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Any questions?

Started by too_many_cars, Dec 12, 2011, 03:20 am

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too_many_cars

Tardis Builders-

I did a long work day of structural work and sorting out wiring on the McGann console today, and I talked to the owner of the prop about this website and how I've been getting some assistance here.

He told me that any and all info on the console should be out there for the fans, and that he doesn't want to hoard information like what seems to be happening with Sonic Screwdriver props - in his own words, if anyone is crazy enough to want to build a McGann console, he'd love to share all of the info they need.

To that end, post any questions you have about the prop here, and I'll do my best to answer them from memory, or during one of the next restoration visits where we will hopefully be through with structural upgrades, and start wiring in the custom sound effects and lighting.

Cheers everyone.

--Brian

galacticprobe

Dec 12, 2011, 08:05 am #1 Last Edit: Dec 12, 2011, 08:05 am by galacticprobe
Do you think you pass on an invitation for him to join TARDIS Builders? The McGann prop aside, we'd love to have another 'Doctor Who' fan amongst our membership. The fact that he owns the actual prop used in the 1996 Movie is of course a huge bonus; there's no denying that.

Like Peterdalek: he was a member, and just happened to be lucky enough to win the Longleat exhibition console when it was auctioned. Peter is a valued member; that he owns an actual console from an official exhibition is a real plus (and some of me wish we were in his shoes).

People like this get lucky, and we are lucky to have them as members.

Dino.
"What's wrong with being childish?! I like being childish." -3rd Doctor, "Terror of the Autons"

warmcanofcoke

Dec 13, 2011, 03:26 pm #2 Last Edit: Dec 13, 2011, 03:55 pm by warmcanofcoke
Is it possible to get close-up detailed photos of the controls of the console? (Could you have a ruler in the shot to help us with measurements?)

Many wideshots of the console already exist However they are usually small images that don't provide much detail.

Examples : http://tardisbuilders.com/index.php?topic=1110.0
(Not that I don't appreciate these reference images - the details are just hard to make out)

In the interest of identifying / purchasing / building / or detailing the items on the console. Could you take some hi-rez pictures of the controls?

Currently I am interested in reading the decals / markings / etc on this panel :  
7772754_ba6db05db4.jpg
(there maybe something that provides a clue to a manufacturer for example, or a cute detail to what the control does put there by the design department)

and a close up on the detail of the Doorknob control.
8173500_2dad21c1e2.jpg
(also there are very few photos of the black panel at the bottom of this side of the console)

Thank you for offering to help us with this project =D
why doesn't the Guide mention them? - Oh, it's not very accurate.
Oh? - I'm researching the new edition.

too_many_cars

Dec 13, 2011, 04:31 pm #3 Last Edit: Dec 13, 2011, 04:34 pm by too_many_cars
All the labels are on the found objects, nothing has been screen-printed by the art department.

I'll see if I can snag a better shot next visit, but most of the printing on that particular panel has worn away.  It's a variable resistor panel circa 1930s like you would use in a laboratory.

All of the dials have 0 2 4 6 8 10 printed above the little dowels, but I'll have to look again to see what they are all labeled.

Below the screen control is another selector box circa 1930s, labeled "Leeds & Northrup Co, Philadelphia, 279230, Made in USA".

--Brian

warmcanofcoke

Dec 13, 2011, 04:34 pm #4 Last Edit: Dec 13, 2011, 04:44 pm by warmcanofcoke
thank you =D

--Nathan
why doesn't the Guide mention them? - Oh, it's not very accurate.
Oh? - I'm researching the new edition.

Volpone

I'm really loving Scarfwearer's work on the older consoles (and wishing he'd done one for this console).  Is there any info on the diameter of the time rotor?  It looks significantly narrower than the 22.5" he estimates for the older ones.  I'm a long way from building a console, but I keep thinking about options for a time rotor.  And it seems like it is a lot easier to find smaller clear plastic cylinders than large ones. 
"My dear Litefoot, I've got a lantern and a pair of waders, and possibly the most fearsome piece of hand artillery in all England. What could possibly go wrong?"
-The Doctor.

galacticprobe

Sep 23, 2014, 06:21 am #6 Last Edit: Oct 19, 2014, 05:28 am by galacticprobe
Quote from: volpone on Sep 22, 2014, 10:59 pm
Is there any info on the diameter of the time rotor?


Volpone, check out my posts on this here: http://tardisbuilders.com/index.php?topic=647.15. My first one at the top has the numbers, and another near the bottom has a scan of what I mentioned in the first post.

(And of course, for just about anything you ever wanted to know about this console - and more - don't forget to revisit the Article on the http://tardisbuilders.com/index.php?topic=3413.msg37434#msg37434.)

Hope this helps.

Dino.
"What's wrong with being childish?! I like being childish." -3rd Doctor, "Terror of the Autons"

Volpone

Thanks, Dino. 

