DIYAPASON-L Digest #889 - Friday, September 26, 2003
 
Diode Matrix Relay
  by <Kzimmer0817@aol.com>
RE: Diode Matrix Relay
  by "atos" <atos@stirlingprop.com>
RE: Relay System
  by "Larry Chace" <RLC1@etnainstruments.com>
Relay Systems
  by "First Christian Church of Casey, Illinois" <kzrev@rr1.net>
Re: [Residence Organs]  Relay Systems
  by <AL12TONE@aol.com>
RE: [Residence Organs]  Relay Systems
  by "ATOS" <atos@stirlingprop.com>
Re: [Residence Organs]  Relay Systems
  by "Peter Schmuckal" <peter@schmuckal.com>
FREE  Relay
  by <TheGluePot@aol.com>
Re: [Residence Organs]  FREE  Relay
  by "John Haskey" <johnh@haskey.net>
Re: [Residence Organs]  FREE  Relay
  by <TheGluePot@aol.com>
Electromechanical Relays
  by <Kzimmer0817@aol.com>
Re: Electromechanical Relays
  by "Larry Chace" <RLC1@etnainstruments.com>
Re: [Residence Organs]  Re: Electromechanical Relays
  by <Kzimmer0817@aol.com>
 

(back) Subject: Diode Matrix Relay From: <Kzimmer0817@aol.com> Date: Fri, 26 Sep 2003 08:22:02 EDT   I apologize for not giving a proper salutation, but your name was not in = your e-mail.   You said, "I elected to stay with a diode matrix relay. If need be, I can = get parts at Radio Shack and recreate the entire thing on a hand-wired board."   1. My understanding is that, in simple terms, the diode matrix system is totally independent upon computer control. I realize that many computer controlled systems also incorporate diodes in their circuits.   2. I've looked into switches that incorporate "logic gates" in the form = of ICs. I guess these, too, are independent of computers, but can be used = along with computers.   3. When I was considering Peterson, I was looking into their Diode Matrix =   system. I do have a basic understanding of how these things work, just = not nearly the amount of detail to actually build up a card from scratch. I = had thought that even Peterson's diode system incorporated some computer = control, though.   4. The only diode matrix systems that I know about are Peterson's and Devtronix. Are there others?   5. I tried to poll the list for actual schematics and diagrams for = building these cards - whether using diodes exclusively or logic gates, but I could =   never get past the theoretical part. I always hear that it's cheaper to = buy them than to reinvent the wheel every time. I'm certain that there's some = truth to that. I imagine that I could purchase a few Devtronix cards, then = fashion my own with the breadboard using the purchased cards as guides. That = would be incredibly time-consuming.   6. The computer/software controlled systems are attractive because, once = the computer is incorporated into the control system, so many other things can = be added simply via software. These things - such as MIDI, combination = action, crescendos, unification, even ability to alter the disposition after installation - usually had to be expensive add-ons to the hardwired = control systems - whether electromechanical or diode matrix.   7. From a visual standpoint, I prefer a diode matrix hardwired system. = It's easy to figure out just by looking at it because you can just follow where =   the various wires lead. From a functional standpoint, the software = controlled systems are attractive.   8. The Opus-Two system seemed attractive to me because so many features = were incorporated into the basic system and the price is below any others I've considered. The cost of Opus-Two for my organ was only a few hundred = dollars more than the Devtronix system (which, by the way, was in kit form), but = included combination action and the couplers, and MIDI which the Devtronix diode system did not include. I've asked Dave Milton for some references, but I = haven't received them yet. If his system works as advertised and is reliable, it looks like it will be an exciting system.   Anyway, sorry about the rambling. I admit, I have a very hard time = actually writing a check when the time arrives. That's why I was interested in = hearing of others' experiences.   Keith    
(back) Subject: RE: Diode Matrix Relay From: "atos" <atos@stirlingprop.com> Date: Fri, 26 Sep 2003 07:57:38 -0500   Sorry Keith, I mailed my post from our ATOS chapter email account so that is why my = name didn't show. My name is John DeMajo. My relay is a Devtronix and it's set up for an 8 rank Wurlitzer. It was a kit that was assembled by a now deceased member of our chapter. I do have the Devtronix manual on my relay. If anyone is interested in = what the circuitry looks like, mail me privately and I will get into more = detail. I would have liked to post some of the information on the ATOS-SMGC = Chapter knowledgebase, but I am not sure what is proprietary, and don't want to = get into a copyright dispute. If anyone knows whether Devtronix diagrams can = be publicly displayed, I will be happy to scan them and post them in the database. Although the relay is totally computer independent, I do have a midi adapter at the console that operates by electronically shunting the appropriate key switch or stop switch so that the midi actually plays the relay just as the console would. The midi converter can also record keystrokes and other console information so it records similarly to what = you would get with a computer relay.   