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Pistons, display and potentiometer advice

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

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Re: Pistons, display and potentiometer advice

PostFri Jan 15, 2021 4:33 am

Thanks, Bohr. You're very welcome.
Best regards, Martin.
Hauptwerk software designer/developer, Milan Digital Audio.
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larason2

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Re: Pistons, display and potentiometer advice

PostFri Jan 15, 2021 10:46 am

If you’re not sure how to group the buttons, I would arrange the buttons the way they are on a typical console. For pistons, under the keyboard rails, a number of pistons immediately underneath, and 2-3 pistons at either end for either octave, floating divisions, or stepper forward/back. For the stop selection, you could have them either side or above the keyboard, in any of the various traditional ways. You can use a stop selector for couplers or stops, so they are pretty multi purpose. My personal preference is to have either a lighted momentary button, or a standard momentary button linked to an LED for stops. They are inexpensive, LED’s last a long time without burning out, and it can instantly change without needing a lot of things to move. Any further buttons or Displays you can add later, when you’ve had a chance to use your machine for a while, and determine what you really need. All the best with your project!
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Re: Pistons, display and potentiometer advice

PostFri Jan 15, 2021 11:31 am

engrssc wrote:Due to the compact size of the LITSW, and with proper planning you can mount the board on or near the c/a piston rail given physical space. Then only the small 4 conductor cable connects to the Master Controller. This 4 conductor cable carries power for both the piston switches and the LEDs. As well, the logic for 24 lighted pistons.

Something to consider is the length of the 4 conductor connecting cable when you order a LITSW. The LITSW will not power incandescent 5 V lamps found in some lighted pistons - only LEDs with no more than 3ma draw. I have replaced the incond lamps with LEDs without an issue. I add a 1K, 1/8 W resistor in series between the LITSW and the LED. There is a single common lead for both the switch and the LED. Nothing says you need to use only white LEDs BTW.

That's a good point. I am still thinking about how I can sort my buttons to place LITSW as good as possible. That's not easy.
I already have lighted LED switches, so I don't have problems with high current.
Pistons with colored LEDs is a very good advice, thank you!
[quote"engrssc"]
Lighted stops use different boards, also easy to configure.
[/quote]
I actually don't quite understand what you mean. I guess you mean that I should use one (or two, ...) LITSW only for pistons and one (or two, ...) only for stops. Is this in order to keep it clean without chaos? Or is there a more important reason?
engrssc wrote:Another "thing", I have used laser printed .5 inch diameter (black or colored lettering on clear) labels for pistons. The advantage is the label can be changed/replaced if you change the configuration. The option is, of course to use engraved pistons. I've got some laser printed labels on a regularly used instrument's pistons, still in good condition after a couple years. There are a few "tricks".

I use laser printed labels as well which I cut out to fit inside (under) the front cover. Works perfect :)
engrssc wrote:If you don't use scoped pistons, the LED will only stay lit as long as you hold the piston in.

Oh, thank you very much for pointing this out. I haven't been aware of this!





dcaton wrote:When I was planning out my HW console conversion, I went through the same exercise trying to figure out what additional buttons/pistons I wanted to add for HW-specific functions. I wanted to figure this out before I ordered MIDI boards so I could order everything at once and make sure it all worked together (I also use Roman Sowa's midi hardware).

Despite reading the HW manual over and over and creating lots of spreadsheets with button layouts, I never came up with something I was comfortable with. I'm modifying an existing pipe organ console with limited space for additional controls. Any buttons I add require holes to be drilled, and once holes are drilled I can't change my mind and move things around.

This is exactly my situation right now! Once the holes are drilled there is no way to change it (without it looking stupid).
dcaton wrote:Finally I gave up on that and came up with another idea. I decided to create an "organ controller" using a RaspberryPi and a small touchscreen display. The pi has a USB midi adapter and is connected to one of the in and out ports on my MOTU MicroLite, so it receives all midi messages flowing through the system, as well as being able to generate midi messages on its own. I can create any number of interfaces on the touch screen to display messages from HW and to send commands to HW. If I don't like something I can easily change it, and if future versions of HW add a feature I want to control I can add it, without having to figure out where I would mount more physical buttons.

In addition, the pi also controls relays that turn on/off the main computer, controls power to the 12v dc power supplies, the console lights, the speakers, etc. Also, I plan on having it drive four led bargraph displays for swell shoe and crescendo indicators.

