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MIDI hardware necessary for wiring old Rodgers parts

Building organ consoles for use with Hauptwerk, adding MIDI to existing consoles, obtaining parts, ...

MIDI hardware necessary for wiring old Rodgers parts

Postby aboocher » Sun Oct 07, 2018 7:25 pm

Hi everyone,

I've just acquired a 32 note AGO pedalboard as well as 2 manuals out of an old Rodgers instrument. Plus a swell pedal. All the contacts (including magnets on the pedals) are still intact as are the individual wires from each key (61 + 1 for each keyboard and 30 + 1 for the pedals. I think the +1 goes to the ground / power supply). I'm hoping to make a project of wiring this stuff up. I'd like to keep things simple, but I'm very much a beginner when it comes to all of this. Below are lots of questions - I've looked at the forums and found lots of helpful links, but I'm still uncertain as to exactly what bits of hardware I'll need.

I currently have Hauptwerk up and running on my Macbook Pro, but just via a Mio Midi USB plugged into my Kawai Digital Piano. That works fine at the moment and I'm considering the following two options:

1) Wire up the pedal to a MIDI encoder and then daisy chain that through my piano and then have (hopefully) a functioning one manual organ. Benefits of this: I think I'd just need to buy a MIDI pedal encoder and a power supply. And then if I fail miserably I'm just out a relatively small amount of money.

2 ) Ditch the piano and rig up MIDI encoders to the two manuals keyboards and the pedalboard. A plus of this is that I imagine I can save money by getting an encoder that will work for maybe 2 keyboards + pedal, or at least some combination thereof.

The guy I bought the parts from told me that in terms of the wiring, it's just basically a matter of

a) getting the right midi hardware
b) hooking each of the 61 + 1 + 61 + 30 + 1 wires to the right part of the hardware.
c) daisy chaining them together.
d) connecting this to a 12 volt power supply
e) having a midi interface (would my MIO work?)

First, does the above sound about right? Am I missing any hardware that's not on my radar? I see things online about midi decoders, but I don't think I need any of those for this project.

Doing everything in parallel makes me think I need 163 pins - are there any encoders that would be this large? Probably not, I'd imagine I'd need a few midi channels for this. But I've read about these matrix encoders that lead me to believe that in theory I can attach my 61+61+120 wires into an 8x8 + 8x8 + 8x4 grid and then just spit out 8+8+8+8+8+4 = 44 wires into a modestly sized midi encoder. Am I off base with this idea? My only reason to do this would be to save money on hardware, but if this winds up requiring extra skills / hardware, I'm probably happier just to do whatever is simplest.

For instance, in reading this: https://www.midi-hardware.com/index.php ... n=tutorial it looks like I can buy
(2) BBS-1k,
(1) BBSP
(1) MRG2
some WiPlugs - I'd like to avoid soldering, but it looks like some of the plugs this site sells are unavailable.

(?) I'll need some sort of power supply for this, right? Can I just get a small one from amazon / home depot?

This seems eminently affordable, and much cheaper than anything I could find on midiworks.

Alternatively I've looked at stuff like this: https://www.midiboutique.com/hwce2 and I'm pretty confused - it looks like this isn't the right setup for parallel input, so I'll need scan matrices set up? (Where do I get those / how hard is it to set up? Do I need to do any programming?)

Thanks for any pointers. In general if there's an affordable kit out there, I'd be happy to buy it. The only premade kits I could find were unfortunately pretty pricey, so I wanted to look into alternatives, hence my post here. Thanks so much for the help!

Adam in San Diego.
Last edited by aboocher on Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: MIDI hardware necessary for wiring old Rogers parts

Postby Frank-Evans » Sun Oct 07, 2018 10:44 pm

Not a sales pitch but.... Look at Artisan Organ for their 2 manual conversion kit.
http://www.artisanorgans.com/
Might be what you want... I am using Artisan and am well satisfied with it...
Regards
Frank Evans
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Re: MIDI hardware necessary for wiring old Rogers parts

Postby organtechnology » Mon Oct 08, 2018 2:00 am

aboocher wrote:Hi everyone,

I've just acquired a 32 note AGO pedalboard as well as 2 manuals out of an old Rogers instrument. Plus a swell pedal. All the contacts (including magnets on the pedals) are still intact as are the individual wires from each key (61 + 1 for each keyboard and 30 + 1 for the pedals. I think the +1 goes to the ground / power supply). I'm hoping to make a project of wiring this stuff up. I'd like to keep things simple, but I'm very much a beginner when it comes to all of this. Below are lots of questions - I've looked at the forums and found lots of helpful links, but I'm still uncertain as to exactly what bits of hardware I'll need.

