> On Thu, May 2, 2013 at 11:53 AM, Stephen L <steve@...> wrote:
> > Regarding the electromechanical beast, my (vague) theory would be that
> > it is a multiple function generator.
I concur with Stephen's observations. Kyle, if you send me detailed photos of ONE of the 20 modules or assemblies - ONE disk thingy and the mechanics that are in contact with it - then I can be more informative. The photos will be needed documentation anyway. Photos of the labels on pots and motor and any power-supply parts, may well date the assembly.
The charming thing about this item, is that it's very likely you can "decode" the information content. To a first order, you'd rotate the shaft assembly and "read out" the potentiometers. Manual rotation and a digital ohmmeter could do that, in a tedious way. Then a spreadsheet of those values (and interpolation) could simulate actual operation.
The next step would be to operate the motor, however that's driven; and to digitize the analog outputs. In fact....the pots could drive 555 timers and directly produce a frequency proportional to value! All of that would be a fun project, and be a nice display.