I started this project about 2 1/2 years ago, but it's been on hold for 2 years as I moved and other things took priority. I just recently pulled it all out of the box and started working on it again, so I don't have anything at this point I could share. If you have any programming skills though, it isn't that hard of a project to put together.

This sounds awesome! I am actually familiar with programming with python and C++ (but not using it as much now as I used to some years ago). I might consider this. I would be happy if you message me when you are able to finish it.
I like the idea of the LED bargraph displays.
I want my pistons and registers as physical buttons. But your method sounds like a really awesome possibility to take care for other buttons and messages! Thank you for this input.





larason2 wrote:If you’re not sure how to group the buttons, I would arrange the buttons the way they are on a typical console. For pistons, under the keyboard rails, a number of pistons immediately underneath, and 2-3 pistons at either end for either octave, floating divisions, or stepper forward/back. For the stop selection, you could have them either side or above the keyboard, in any of the various traditional ways. You can use a stop selector for couplers or stops, so they are pretty multi purpose. My personal preference is to have either a lighted momentary button, or a standard momentary button linked to an LED for stops. They are inexpensive, LED’s last a long time without burning out, and it can instantly change without needing a lot of things to move. Any further buttons or Displays you can add later, when you’ve had a chance to use your machine for a while, and determine what you really need. All the best with your project!

Thank you very much for your advice. I will use them if I am uncertain :)
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Re: Pistons, display and potentiometer advice

PostFri Jan 15, 2021 11:48 am

If you have experience with C, you can look into using arduinos to wire your console for midi. I recently got into this, and I found it is quite straightforward, and the cost is very economical. You can use multiplexers and matrixing to increase the number of pins as well very economically. Wiring is straightforward if all you are using is LED’s and buttons/keys/pedals.
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Re: Pistons, display and potentiometer advice

PostFri Jan 15, 2021 11:52 am

larason2 wrote:If you have experience with C, you can look into using arduinos to wire your console for midi. I recently got into this, and I found it is quite straightforward, and the cost is very economical. You can use multiplexers and matrixing to increase the number of pins as well very economically. Wiring is straightforward if all you are using is LED’s and buttons/keys/pedals.

Thank you for this advice. I once actually thought about it. But to be honest I kind of lack time for this project, therefore, I dropped the idea. I would probably spend a lot of time with this :D
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Re: Pistons, display and potentiometer advice

PostFri Jan 15, 2021 12:03 pm

Bohr wrote:
engrssc wrote:If you don't use scoped pistons, the LED will only stay lit as long as you hold the piston in.


Oh, thank you very much for pointing this out. I haven't been aware of this!


For the avoidance of any confusion, I think Ed's referring specifically to divisional/general pistons that a sample set might include natively, which, in many sample sets, don't light up when 'on'. For such sample a set, you can use Hauptwerk's master scoped combinations (and/or master generals) as alternatives to the divisionals/generals that the sample set includes natively, since Hauptwerk's master scoped and master general pistons do light up when 'on'.
Best regards, Martin.
Hauptwerk software designer/developer, Milan Digital Audio.
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Re: Pistons, display and potentiometer advice

PostFri Jan 15, 2021 12:19 pm

Bohr wrote:[quote"engrssc"]
Lighted stops use different boards, also easy to configure.


Bohr wrote:I actually don't quite understand what you mean. I guess you mean that I should use one (or two, ...) LITSW only for pistons and one (or two, ...) only for stops. Is this in order to keep it clean without chaos? Or is there a more important reason


Depends on the stop configuration. If the stop has a single N/O momentary contact, then the operation would be one press of a button lights up associated LED, and Master board sends appropriate MIDI message. Next button press turns the light off and the master generates MIDI for off state.

I prefer stops with a separate N/O momentary contact for On and a separate N/O momentary contact for Off. The LITSW won't do that. A different encoder such as one or more BBS-1K scanners can be used with a split configuration where half the connections send a note-on MIDI message and the other half send note-off. This will control 32 stops.

https://www.midi-hardware.com/index.php?section=prod_info&product=BBS-1K

Rather than doing a split, you could use one BBS-1K configured to send note-on and another BBS-1K to send note-off to control 64 stops.

To control associated LEDs (if you want them), you can use a MIDECO decoder which will control 64 LEDs:

https://www.midi-hardware.com/index.php?section=prod_info&product=MIDECO.

