Jay Beckham

Conn Church Organ Model 632 to MIDI

20 posts in this topic

I have been gone from the forum for a long time.  I had purchased the various boards from Smash TV back in 2011.  I tried various ways to wire the keyboards (2) for simple switches without success.  My wife suggested I just buy two keyboard and not fight it anymore.  I have all the boards and cables to wire this organ.  Can someone suggest a source of keyboards that won't cost me an arm and a leg.  It would nice to have combination pistons, but I can survive without them.  I want to end up with a reasonable classical organ.

 

Thanks

 

Jay Beckham

 

james@thebeckhams.us

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Hi Jay,

 

I noticed nobody responded so I thought I would try.  I am currently gutting a Conn 830 organ and installing Midi boards in it.  In looking at your previous posts you indicated that the stop contacts were normally closed.  I was wondering if you were really talking about the keyboard contacts here.  My keyboards are almost identical to yours except that the rods are fixed in place and don't move.  All of the contacts are normally OPEN and when the key is pressed they close.  With the key in the rest position, the 6 contact wires rest on an insulated portion of the bus bar above.  When you press the key, the wire whiskers push down and make connect to the conduction portion of the lower bus and close the circuit.   Rotating your buss bars by 180 degrees would cause the key contacts to be normally closed like you said. 

 

I don't think you need new keyboards.  In fact on my project I am wiring all 6 contact whiskers together for each key and grounding all of the buss bars so I will have less issues with dirty contacts.  My organ was playing with the old analog electronics and the keys made scratching noises indicating they needed cleaning.  Cleaning the contacts fixed this issue but I thought the problem would come back in time with the Midi conversion I am going to keep this from happening.

 

Did you ever get your Smash TV boards assembled and try to test them out on the bench to see if you could get Midi messages to be sent when you grounded the inputs to your DIN board using the Midio128 V2 software?

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Hi

 

Thanks for the reply.

 

First the keyboard contacts are normally open like yours but my rods rotate so they must be locked down some how.   I don't recall about the stops but will check on that.  I don't think the stops will be a problem as they would be easy to modify it they are normally closed.

 

I have never assmebled the boards but maybe able to get to that soon.  I had another big project that kind of occupied by time.

 

I had considered tying them all together also.  Maybe I should do 10 or 20 notes and see how it goes.  The least expensive none piston keyboard I could find so far was $595.  I had hoped they were in the $300 range but maybe that is just dreaming.

 

Based on that pricing of $595 I should at least give it a try.

 

Jay

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I took another look at the two manuals.  On one there is two buss rods that don't move.  They are normally open.  On the other there are three buss rods that don't move and they are normally open.  So I gang the two and the three together for my commons and then attach wires to thoses two and three pins and I have got what i need I believe.

 

Jay Beckham

 

james@thebeckhams.us

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It sounds like you have almost everything you need except the time which is being used for higher priority projects.  I have that issue to.  I would focus on building the V2 core and at least 1 DIN board and connect them up to your PC and use the MIOS Studio application to see how it works.  Getting this done might excite you to complete the wiring to the keys.  Building the boards won't take that much time, maybe 1 day, with a few days to understand the software configuration if you are new to these projects.  Most of your time will be wiring the keys to the DIN boards.  Don't be afraid of the unknown, just dig in and ask questions if you get stuck.

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Pete

What is the MIOS Studio application?  I have one of the free organ programs.  I also have a Roland cakewalk USB MIDI interface UM-2G and  20 ft Keyboard cable.  Also a couple PCs available running Windows XP.  Is the MIOS Studio application available for download?

 

Jay

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Pete

 

I did a search and found MIOS 1 and 2 and a download for Windows XP.  Apparently this software tells my computer what key is what note and that sort of thing.  I do remember three years ago someone telling about having to create the tables based on my DIN configuration of the keyboards, pedal board, and stops.  I did notice that some of my stop tabs are normally open and most  of the couplers were normally closed.  So I may have to deal with that issue or get a touch screen for my computer and use it for registration.  My Conn has no combination or general pistons so I assume a computer touch screen could be used for that?   Or I could buy toe pistons for generals?

