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Thread: Conn Dynalevel

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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    Conn Dynalevel

    One of these came into the shop recently for general repairs. I've never seen one, though I hear Lenny Kravitz uses one for level monitoring.

    Essentially a visual VU meter in a light tree. The light tree or tube is about 18" long, with 11 segments inside the frosty glass. In each is a colored bulb like from old Xmas lights.

    The chassis drives the bulbs with 11 2D21 tubes, which act more or less like triacs. Only plpace I ever saw 2D21s was in jukeboxes, where they controlled relays and solenoids.

    Otherwise simple circuits. Whole thing built into a handy case with handle.

    Pretty cool.


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    THAT'S the COOLEST fry-toy I've seen in a while! Looks like you can 'customize' the colors in your display with bulb selection. The perfect thing for the occasion where a 'magic eye' tube just isn't quite magic enough!

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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    Yes, move the colors all you want. Only about four of the bulbs lit, and I found the others had just worked loose. Screw all the bulbs in tight and they all worked. A blown fuse and loose bulbs was all it had wrong.

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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    Followup: The customer was happy as a clam when he got this back working, and I for a big "You da man, Enzo." Now apparently the guy has been talking about this online with his buds, one of whom asks "So you got a guy who fixes those?" He tells him yeah.

    So the online buddy mails another one of these to my customer to bring to me.

    So I now have another one of these things here in my shop. I went from never having even heard of these machines to being the national expert. Or something.

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    Senior Member Paleo Pete's Avatar
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    Cool toy.

    I think 2D21 is also the tube used in Seth Thomas metronomes years ago. I had one, not too long ago it got left in a studio/music store and I never got it back, just realized it a few days ago. It and my wind up were there, we were planning to use them to record. The guy flaked out big time and closed up, I never got some of my stuff back.

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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    It really is great to watch it work.

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    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    wow, that is a pretty cool old toy.

    enzo, you know that being the national expert means that people are going to start looking to you for a schematic...

    actually, i'm kinda surprised that people have so much trouble getting them serviced. why don't they just send them to peterson?

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    "Stand back, I'm holding a calculator." - chinrest

    "I happen to have an original 1955 Stratocaster! The neck and body have been replaced with top quality Warmoth parts, I upgraded the hardware and put in custom, hand wound pickups. It's fabulous. There's nothing like that vintage tone or owning an original." - Chuck H

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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    I don't know that Peterson works on those, maybe. I drew out a schematic, the circuit is simple. REmember it is just a level meter, not a tuner.

    I probably should redraw the thing neater and on one page.

    Audio in, a couple triode stages of amplification, then a triode driving a small transformer ala reverb driver. The secondary output is then rectified and fed to a long string of resistors. Each bulb has its own 2D21 tube to turn it on, and each step of the resistor ladder feeds one grid. As the signal level rises, more and more of the 2D21 grids reach the point of turn on, and the bulbs light.

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    Conn Dynalevel Schematic

    I have a Conn Dynalevel T-80 manufactured in 1969. I would be glad to share the manual and schematic with others that need a copy. It has been sitting in the closet for the last 35 years so I need to read the manual to see if the unit is still working. More later. cc glenn

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  10. #10
    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    I would love to have the oficial schematic. If the file is under 1MB, attach it to your post.

    I have shown the units to various guests in my shop, and they never fail to ooh and aah.

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    What a cool thing!

    I remember somewhere in college actually working with one of these. I'ts actually pretty hard to top out the lights with a good sound!
    Sort of wondered where I could find one and how much it would cost???

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  12. #12
    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    Watch ebay is my only idea.

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    Education is what you're left with after you have forgotten what you have learned.

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    Hey Glenn - Did you ever get the thing out and give it a try? I've been looking for one. I would like to see the manual and schematic if you have a file available, too, as I want to know what I'm getting into. Thanks - Philmo

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    Hi. I wound up here by way of google, I just bought a dynalevel. I did manage a few flashy lights at the auction, then people were all aww shoot that what it is, I had a hunch it was dj related, alas got it home and no flashy lights...way cool gizmo. maybe just loosened on the travel...stay tuned.

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  15. #15
    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    The light tower is essentially a VU meter. You sing or play into the mic, and it lights up per your level.

    I helps you learn to sing/play at a steady level. I used to work with a singer who had one note around 800Hz that just resonated in her voice as was like twice as loud as the rest of her delivery. Plus 800Hz was right about one of the crossover points in my speakers. She loved hitting that note.

    The Dynalevel always wows the visitors to my shop, but it was never intended as a show item

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    Education is what you're left with after you have forgotten what you have learned.

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    Here's the patent for a slightly different one. Can't find the patent for the light tower model.

    https://patents.google.com/patent/US3200899

    and another

    https://patents.google.com/patent/US2486890A/en

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