Rgds,
Ed
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Re: Pistons, display and potentiometer advice

PostFri Jan 15, 2021 12:34 pm

mdyde wrote:
Bohr wrote:
engrssc wrote:If you don't use scoped pistons, the LED will only stay lit as long as you hold the piston in.


Oh, thank you very much for pointing this out. I haven't been aware of this!


For the avoidance of any confusion, I think Ed's referring specifically to divisional/general pistons that a sample set might include natively, which, in many sample sets, don't light up when 'on'. For such sample a set, you can use Hauptwerk's master scoped combinations (and/or master generals) as alternatives to the divisionals/generals that the sample set includes natively, since Hauptwerk's master scoped and master general pistons do light up when 'on'.


Martin's explanation is, of course correct. It took me a long time and much frustration to separate that concept out and get my head around it. Once you see what is going on, the whole "thing" becomes - simple. :roll:

BTW, Martin has this unique ability to "translate" complicated items into understandable information. Cheers, Martin. 8)

Rgds,
Ed
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Re: Pistons, display and potentiometer advice

PostFri Jan 15, 2021 12:43 pm

Thanks, Ed. You're welcome!
Best regards, Martin.
Hauptwerk software designer/developer, Milan Digital Audio.
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Re: Pistons, display and potentiometer advice

PostFri Jan 15, 2021 12:56 pm

Bohr wrote:
engrssc wrote:Another "thing", I have used laser printed .5 inch diameter (black or colored lettering on clear) labels for pistons. The advantage is the label can be changed/replaced if you change the configuration. The option is, of course to use engraved pistons. I've got some laser printed labels on a regularly used instrument's pistons, still in good condition after a couple years. There are a few "tricks".

I use laser printed labels as well which I cut out to fit inside (under) the front cover. Works perfect :)


You may want to check out these precut blank laser printable .5 inch labels.

https://www.onlinelabels.com/products/ol32?src=dlc-410

They will send sample sheets (up to 3 - per label) for your "evaluation". As well, they have software (programs) to print these.

Rgds,
Ed
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Re: Pistons, display and potentiometer advice

PostFri Jan 15, 2021 1:52 pm

Bohr wrote:This sounds awesome! I am actually familiar with programming with python and C++ (but not using it as much now as I used to some years ago). I might consider this. I would be happy if you message me when you are able to finish it.
I like the idea of the LED bargraph displays.
I want my pistons and registers as physical buttons. But your method sounds like a really awesome possibility to take care for other buttons and messages! Thank you for this input.

Same here, I have the original console from my church's pipe organ, and I don't want to turn it into something that looks like a science fair project. If I end up using large touchscreen monitors, I'll find a way to mount them so they slide back into the stop jambs, or some arrangement that keeps them hidden most of the time. I figured a small touch screen display for the HW-specific features would not detract too much from the visual appearance of the console. The new console that replaced this one has led bargraph displays so I want to emulate that.

I'll let you know as I make progress. I originally started this out as a .net WPF app with Windows 10 IOT on the pi. But Microsoft seems to have abandoned that, so I've converted to a .net 5.0 core app using HTML and Blazor, running on the standard Rasbpian linux distro.
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Re: Pistons, display and potentiometer advice

PostFri Jan 15, 2021 2:07 pm

Bohr wrote:This is exactly my situation right now! Once the holes are drilled there is no way to change it (without it looking stupid).

Something else that may be helpful. My console has a row of coupler tabs above the top manual, with some indicator lights and an old crescendo indicator that can't be reused. Removing these is going to leave holes in the panel that I would never be able to fill and refinish in a way that would be inconspicuous. And recreating that panel would be a huge amount of work, finding a piece of appropriate wood, staining it to match and reinstalling 39 coupler tab assemblies.

I found this company https://www.frontpanelexpress.com/ that makes custom metal panels. I'm going to use one of these to mount the new bargraph displays and probably a few controls like general volume, etc, and cover the holes left from the stuff I remove. I don't think it will look out of place since there are already many engraved labels on the stop jambs, toe studs, etc. And the price for a custom panel is very reasonable. There's a Windows app where you can design the panel, and it tells you in real time how much it will cost.
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Re: Pistons, display and potentiometer advice

PostFri Jan 15, 2021 10:14 pm

dcaton wrote:I found this company https://www.frontpanelexpress.com/ that makes custom metal panels. I'm going to use one of these to mount the new bargraph displays and probably a few controls like general volume, etc, and cover the holes left from the stuff I remove. I don't think it will look out of place since there are already many engraved labels on the stop jambs, toe studs, etc. And the price for a custom panel is very reasonable. There's a Windows app where you can design the panel, and it tells you in real time how much it will cost.