I have a Peterson on another Wurli that our chapter maintains. It can record/playback but not Midi. It uses the multiplex information as the signal and records it on a standard Radio Shack analog cassette recorder. = I had checked with Peterson and was told it would be almost impossible to = come up with a Midi interface for that one.   The parts on the Devtronix are all standard 1N54 diodes that have been around since the early 60's. The pipe drivers are 8 pin IC's, but the same function could be provided by any PNP audio output transistor. -----Original Message----- From: Kzimmer0817@aol.com [mailto:Kzimmer0817@aol.com] Sent: Friday, September 26, 2003 7:22 AM To: atos@stirlingprop.com; diyapason-l@pipechat.org Subject: Diode Matrix Relay     I apologize for not giving a proper salutation, but your name was not in your e-mail.   You said, "I elected to stay with a diode matrix relay. If need be, I = can get parts at Radio Shack and recreate the entire thing on a hand-wired board."   1. My understanding is that, in simple terms, the diode matrix system = is totally independent upon computer control. I realize that many computer controlled systems also incorporate diodes in their circuits.   2. I've looked into switches that incorporate "logic gates" in the form of ICs. I guess these, too, are independent of computers, but can be used along with computers.   3. When I was considering Peterson, I was looking into their Diode = Matrix system. I do have a basic understanding of how these things work, just = not nearly the amount of detail to actually build up a card from scratch. I = had thought that even Peterson's diode system incorporated some computer control, though.   4. The only diode matrix systems that I know about are Peterson's and Devtronix. Are there others?   5. I tried to poll the list for actual schematics and diagrams for building these cards - whether using diodes exclusively or logic gates, = but I could never get past the theoretical part. I always hear that it's cheaper to buy them than to reinvent the wheel every time. I'm certain = that there's some truth to that. I imagine that I could purchase a few = Devtronix cards, then fashion my own with the breadboard using the purchased cards = as guides. That would be incredibly time-consuming.   6. The computer/software controlled systems are attractive because, = once the computer is incorporated into the control system, so many other things can be added simply via software. These things - such as MIDI, combination action, crescendos, unification, even ability to alter the disposition = after installation - usually had to be expensive add-ons to the hardwired = control systems - whether electromechanical or diode matrix.   7. From a visual standpoint, I prefer a diode matrix hardwired system. It's easy to figure out just by looking at it because you can just follow where the various wires lead. From a functional standpoint, the software controlled systems are attractive.   8. The Opus-Two system seemed attractive to me because so many features were incorporated into the basic system and the price is below any others I've considered. The cost of Opus-Two for my organ was only a few hundred dollars more than the Devtronix system (which, by the way, was in kit = form), but included combination action and the couplers, and MIDI which the Devtronix diode system did not include. I've asked Dave Milton for some references, but I haven't received them yet. If his system works as advertised and is reliable, it looks like it will be an exciting system.   Anyway, sorry about the rambling. I admit, I have a very hard time actually writing a check when the time arrives. That's why I was = interested in hearing of others' experiences.   Keith    
