Thanks for the reminder! The original pic hosting site died and I haven't yet re-linked!

Meantime, photos without text references are here:
http://public.fotki.com/pikeimages/dokviljoen/

Interesting pics which looks like hard work to get there :clap:

Would you mind if I post this link over at Lencoheaven and credit them to your username?

Regds

skollie

PS The widget is partly made from a bit of amber screwdriver handle. It has been turned to the lens dia, the lens has been shaped and polished and the thinner section behind the lens still has to be turned to the correct diameter. I'm using this material as the laminated sections of indicator lens inexplicably developed 'bands' of almost clear acrylic or whatever the stuff was made from.

I'm writing this as I'm not sure if screwdriver handle material is the same as the original's material.  Although I'm running my lathe at its slowest speed, I noticed the material goes 'floppy' while being turned which requires very small cuts.

In the meantime, you can please PM me here for a postal address.

If you don't like my principles, I have others - Groucho Marx

Offline fredeb

Re: Doc Viljoen
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2015, 01:07:37 AM »
Wow , interesting thread - subscribed .
...evolution is the gradual development and stratification of progressive series of wholes, stretching from the inorganic beginnings to the highest level of spiritual creation.
Jan Smuts

Offline Steerpike

Re: Doc Viljoen
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2015, 02:49:03 AM »
And "Dok" was more fully named Jacobus Petrus Tertius Viljoen.

Here's a photo of Esme, behind her are an Ampex 360, and an earlier Dok Viljoen - probably a Mk 2.
Anybody recognise the record covers out on the shelf? ( I don't, so I can't tell you if you are right)


« Last Edit: March 30, 2015, 02:56:29 AM by Steerpike »

Offline Steerpike

Re: Doc Viljoen
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2015, 01:59:34 AM »
Would you mind if I post this link over at Lencoheaven and credit them to your username?

I'm fixing the photo links on the original page;
Please let the Lenco Haven board know the images are being attended to, I am not a member there (yet). My Lenco (B50) is in a very trashed state, and would get scornful looks.