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Stop controls

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G'day

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Stop controls

PostSun Feb 08, 2004 3:13 pm

Hello Martin,
Cruising the net one brisk winter's evening, warmed by the hum of my trusty AMD 2200, I happened upon the term "keyboard bashing". The site was dedicated to flight sim controls, and apparently such minded enthusiasts remove all the external parts of a keyboard to expose the essential circuitry necessary to transmute the switches into something that looks and acts like onto a real flight control panel. My candle power brainiac brain thought and thought and finally thunk a thought; flight sims have dedicated keys assigned to various functions (A=bank left, M=fire missle, etc), so rewiring to another type of on/off switch must be quite straight forward (if I dare say that). And the Hauptwerk screen shows the same system; dedicated keys for stops, couplers etc. So why can't I "bash" my keyboard (heck, they only cost about $10.00) and wire it up to a set of rocker tabs? I could do away with the present mouse click-to-stop scenario. Is this possible? Please say yes.
G'day!
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mdyde

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PostMon Feb 09, 2004 5:39 am

Yes - you should be able to do that. I'm not sure whether the timing would be quite as accurate as using MIDI, but that's less important for stops and other console switches than for keys. Since each key press would be toggling the state of the corresponding virtual switch, they would need to be 'push buttons' of some form rather than bi-state rocker tabs. Of course, you're also limited to 102 or so switches, but it would be very cheap and that's probably plenty.

Martin.
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Bach-Wannabe

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PostTue Feb 10, 2004 5:37 pm

This sounds like it would be easy to do once the matrix of the keyboard is worked out. What resources on the internet have you found G'day?
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cdatzko

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PostTue Feb 10, 2004 6:44 pm

mdyde wrote:Of course, you're also limited to 102 or so switches, but it would be very cheap and that's probably plenty.


...but why not just (at least for home environments, not for 'work' environments) put a second keyboard somewhere where you can reach it without problem from the organ bench and re-label the needed keys? I would think this is a practical thing especially since there are USB keyboards? You wouldn't have to tear your keyboard apart and put it together again.

Christian.
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Bach-Wannabe

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PostTue Feb 10, 2004 8:43 pm

The problem with using a keyboard as it is is that the keys are small, and it can be a problem (for me anyway) to hit the right one in a hurry, or to look on the screen at what key(s) to hit, and then find them on the keyboard. Also I don't know how you could legibly re-label the keys.
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G'day

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PostWed Feb 11, 2004 3:38 am

The idea of using a modified computer keyboard came from this site:

http://members.rogers.com/jdyarrow/controls/misc/keyboard.html,

and a further discussion on the point Martin raised "Since each key press would be toggling the state of the corresponding virtual switch, they would need to be 'push buttons' of some form rather than bi-state rocker tabs" can be found at;

http://members.rogers.com/jdyarrow/controls/misc/toggle.html,
although here they are talking mainly about flight sim verisimlitude.

Al Morse kindly supplied the following schematic site;

http://www.geocities.com/midiboutique/whatis/whatis.html

To answer Christians question . . . "but why not just put a second keyboard somewhere where you can reach it without problem from the organ bench and re-label the needed keys?"

Have you ever sat at a pipe organ console, smelt the wood varnish, swivelled around on your bottom, raising your legs to clear the bench while not knocking your knees on the underside of the Great, and looked out over the church (maybe late at night, and you along in the loft), looked up at the pipes, lovingly slid out a draw stop, how smoothly it slides on felt, and how satisfying the "thunk" when the stop is pulled out? Have you ever just took it all in? You barely need to play a note to be just this side of Heaven. I'm sure you have, as no doubt we all have. I used to be satisfied to sit at my synth racks, wires and gear in full evidence. But Martin has ruined all that with his superb hauptwerk. The organ tones cry out for the aesthetic of the whole experience. I want to sit with my AGO pedal board nestled at my feet, and stops waiting expectantly at my fingertips, ordered and labeled. I want to be able to hear the Nazard say "pull me, pull me!" with the larigot countering "no, me!"

My project is not only about functionality, but re-creation of the whole console ambience in my very own music room (well, it doubles as the spare bedroom, but to me, it is "Le Grande Salon d'Orgue"). Hauptwerk and all the wonderful organ files now available are labours of love, and this is mine; to re-create the aesthetics as well as the functionality of the pipe organ console.
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mdyde

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PostWed Feb 11, 2004 6:05 am

I had a look at the link on toggle switches, and I thought it worth noting a few things:

- Hauptwerk v2 will be able to provide MIDI output to change the state of physical console switches from its combination system, e.g. for solenoid-actuated drawknobs, tabs or illuminated buttons. Hence you might want to allow for that. You will be able to use MIDI note on/off messages (or other message types) from Hauptwerk to control them.

- If you're going to go the expense and time of wiring the circuits given to deal with key auto-repeat, I don't think it would be any more effort to use standard (perhaps illuminated) push-buttons or, better but more expensive, commercial solenoid-actuated tabs. MIDI encoders and decoders don't cost a great deal (see the Hauptwerk links page) or you can buy microcontrollers pre-programmed and make them yourself very easily and cheaply.