I saw the post with the 1' measurement, but at the time I thought it ambiguous.  Did it mean the cylinder diameter or the length of the "crystals"?  Looking at it again, I concur that it is the cylinder diameter.  Now on to the newer TARDISes!  (Which may be tilting at windmills.  The first Matt Smith one, I guess I'll need to measure at the base where the time rotor meets the console.  The latest control room, they've clearly went back to a much larger diameter rotor case--might even be bigger than the Hartnell one.  :(
"My dear Litefoot, I've got a lantern and a pair of waders, and possibly the most fearsome piece of hand artillery in all England. What could possibly go wrong?"
-The Doctor.

galacticprobe

Sep 24, 2014, 06:04 am #8 Last Edit: Sep 24, 2014, 06:18 am by galacticprobe
You're quite welcome, Volpone. Now, if you look closely at the first Smith console (the 2010 console), you'll notice that the column cover is a straight cylinder, about the same diameter as the 2005 console. It's that wood-ish shield that covers (make that blocks the view of) the column that flares out as it rises upwards.

If you want some good reference to go by for that one, check out marinedalek's post of some drawings here: http://tardisbuilders.com/index.php?topic=4243.0. (Open that image in a new tab or window to see it full size; it's rather large and provides some nice details.)

And you're right about the 2013+ console; they've certainly gone back to a larger diameter - almost as large as a Classic console's column. But let's face it... having that big moving whirligig atop such a narrow column would look silly, and not really structurally believable. At least with the 1996, 2005, and 2010 consoles, the columns just integrated themselves into the ceiling (or in the 1996 console's case, the girders), so they looked fine.

Is any of this helpful?

Dino.
"What's wrong with being childish?! I like being childish." -3rd Doctor, "Terror of the Autons"

Vale

I have a question - how did the time rotor on the TVM console operate? The 2005-2010 rotor, which I believe was intended to look somewhat similar to the TVM rotor, had a thin cable running up the centre that linked the top section to the same motor as the bottom section so they moved in sync. Because the 2005-2010 rotor is much less transparent that the TVM rotor the cable isn't really visible, but there is nothing visible in the TVM rotor that would account for the two halves being mechanically linked. Can you provide any information on this? Was it just essentially two separate motors driving two separate sub-rotors?

Kingpin

I'd hazard a guess both sections weren't physically linked, but were operated by independent mechanisms that could be activated simultaneously so that the moved in unison.

galacticprobe

Oct 19, 2014, 05:25 am #11 Last Edit: Oct 19, 2014, 05:33 am by galacticprobe
I think Kingpin is right. Even in 1996 two separate motors could be controlled by a computer, which could monitor the speed of each motor via a feedback cable. Heck, they had such feedback motor control in the late 1970s/early 1980s. I used to teach the operation of some depth sounders that used really simple feedback voltages for regulating the speed of their motors to budding Coast Guard Electronics Techs. Now advance that tech to 1996 and you could easily have a computer monitoring and controlling the speed of two motors so they maintained the same RPMs, and in so doing keep the top section and bottom sections' motors moving in sync, so the column's innards would do the same.

Today, that sort of syncked motor operation could be done with a controller that's about the size of a Smartphone (or smaller).

One of our members was involved with helping the original screen-used TVM console's owner with its restoration, and while the console needed to have its column re-created (not sure what happened to the original column), he might have a little more insight into how the original column operated. (I won't mention any names so I don't put anyone on the spot, but if he does have any additional info, I'm sure he'll let us know.)

Dino.
"What's wrong with being childish?! I like being childish." -3rd Doctor, "Terror of the Autons"

timewomble

It would be possible to drive the motion entirely from below by having the top section suspended from the top end of a clear cylinder which has a diameter only slightly less than the outer casing. A mechanism in the bottom could lift and lower the inner cylinder alternately with the lower section, which would rise within it. You'd probably want to counterweight the bottom section to allow for the weight of the upper section's supporting cylinder. However,  the extra cost of that cylinder would be prohibitive, and you'd still probably want to light upper section from above.

I think separate motors is the easiest and most likely explanation.

galacticprobe

Oct 20, 2014, 05:06 am #13 Last Edit: Oct 20, 2014, 05:07 am by galacticprobe
Quote from: timewomble on Oct 19, 2014, 08:49 am
It would be possible to drive the motion entirely from below by having the top section suspended from the top end of a clear cylinder which has a diameter only slightly less than the outer casing. A mechanism in the bottom could lift and lower the inner cylinder... However,  the extra cost of that cylinder would be prohibitive, and you'd still probably want to light upper section from above.

Not only that, but that inner cylinder would have to be totally clear - blemish-free - or you'd see it moving, so this option would be very difficult, and as timewomble mentioned, expensive.

Quote from: timewomble on Oct 19, 2014, 08:49 am
I think separate motors is the easiest and most likely explanation.

I agree. I have a vague memory of someone saying that is how it was done, and whoever said it said they were going to try to get more info on it. Unfortunately that was a few years ago, and I can't remember who said it, or if they ever got that extra info. :-\

Dino.
"What's wrong with being childish?! I like being childish." -3rd Doctor, "Terror of the Autons"