I currently have Hauptwerk up and running on my Macbook Pro, but just via a Mio Midi USB plugged into my Kawai Digital Piano. That works fine at the moment and I'm considering the following two options:

1) Wire up the pedal to a MIDI encoder and then daisy chain that through my piano and then have (hopefully) a functioning one manual organ. Benefits of this: I think I'd just need to buy a MIDI pedal encoder and a power supply. And then if I fail miserably I'm just out a relatively small amount of money.

2 ) Ditch the piano and rig up MIDI encoders to the two manuals keyboards and the pedalboard. A plus of this is that I imagine I can save money by getting an encoder that will work for maybe 2 keyboards + pedal, or at least some combination thereof.

The guy I bought the parts from told me that in terms of the wiring, it's just basically a matter of

a) getting the right midi hardware
b) hooking each of the 61 + 1 + 61 + 30 + 1 wires to the right part of the hardware.
c) daisy chaining them together.
d) connecting this to a 12 volt power supply
e) having a midi interface (would my MIO work?)

First, does the above sound about right? Am I missing any hardware that's not on my radar? I see things online about midi decoders, but I don't think I need any of those for this project.

Doing everything in parallel makes me think I need 163 pins - are there any encoders that would be this large? Probably not, I'd imagine I'd need a few midi channels for this. But I've read about these matrix encoders that lead me to believe that in theory I can attach my 61+61+120 wires into an 8x8 + 8x8 + 8x4 grid and then just spit out 8+8+8+8+8+4 = 44 wires into a modestly sized midi encoder. Am I off base with this idea? My only reason to do this would be to save money on hardware, but if this winds up requiring extra skills / hardware, I'm probably happier just to do whatever is simplest.

For instance, in reading this: https://www.midi-hardware.com/index.php ... n=tutorial it looks like I can buy
(2) BBS-1k,
(1) BBSP
(1) MRG2
some WiPlugs - I'd like to avoid soldering, but it looks like some of the plugs this site sells are unavailable.

(?) I'll need some sort of power supply for this, right? Can I just get a small one from amazon / home depot?

This seems eminently affordable, and much cheaper than anything I could find on midiworks.

Alternatively I've looked at stuff like this: https://www.midiboutique.com/hwce2 and I'm pretty confused - it looks like this isn't the right setup for parallel input, so I'll need scan matrices set up? (Where do I get those / how hard is it to set up? Do I need to do any programming?)

Thanks for any pointers. In general if there's an affordable kit out there, I'd be happy to buy it. The only premade kits I could find were unfortunately pretty pricey, so I wanted to look into alternatives, hence my post here. Thanks so much for the help!

Adam in San Diego.


Doing steps 1 first and then step 2 sounds like a reasonable plan.

The least expensive is probably Midi-hardware.com and the next more expensive is Midiboutique.com but you only need the hwce not the hwce2. Organtechnology has some 64 pin to 16 pin(x4) adapter boards which allow using ribbon cable to plug into the 64keymux boards that works similar to the way the artisan boards hold the wires..

We are also developing an optical keying system for pedal boards and keyboards which can be installed with no soldering and integrates with both Midi-hardware modules and midiboutique hardware. This system replaces the reed switches in the pedal boardand plugsinto the encoders directly without the need of expensive 1x61 to 8x8 converter cards.

Let me know if you are interested in discussing any of this or look up my phone number on the contact page of my web site. The advice is free :)

Best regards,

Thomas
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Re: MIDI hardware necessary for wiring old Rogers parts

Postby larason2 » Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:48 am

I would go with the Midiboutique HWCE2, that’s what I used. It has plenty of extra inputs if you would like to add stop tabs or an extra manual in the future. You can buy spreader boards with it that take care of the matrixing, they are available as a package. What I did is buy some ribbon cable and solder the cut ends directly to the keyboard contacts. From what you say, it sounds like you should be able to solder the cut ends of the ribbon cable directly to your wires. The magnetic switches on a Rogers pedalboard can be finicky, but they work well once they are in alignment. You could wire them up to HWCE2 as well.
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Re: MIDI hardware necessary for wiring old Rogers parts

