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Thumb pistons position

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

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Thumb pistons position

PostSat Feb 29, 2020 3:50 pm

Hi, I am a new constructor, putting a keyboard stack together from scratch.

My question - how far back under the manual keys should the front surface of the thumb pistons be, so as to be easily accessible, but not obtrusive, or accidentally triggerable ?

John Musgrave
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amun

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Re: Thumb pistons position

PostMon Mar 02, 2020 11:30 am

Hello John,

PSE try:
http://westminsterorganworks.com/pdf/agoconsole.pdf
and
https://www.midiboutique.com/index.php? ... et&did=196

Those documents are only guidelines. But they provide enough information for making an individual decision where to place the pistons.

amun :idea:
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engrssc

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Re: Thumb pistons position

PostMon Mar 02, 2020 2:04 pm

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GrahamH

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Re: Thumb pistons position

PostMon Mar 02, 2020 3:48 pm

Hello John

http://www.sidneys.org/About_Us_files/brit_console_piston_layout.pdf

According to this document, recommended distance from front of white keys to key slip (piston rail) is 135 mm minimum.
This might be OK if your "thumb pistons" are actually push button switches that don't protrude too much. But if you have "real" pistons that protrude quite a bit, it is easy to knock them unintentionally with your knuckle whilst playing, if there is not enough clearance. So if your keyboards' geometry permits, I would suggest you aim for 135 mm minimum from front of white keys to face of thumb piston.

Graham
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johnmusgrave

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Re: Thumb pistons position

PostTue Mar 17, 2020 10:24 pm

Very many thanks to 'GrahamH', 'amun' and 'engrssc'. Much appreciated.
John Musgrave
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ppytprs

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Re: Thumb pistons position

PostWed Mar 18, 2020 9:26 am

Generally I find that the piston rail goes at the end of the keys wherever that might be. With Fatar keys, the backs of the sharps don't tail away, so you can't really push back where the key slip goes, otherwise it looks silly. I guess this sort of keyboard wasn't really designed with piston use in mind.
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Organorak

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Re: Thumb pistons position

PostWed Apr 15, 2020 6:14 pm

You do have to be careful with two things:

1. how far out the thumb piston disk sticks
2. how high above the keys the piston disk sits

In either case you don't want it clashing with a black/accidental note. If the piston sticks out quite a bit then either the thumbrail has to be some way behind the back of the black notes, which would look silly, or the holes have to be drilled a bit higher than the top of the black notes (but not too high otherwise they will be too close to the keyboard above unless your manuals are spaced quite high). Having pistons inbetween black notes is probably too complicated to arrange in practice.

If you use cheap plastic button pistons be prepared for the buttons to snap off after heavy use - you don't really want to have to disassemble your console every time that happens.

Alternatively if you use pistons that are flush or nearly flush with the thumbrail those are less important considerations, but then it's harder to feel for them in a hurry.

I used a slightly closer together manual dimension both in height and in closeness of manuals front to back, as I have four TP60 manuals all parallel to each other and wanted to be able to reach the top manual comfortably. It was still a bit of a squeeze to fit the pistons and I use plastic buttons that are smaller than organ standard Kimber Allens.

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