 

Jay

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Hi Jay,

 

Mios Studio is software that makes down loading software to your MidiBox core very easy.  It also has some TOOLS that allow you to read and write the Din/Dout tables for the Midio128 V2 core.  You will be changing the Din tables for your specific needs.  When you get your Core hardware built your PIC processor from Smash/TV only has a bootloader in it, nothing else.  You will use this utility to down load the Midio128 V2 software to your core.

 

Go to http://www.ucapps.de/ and at the left side is a box labeled "MIOS".  Below is a link to "Mios Studio", click on it and at the bottom of the "MIOS Studio 2" page you will fine the .zip file for loading to your PC.  This software does a lot of things for may different projects but you will be just loading the software and changing Din tables with it.   Don't worry about some stop switches being normally open or normally closed.  You will define the output for when the stop is closed and opened on each Din wire.

 

You will connect up your USB to Midi cable then run the Mios_Studio.exe file.  There are instructions on how the application works.

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Thanks again for the reply.

 

I guess I will start building the DINs and then the three Core boards.  I will have to decide which computer to use for the organ.  I have several spares as I hate to throw computers away!

 

Jay

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I know that this is kind of old but I hope you haven't given up on the project yet.

 

You said that you were using the DIN and DOUT modules. Have you had a look at the wiring of the manuals. I guess that you are dealing with a diode matrix, can you confirm this? While it is possible to use the DINs and DOUTs you are kind of left to the mercy of your diodes being the right way around.

 

In the mean time the DIO matrix board has been released which has a jumper giving the option to use a diode matrix which is the other way around.

 

I'm saying this as my project consists of old Rodgers manuals which have the diodes the "wrong" way around. I would also carefully suggest to upgrade to one STM32F4 Core board and then use midibox NG (I'm confident that we should manage to squeeze your organ onto one controller).

 

Do you have an oscilloscope to your disposal ... this greatly helped me to check if I was dealing with a hardware problem or a software configuration problem.

 

Could you give the specs of the organ that you want to midify: number of manuals, how many notes on the pedalboard, number of thumb/toe pistons, expression pedals and stop tabs (when you look at the back of the stop tabs aka stop action magnets (SAMs), how many coils do you see? One or two?). I might be able to help with planning the wiring. If you use midibox NG (you need the new controller for it) I could also help configuring the controller. In particular the SAMs are quite tricky and I'm not totally sure that the old PIC based cores could actually deal with them:

 

read here on the current progress on getting them to work:

 

Either way if I'm confident that we will be able to point you in the right direction if you get stuck :)

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I thought I would respond for Ray since he doesn't seem to be on line here very often.  The Conn that he has doesn't have a matrix keyboard.  It has about 5 whiskers/note that presses against 5 separate buss bars.  He would be using the standard Din with 1 wire for each key.  I have a Conn 830 that I have wired to a 256 input Midi board that I designed back in 2005.  Its working now but my next project is getting the SAM's working with the Hauptwerk software that emulates a Wurlitzer 310.  I designed a hardware board that looks like a Dout to Midibox with the ULN2803 chips substituted for the resistors.  Difference being that the power and ground for the drivers is separated from logic shift registers.  The output connectors are 8 pin headers that will handle the 0.5amp spikes rather than the 10-pin ribbon cable ones.  I also plan to use the PIC based Core 8 board.  Very simple interface.  Intend to use Note ON to turn the stop ON and Note OFF to turn the stop OFF.  Timing to pulse the SAM magnets with 100ms pulses will be done in software in the new .hex file.  My boards should arrive in about 2 weeks.

Pete

 

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Hi Pete,

 

if the keyboards are not standard in any way I guess that you are definitely the best source of information for Jay.

 

Regarding SAMs: As part of above linked forums thread I have now posted a complete solution for SAMs if you would upgrade to the STM32F4 and would use the NG firmware. My solution uses the standard DOUT boards. They need to get modded by connecting the ground pin of the ULN2803 to the board ground as well as connecting the flyback diode pin to the unconnected terminal of the header. I connected the ground of all boards to the 12V/25A PSU (SAMs were designed for 15V but work fine with 12V) and the flyback diode wires + the common positive to the positive output of the PSU. If you always wire the off and on solenoids for a SAM in succession you won't get into trouble with the current rating of the darlington array as only a maximum of 4 solenoids can get activated at the same time.