Postby aboocher » Tue Oct 09, 2018 2:32 pm

Ah thanks, this looks really good. And thanks for helping me with the basics! So it looks like there are two bundles:

https://www.midiboutique.com/hwce2-bund ... rch=bundle
https://www.midiboutique.com/hwce2-bund ... rch=bundle

and as far as I can tell the main difference is the keymux64 vs the sm8x8 spread board. Does anyone know what the difference between these are? They seem similar in terms of wiring, but maybe one is slower / has a delay when connecting to the computer? The price differential makes me think there's something worth paying for. Have you bought one or the other?

Also if I do this plan, it seems like each keyboard/pedalboard will have its own *matrix* (either keymux or sm8x8) and then those will connect to the main hwce2 board. Now each keyboard has a +1 wire that I understand connects to the a ground / power. Does that wire need to go all the way to the main board, or will these ribbon cables power everything for me? I'm hoping (and it seems reasonable) that I can just wire everything from keyboard one to 1 of the matrices and then connect this with ribbons.

Thanks so much for your help!
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Re: MIDI hardware necessary for wiring old Rogers parts

Postby organtechnology » Tue Oct 09, 2018 7:47 pm

aboocher wrote:Ah thanks, this looks really good. And thanks for helping me with the basics! So it looks like there are two bundles:

https://www.midiboutique.com/hwce2-bund ... rch=bundle
https://www.midiboutique.com/hwce2-bund ... rch=bundle

and as far as I can tell the main difference is the keymux64 vs the sm8x8 spread board. Does anyone know what the difference between these are? They seem similar in terms of wiring, but maybe one is slower / has a delay when connecting to the computer? The price differential makes me think there's something worth paying for. Have you bought one or the other?

Also if I do this plan, it seems like each keyboard/pedalboard will have its own *matrix* (either keymux or sm8x8) and then those will connect to the main hwce2 board. Now each keyboard has a +1 wire that I understand connects to the a ground / power. Does that wire need to go all the way to the main board, or will these ribbon cables power everything for me? I'm hoping (and it seems reasonable) that I can just wire everything from keyboard one to 1 of the matrices and then connect this with ribbons.

Thanks so much for your help!


Good choice. The difference is in the way the 1x64 to 8x8 matrix is done and the resultant keymux64 using 16 pin IDC connectors and ribbon cable.while the smf8x8 uses diodes and 10 pin IDC connectors for which there is the bo10 boards. They are both suitable.

Add a bo16x4 for each 1x64 input and make your wiring life easier.:) or add 7 bo10 boards to the sm8x8

Thomas
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Re: MIDI hardware necessary for wiring old Rogers parts

Postby larason2 » Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:18 pm

As Thomas says, the Keymux64 spreader board handles the conversion a bit differently than the SM 8x8. The main difference I found is that with the keymux64, you can wire a common return rail for every key, whereas the SM 8x8 needs a separate return rail for each set of 8 keys. You could get either, but the Keymux64 will make your life easier. I got the cheaper ones, but it was more of a headache to wire.
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Re: MIDI hardware necessary for wiring old Rodgers parts

Postby aboocher » Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:31 am

Thanks to everyone for your help! My midiboutique package arrived yesterday and I'm going to get started with the wiring. I have a question as a newbie to electronics - so I have 16 of these connectors (probably the same as this - https://bit.ly/2qAoFiA and also something that looks roughly like this: https://ibb.co/coYWnq (but only 1 of these) My first goal, I think, is to feed these the 61 wires from Manual 1 into these feeders, (16 at a time) but I can't figure out how to do this. I searched online and found examples of people putting ribbon cables into these little crimper things, but how do I do it with individual wires? Trying to carefully place them in there seems like there'd be a lot of room for error. Does the other thing (https://ibb.co/coYWnq) help somehow? Also, when I'm putting the wires in, I imagine that I just put them in order starting with the first pin, correct? Thanks so much - I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed (but excited!)
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Re: MIDI hardware necessary for wiring old Rodgers parts

Postby organtechnology » Thu Nov 08, 2018 4:02 am

aboocher wrote:Thanks to everyone for your help! My midiboutique package arrived yesterday and I'm going to get started with the wiring. I have a question as a newbie to electronics - so I have 16 of these connectors (probably the same as this - https://bit.ly/2qAoFiA and also something that looks roughly like this: https://ibb.co/coYWnq (but only 1 of these) My first goal, I think, is to feed these the 61 wires from Manual 1 into these feeders, (16 at a time) but I can't figure out how to do this. I searched online and found examples of people putting ribbon cables into these little crimper things, but how do I do it with individual wires? Trying to carefully place them in there seems like there'd be a lot of room for error. Does the other thing (https://ibb.co/coYWnq) help somehow? Also, when I'm putting the wires in, I imagine that I just put them in order starting with the first pin, correct? Thanks so much - I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed (but excited!)


