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A Large Undertaking

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

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A Large Undertaking

PostSat Apr 23, 2022 11:36 am

A partner and I will be engaging in a new project converting a five manual, 300 drawknob Allen Organ console for use as a VPO. We will comment here and on the Organ Forum but mostly the documentation will exist at:

https://nwmidi.com/category/opus-14/

Hosting our own blog will allow the inclusion of schematics, photos, sample set plans and other helpful and interesting information. Since we will be interfacing to Allen MDS technology it is like that we will cover a fair amount of new territory. The conversion is for Hauptwerk of course with the addition of harpsichord, piano, bells, chimes, etc.
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Romanos

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Re: A Large Undertaking

PostSat Apr 23, 2022 8:09 pm

This looks like it will be one heckuva project! I look forward to your blog posts!
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jkinkennon

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Re: A Large Undertaking

PostThu Oct 27, 2022 12:11 pm

It has been 6 months since I started work on the console I now refer to as JAX, that being the airport designation for Jacksonville, Florida where the organ lived for many years.

I've developed a light UDP MIDI network to interconnect organ components using just a single resend of any unacknowledged packets to add a bit of reliability to the UDP protocol. Apple MIDI (RTP-MIDI) does a full journalling of network traffic by comparison but is too much for a microcontroller to handle in my opinion.

This effort required the usual reverse engineering to interface to existing Allen circuits from 30 years ago. I had never worked with the MDS era Allen instruments so this at least leaves me in a good position to convert a few smaller MDS instruments without many surprises. I have the original computer and spare available if I can think of a fun retro project using Motorola 68000 technology.

While work remains the instrument is playable on all five manuals and the 300+ stops work flawlessly with the exception of one stop where the driver circuit is broken off the back of the drawknob in a truly hard to access spot. The pedals and extra toe stud wings are still on my trailer but I'll hopefully get help to bring them into the garage within a week or two.

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