 

Very important though, this set up only works for common positive SAMs.

 

cheers

 

Mathis

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Just looked at your board and I'm a bit puzzled, maybe you could explain.

 

You say that your SAM grounds are decoupled from the SR grounds. How is that possible? In order for the ULN to get the signal from the SR it needs to have a signal which is referenced to the ground of the SR. The current of the Darlington also needs to go through the same ground.

 

Am I missing something?

 

edit: yes, clearly mssing something. If I understand correct: With the ULN the grounds are coupled which is not a problem as it is for common positive SAMs, while the Mic is decoupled as it seems to be for common negative SAMs? Do you have a schematic?

 

edit2: no I take that back ... still don't understand it :(

Edited by mumblecake

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Hi Mathis,

I read through your posts in the other thread and with help from Thorsten you were able to get the NG software working with your SAM's.  Congratulations are in place to you for going the extra effort to get this working.  What is nice about your direction is that it is configurable to use any Midi command for control of the Sam's.  It still might be overly complicated for some but we will wait and see.  I don't know if you will have problems when things like a GENERAL CANCEL button is pressed and all of the stops are to turn off.  You will have a separate script running a delay of 100ms for each SAM instructed to change states.  I don't understand the NG software but know it is very flexible for projects like this.  I will probably try it at some time just to see it work.

 

I am much aware about only having 4 drivers being on at the same time.   When I talk about isolating, it doesn't mean that the power grounds and logic grounds are completely isolated.  Just that you now have a choice as to where they can be grounded together.  Idealy it is at only one spot.  What I don't want to happen is have any of the 8amp current spikes from each board passing thru the 10 pin ribbon cable connecting the logic.  By doing this it will help in daisy chaining multiple boards.  Hopefully 8 boards strung together is a goal for support of 128 Sam's.  You may have already proven that 4 boards strung together works fine.  How far are the Dout board from the STM32F4 and from each other?  I have 3 STM32F4 boards and an order in for SmashTV for the PC boards.   I was wondering what PC software you are using for your organ emulator?  I think that John at would be interested in this conversation to.

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I'm also using Hauptwerk for my organ. At the moment I only have the free edition and only St Anne's.

 

The key part of my solution is the way NG is using the script file. When the script file gets called it gets loaded from the SD card which takes about 5ms. When in the mean time another request to use the script file gets launched that means that the previous iteration gets abortet and a new instance gets launched. For a general cancel e.g. on the St Anne's which has around 40 stop/combination jambs that means that Hauptwerk sends out 40 commands which will take less than 1ms (isn't high speed usb midi transfer a nice thing ... 50 times faster than standard midi ... otherwise 40 commands would take several ms). In this time the script gets launched 40 times, the first 39 iterations don't even manage to load the file from disk before they get aborted. Nevertheless all correct solenoids are now switched on and the 40th iteration starts to run. All the script is now doing is to deactivate the sending of the midi signal on change of any stop, wait 100ms, deactivate all solenoids and re-activate the midi signal broadcast.

 

After I had all my stop tabs wired in and written the configuration a general cancel of 40 stop tabs was the first thing I tried. It's funny how emotional 40 switches switching can get you ;)

 

As I said I modded the original DOUT R5 board. It does support the footprint of the ULN2803 but the ULN specific pins are not connected to anything so I did the following:

 

 
for each SR/ULN I had a ground line which I wired to the power supply and a wire with the contact of the flyback diodes which I connected to the common positive. So overall 11 wires to the PSU ground and 11 wires to the PSU positive (+1 wire which connects to the common plus rail of the SAMs). You are obviously right that this means that for 100ms you get a current of potentially 1.6A (I use a 12V PSU rather than 15V reducing the current from 0.5A per solenoid to 0.4A) through a single ground wire of a ribbon cable which is everything but optimal but I hope that I don't suffer any weird behaviour as a result of this.

 

I guess you could probably mod the board in some way to use the MIC (can it be used for common negative SAMs?) but I guess that your board is better for that. Redesigning the board was simply out of scope for me both time wise and money wise.