There is another little device you need. It's the bo16 which converts from 16 individual wires to a 16 conductor ribbon cable. There is also a bo16x4 which can handle 64 wires and 4 16 pin cables. See them at
https://www.midiboutique.com/accessories. If a picture of them in use on a keymux board would help, I will take one and post it here.

The other pins you show are for connecting the expression shoes to the board via a white connector. They require an expensive Molex crimping tool. Somewhere around $300 for the Molex one and I think about $100 for a generic one. Some people have used flat jaw pliers for crimping them enough to go into the connector and then soldering the wire to them before inserting them into the white Molex connector shell.

Thomas
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Re: MIDI hardware necessary for wiring old Rodgers parts

Postby NickNelson » Thu Nov 08, 2018 6:18 am

organtechnology wrote:The other pins you show are for connecting the expression shoes to the board via a white connector. They require an expensive Molex crimping tool. Somewhere around $300 for the Molex one and I think about $100 for a generic one. Some people have used flat jaw pliers for crimping them enough to go into the connector and then soldering the wire to them before inserting them into the white Molex connector shell.


I used needle-nose pliers for a long time, it's not difficult to make a reasonable connection. A good trick
is to strip the wire rather long, and then fold the end back behind the insulation before squeezing the
metal 'arms' around the wire. The small amount of elastic 'give' in the insulation grips quite securely and doesn't require soldering. A bench magnifier helps too, especially if like me the eyes are getting a bit old.

More recently I bought a 'proper' pair of crimps. Search PA20 pliers on ebay. Mine (from the UK ebay site)
cost about $/£ 40 and came, pretty promptly, from Japan. They work very well indeed.

Nick
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Re: MIDI hardware necessary for wiring old Rodgers parts

Postby larason2 » Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:24 pm

Another strategy is to get some ribbon cable, cut it a short length, and crimp it into the connector. I used a hammer on a hard surface. Then use a hobby knife to separate the individual wires of the ribbon cable, and solder your wires to those. Saves having to buy an expensive tool.
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Re: MIDI hardware necessary for wiring old Rodgers parts

Postby larason2 » Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:26 pm

Sorry, I just read this post again, perhaps this may not work. It does work for some connectors though.
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Re: MIDI hardware necessary for wiring old Rodgers parts

Postby jkinkennon » Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:39 pm

For the Molex pins that insert in a white shell this tool is easily good enough for our purposes.
https://www.sparkfun.com/products/13193

For the ribbon cable connectors I'd suggest using a small press though a vise with smooth jaws will do the job also. Avoid using pliers where it's difficult to maintain the correct alignment of all the parts. I used a machinist vise for years before locating an inexpensive press at Harbor freight.
https://www.harborfreight.com/1-ton-arb ... -3552.html
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Re: MIDI hardware necessary for wiring old Rodgers parts

Postby organtechnology » Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:43 pm

jkinkennon wrote:For the Molex pins that insert in a white shell this tool is easily good enough for our purposes.
https://www.sparkfun.com/products/13193

For the ribbon cable connectors I'd suggest using a small press though a vise with smooth jaws will do the job also. Avoid using pliers where it's difficult to maintain the correct alignment of all the parts. I used a machinist vise for years before locating an inexpensive press at Harbor freight.
https://www.harborfreight.com/1-ton-arb ... -3552.html


Thanks so much for sharing this information. You are a godsend.

Thomas
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Re: MIDI hardware necessary for wiring old Rodgers parts

Postby RaymondList » Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:08 pm

I did it the easy way. Bought 36 inch ribbon cables with pre-installed connectors on both ends from Amazon. I then cut them in half, separated the wires with my fingernails, stripped the insulation and soldered them to the wires from the key contacts. Quick and easy.
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