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Pedal Board Contact Options

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

Pedal Board Contact Options

Postby dw154515 » Tue Feb 07, 2017 10:57 pm

Folks,

I have been playing my setup for a couple of years now and I have intermittent issues with my pedalboard - notes sticking/not playing, etc. and it's due entirely to where I positioned my reed switches that I got with my MPC32 kit from MGB.

The reed switch bundle and encoder work flawlessly, but I made a mistake by using the original under-pedal contact rail to mount my reed switches to. As you can already guess, this means that after some amount of time, I inevitably mash a pedal too hard (or the felt gives way a little more than usual) and the reed switch gets shattered.

Moving them to the front is certainly a better option.

But this got me to thinking....

There are other ways of doing this, too. Micro switches, reed switches, the original wire contacts, etc. The most difficult part of the reed switches, to me, is lining them up exactly right. The same would be true of micro switches.

Which way seems to be the most "universal" amongst Hauptwerk users? What other reliable options are out there that I'm unaware of?
Drew A. Worthen
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Re: Pedal Board Contact Options

Postby murph » Tue Feb 07, 2017 11:20 pm

Not true for micro-switches. Use very long-arm ones. Mount them on a rear-board in an arc that matches the curve of the pedal-board. Offset them by the length of the arm. Bend the arms to get the touch-point you want. EASY!!!!!!.

P.s. Yes, they click slightly. Most trackers and couplers are louder in real life. Cope.
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Re: Pedal Board Contact Options

Postby dw154515 » Tue Feb 07, 2017 11:28 pm

Would you maybe have picture of what you're describing?
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Re: Pedal Board Contact Options

Postby murph » Wed Feb 08, 2017 12:19 am

I'll give it a go tomorrow. Bit late tonight to go ripping things apart now. (4am here!)
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Re: Pedal Board Contact Options

Postby organtechnology » Wed Feb 08, 2017 1:05 am

dw154515 wrote:Would you maybe have picture of what you're describing?


Two suggestions. 1.) Peterson Electro-music makes a set of microswitches for retrofitting a pedal board.
The harness is provided but it is 1 wire per switch. Kind of a pain to add diodes for the matrix. I made up a PC board to make the PB an 8 switch set and 4 sets in 32 notes. Or you could use them on the current 1x40 encoder that you use now. 2.) Midibotique has come out with a set of 32 Hall effect switches in a harness like the reed switch one and a matching encoder. I will let you know how it works as I just received one today. The Hall effect devices should be more robust than glass reed switches and Jordan recommends gluing them in place. I think your idea of moving the reed switches to the end of the pedal board is a good one.

YMMV,

Thomas
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Re: Pedal Board Contact Options

Postby profeluisegarcia » Wed Feb 08, 2017 2:09 am

My microswitch system has worked flawlessly for almost 15 years. You can take a look of this system at picture 4 in this topic:
viewtopic.php?f=21&t=12618&p=102286&hilit=Florez+%26+Garcia#p102286
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Re: Pedal Board Contact Options

Postby brooke.benfield » Wed Feb 08, 2017 3:21 pm

Hi Drew;

This is what I used:

http://www.petersonemp.com/products/pdf/Pedalkey.pdf

I think it is what organtechnology was referring to and uses reed switches rather than microswitches so it is silent. I chose to use the included wire harness and designed a circuit board to swizzle the connections so that it would work with my MGB HWCE. I had to run 4 extra wires to gang groups of 8 notes for the matrix. It also allows very fine adjustment to the contact point which I consider to be a valuable feature.

It's not the cheapest/easiest route to a working solution but it has been 100% reliable.
Brooke Benfield
Organist, Gethsemane Lutheran Church
Portland OR
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Re: Pedal Board Contact Options

Postby dw154515 » Thu Feb 09, 2017 12:12 am

Thank you everyone for the ideas. I do think micro switches are easiest, but I'm still toying with this reed switch thing.

brooke.benfield wrote:Hi Drew;

This is what I used:

http://www.petersonemp.com/products/pdf/Pedalkey.pdf

I think it is what organtechnology was referring to and uses reed switches rather than microswitches so it is silent. I chose to use the included wire harness and designed a circuit board to swizzle the connections so that it would work with my MGB HWCE. I had to run 4 extra wires to gang groups of 8 notes for the matrix. It also allows very fine adjustment to the contact point which I consider to be a valuable feature.

It's not the cheapest/easiest route to a working solution but it has been 100% reliable.