 

I think John was mainly struggling with weird behaviour coming from using the ULNs for his common negative SAMs as theyare designed for common positive SAMs. While it still works in principle you apparently get weird cross talk problems by occasionally actuating neighbouring SAMs, etc. If you would get a solution for common negative SAMs up and running I think he would be very interested though I read between the lines that he now got a commercial solution.

 

Finally I'm not sure if you put any thought into whether to use NRPNs or CCs for your SAMs/Pistons. If you want to use CCs I just wanted to make you aware of a caveat which I found out about from Hauptwerk support. Hauptwerk supports NRPN which really is a meta-protocol based on CCs. The CC messages which are used for NRPN are CC=6,38,98,99,100,101:

 

http://www.philrees.co.uk/nrpnq.htm

 

That means that these CC signals are reserved in Hauptwerk and have to be skipped when assigning signals.

 

I only collided with CC=6 and 38 before I found out. 38 simply doesn't work (Hauptwerk can send it but won't react to it on receiving it) while I attribute using cc=6 to corrupting the organ cache which means that I had the joy of having to wait 5 minutes for it to get rebuild.

 

Hauptwerk recommends using NRPN. You have to decide if it gives you any advantages over the down turn of increased bandwith usage.

 

edit: I totally appreciate that my solution seems a bit of an overkill ... after all my configuration is now longer than 700 lines (config + script file attached).

 

edit2: my DOUTs are 10-12'' next to the Core and all DOUTs are directly next to each other.

ORGAN.zip

Edited by mumblecake

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From your description of your Dout modifications I had a good idea what you did.  Good that you posted the pictures so others can relate to your change. I also did this for another project.  I went ahead and took a picture of my layout to help indicate what I did.  You did it the right way with having the Dout boards very close to each other.  When I do mine, I will also put the Core CPU as close a possible to the Dout boards.  As you can see I took all the power related + and - voltages to separate connections so they can be connected as needed in the specific application.  There is a jumper that can be used to connect the power ground to the logic ground if not done elsewhere.  I included the fly back connections as part of the power spike problems because when the coil is turned off, the current going back into the fly back diode is ~ 0.5amps for a short time, maybe 5-20us as a guess.

My intent is to use my Core CPU as a driver only board (Midi In only).  No Midi outputs.  I was going to have the SAM's reed switches connections used by another board and the 2 systems wouldn't know about each others switch state.  I was going to have Hauptwerk worry about this.  I don't know if this will work or not.  With your experience, maybe you could enlighten me?
I haven't committed myself to using any specific Midi message at this time.  Thought I would just start with Note-On/Off first since it is one of the more common used ones that might work with some of the other manufacturers such as Art???? or others.  And I will certainly try it with the other cores since USB is the preferred interface.
 
And no telling what John's problem was.  A lot of the issues went away when he separated the SAM magnet wires from the reed switch wires that were used in a matrix configuration.  And like you suggest, maybe some of the issues might be problem with magnetic coupling between SAMs rather than just wire coupling issues.
 
Pete

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Hi Pete,

 

Having the inputs and outputs on different controllers would definitely work ... though here comes a big BUT. If input and output aren't on the same midiport+channel+signal you will have to set up the output manually. Normally it is just right clicking the stop jamb, click on automatic detection, switch the physical stop tab on and off and Hauptwerk will ask you if you want to configure the output with the same settings. If the in and output settings aren't exactly matching this automatic procedure will still work for the inputs, the outputs you will however have to set up fully manually. Now that's ok for a couple of stops ... but if you are talking about an 80 rank theatre organ I'm afraid you might lose the will to live.

 

I have the best intentions to create a thread with detailed documentation of what I have done once the job IS done, what worked, what didn't, what were the lessons learned ... just anything which might make the learning curve a little bit less steep for someone who would like to start a similar project.

 

BR Mathis

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Hi Pete,

 

if the keyboards are not standard in any way I guess that you are definitely the best source of information for Jay.

