DIYAPASON-L Digest #890 - Saturday, September 27, 2003
  by "First Christian Church of Casey, IL" <>
Getting Relay Parts
  by "First Christian Church of Casey, IL" <>
Re: [Residence Organs]  Getting Relay Parts
  by <>
Re: [Residence Organs]  Relay Systems
  by "Bob Loesch" <>
Re: [Residence Organs]  FREE  Relay
  by "Bob Loesch" <>
Re: [Residence Organs]  Relay Systems
  by "D Heimer" <>
Relay  MISS-INFORMATION for "shoppers"
  by "Tim Rickman" <>
Relay Design Criterion
  by "John R. Ball" <>
PC Based Relay System
  by <>
Re: [Residence Organs]  PC Based Relay System
  by "Bob Loesch" <>

(back) Subject: Relays From: "First Christian Church of Casey, IL" <> Date: Fri, 26 Sep 2003 23:46:14 -0500   Larry said: "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)."   If I understand correctly, that's basically what I plan to do except = working the other way--instead of augmenting existing electro mechanical with = solid state, my intent is to augment existing solid state with electro = mechanical for additions to the organ.   Hope it works either way.......and don't worry, a reliable builder will be guiding me in the process and probably doing a good bit of it for me.   But first I've got to get the original instrument reassembled!       Dennis Steckley & A Six-Pack of Cats    
(back) Subject: Getting Relay Parts From: "First Christian Church of Casey, IL" <> Date: Fri, 26 Sep 2003 23:49:10 -0500   Keith said: "An amateur wanting to construct a pipe organ whose switching circuitry is shot is faced with (1) trying to find used electromechanical relay panels"   As far as this option goes, many (most?) builders and service people have boxes of used electromechanical stuff sitting around if you ask. One acquaintance of mine intercepts it in the shop because the builder (his employer) simply discards it when it comes in. So he can get it for free and sell it for a bit, and everybody's happy.   Dennis Steckley & A Six-Pack of Cats    
(back) Subject: Re: [Residence Organs] Getting Relay Parts From: <> Date: Sat, 27 Sep 2003 01:01:25 EDT   Hi all, my two or three cents. I am a car person and you can fix any electrical problem, except computer, =   with a test light. So a relay is easy to keep alive. I built one to say I = did it and that was a week of hard on the back and eyes work. Buuuuuuuut it works great. And the parts are easy to find used. Takes time = to clean up the some of the solder joints. Have a nice week end. Dennis    
(back) Subject: Re: [Residence Organs] Relay Systems From: "Bob Loesch" <> Date: Sat, 27 Sep 2003 09:56:22 -0700   Hello Dennis. What you say about electromechanical relays is indeed true, but some of us =   have a disadvantage here. First, one might not have a suitable relay to hand. In my case, I have both the console and its original relay, which = is in fair shape. However, many of the 1920s and 30s relays suffered from design problems that have tended to make them unreliable this far down the =   road. Wurlitzer, with its good wiping action and silver-wire contacts, remains one of the better ones to have. Robert Morton, with its good wiping action and robust phospher-bronze contacts is another. Others, though, are not so lucky. I never had to work on one, but I understand that the 1920s-vintage Wicks EM relays had their difficulties, and I spent =   a good number of years maintaining a Smith relay in a friends theatre = organ in his home, and that was, to put it mildly, a REAL PAIN! I was most = happy when he found the organ a new console and a Wurlitzer relay for it. Another disadvantage for some is that they don't play, or don't play well enough, and require some sort of playback device to play the organ for them. After all, few of us are wealthy enough to be able to keep an organist on hand whenever we wish to hear some live music. While = automatic players have existed for pipe organs since the late 1800s, the required rolls are often hard to find, expensive, and at this late date, fragile. Electronics of some sort can be added to an electropneumatic or electromechanical relay to allow MIDI or some proprietory system to play it, but if one is going to go to that much difficulty and expense, why not =   replace the entire relay have it done? Space taken by a mechanical relay =   can be better utilized for other things, and the combination action can be =   just an added bonus! Not wishing to start a battle, just advancing a different view!   At 10:09 AM 9/26/2003 -0500, First Christian Church of Casey, Illinois = wrote: >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   Regards, Bob    
