Posts Tagged ‘midi’

I’m still alive, and so is the project!

Relayboard no. 1 is finally complete; this board, to remind any imaginary readers I may have, will electrically replace about half the keys on the top keyboard.

I wonder which species of bird is nesting on my sofa

For the non-electricians: a relay consists of an electromagnet and a little switch in a box, so that when the electromagnet is turned on, then so is the switch; and when the electromagnet is turned off, the switch is turned off.  This is nice here, because I don’t trust the electronics inside the organ to be predictable – so I can control the “keys” (the “switch” side of the relay) via another circuit without actually passing any electricity between them.  So far, so good.

I have now tested the control side of the board, and it more or less works; next up, testing the switch side of the board.

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… and the barman says “I hope you took the bees out of that first”.

Which is pretty much what happened, with the exception that the barman needs to be replaced with the taxi driver.  I’m not sure I understand…

Sorry for the phonepic, but I wasn’t carrying around a camera. For obvious reasons.

These keyboards are the pleasantly repunit-y age of 111 years old – built in 1901.  They are made of solid oak – a fact which, having carried them all the way back from Lincolnshire on the train, I am eminently qualified to appreciate.  They came from an organ which had a pneumatic action – which means that they will need a bit of adaptation.

I will need to brace the backs of the manuals, attach springs to each key, and adjust to taste.  Which all sounds much easier than it is going to be, given that my woodworking skills are at best mediocre and at worst actively dangerous to myself and everyone around me.  So, this sounds like it might be fun…

As regards actually getting signals out of the keys to the MIDI encoder, I’ve really got two options – either attach magnets to each key and fit reed switches on a bar above the keyboard, or use the existing copper contacts on each key.  The former sounds easier; less wiring to get entangled around the backs of the keys sounds promising.  But this will require research!

There is also the slight issue that they are too deep for the chassis, but I will burn that bridge when I come to it.

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