(back) Subject: RE: Relay System From: "Larry Chace" <RLC1@etnainstruments.com> Date: Fri, 26 Sep 2003 08:51:41 -0400   Just two brief comments:   1. My lengthy note last night was not meant as a criticism of Keith's project or of any vendor's product. If it sounded like that, then it was = a result of poor wording on my part.   2. John's comments about obsolesence are certainly important. Replacement of an obsolete component, however, is only necessary when the component fails, and so the 5-10 year production life of some items might not translate to a need for replacement after that amount of time.   Looking through the Z-tronics manual and adding up the various ICs shown = in the schematics, I found about 11 of the 4000-series CMOS, 2 of the 300-series HINIL, 9 of the 74-series TTL (or HC), and 1 really old +12v SRAM chip. That one is obsolete and out of production but is used only on the special-purpose Pizzicato board and is available from a large stock that Z-tronics keeps on hand. The two HINIL parts are also obsolete; this is 12v TTL and the circuit family never really caught on. The two boards that use those parts were re-designed many years ago to use = still-available RS-232 line driver chips, and the new boards are compatible replacements for the old ones. The other ICs, as far as I can tell, are all still in production and a good supply of them is kept on hand at Z-tronics anyway.   I'm sure that other vendors also keep a good stock of "rare" parts on = hand, especially in these days when tax laws discourage the maintenance of a large inventory and when IC manufacturers don't always guess correctly = just how popular their products might be! John's hope of being able to rebuild his diode matrix using parts from Radio-Shack might also run into the problem of their continued discontinuation of individual electronic components (in favor of more and more cell phones and accessories), but he is right that the very basic elements (things like 1N4148 diodes and 3.3k resistors) should remain in production for a very long time. It's just difficult to build a performance recording system using just diodes and resistors! (At the very least, you also need an inverting buffer -- theoretically you can then build *anything*! ;-)   Opps! This (again) turned lengthy........ .. .. .. .   Larry        
(back) Subject: Relay Systems From: "First Christian Church of Casey, Illinois" <kzrev@rr1.net> Date: Fri, 26 Sep 2003 10:09:13 -0500   I would think the average small residence organ would be well served by old used electromechanical relays. These are relatively cheap and pretty dependable.   Multiple memory combination action is a huge luxury on a home instrument. My instrument will be 22 ranks when it's complete, and it will have NO combination action at all, nor do I see that as more than a mild disadvantage. But to each his/her own.   Dennis Steckley   Every gun that is made and every warship that is launched, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed--Dwight Eisenhower        
(back) Subject: Re: [Residence Organs] Relay Systems From: <AL12TONE@aol.com> Date: Fri, 26 Sep 2003 11:31:21 EDT   Greetings to all! I am naively trying to put together my own electronics for my (est) = III/15, highly unified home (basement) instrument. The control will be 5 volt = logic and the pipe valve and combination solenoids will be 12 volts. I am being = advised by a professional electrical/computer engineer who is correcting my = various errors as we go ;-).   The actual operation of this system is many months off, but I do hope to = be able to breadboard aspects of it sooner. Should we be successful I will = share what we do. In the meantime I will follow with great interest all of the = list's ideas, suggestions and cautions. For me, too, low cost and ease of maintenance are paramount. (By the way, two other list members have been = identified as Illini...I guess I make it 3!)   Al Blatter, Media PA  
(back) Subject: RE: [Residence Organs] Relay Systems From: "ATOS" <atos@stirlingprop.com> Date: Fri, 26 Sep 2003 10:45:41 -0500   If you would like, I can do a web page documenting your project and put it on the ATOS-SMGC chapter knowledgebase. This is the type of project information we like to be able to share. Email me privately if you would like a free site for your project info. You can check out http://atos.stirlingprop.com and see some of the other projects that have been documented to date.   -----Original Message----- From: DIYAPASON-L@pipechat.org [mailto:DIYAPASON-L@pipechat.org]On Behalf Of AL12TONE@aol.com Sent: Friday, September 26, 2003 10:31 AM To: DIYAPASON-L@pipechat.org Subject: Re: [Residence Organs] Relay Systems     Greetings to all! I am naively trying to put together my own electronics for my (est) = III/15, highly unified home (basement) instrument. The control will be 5 volt = logic and the pipe valve and combination solenoids will be 12 volts. I am being advised by a professional electrical/computer engineer who is correcting my = various errors as we go ;-).   The actual operation of this system is many months off, but I do hope to = be able to breadboard aspects of it sooner. Should we be successful I will share what we do. In the meantime I will follow with great interest all of the list's ideas, suggestions and cautions. For me, too, low cost and ease of maintenance are paramount. (By the way, two other list members have been identified as Illini...I guess I make it 3!)   Al Blatter, Media PA DIYAPASON-L: a Discussion list for owners and builders of their own Residence Pipe Organs. HOMEPAGE : http://www.diyapason.pipechat.org List: mailto:DIYAPASON-L@pipechat.org Administration: mailto:owner-DIYAPASON@pipechat.org        
