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Car central locking solenoids for free combinations?

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

Car central locking solenoids for free combinations?

Postby tomaszartur » Sun May 14, 2017 3:39 am

Together with my pedalboard I'm trying to midify my drawstops (manually pulling out/pushing in the stops). Recently one of my friends suggested to use cheap car central locking solenoids instead of the proper ones for free combination.
Is this possible?

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Car-Central-L ... 2210548785
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Re: Car central locking solenoids for free combinations?

Postby engrssc » Sun May 14, 2017 4:03 am

Draw knobs require both in and out motion. Generally a bi-directional solenoid mechanism would require 3 wires, a common, an up (out) solenoid and a down (in) solenoid. With only 2 wires, my guess would be a bi-directional operation would require a voltage polarity reversal which would complicate the setup altho no doubt could be done.

Do you already have draw knob heads and mechanisms? You would also obviously require a switch for each draw knob and a means to fasten and connect all this to a stop board. The basic idea appears feasible but requires quite some amount of mechanical assembly work. Commercial draw knob assemblies are quite durable and compact for good reason and their cost reflects that as well.

Since it appears that the solenoid is mounted at 90 degrees with respect to the mechanism, (versus in line) thought would be required as to how to orient the assembly based on proximity to other assemblies.

A minor consideration would be how much noise (klunk) is generated.

Rgds,
Ed
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Re: Car central locking solenoids for free combinations?

Postby tomaszartur » Sun May 14, 2017 9:13 am

Thank you Ed,

I already have over 120 draw knobs made for the extended Caen.
Originally I was trying just to midiy all of them but my friend said that he could use some car solenoids to create free combinations.
He doesn't know what kind of "midi board" I should get from Roman Sowa?

Btw, my central lock (Honda Accord) has both in and out motion.

Tom
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Re: Car central locking solenoids for free combinations?

Postby jkinkennon » Sun May 14, 2017 1:24 pm

I have no idea how well this approach will work, but if you are determined to give it a try then start out with a sample universal actuator with five or six wires. With five wires you will hopefully have a ground plus two 12V leads, one for each direction, plus a pair that will hopefully indicate the state of the lock, either locked or unlocked.

If that all checks out then measure the current with 12V applied very briefly -- I suppose these actuators can burn out like a SAM would if the 12V is sustained for more than a second or so.

If all this checks out ok and you can observe the state of the actuator changing on a pair of leads then get back to us and we can suggest a MIDI decoder to use. I've had great results with MIDI Boutique units but there are many other choices.

If the actuator comes with a schematic then be sure to post it for us as that will help immensely.
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Re: Car central locking solenoids for free combinations?

Postby murph » Sun May 14, 2017 3:02 pm

These "solenoids" look like DC motors with a small gear driving a rack-type arrangement to push and pull the actuator. It might prove quite tricky to incorporate them into draw-stop actions, as I imagine they could require a lot of force to move the actuator for manual use.
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Re: Car central locking solenoids for free combinations?

Postby engrssc » Sun May 14, 2017 4:03 pm

murph wrote:These "solenoids" look like DC motors with a small gear driving a rack-type arrangement to push and pull the actuator. It might prove quite tricky to incorporate them into draw-stop actions, as I imagine they could require a lot of force to move the actuator for manual use.


My door latches are quite snappy and don't seem to take much time from open to close. Could be you could purchase a complete door latch assembly from a auto "junk"" yard and get some ideas.

Unless some sort of friction clutch were to be incorporated. It would quite 'un-handy' for hand registration as well esp if the action was slow. With standard solenoid operated draw knobs, you feel almost no drag when moving them by hand.

Yet, it still has possibilities. I wouldn't suggest ordering 120 of these before trying to do (it) with 1 or 2. You can always relegate costs to R & D if it doesn't prove out. :wink: A use for spare solenoids could be one of these: :shock:

https://i1.wp.com/makezine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/MIDIdrumbot.png

For VTPO fans: http://makezine.com/projects/midi-drum-bot/

Actually, there are some good ideas in that article. Found it a while ago when browsing for add-ons for my Rodgers 340 which was "born" as a theatre instrument. Couldn't convince the wife as to "it's" being necessary. Now maybe if I painted "it" the same colour as our music room wall, it could be more acceptable? Nah, probably not. :roll:

As far as a Sam's decoder/driver, you might want to check out:

http://www.dtsmidisystems.com/midi-decoder-and-drivers.html

And a further consideration is an adequate power supply to drive the Sam's - and not a car battery on a charger. :mrgreen:


Rgds,
Ed
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Re: Car central locking solenoids for free combinations?

Postby jkinkennon » Sun May 14, 2017 9:10 pm

I think if I were looking at 120 already made drawknobs that I needed to activate I'd start at ground zero with a couple of 1000' reels of magnet wire and learn to wind coils. Wouldn't take anything more complicated than a drill motor and some plastic bobbins and I'd try winding coils to match the resistance of some typical drawknobs designed for 12V. Getting the right number of windings wouldn't be rocket science. Pick the wire gauge to match some existing design for starters and give it a try. I remember doing things like this back in the days of being an engineering technician.

I've acquired complete consoles with 60 or so drawknobs at price ranges from $1 to $500 so that's another possibility. Might depend on the design of the existing drawknobs.
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Re: Car central locking solenoids for free combinations?

Postby ArnoldOrgans » Sun May 14, 2017 9:50 pm

Looking at the price difference between SAM's and car locks there is a big appeal to the concept. There are some problems to solve before this would work. As stated before most car locks are a single motor that changes direction with the reverse of polarity. I don't know of a MIDI decoder that will work with this. The other major problem is the switching current to move 120 solenoids at a time. Remember the car solenoids use a lot of power to move door locks that can be quite firm. Organ SAM's are designed to be energy efficient (at least the ones in digital organs)
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Re: Car central locking solenoids for free combinations?

Postby RichardW » Mon May 15, 2017 4:17 pm

ArnoldOrgans wrote:Remember the car solenoids use a lot of power to move door locks that can be quite firm.

I have no experience with door lock solenoids but the above reminder may be an understatement. Remember that a car will typically have only four or five to operate at once and it will have the availability of a battery that can provide hundreds of amps.

I would investigate that very seriously before buying 120 of them. You may end up spending all the money you save on a suitable power supply. Still, look on the bright side, it should be able to double as an arc welder. :)

Regards,
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