- If you wanted to use the forthcoming Hauptwerk MIDI output feature, there is probably something to be said for using the same protocol in both directions, otherwise the synchronisation of the incoming and outgoing messages could be slightly awry, which might conceivably send the switches into self-oscillation (although you could avoid that if you were careful with the auto-repeat supression).

My preference would definitely by to use MIDI, but I'm sure you could do something fairly satisfactory with PC keys.

Martin.
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BachsFugue

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PostThu Feb 12, 2004 9:29 pm

Moi aussi
Yes, G'day, I have this disease also.

G'day wrote:
Have you ever sat at a pipe organ console, smelt the wood
varnish, ... it is "Le Grande Salon d'Orgue"). Hauptwerk and
all the wonderful organ files now available are labours of love,
and this is mine; to re-create the aesthetics as well as the
functionality of the pipe organ console.


Cole
Cole Votaw -- Springfield, Ohio, USA
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Bach-Wannabe

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PostWed Feb 18, 2004 8:07 pm

I took apart a keyboard and had a look inside. It seems pretty simple to set something up, but I'm not sure what kind of momentary push button you'd need. As far as I can tell, the button would have to close the 'column' circuit, close the 'row' circuit, and then connect the two circuits together (?). I don't know what kind of switch could do that.
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BachsFugue

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PostThu Feb 19, 2004 3:52 am

Bach-Wannabe said, "As far as I can tell, the button would have to close the 'column' circuit, close the 'row' circuit, and then connect the two circuits together (?). I don't know what kind of switch could do that."

I think the switch closes a 'row' to 'column' circuit and there's a diode in there to prevent the signal from going the wrong way. I've done it with simple switches and also with shorting one end of the diode connected to the 'row' with the wire from the 'column'.
Cole Votaw -- Springfield, Ohio, USA
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G'day

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stop controls

PostFri Feb 20, 2004 12:34 am

After thinking over the several posts from hauptwerk members, and a post from Martin, I have concluded that "bashing" a PC keyboard into a stop control is not the best way to go. I had purchased a Midi Control Unit from Classic Organ Works which included four encoder cards (SIB-4); one for pedal, two for manuals, and one for stops. In a moment of inspiration (at least it seemed like it at the time), I thought the thought; why not use that fourth SIB-4 to control a third manual and find another way to control the stops? Now it appears I was a little mixed up, but! all is well in my world, for I have thought yet another thought and this one actually worked. I did "bash" a keyboard - an old Midi synth I hadn't used for years (a Roland Alpha-Juno 2). I removed the keyboard and all electronics from the case. That was easy - even for me, then remembering how Theseus found his way out of the Minatour's labyrinth by unraveling a skeen of twine, I figured I had better draw a diagram of the inards so's I could backtrack if needed. So I drew a picture of the motherboard and all associated connections and circuit boards. Next I disconnected everything not required for a basic keyboard with Midi; all audio jacks, foot switches, patch banks, edit banks. I was left with a motherboard, Midi connections, power supply, the Juno "alpha dial" and two circuit boards, one for synth sounds and one for function control. I didn't want the synth sounds, but by this time I had gotten rid of all connections and the rest were hard wired. Like most synths, the buttons on the Juno have multiple functions, ao I did not know what the remaining wires did. What to do? I did have my raw keyboard, but also a lot of dangling wires which did not appeal to my sense of neatness and order. Then I thought another thought; remembering that scene in Ghost Busters where Rick Moranis is wearing a collander as a brain scanner, I went to the kitchen, found a collander and wired it up the synth - neutral on one handle, and DC 12v on the other. Silently I donned the collanderotron and yes! with the additional 12v running through my cranium I thunck up the solution; one by one I cut every wire that a coin toss said was un-neccesary, each time checking to see if the Midi function, and Midi channel was adversely affected. by this elegantly simple method, I eliminated the patch bank circuit board. Now only the function board was left. Using much the same method (in fact, the completely same method), I iliminated another 16 wires, leaving me with only two wires which controled Midi functions and channels, and a circuit board with a lot of redundant buttons. What to do, what to do. Connecting an old pair of RCA Victor rabbit ears to the collanderotron, 0nce again my brain reception increased. One at a time, I cut those two wires from the circiut board, and touched them to various places around the relevant button. With this (allow me. please . . .) ingenius method, I determined which of the four possible terminals did what. Then - and this is where my true genius really starts to shine - I realized "hey, I have two wires going to a switch, why not forget about the switch, and just connect the wires together?" Please. please, no aplause. I discovered that with each touch of the wires, the midi moved one step through it's function cycle. Perfect. Now I know I could discard the last circuit board and use a momentary switch of some sort. And there it was, my third Midi manual requiring only two controls; a switch and a dial. Phase one of my grand organ project completed. Score one for the good guys.
G'day

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