(back) Subject: Re: [Residence Organs] FREE Relay From: "Bob Loesch" <> Date: Sat, 27 Sep 2003 10:22:33 -0700   Hey Al: WHINE, WHINE, WHINE... ";-) How are you doing, friend? Long time. No speakie! And NO, I don't want the relay! ";-) I would like to find a couple of similarly scaled stopped flutes, though, about Stopped Diapason or small Tibia Clausa size... Anything out there?   At 01:58 PM 9/26/2003 -0400, wrote: >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...   Regards, Bob      
(back) Subject: Re: [Residence Organs] Relay Systems From: "D Heimer" <> Date: Sat, 27 Sep 2003 13:54:48 -0400   Yo' List   Considering Keith's situation of having a mid 70's EM relay that is not quite large enough to do the job and wishing to have midi capabilities, = what do y'all think about this situation:   Installing a midi system to fire the relay magnets and using driver cards = on any stops that will not "fit" on the EM relay?       Regards, Dave H. Dave & Margie Heimer 2160 Armor Bridge Rd Greensboro Georgia 30642 706-467-3926 - Home 706-343-0033 - Office - email - website ----- Original Message ----- >    
(back) Subject: Relay MISS-INFORMATION for "shoppers" From: "Tim Rickman" <> Date: Sat, 27 Sep 2003 17:21:48 -0700     Topic: RELAY SYSTEM Miss-Information (Warning: this is a LONG post but has some good information for RELAY = SHOPPERS)   Greetings to the List from Tim Rickman.   Generally I read, but stay silent during group discussions regarding RELAY systems as I am a manufacturer of a "PC based" relay system.   I'll preface my remarks by saying that I am NOT posting this to solicit anyone's business from this list.   It would be safe to say that I have over 24+ years of professional experience in the relay manufacturing field and have produced, programmed, installed and serviced several hundred systems world wide.   I have installed dozens of our own systems, AND pretty near ALL of the = relay systems that are currently being discussed on this list during my tenure = of active participation in the pipe organ industry.   BUT, I simply could NOT remain silent after reading yesterdays digest and the comments that Peter Schmuckal made "suggesting" that members of this list and others "STAY AWAY" from relay systems that integrate a full PC as the heart of the relay.   Peter's exact words were: "As yet another member of this austere list who has designed and = implemented his own relay system let me make a couple of points:"   [1] <SNIP>   [Peter goes on to say]:   [2] "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".   <SNIP, SNIP, SNIP>   Well, Peter, Perhaps "YOU" might want to stay away from these types of systems, and I respect your right to exercise that decision, but the rest = of your statement is misleading to other members and subscribers to this = group list.   It is THESE kind of statements and remarks that give discussion groups = like this and its members BAD or distorted information. It also gives the NEW MEMBERS of these groups who have recently joined the group seeking help = and information regarding relay systems, INCORRECT, distorted and misleading information.   This is NOT a personal attack directed at Mr. Schmuckal or anyone else, = but anyone can say anything they want on these discussion group lists that people often take as GOSPEL, simply because the author of the post makes a statement that he has designed and implemented his own organ relay system.   >From someone who has been there, done that, has the T-shirt, video and = the DVD....I have over 180 PC based relay systems that integrate a "full PC as the heart of the system", installed and operating throughout the world. My experience shows just the opposite of your blanket statement.   Through out my travels and hands on installation of many "OTHER" manufacturer's relay systems, as well as customer consultations, It is the MOSTLY small (cheap?) Microprocessor and Microcontroller systems that have the majority of problems. Just getting "SOME" of them installed, lit-off = and operating to do what they are suppose to do is often a tremendous = challenge to most individuals. You don't even want to get me started on the problems and issues of obsolescence and customer dissatisfaction associated with "some" of these systems, not to mention "HOME BREW" and MIXED technology systems.   