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Salvaging an old MIDI Rodgers organ for Hauptwerk

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

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Salvaging an old MIDI Rodgers organ for Hauptwerk

PostSat Feb 19, 2022 10:54 pm

I adopted a late 80’s Rodgers Concord 755 six or seven years ago. Since it has MIDI, I’m want to now do some work on it to use it as a Hauptwerk controller.

The manuals on this instrument are not worth keeping, so the plan is to cut through the cabinet, remove the entire top half of the organ, (manuals, top half of the cabinet, stop tabs, everything), leaving a “table” for a new three manual keyboard assembly to rest on. Of course, all interior analog electronics will be removed and discarded. A couple of touch screens will be added on each side of the new manuals.

I'm basically just salvaging the MIDI pedalboard, the toe pistons, expression pedals, and the bottom half of the cabinet ... and of course the MIDI wiring that's already connected.

Does anyone know of someone who’s documented a project like this online? I really have no idea if this is as easy as it sounds, or if the MIDI wiring from the pedals and the pistons requires electronic expertise to isolate so as to become the bottom half of my Hauptwerk controller.

Anyone know where to start? I’m sure there has to be people out there who have completely replaced the manuals on a MIDI organ and gutted the original electronics. I’d love to learn from them if anyone knows where their stories/pictures/videos are.
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larason2

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Re: Salvaging an old MIDI Rodgers organ for Hauptwerk

PostSun Feb 20, 2022 9:01 am

Welcome to the forum! Unless you know what you’re doing, it would be unwise to discard the internal electronics if you still want to use the original Midi. I also don’t think your organ is analog, it’s probably a digital instrument.

Still, your project is doable. Basically cut the wiring to all the switches and the keyboards, remove them, and add the new keyboards and touch screens. If the organ has an interface screen, you may want to keep that. If the organ has any “midi” tabs, you may want to short those connections to ensure that Midi continues to work. The danger here is that disconnecting the keyboards and stop tabs will result in the midi no longer working. It’s unlikely, but I think that risk should be kept in mind. Another risk is by working on the cabinet, you accidentally damage the internal components with static electricity, so you have to be careful of that too.

If you no longer want your keyboards or stop tabs I would be happy to take them off your hands! Just send me a private message.
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Neumie

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Re: Salvaging an old MIDI Rodgers organ for Hauptwerk

PostSun Feb 20, 2022 1:47 pm

Thanks, Larason2. I've since gotten an authoritative reply elsewhere on my question. The MIDI functionality on my organ is inherently connected to the analog wiring and hardware I was imagining throwing out. It's not distinct - so I can't just remove and discard the analog stuff and keep just the MIDI. (Pretty naive of me to think so, but that's why I asked around.)

And even MIDI specs have changed greatly since the late 80's, which I didn't know. Someone recommended that I just buy new MIDI components entirely for such a project.

I think my question is answered for now.

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