In 1976 Tom Tamarkin founded Mizar Company in Phoenix Arizona. He developed the firm’s line of discotheque and entertainment lighting control products. The company manufactured, distributed, and supported nationwide sales and service of the lighting control products. The company was engaged by one of the premier American discotheques located in Lexington KY called Johnny Angel for the entire lighting system which was inaugurated by the entertainers Jim Nabors (Gomer Pyle of the Andy Griffith Show) and Cheryl Lad (of Charlie’s Angeles.) All these years later they are still open and the lighting system is still considered one on the best in the country!
The Digital Lighting Company of New York City who did the Studio 54 Discotheque (the first CBS Ed Sullivan Theater facility) initially agreed to do the project. However, Digital Lighting could not preform because the project was too technically challenging. In December 1977 Tom flew to Lexington KY to tour the construction site and agreed to take on the project. For six months Tom resided in Lexington and did the design, manufacturing, and installation. There are over 300 discrete lighting channels or 120 volt AC circuits including many high voltage neon transformers. Each circuit is controlled by a solid state switch or triac, which in turn is controlled by a network of photo opto-isolators under the control of a microprocessor unit Tom custom designed and built for the project. This was based around the Motorola 6800 series 8 bit microprocessor chip family. The four black and white photos show the central microprocessor unit mounted on the left side of the card cage facilitating all the opto-isolators in the larger metal enclosure. The next photo shows three enclosures containing the low voltage transformers for the spot lights. The third photo is a close up of the processor board with the 6809 chip in the center of the photo (vertically polarized.) The fourth photo is of a Mizar technician doing electronic testing on one of the opto-isolator boards.
Mizar Company was also the prime manufacturer of lighting control equipment to the entertainment division of National Auto Sound, Kansas City, MO.