Approx what is the size of the panel you are considering? With cutouts?

Rgds,
Ed
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Re: Pistons, display and potentiometer advice

PostSat Jan 16, 2021 10:18 am

engrssc wrote:Approx what is the size of the panel you are considering? With cutouts?

Rgds,
Ed

I haven't decided yet, I need to get the actual hardware working (bargraph displays, etc.) before I finalize the size, cutouts, etc., just to make sure the displays I want to use will actually work the way I want.

Basically I have about 1 1/2" below the coupler tabs. There is an old crescendo indicator in the center and various indicators to the right and left, not all of which I want to retain. If I make the panel the same width as the coupler tabs, the panel would be about 39" wide and 1.5" high. I plan on using a black anodized panel, so it will blend in with the trim around the coupler tabs.
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Re: Pistons, display and potentiometer advice

PostSun Jan 17, 2021 5:17 pm

mdyde wrote:For the avoidance of any confusion, I think Ed's referring specifically to divisional/general pistons that a sample set might include natively, which, in many sample sets, don't light up when 'on'. For such sample a set, you can use Hauptwerk's master scoped combinations (and/or master generals) as alternatives to the divisionals/generals that the sample set includes natively, since Hauptwerk's master scoped and master general pistons do light up when 'on'.

Thank you for pointing this out. This clearly helped!





engrssc wrote:Depends on the stop configuration. If the stop has a single N/O momentary contact, then the operation would be one press of a button lights up associated LED, and Master board sends appropriate MIDI message. Next button press turns the light off and the master generates MIDI for off state.

I prefer stops with a separate N/O momentary contact for On and a separate N/O momentary contact for Off. The LITSW won't do that. A different encoder such as one or more BBS-1K scanners can be used with a split configuration where half the connections send a note-on MIDI message and the other half send note-off. This will control 32 stops.

https://www.midi-hardware.com/index.php ... uct=BBS-1K

Rather than doing a split, you could use one BBS-1K configured to send note-on and another BBS-1K to send note-off to control 64 stops.

To control associated LEDs (if you want them), you can use a MIDECO decoder which will control 64 LEDs:

https://www.midi-hardware.com/index.php ... uct=MIDECO.

Rgds,
Ed

Thank you for explaining. I like your idea with separated on/off-switch. But I think that I will stick with my single N/O-switches.
engrssc wrote:You may want to check out these precut blank laser printable .5 inch labels.

https://www.onlinelabels.com/products/ol32?src=dlc-410

They will send sample sheets (up to 3 - per label) for your "evaluation". As well, they have software (programs) to print these.

Rgds,
Ed

Good idea, makes life easier. But I need my labels just a little bit bigger. So I might need to cut them all out by myself.





dcaton wrote:Same here, I have the original console from my church's pipe organ, and I don't want to turn it into something that looks like a science fair project. If I end up using large touchscreen monitors, I'll find a way to mount them so they slide back into the stop jambs, or some arrangement that keeps them hidden most of the time. I figured a small touch screen display for the HW-specific features would not detract too much from the visual appearance of the console. The new console that replaced this one has led bargraph displays so I want to emulate that.

I'll let you know as I make progress. I originally started this out as a .net WPF app with Windows 10 IOT on the pi. But Microsoft seems to have abandoned that, so I've converted to a .net 5.0 core app using HTML and Blazor, running on the standard Rasbpian linux distro.

Thank you, I am looking forward to your progress :)
Which Rasp pi do you use?
dcaton wrote:Something else that may be helpful. My console has a row of coupler tabs above the top manual, with some indicator lights and an old crescendo indicator that can't be reused. Removing these is going to leave holes in the panel that I would never be able to fill and refinish in a way that would be inconspicuous. And recreating that panel would be a huge amount of work, finding a piece of appropriate wood, staining it to match and reinstalling 39 coupler tab assemblies.

I found this company https://www.frontpanelexpress.com/ that makes custom metal panels. I'm going to use one of these to mount the new bargraph displays and probably a few controls like general volume, etc, and cover the holes left from the stuff I remove. I don't think it will look out of place since there are already many engraved labels on the stop jambs, toe studs, etc. And the price for a custom panel is very reasonable. There's a Windows app where you can design the panel, and it tells you in real time how much it will cost.

Good idea, I will keep it in mind if I want to change anything later :)
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