DIYAPASON-L Digest #927 - Friday, November 28, 2003
Re: DIYAPASON-L Digest #926 - 11/27/03
  by "Jim Henry" <>
FW: Converting a keyboard to second touch
  by "Kilgen" <>
RE: [Residence Organs]  Converting a keyboard to second touch
  by "Fredrick Brabson \(home\)" <>

(back) Subject: Re: DIYAPASON-L Digest #926 - 11/27/03 From: "Jim Henry" <> Date: Thu, 27 Nov 2003 22:35:00 -0800   Gary, I wouldn't completely give up on the idea of second touch just yet. = I had Wurlitzer keyboards that had the second touch removed and I put it = back. Depending on how similar your Moeller keyboard might be to a Wurlitzer, it isn't a matter of just "adding something" but it might not be unreasonably difficult either. You will probably have to do something pretty close to completely rebuilding the keyboard.   The biggest challenge is getting a first and second touch in the key = action. You will need 1/2" of travel at the front end of the naturals to = accomodate a second touch. I don't think the Wurlitzer keyboard used a front oval = pin that was unusually long. It seems that they used thinner felt under the front of the keys to get extra travel. Remember that the keys will be stopped by the second touch spring before they hit the felt on second = touch so the felt doesn't get as much of a thump as in a single touch keyboard. The under key felt is no more than 1/8" and might be closer to 1/16".   If you can get the 1/2" of travel, then you need to figure out how to provide the second touch spring. As has been mentioned, Wurlitzer used = leaf springs for the second touch. Reproductions are available from Arndt. = The springs are installed on the bottom of the keyframe. The free end of the spring is below the wire that provides the upstop for the key. A second leather nut (or a felted alathon nut as a modern replacement) is added to the wire to provide the second touch spring contact point. The second nut is adjusted so that it will contact the flat spring when the front of the natural has traveled 11/32". The remaining 5/32" to hit the underkey felt is the second touch. The flat springs are compressed when installed so there is a definite resistance when the second nut hits the spring.   Electrically, Wurlitzer keys have a shorting bar that moves down to hit spring contact wires. The common contact sits a bit high so it is hit first. The first touch contact(s) come next. The second touch contact(s) are bent lower so they are hit about half way into the second touch = travel.   Take a look at your keyboard and see if it could accomodate something like the above mechanism. If you decide it can be modified to provide second touch, I will provide you more details on the Wurlitzer second touch to = help you engineer the modification of the Moeller keyboard.   Best of luck, Jim Henry   ----- Original Message ----- Subject: Converting a keyboard to second touch From: "Kilgen" <> Date: Thu, 27 Nov 2003 09:40:26 -0600   Hello group;   My three manual Moller console is back in the picture of my project. Can anyone tell me how to convert the accomp keyboard to second touch?   Gary K.      
(back) Subject: FW: Converting a keyboard to second touch From: "Kilgen" <> Date: Fri, 28 Nov 2003 16:01:56 -0600         I have seen Kurt's console and what a huge monster it is having enough stopkeys on it to play 30+ ranks. I believe he still has a picture of the "Mammoth Moller" on the Theatre organ website. Maybe one day I can get up there and examine it to see how the second touch on his Moller console works. Coincidently, I bought my Moller console from Kurt.   My console is identical in basic design as the console in the Rylander theatre in Ga and the Capitol theatre in Rome Ny. I am having fun just trying to detect the thinking the Moller designers had when they designed the console model I have. The tripper combination action is only long = enough to trip the center double row of 85 stopkeys. That means that any = additional keys that would be installed going out on each end along the curve of the rail would not have any combination action on them. I printed out pictures from the net of both the Rylander console and the Rome console and discovered that on both consoles the stops that are installed spanning out along the curve of the rail are traps and percussions. I have a picture of = a much earlier built Moller theatre organ console that has the same stop = rail configuration as the Rylander and Capitol consoles except the ends of the early console stick out at least another foot from the sides. This wider console was obviously designed to accommodate a longer tripper action so = as to actuate all of the rail stopkeys. The early console being so wide has = (in my opinion) a very ugly look to it whereas the Rylander, Capitol console = and my console have a much nicer appearance similar to a Kimbal console. My particular console was never installed in a theatre but was installed in a church down in Chicago. My guess is that the Moller console designer came = up with a less expensive universal model that could be used both for churches and theatres. Universal in that it consisted of one standard frame and keydesk. My console having been used in a church has paneling on the sides and back with gothic arches, a plain music rack, 85 white stopkeys, a different back rail board, church style bench and a roll top. I was fortunate to be able to acquire the collection of Moller colored theatre style stopkeys that came from the estate of a late friend.   