It wouldn't be difficult at all to replicate something similar to that and the cost would be minimal..... it's just some tedious work.
Drew A. Worthen
Innovative Audio Video Solutions - Owner
http://www.innovativeaudiovideosolutions.com
Master of Music in Composition - Butler University
http://www.drewworthen.com
Director of Music - Greenwood UMC
http://www.greenwoodumcmusic.org
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Re: Pedal Board Contact Options

Postby GrahamH » Thu Feb 09, 2017 10:17 am

Hi Drew

Here's a link to a zip file containing some photos of a solution I used with a MGB HWce2x encoder.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ockz31qplkzvzja/Pedalboard%20Reed%20Switches.zip?dl=0

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Re: Pedal Board Contact Options

Postby dw154515 » Thu Feb 09, 2017 11:38 am

GrahamH wrote:Hi Drew

Here's a link to a zip file containing some photos of a solution I used with a MGB HWce2x encoder.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ockz31qplkzvzja/Pedalboard%20Reed%20Switches.zip?dl=0

Graham


EXACTLY! I'm glad you shared. That is essentially what the Peterson system is. Where did you get your perfboard?
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Re: Pedal Board Contact Options

Postby GrahamH » Thu Feb 09, 2017 12:33 pm

Hi Drew

It's actually "stripboard" rather than "perfboard" - and this is probably not very helpful to you on your side of the pond - but here are the details anyway:

https://www.rapidonline.com/rapid-stripboard-119-x-455mm-34-0540?AB_Template_Id=_Test01&mrasn=153323.212358&xtref=rapidonline.com

https://www.rapidonline.com/comus-2502-2322-020-subminiature-spst-reed-switch-60-0522?AB_Template_Id=_Test01&mrasn=153323.212358&xtref=rapidonline.com

https://www.rapidonline.com/fairchild-semiconductor-1n4148tr-75v-200ma-signal-diode-taped-47-3309?AB_Template_Id=_Test01&mrasn=153323.212358&xtref=rapidonline.com

https://www.rapidonline.com/truconnect-ds1013-16-ssib-16-way-idc-straight-boxed-header-2-54mm-pitch-19-0035?AB_Template_Id=_Test01&mrasn=153323.212358&xtref=rapidonline.com

As for magnets - I used neodymium disk magnets from eBay. They need to be physically large enough to hold the switch closed when you "bottom" the pedal but magnetically not too strong so that the switch opens when you release the pedal and so that they don't interfere with the neighbouring note.

Graham
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Re: Pedal Board Contact Options

Postby jkinkennon » Thu Feb 09, 2017 1:12 pm

I'm needing to come up with a contact system for at least one pedalboard and am planning to go with the reed switches in the usual console mounted board. Whether that board will attach to the console in the normal fashion or to the front of the pedal board remains to be seen. I've got two sets of Allen "princess" size reed boards which cost me nothing so I will probably power up my router (tool, not network device) and route out a set of channels that will match a pedalboard that originally had American Organ Builder optical contacts. It's my opinion that reed switches are extremely reliable though a strike point adjustment may be needed in my DIY effort.

Just my thoughts on the easiest way to do this, Drew, as I know you have the woodworking skills.
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Re: Pedal Board Contact Options

Postby johnh » Thu Feb 09, 2017 2:54 pm

I've suffered through supporting organs with pedalboard reed contacts be they home-grown, MIDIworks, Peterson, etc. What's wrong with the traditional contact plate and contract block solution?
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Re: Pedal Board Contact Options

Postby murph » Thu Feb 09, 2017 3:54 pm

Hi,
was busy yesterday. I just ripped half of things apart, but the pics not too good. Anything further will involve taking the manuals to bits, as the supports for them are built over the boards that hold the pedal switches. (Seemed like a good idea at the time.....)

Anyway, the pushers on the ends of the pedals make contact with the ends of the long levers. Bending the levers alters the touch point. A pencil should be sufficient to mark the pushers normal rest points on the board the switches attach to. Then it's easy to position them and screw them to the back board. I drilled small holes through
the wood for the cables to pass through to the rear and get loomed back to the encoder (old €45 midi controller).

Anyway, https://www.dropbox.com/sh/hgumpisei6r5 ... sNEDa?dl=0
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Re: Pedal Board Contact Options

Postby jkinkennon » Fri Feb 10, 2017 1:35 am

johnh wrote:I've suffered through supporting organs with pedalboard reed contacts be they home-grown, MIDIworks, Peterson, etc. What's wrong with the traditional contact plate and contract block solution?


I basically agree. Any method is more about the patience required to do exacting work than the product chosen. I like the reeds because they have been good to me. Kind of reminds me of piano regulation where it doesn't seem so bad until you realize that it will take some patience to do each step 88 times. I think I get a bad reaction to contacts from thinking of pipe organ leftovers where the contacts are not tarnished so much as coated with black carbon deposits from the constant arcing. So yeah, new traditional contacts would be great. Can the old ones be cleaned easily? I've never had the opportunity to give it a try.
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