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Looking 4 Infrared Optical Keying System for Allen Keyboards

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Looking 4 Infrared Optical Keying System for Allen Keyboards

Postby jab8283 » Sat Sep 10, 2016 5:01 pm

I finally have four matching Allen Organ keyboard manuals for my Rodgers rebuild. I've already installed them in brand new theatre organ styled keycheeks I had made. The keyboards are the kind with the long woodcore keys and aluminum frames that attach to keycheeks via two screws each side. All four keyboards use the leaf spring type contacts and if possible, I'd like to switch to infrared optical keying system. I know all Allen Organs built today use the infrared optical keying and I'd like to convert these four Allen keyboards to infrared with MIDI connectors, and MIDI channel assignment. Does anyone know where I can find these?

I can rebuild and reuse these leaf spring contacts but if the option were available, I'd like to upgrade the contact system to the newer styled contacts that never need adjusting or servicing.

Also if anyone knows, where can I find the Allen Organ 2nd Touch springs that retrofit on the up-stop screws? I'd like to add 2nd Touch to Acc and Grt manual divisions.
Jim Barrow
Crawfordsville, IN. USA
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Re: Looking 4 Infrared Optical Keying System for Allen Keybo

Postby organtechnology » Sat Sep 10, 2016 6:05 pm

If you find any schematics, pictures or DIY information on this, please share. Thanks

Thomas
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Re: Looking 4 Infrared Optical Keying System for Allen Keybo

Postby jab8283 » Sat Sep 10, 2016 6:56 pm

All I know is several organ builders are now using them and I don't know if they are available to DIY'ers like myself. I need four units and I don't know if calling Allen Organ direct will do any good. I would prefer to convert to Infrared Optical Keying System because it also has Velocity Sensing which I intend to use with my new organ. Someone out here has access to these and I just need four ready to install units to directly replace an Allen Organ factory installed leaf spring contacts. I got these keyboards from two different Allen church organs built in the early 80's. I love these keyboards and am giving them a new life in a theatre organ but I'd like to have new contact technology as well so it will play for many more years without maintenance or adjustments.
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Re: Looking 4 Infrared Optical Keying System for Allen Keybo

Postby engrssc » Sat Sep 10, 2016 8:20 pm

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Re: Looking 4 Infrared Optical Keying System for Allen Keybo

Postby James » Sun Sep 11, 2016 6:56 am

I actually own the keyboards that were converted by Stuart Blanchard and shown in the above blog by him. I can answer any questions about that system.
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Re: Looking 4 Infrared Optical Keying System for Allen Keybo

Postby thomas690 » Sun Sep 11, 2016 9:35 am

Hi,
This problem is already solved by my proportional hall effect sensors. They can measure actual position of key and add firing point in each point of key's travel and perform there firing point. MIDI channel and other factors are also adjustable.
Thomas
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Re: Looking 4 Infrared Optical Keying System for Allen Keybo

Postby jab8283 » Sun Sep 11, 2016 2:40 pm

I have no issues with magnetic reed switches however they have their place and I do not want them in my keyboards. My pedalboard uses magnetic reed switches as do my Syndyne Sam's. I specifically want infrared optical keying on all four keyboard manuals. I know the technology is out there because I keep hearing about it and it fits in a very narrow tight space. What I don't know is who is making it and how I can get my hands on it. That is why I posted here because there are people on these forums from around the world, someone here knows what I am talking about and can lead me to what I'm looking for. It's the exact same keying system that Allen Organ now uses in their organs and I want the same thing in my console.
Jim Barrow
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Re: Looking 4 Infrared Optical Keying System for Allen Keybo

Postby jab8283 » Sun Sep 11, 2016 4:59 pm

I believe I have found what I was looking for. These are the infrared optical keying boards I was searching for: "http://www.organworks.com/index.php/products/hardware?set_article=keyboard-products&prod=optical-keyswitch-boards-4".

It says that with 2nd Touch springs, the OPVKM2 boards are for 2nd Touch contacts, and the OPVKM4 is for primary keyboard contacts. The M2 mounts ahead of the balance point which is in the center of these Allen keyboard manuals, and the M4 mounts behind the balance point. They have velocity sensing which Hauptwerk can utilitze, but they can also work with Gen-MIDI II sound engine for adding hundreds of other instruments and sounds along with the current sample-set.

One of the sounds I love is that of a real French Horn which is not available in any theatre organ sample-set but can be added via MIDI stop from Gen-MIDI II sound engine. Allen Organ uses a similar technology in their current organs called OST (optical sensing technology) and I don't think it likely they'll sell their version to me but I do think Organ Works will. All I need to locate now are the up-stop 2nd Touch springs for Allen Organ keyboards.
Jim Barrow
Crawfordsville, IN. USA
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Re: Looking 4 Infrared Optical Keying System for Allen Keybo

Postby engrssc » Sun Sep 11, 2016 6:05 pm

James wrote:I actually own the keyboards that were converted by Stuart Blanchard and shown in the above blog by him. I can answer any questions about that system.


Are the metal pieces/brackets that mount to the keys available? How do you find the operation of this system to be? Any issues?

Rgds,
Ed
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Re: Looking 4 Infrared Optical Keying System for Allen Keybo

Postby James » Sun Sep 11, 2016 7:47 pm

Hi Ed
The metal brackets were made by Stuart, I think. The magnets stay in place by their attraction to the metal piece they sit on. Moving the magnets on the metal is how they are adjusted, a process that must be done before the keyboard is mounted in the stack. Moving the keyboards, or jarring them, can get them out of adjustment, so the stack has to come apart to readjust things. The keyboards because of the magnets, are very heavy. The resulting tracker touch is very nice and the action is quite responsive and crisp, very much like a harpsichord that I have, though with more key dip. I like it very much, though I am tempted to put in springs to make the keys a little "heavier ". These are in an Allan console that I converted and is in Florida where I spend the winter. It took a lot of time to set them up, but I feel was very much worth it.
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Re: Looking 4 Infrared Optical Keying System for Allen Keybo

Postby engrssc » Sun Sep 11, 2016 7:59 pm

Thanks, James. Appears Stuart has access to metal working equipment. Those brackets look very professional.

Rgds,
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Re: Looking 4 Infrared Optical Keying System for Allen Keybo

Postby thomas690 » Mon Sep 12, 2016 1:43 am

Hi Jim,
I didn't write about reed switches only about hall sensors. They need less space, could be fixed almost in any place of keyboard, they can provide 2nd touch, and are very easy to regulate (by software).
Obviously they are connected to the custom made controller it give you all what you need include full featured MIDI signal. In my post was statement "my contact" it means I manufacture them. They are absolutely superior to optic switches, need less hardware.
Regards
Thomas
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