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Midifying Swell Pedals

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

Midifying Swell Pedals

Postby FJL » Tue Mar 07, 2017 1:54 pm

I am in the process of upgrading from an IKEA table to a console shell. The console has two nice swell pedals and it seem right to midify them. I know there has been lots of discussion regarding this. I wonder though about the very basics: what potentiometers to choose, things I should know about connecting them to the pedal mechanisms, midi encoder connection--the works.
Many thanks in advance.
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Re: Midifying Swell Pedals

Postby engrssc » Tue Mar 07, 2017 2:04 pm

10K linear pots(s). for starters. Midi Boutique and Midi Hardware have encoders. Will give further info later. I have a plane to catch right now. Others may jump in.

Rgds,
Ed
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Re: Midifying Swell Pedals

Postby magnaton » Tue Mar 07, 2017 2:15 pm

Hello FJL:

Quite a bit of experience here on the forum so for starters, tell us the about the console (Make, Model, and date) if known. There are a few MIDI encoder vendors who publish their spec on the required ohm resistance to work properly with their boards. I've seen 10K ohm as required by a couple of them.

If you are really lucky you might be able to use the pots already installed. That hasn't been my experience but was fortunate enough for my Rodgers swell pedals to simply swap out the rotary pots with 10K ohm ones ($6.00 each). The shaft diameter and length was a very close match so it was plug and play. 8)

Finally you can install slider pots on any swell shoe. Here is a forum thread that talks about that. It also contains links to more detailed threads too.

http://forum.hauptwerk.com/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=13914&p=103059&hilit=swell+pedal#p103059

Danny B.
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Re: Midifying Swell Pedals

Postby FJL » Tue Mar 07, 2017 4:51 pm

Hi thanks you both for the info. The console is Moller, i.e. nothing electric electronic (in fact it was entirely electro-pneumatic) so I really need to start from nothing. I will look through the link info. Thanks again!
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Re: Midifying Swell Pedals

Postby rayjcar » Tue Mar 07, 2017 5:42 pm

If all that you need to encode is swell shoes, DTS midi systems makes the SSC-1 swell shoe encoder for $79.95 US. It encodes up to four swell pedals.

If, however, you also need to encode keyboards and pedal boards, there are other encoder modules available from DTS, Classic Midi Systems and others which encode keyboard switches but have analog inputs for expression on the same card. This would be more economical.

Depending on the manufacturer, you need a 5k to 10 linear potentiometer. Choose one with a high quality element, i.e. conductive plastic. I would assume that being a Moller console, the swell shoe had a roller with contacts, and therefore going with the slider pot as suggested by others may be a simpler solution than trying to adapt a rotary potentiometer.

Ray
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Re: Midifying Swell Pedals

Postby FJL » Tue Mar 07, 2017 7:44 pm

Thanks for the info. I actually have a Classic 3 keyboard stack+pedalboard. I was going to use the Moller basically as a table but as the components are in such good condition, it occurred to me to try to salvage the swell pedals, which, as you say, have rollers with contacts. And $79.95 + the potentiometers is still better than $250 per midi pedal.
Thanks again
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Re: Midifying Swell Pedals

Postby johnh » Tue Mar 07, 2017 10:47 pm

The Teensy++ 2.0 board can encode 3 expression pedals and 40+ inputs, be they notes, pistons, etc. The teensy board connects to your computer via USB. Complete information is available over on the Miditzer forum HERE

Teensy products are available from PJRC and the board mentioned in the post on the MIditzer forum costs $24.

---john.
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Re: Midifying Swell Pedals

Postby FJL » Fri Mar 10, 2017 8:08 am

If anyone happens to have a potentiometer recommendation, I should be all set.
Thanks again, everyone.
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Re: Midifying Swell Pedals

Postby magnaton » Fri Mar 10, 2017 9:39 am

Well, if you are looking for a plug and play option check out this slide pot assembly from Arndt Organ Supply:
#3003SA Arndt Slide Pot
http://www.arndtorgansupply.com/products.htm

For just a slider pot that I've used on one of my conversions:
https://www.sparkfun.com/products/9119

Danny B.
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Re: Midifying Swell Pedals

Postby organtechnology » Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:24 am

magnaton wrote:Well, if you are looking for a plug and play option check out this slide pot assembly from Arndt Organ Supply:
#3003SA Arndt Slide Pot
http://www.arndtorgansupply.com/products.htm

For just a slider pot that I've used on one of my conversions:
https://www.sparkfun.com/products/9119

Danny B.


That slider from Arndt is designed to work with their pedals and is a bit short for an Allen, Rodgers or Klann pedal. Especially when you attach them to the end of the pedal. The Spark Fun large slide pot that John Kinkennon uses is a better length and also under $6.

Also since the original poster has a Classic pedal board, the Voltage to MIDI electronics are already in the board and it just takes the slide pot and some wires to hook it up. Mounting it to the pedal is pretty easy too.

Best regards,

Thomas
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Re: Midifying Swell Pedals

Postby engrssc » Fri Mar 10, 2017 2:08 pm

The Spark Fun large slide 10K pot appears to only have 2 terminals or did I miss one?
I do see 3 on the data sheet. :?:

Image

https://www.sparkfun.com/products/9119


Rgds,
Ed
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Re: Midifying Swell Pedals

Postby itsabird » Fri Mar 10, 2017 2:36 pm

Hi Ed,
In your picture I see three terminals. Two at the left side, with the bottom one a little more to the middle (and a bit hidden by the upper one), and one at the right side of the picture.
Is that what you mean?

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Re: Midifying Swell Pedals

Postby engrssc » Fri Mar 10, 2017 5:16 pm

Yes, looked too quickly. :oops:

Rgds,
Ed
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Re: Midifying Swell Pedals

Postby murph » Fri Mar 10, 2017 5:54 pm

Ha Ha! Put the glasses on!
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Re: Midifying Swell Pedals

Postby engrssc » Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:22 pm

Speaking of cheaters (glasses), I just got a new pair esp for reading (organ) music. My regular bi-focals don't work so well when the music rack is up high. There is a constant need with them to tilt my head back to see thru the bottom half. A real pain (in the neck) after a while. These new specs are single vision lens but only work at a distance of approx 3 or so feet. No good for driving or distant viewing. So far, I don't need "replacement parts" such as a hearing aid or false teeth. :roll: : :wink:

Rgds,
Ed
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