Cal puts 60Hz on the lamps, That is like a low note, so usually it syncs in only the lowest band near the hub and it won't have a real sharp edge. Does the vernier knob affect the pattern motion? Check that pot. You usually get a sort of glob that stabilizes.
Does it work otherwise? Can you get patterns to freeze on any of the notes?
The thing is not all that complex. Ther are two parts. The drive and the strobe. The drive is a powr oscillator for the motor. Each of the 12 notes of the scale spin the wheel at a different rate, selected by the rotary switch.
The strobe is just a little amplifier stage driving the neon bulbs. Whatever signal you input turns into light. if the signal pattern is the same ffreq as the spinning disc pattern, they sync up. If the mic makes the neons light, that part works.
I almost always find the power transformer coming loose. Add a little locktite or use nylock nuts. Or dope the threads with nail polish or something.
For the most part you will not want to be using the X2 setting.
The neon lamps darken with age, just like in trem bugs. I usually need to replace the lamps for a brighter display.