(back) Subject: Re: [Residence Organs] Relay Systems From: "Peter Schmuckal" <peter@schmuckal.com> Date: Fri, 26 Sep 2003 09:55:41 -0700     As yet another member of this austere list who has designed and = implemented his own relay system let me make a couple of points:   Obsolescence of components: It is true that many semiconductor devices = have short lives. But that is not necessarily true across the board. For instance, most of the most popular cheap microcontrollers in use today = were designed in the 70's/80's. The reason they are still popular is because they can be produced very cheap. They will probably be around for many = more years.   And because of their price (<$5 in small quant), it isn't hard to = stockpile a couple hundred devices in case they do go out of production. So a responsible vendor should be able to cover that base. If you're designing your own system, buying an extra half dozen won't break the bank either.   But I would stay away from systems that integrate a full PC as the heart = of the relay since this technology is much more prone to failure (hard = drives, power supplies) and obsolescence then simple microprocessors/microcontrollers.   In my opinion, the advantages of having a microprocessor in the system far outweighs the drawbacks in terms of cost, installation time and = flexibility.   I have often toyed with the idea of commercializing my relay, but the = market is small and the number of existing systems available don't justify the expense/effort. Larry is correct: It is expensive to support these types of products.   But if anyone in Bay Area is interested, feel free to contact me.      
(back) Subject: FREE Relay From: <TheGluePot@aol.com> Date: Fri, 26 Sep 2003 13:58:54 EDT   Since we are talking about relay systems, I have a Wurlitzer circa 1927 = relay and switchstack available for FREE. It was rebuilt in the 1970s for a = pizza emporium and the leather feels like it has a good amount of life left. = The relay was from a Style 235 which was a three manual and eleven rank = instrument. I paid $1000 for it but am giving it away to the first person who will = come and get it. The location is in San Francisco.   Al Sefl Who is getting too old to move these behemoths around anymore...      
(back) Subject: Re: [Residence Organs] FREE Relay From: "John Haskey" <johnh@haskey.net> Date: Fri, 26 Sep 2003 11:09:15 -0700 (PDT)     (Pardon the interruption)   Hi Al,   I tried to reply to your mail but AOL is saying you are rejecting email from me. Was it something I said? :-) Haven't heard from you for a while, hope things are improving!!!   ---john.          
(back) Subject: Re: [Residence Organs] FREE Relay From: <TheGluePot@aol.com> Date: Fri, 26 Sep 2003 14:14:41 EDT   OPPS my firewall is up! Sorry John, I have my firewall up and set to only =   accept pipechat.org. It keeps me from getting all that SPAM. I will add = your domain name to the list of "allowed" emailers.   Best wishes to everyone,   Al Sefl      
(back) Subject: Electromechanical Relays From: <Kzimmer0817@aol.com> Date: Fri, 26 Sep 2003 17:47:11 EDT   List,   My understanding of the older electromechanical relay panels is that, in order to unify stops to other pitches and/or to duplex ranks between = divisions, each keying circuit must be isolated from the other to prevent unwanted = notes from playing by unwittingly completing other circuits.   A cable from a 61 note keyboard would go to a panel that contained 61 = relay magnets such as the Reisner C5 magnets - one for each note. Each relay = would have 10, 15, or 18 individual contact fingers. There would be one contact =   "finger" per stop. A wire from a given contact from each relay would go = to a pipe magnet on a unit chest - in the case of a "straight" rank. If the rank to = be played were either unified or duplexed, this wire would go instead to a = set of gang switches. Since I'm almost certain now that I understand the gang =   switch part, I won't go into that part.   My question is what to do if a division has more stops than contacts on = the C5 relay magnet. The relays on my panel each have 10 contacts, so I would = be limited to 10 stops - if they all are unified or duplexed. I realize that = a pitman chest - regardless of how many ranks - would occupy only a single contact, but that's not my question.   For unified organs, such as theatre organs, that have numerous stops per division, might one have more than one C5 relay per key? I've seen = multi-contact key contacts for keyboards. Might these be attached to more than one = relay panel in case of a large division?   