 

Regarding SAMs: As part of above linked forums thread I have now posted a complete solution for SAMs if you would upgrade to the STM32F4 and would use the NG firmware. My solution uses the standard DOUT boards. They need to get modded by connecting the ground pin of the ULN2803 to the board ground as well as connecting the flyback diode pin to the unconnected terminal of the header. I connected the ground of all boards to the 12V/25A PSU (SAMs were designed for 15V but work fine with 12V) and the flyback diode wires + the common positive to the positive output of the PSU. If you always wire the off and on solenoids for a SAM in succession you won't get into trouble with the current rating of the darlington array as only a maximum of 4 solenoids can get activated at the same time.

 

Very important though, this set up only works for common positive SAMs.

 

cheers

 

Mathis

From your description of your Dout modifications I had a good idea what you did.  Good that you posted the pictures so others can relate to your change. I also did this for another project.  I went ahead and took a picture of my layout to help indicate what I did.  You did it the right way with having the Dout boards very close to each other.  When I do mine, I will also put the Core CPU as close a possible to the Dout boards.  As you can see I took all the power related + and - voltages to separate connections so they can be connected as needed in the specific application.  There is a jumper that can be used to connect the power ground to the logic ground if not done elsewhere.  I included the fly back connections as part of the power spike problems because when the coil is turned off, the current going back into the fly back diode is ~ 0.5amps for a short time, maybe 5-20us as a guess.

My intent is to use my Core CPU as a driver only board (Midi In only).  No Midi outputs.  I was going to have the SAM's reed switches connections used by another board and the 2 systems wouldn't know about each others switch state.  I was going to have Hauptwerk worry about this.  I don't know if this will work or not.  With your experience, maybe you could enlighten me?
I haven't committed myself to using any specific Midi message at this time.  Thought I would just start with Note-On/Off first since it is one of the more common used ones that might work with some of the other manufacturers such as Art???? or others.  And I will certainly try it with the other cores since USB is the preferred interface.
 
And no telling what John's problem was.  A lot of the issues went away when he separated the SAM magnet wires from the reed switch wires that were used in a matrix configuration.  And like you suggest, maybe some of the issues might be problem with magnetic coupling between SAMs rather than just wire coupling issues.
 
Pete

Jay Here

I am finally back and ready to proceed with my Conn 632 conversion.  I did learn that 2 or 3 of the rods don't rotate.  So i can just solder a wire from the non moving rod contacts to my DIN boards.  I am using the 8 wire flat cables and plugs furnished by SmashTV.

One thing I am wondering about is would a LCD be useful in building and testing the work?  If so where do I find one?  I didn't see them on SmashTV's web site.

Jay Beckham

Attached is my plan.

Organ.jpg

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Below is a posting I made in the Forum under MidiBox Tools and MISO Studio:

I have built two CORE 8 and seven DIN cards from Smash TV.  A friend layed out my Hex files and others and walked me through loading them into my CORE 8s.  I have wired up two manuals and connected them to the first four DINs.  He built the HEX files and the others to fit my two manual old Conn.  The #0 CORE is for the two manuals and the #1 CORE is for the pedals and stop tabs.  I have also loaded the St. Anne's free version to my Win 8 PC.  All manual keys work properly except for the E-1 on the swell.  In watching the output I noticed the E-1 shows Channel 7 rather then Channel 1.  So I need to correct this but don't know how.  My friend is very ill and can not help me at this time.

I have MIOS Studio on the PC but other than monitor the keys I don't have a clue.  It would appear to me that the key is incorrectly listed in the file that is loaded on the CORE.  I do recall using some program to make minor changes to the codes, but don't recall what or where is was or how to do it.

All I know is to run a cable from the CORE Out to MIDI In on my USB Midi device and also run a cable from the CORE In to MIDI Out on the USB Midi.

Can anyone point me in the right direction?  I did download the "tutorial" on MIOS Studio but that isn't much help.  More confusing then helpful.

I am located in the US in Berkeley Springs, WV.   My friend was in California and he send me the files and walked me through over the phone.  The files I have are:

HEX FILES: device_id_00,   device_id_01,   device_id_02,   device_id_03,   main_swell_3,   and   setup_midio128  all with ".hex"

MISC:  Beckham 0.syx,   Beckham 1.syx,   midio128_v2_2b.zip,   MIOS_Studio.exe

Any help would be greatly appreciated.   I am presently wiring the pedals and may use a touch screen for the stops and couplers.

Jay Beckham

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