Monday, August 29, 2011

Below is a continuo organ based on a Yamaha YPT-210. Details of the chassis modification was shown in my previous post.
 Here's the finished product. Will be on ebay soon.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

During our stay in Bristol, we went to Musicroom where they had a Yamaha YPT 210 for £89. Now, if you have read this blog you will know that I'm a fan of M-Audio Keystation 61es keyboards. At that price I just had to buy the Yamaha keyboard and give the competition a go. I must admit the Yamaha has a much better feel. However that's only part of the story. One of the benefits of the M-Audio product is its convenience; the keyboard was almost made to be used in a virtual organ. This can not be said for the Yamaha! As can be seen below I had to completely dismantle the keyboard and spend at least an hour cutting and filing the plastic chassis. Not sure if I prefer cutting the M-Audio keys or modifying the Yamaha chassis!

I decided to remove the keys, and contact boards so I had unhindered access to the chassis. I then removed the plastic key cheeks and the key slip with a hacksaw. I used a file to finish things off. 

Below is the modified keybed with mockup cheeks. Unfortunately the height of the keys is 68mm above the base. This will make it tricky to achieve an AGO spacing in a 2 or 3 manual block.

Another Yamaha downside is the circuit board layout. The M-Audio boards are very compact. I can't see an easy way of eliminating any of the 3 boards.

This keyboard will be used in a single manual chamber organ. I'll use an X-Keys Stick for stops and the Prib sample set. Should be a very nice little organ.

Needs to be finished by 24th September for a concert at Romsey Abbey. Better get a move on!

Thursday, June 09, 2011

So the pedalboard now works....well sort of! I have now broken 2 reed switches. It is probably just me being clumsy but I think a more robust solution is called for especially as I plan to use the pedalboard as part of my organ rental business (more about that later).

Instead of reed switches I'm going to use reed sensors. What's the diference? Not much really. A reed switch is just the fragile glass capsule. A reed sensor is a reed switch mounted in a housing. They are used for burglar alarms, limit and level sensors etc. The ones I'm planning to use have the switch epoxied into a plastic case. All of those wooden blocks I carefully crafted all for nothing!

I'm just about to order 3 pistonless CMK3 keyboards from Classic Organ Works. I was tempted to buy Fatar TP/60L keyboards from one of the UK suppliers but the price of the CMK3, which includes MIDI controller, was just too competitive. The only downside is that I'll have to pay and wait for delivery from Canada.
I'm going to use either Klann or Syndyne pistons and arrange them in a more traditional layout than the Classic keyboards. Cool thing is the Classic MIDI controller is the same for all of their keyboards, with or without pistons. This means that I don't need another controller for the pistons. I will, however have to diaode matrix wire the switches. Luckily 1N4148 diodes are 1p each from Farnell!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I have had a 30 key pedalboard awaiting midification in my workshop for a while. In order to get things moving, I ordered reed switches and loom csr32p from Midiboutique. As with all of their products, it is beautifully executed. However there are a couple of unanswered engineering concerns,  how to mount the reed switches and how to mount the magnets, adjustability is key.

There are many ways to activate the reed switch. I chose to move the magnet at 90 degrees to the switch. This minimises the possibility of cross-talk between adjacent magnets and switches.

I decided to replace the supplied magnets with magnets mounted in a plastic casing. These were attached to the lower face of the pedal with some 10mm x 10mm aluminium angle.

In order to mount the switches, I cut some 20mm x 10mm hardwood strip into 25mm lengths. 2 holes were drilled, one into which the reed switch is inserted, and the other to attach the mount to the pedalboard. 

Once I have the reed switch in a suitable position, I'll secure it in the block using silicon. Any future adjustment will be made by slotting the mounting hole.

Picture above shows the magnet in the off position.

As above but in the on position.

The magnet lines up with the switch.

30 reed switch mounts. 

One down, 29 to do!
As can be seen from the above picture, the pedalboard has been midified. I used an mpc32xrs MIDI controller and a csr32 reed switch loom from Midi Gadgets Boutique, their products and service come highly recommended. Over the weekend one of pedals began to stick, probably a weather thing. Fixing the problem was easy but in the process I broke one of the reed switches. Jordan from MGB offered to send an FOC replacement but suggested it would be quicker to obtain a replacement in the UK, MGB are based in Bulgaria. Farnell shipped a replacement next day.

If you look carefully at the picture above, you may notice that the reed switches are held into their wooden blocks with Blu Tack, it just stops them from falling out. This temporary solution has worked quite well! I will of course use a more suitable location method now I'm sure of the switch position.  Next job is to enclose the fragile wiring in a wooden case.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I've just ordered 30 Miyama DS-412 switches. I have also modified the great keybed and piston rail to accept appropriately positioned pistons.

The X-Keys stick has performed well, but is ultimately unsuitable for the task; it is too deep and the buttons are too sensitive.

I'm getting quite good at modifying the keys! 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I posted this information on the Hauptwerk forum, but wanted to put all of the organ info in one place.

I have connected a Yamaha FC-7 expression pedal to the swell keyboard MIDI controller volume connector. I did not want to cut the FC-7 cable so I bought a 6.35mm Stereo Long Reach Chassis Socket from Maplin .
I connected the socket as follows.

Socket : Keystation volume control wires
Tip ----> red crosses
Ring ----> white
Sleeve ----> red dashes

I was very surprised that it worked first time!