I find it intriguing how Organ companies had designers who labored to come up with cost cutting schemes that proved to be irritating to the musicians who played the instruments. What organist would miss having combination action on the trap and percussion stopkeys? I always thought that the cost cutting devils were only to be found in the home electronic organ = industry. When Hammond invented the spinet organ that in itself was bad enough but = to have only 12 little sticks for pedals on it instead of 13? How about the electronic consoles that did have 61 note manuals, 32 pedals but also included an 85 note square wave divider style tone generator that divided down from the highest 12 notes, the highest note being B not C. What did they do with that pesky high C note? What organist would complain that on hitting the high C they found it either dead or the lower C note doubled = up there? I suppose the engineers thoughts was "how many times is that high C played?". One thing I have to say about Hammond and I had inside = information on this; when they built the Concord model console organ they actually = added an extra LSI divider board just for the sake of the high C note. It seems that they got so much criticism over their past various cost cutting = schemes that they wanted to insure that on their then new Concord organ, no one could say that they cut costs on it's design.   Gary K.     -----Original Message----- From: John Bowers [] Sent: Thursday, November 27, 2003 10:38 PM To: Larry Chace; Kilgen Subject: Converting a keyboard to second touch     Larry and Gary: I believe Kurt Schleiter, out there in Wisgonsin, bought the Dickinson Moller console. If that's the one, it's really loaded with all manner of stuff.   John   Larry Chace wrote: .. . . > For many years, the Dickinson Theatre Organ Society (Wilmington, = Deleware) > had a 3m Moller theatre organ console as a second console on their large > Kimball instrument. They sold it a few years ago when they got a second > Kimball console. I should remember who bought the Moller console (for = his > residence organ project), but his name escapes me. > . . . . > Larry >    
(back) Subject: RE: [Residence Organs] Converting a keyboard to second touch From: "Fredrick Brabson \(home\)" <> Date: Fri, 28 Nov 2003 19:04:46 -0500   Hi Gary:   The list has already had quite a bit to say about converting single touch keyboards to double touch. Having considered this on a 2-manual console I once owned, I researched the possibilities and may be able to offer some additional input.   One consideration depends on the structure and mechanics of your keyboard. If the keys pivot from the rear and the key contacts are on rails = underneath the keys (about midway between front and back), then you've got to = condsider having the required enough room on the contact blocks for the second touch contact space. (That is, are there enough wires on each contact block to handle the additional needs?) On the Robert Morton console I owned, each keyboard had two rails of contact blocks under each keyboard. I was planning to multiplex, so that left one rail for first touch, and the = other for second touch.   If, however, your keyboards are built like most Moller manuals I've seen, then they're pivoted in the center and roll an actuator bar across = vertical contacts at the back of the keyboard. In this case there are probably several rows of contacts, and one of these might be re-adjusted to be dedicated to your second touch voices---again, assuming that you are multiplexing.   In either case, you've got to spring the keyboard for second-touch; and, = in either case, I imagine you'd do this at the front of the keyboard, in standard Wurlitzer or Barton style. Two factors to think about here: = First, the tension of the springs. Allen Miller recommends bending the springs = for even more tension than receive at manufacture. As an artist, I happen to prefer this; I'd rather second touch take more effort than less to = play---it makes for fewer bleed through mistakes. The ATOS shop notes includes an article on adjusting the springs. Second, you want to make sure the front of the keyboard has a reinforcement across it (running bass to treble) = that will prevent the keyframe from warping due to the added pressure applied when second touch is used. Otherwise, over time, your accompaniment = manual will get a dip in the middle that will match your pedalboard!   If you want any info, email me privately and I'll see what else I can dig = up from my project. Robert Morton second touch was especially = interesting...!   Hope this helps, Freddie   -----Original Message----- From: []On Behalf Of Kilgen Sent: Thursday, November 27, 2003 10:40 AM To: DIYAPASON-L Subject: [Residence Organs] Converting a keyboard to second touch     Hello group;   My three manual Moller console is back in the picture of my project. Can anyone tell me how to convert the accomp keyboard to second touch?   Gary K.   DIYAPASON-L: a Discussion list for owners and builders of their own Residence Pipe Organs. HOMEPAGE : List: Administration: