My new alignment template generator

the thin end of the wedge
Post Reply
Sunwire
long player
long player
United States of America
Posts: 2090
Joined: 07 Oct 2004 21:54
Location: New York

Re: My new alignment template generator

Post by Sunwire » 06 Oct 2017 18:07

A couple of tips from a happy user:
1) find an old LP you don't care about losing. If you don't have one, go to a thrift store and buy one. If their prices are too high (I pay 10 cents per LP) find one that has no sleeve or that is all scratched up. Tell them no one is ever going to buy this, how about if I give you a dime or a quarter or whatever you can talk them into.
2) tape the paper protractor onto your trashed LP, but before you secure it in position, hold the LP and protractor up to the light so the light is on the far side of the LP. Use the light to precisely align the hole in the LP with the spindle circle on the protractor. Then tape the protractor securely down on the LP.
Don't punch the hole in the protractor until you've got it aligned exactly and taped down where you want it. Now cut off whatever parts of the protractor are hanging off the edge of the LP.
If you have more than one turntable, or tonearm, or want to have protractors for more than one alignment, tape another protractor on the other side, or get more trashed LPs.

Using glossy photo paper for your printout helps make the protractor more durable.

Conrad Hoffman
senior member
senior member
Posts: 695
Joined: 01 Aug 2007 05:13
Location: Canandaigua, NY
Contact:

Re: My new alignment template generator

Post by Conrad Hoffman » 06 Oct 2017 20:52

For the Mac, try Wine. A Mac version isn't in the cards, as the program relies on some compiler specific features that made it easy to write.

brabusm
Posts: 4
Joined: 13 May 2017 18:44

Re: My new alignment template generator

Post by brabusm » 26 Oct 2017 09:51

Hi Conrad, much appreciated for the program as the lofgren B curves are perfect for my FR and SAEC tonearms. Prior to which I was only using the Clearaudio universal protractor which didn’t sound right with my vintage tonearms. Great work and thank you once again.

DubbaDubbaDubbaCha
member
member
Canada
Posts: 58
Joined: 08 Jun 2017 10:51
Location: Toronto

Re: My new alignment template generator

Post by DubbaDubbaDubbaCha » 23 Nov 2017 21:09

Is it normal if you got the stylus to trace the arc perfectly and it winds up being aligned to the grids already?

I'm using a pioneer pl-12d, at95e with 205.5mm Stevenson A, DIN (15.5 overhang) :D

Japi Roelofs
long player
long player
Netherlands
Posts: 4522
Joined: 05 Apr 2008 16:53
Location: Netherlands

Re: My new alignment template generator

Post by Japi Roelofs » 23 Nov 2017 21:26

If you make a protractor based on the manufacturer's specifications, and keep the cartridge squared up in the headshell, then indeed all you need to do is make the stylus follow the arc (= set overhang).

It can't hurt to double check though, and ideally try to align the cantilever to the grid, although this can sometimes be difficult if the cart is big and blocks the view of the cantilever.

Conrad Hoffman
senior member
senior member
Posts: 695
Joined: 01 Aug 2007 05:13
Location: Canandaigua, NY
Contact:

Re: My new alignment template generator

Post by Conrad Hoffman » 25 Nov 2017 17:02

Sometimes you get lucky! As for aligning to the cantilever, I've got mixed feelings on this. For some cartridges with long cantilevers and good visibility it's worth a try. The reality is that the baseline is often too short for any degree of accuracy. If the cartridge is compliant, the cantilever angle will be highly dependent on the anti-skate setting. Ideally the best anti-skate setting will put the cantilever back to the neutral centered position. Then there's the question of should the best alignment refer to the diamond, the cantilever or the magnetic structure inside the cartridge? Too many variables, so I always suggest starting with an accurate cartridge body alignment as a reference. Then, experiment a bit, recognizing that alignment is always risky business for fragile cantilevers. BTW, to repeat again, be sure to read the read-me text file that comes with the program.

DubbaDubbaDubbaCha
member
member
Canada
Posts: 58
Joined: 08 Jun 2017 10:51
Location: Toronto

Re: My new alignment template generator

Post by DubbaDubbaDubbaCha » 26 Nov 2017 03:45

thank you both :D

wolfie62
long player
long player
United States of America
Posts: 1226
Joined: 04 Jan 2017 15:47
Location: Birmingham

Re: My new alignment template generator

Post by wolfie62 » 30 Nov 2017 13:23

Can't remember....Have I already stated how much I actually ENJOY using this alignment protractor?

No, I won't say that. Aligning is supposed to be painful, frustrating, tedious, and a necessary evil. There isn't supposed to be any enjoyment in it.

So I will instead say that I spent less than 10 minutes last night aligning my ADC Integra ST XLM cartridge, and my wife really enjoyed listening to Christmas music while we decorated her tree. And she said she noticed how smooth and detailed the sound is now.

Thank you Conrad for putting in so much time to get it right!!

Gelid
broken record
Posts: 521
Joined: 07 Dec 2014 05:56

Re: My new alignment template generator

Post by Gelid » 19 Dec 2017 00:00

Sunwire wrote:...Using glossy photo paper for your printout helps make the protractor more durable.
Great idea you have here, about taping the printed template to an old unwanted record.

Instead of using photo paper I just use regular paper and put clear packing tape over the grids. Doing this does cause the paper to curl up, so I do need to tape it down, anyway.

Once I find a template that I feel works the best for a turntable, I print a fresh copy, trim it to fit on a record with no overhang, then go to an office supply store and have them laminate it.

phats
member
member
Posts: 47
Joined: 31 Jan 2009 16:54
Location: Haarlem

Re: My new alignment template generator

Post by phats » 28 Dec 2017 04:30

Hi Folks,

Came across Conrad's Generator and and first used it with Wine to print a protractor. But nothing appeared on paper. I gave up on that. Then I realized I use a Windows system at work (hate that &^*^ :-). So I tried the Mission 774 spindle to pivot distance of 215,4 mm at work and, voila!, I got myself an arc protractor. But I noticed something weird, instead of 215,4 I always got a distance of 215. No matter what I tried the program kept loosing the decimal. Now I wonder if that is computer dependent or printer dependent? Because I reckon Conrad's generator will handle decimals. It's all about accuracy or we wouldn't want/need those protractors, I guess.
Does anybody have had the same experience and has a solution or work around, I would love to have my decimal back!

Kind regards, StefV

Gelid
broken record
Posts: 521
Joined: 07 Dec 2014 05:56

Re: My new alignment template generator

Post by Gelid » 28 Dec 2017 05:15

Hello, Phats.

I believe you are using a comma (215,4) instead of a decimal point (215.4)

I just tried it, and with the comma, it rounded to 215 but using the period (decimal) Conrad's calculator retained the intended entry of 215.4

Maybe someone more worldly than I can explain the use of the comma in metric notation instead of the decimal... I see it a lot, and wonder why myself.

phats
member
member
Posts: 47
Joined: 31 Jan 2009 16:54
Location: Haarlem

Re: My new alignment template generator

Post by phats » 28 Dec 2017 16:43

Thanks Gelid! That's a useful advice and makes a lot of sense.... I just did not think of that! I feel quite stupid about this but I am really happy you tried it in the generator.... I will try again when I am back at work and see what happens then!
BTW, practical ideas in using a worn disc to accomodate a piece of flimsy paper.
Would it be an idea to spray photo-glue on the worn disc and stick the protractor on top when being centered on the spindle? Then again, could it be that the paper will change its size because of the glue? Come to think of it, I once had a spraycan with that stuff and it mentioned that when applied to one surface one would be able to peel 'it' (whatever one glued with it) off. So, just spraying on a worn disc and then sticking the protractor on top, would that change the size and geometry of said protractor?
Curious as to what people think on this!

Kind regards, StefV

Sunwire
long player
long player
United States of America
Posts: 2090
Joined: 07 Oct 2004 21:54
Location: New York

Re: My new alignment template generator

Post by Sunwire » 28 Dec 2017 18:19

I don't have much experience using spray glue.
I'd be concerned about mess and about getting the paper stuck in the wrong spot and needed to move it.

Tape seems to work fine.
You can position the paper over the hole, adjust for accuracy, then tape it down.
With glue, it would seem to require you place the paper exactly right the first time it touches the record. That sounds very difficult to do.

scho2684
long player
long player
Posts: 1771
Joined: 06 Nov 2008 21:24
Location: the Netherlands

Re: My new alignment template generator

Post by scho2684 » 28 Dec 2017 19:23

Not a good idea, I did that and within a few days the whole piece of record I used to glue the protractor on went totally warped...

I do use a record as underlayer though, just to have correct height...

Conrad Hoffman
senior member
senior member
Posts: 695
Joined: 01 Aug 2007 05:13
Location: Canandaigua, NY
Contact:

Re: My new alignment template generator

Post by Conrad Hoffman » 28 Dec 2017 20:10

I don't know about the warpage issue, but spray glue is one of the things that's very high on my "don't breath this stuff" list! I usually print on medium or heavy weight photo paper and that seems to stay flat.

Interesting about the comma. I've no idea what happens and didn't think to test it. We never use commas for decimals here, only fail to use them in our writing when we should; the semicolon is too frightening to even consider.

IMO, having a record to get the perfect height is good, but I doubt the slight error makes any measurable difference in the quality of the alignment. Somebody let me know if they can detect it.

Post Reply