The professional who is helping me would probably shoot me if he tho't I = was again considering rewiring my relay panels. It's just that my Pedal = division has 9 organ stops, Swell division has 13 organ stops, and the Great = division has 5 stops on a pitman chest (no problem) and 4 stops from unit chests = that are shared with other divisions.   So for me to use an electromechanical relay panel, I would need a set of = C5 relays that had at least 13 contacts each. I've purposely left out the discussion of what happens after the relay magnets, because I know that it = gets a little more involved after that.   If anybody knows another way to do this, please let me know.   Thanks, Keith    
(back) Subject: Re: Electromechanical Relays From: "Larry Chace" <RLC1@etnainstruments.com> Date: Fri, 26 Sep 2003 22:57:57 -0400   Keith Zimmerman asked about the "front end" portion of electromechanical relay systems. In a world without diodes (or without *practical* diodes), the circuit isolation that Keith described was in fact necessary.   When sufficient contacts could not be fitted under each key (or when inter-manual couplers were specified), then a "note relay" was used, one per key and fitted with enough contacts for all of the stops on that keyboard. As Keith mentioned, Reisner offered (and OSI still offers) an off-the-shelf unit that has 10, 15, or 18 contacts, and these were very popular.   If the keyboard has more stops, it needs more contacts, and many builders would construct their own note relays, perhaps with electro-pneumatic action, some of which had MANY contacts per key. If you wanted to use the Reisner C5, you'd have to use several of them per key. That is possible, but you'd want to be careful to avoid overloading the under-key contacts (if you wired the C5s' magnets in parallel). You could have a contact on one C5 fire the magnet of a second one, and my guess is that they are fast enough that no one would notice the slight delay for the second group of contacts.   In more modern times, some folks have built note relays from a power transistor that feeds into the anodes of as many diodes as there are "contacts"; the diodes' cathodes form the outputs, just like individual contact wires, and they provide the necessary isolation.   (You can always think of these relay systems as plumbing systems, where = the contacts are on-off valves and the diodes are one-way (check) valves.)   In the case of Keith's instrument, his Swell division would need some additional "contacts", either via added C5 note relay units or via power transistors and diodes (or similar items).   Here is a case where a "hybrid" scheme might work out; solid-state switching circuits could be devised that would carry the chest magnet current but which would require little input current and would not require isolation diodes. These could be used in addition to the existing electro-mechanical relay units (note relays and gang switches).   No MIDI, though! ;-)   Larry      
(back) Subject: Re: [Residence Organs] Re: Electromechanical Relays From: <Kzimmer0817@aol.com> Date: Fri, 26 Sep 2003 23:16:41 EDT   Larry Chace said:   > In more modern times, some folks have built note relays from a power > transistor that feeds into the anodes of as many diodes as there are > "contacts"; the diodes' cathodes form the outputs, just like individual > contact wires, and they provide the necessary isolation.   That's exactly what I had wanted to do - either as an add-on to the relays = or from scratch. The problem is that I don't have any schematic or, better = put, drawing or plan on how to do it. By that, I mean a little "how to" paper that draws it out and tells which components to buy, what to solder where, = and what to connect to what.   Why not have somebody put together some instructions (specific ones) for a =   DIY solid state relay panel and post a link to it on the DIY page. I'm = sure many would even pay a little for it.   I'm sure there are a few different kinds of these - the IC's, the diode matrix, the transistor ones, etc.   An amateur wanting to construct a pipe organ whose switching circuitry is shot is faced with (1) trying to find used electromechanical relay panels, = (2) trying to find used solid state relays, (3) purchasing relays and gang = switches and assembling the panels, (4) purchasing some type of solid state system = new, or (5) trying to "wing it" and put together something that doesn't meet = codes and risk burning down the house.   Would it be cost effective for an amateur to assemble from scratch a solid =   state relay system - either diodes, transistors, ICs, bobby pins, gem = clips, etc (just kidding)? Of course, for that one would need specific plans, parts lists, sources, etc.   Sincerely, Keith