I'm not saying that ALL small microprocessor or micro controlled organ relay systems are BAD, they aren't. I'm not advocating that a PC based relay system is BETTER or superior to a microprocessor or micro controlled system either, But when you work behind the scenes, with the actual equipment during an installation and power up of SOME smaller = microprocessor systems as I have there are more operational, programming, trouble = shooting AND obsolescence issues at hand with "SOME" of your small microprocessor = and microcontroller systems than with PC based systems, at least from my experience.   In my defense of PC based systems I am not going to say that any component of a PC system will never fail, we all know they do, but those components will fail along side ANY other mechanical, animal, microprocessor, microcontroller or solid state control component, rectifier, blower, or regulator = installed or connected to a pipe organ under normal or extenuated circumstances.   Other forces that we have no control over, such as lightning, floods fire, power surges, etc. are responsible for MORE system failures than = hard drives and PC power supplies.   If a specific microcontroller or microprocessor gets hit by lighting, can you go down to your LOCAL neighborhood PC store, Best Buy or Comp-USA = and get a new one? NO!   The PC is the ONLY world wide standard platform that allows a user the ability to update or replace his "relay processor" to current industry standards and the latest technology and from ANY part of the world, = LOCALLY.   With MILLIONS and MILLIONS of motherboards being produced now for under = $100 dollars and processors ranging in price from $49 to $400 dollars, you have = a choice of what you want and how much you are willing to pay. Can't do that with Microprocessor or microcontroller technology once implemented in the same way you can with a PC based system.   The MERE FACT that you can back all your data and files up with a PC on several different media formats; Floppy disk, CD-ROM, Zip Disk and tape should be more comforting to most than the INABILITY to do so with some simple microprocessor and microcontroller systems. Many of these microcontroller and microprocessor systems won't even allow you to back up COMBINATION ACTION memories!   Should the Hard Drive or Power supply fail, you can get a new even on a Sunday afternoon at your local BEST BUY or COMP USA store.   Try to find an embedded microcontroller or microprocessor based controller for an XXX relay or combination action the next time you are at Best Buy = on a Sunday afternoon.   EVEN if a customer is running an organ Relay PC that is now considered "obsolete" by todays standards of speed, storage capacity and memory, yet wants to REMAIN on that obsolete platform, You may not be able to find a replacement PC component at your a major computer store, but you can STILL find dozens of PC's at the recycled computer shop in your local town or = the GOOD WILL Thrift Store for that matter for $5.00 and up.   If it's REALLY REALLY old, some one on eBay will probably have it for sale and there are zillions of internet sites now specializing in relic parts = for all types of older computers.   Are you going to find a "drop in replacement" of your OLD XYZ embedded controller at one of these relic sites? Probably NOT, but you'll find what is needed for the PC!   If you lose your embedded controller and that company is out of business and you don't have backup hardware and firmware, YOU'RE DEAD in the Water.   With a PC file based system you can continually renew it.   If "I" go out of business our system can be renewed from hundreds of thousands of internet "stores" or even a good will Thrift store. Nothing could be so far from the truth about obsolescence.   To wrap this up and move on, I performed a Google search, OH.. and I used = my "ORGAN RELAY PC" this evening to do it.   There are now over 100 MILLION PC's in use through out the world. FAR more than the number of microprocessor and microcontroller pipe organ relays world wide.   If the doom and gloom over failing hard drives and power supplies and obsolescence were such a factor, I don't believe that number would be so high, and I don't think YOU and I would be reading this digest over the internet, we'd all be shut down due to failing hard drives and power supplies.   If you don't know what you are talking about on this list, just READ the daily digests, DON'T POST to them.   A relay system is an expensive and very complex element of a pipe organ. It is really the HEART of the electro-pneumatic instrument to most people. Trying to make a decision based on false or confusing information makes = that process even harder for people who come to this list trying to find as = much factual CORRECT information as possible.   End of rant.   NEW TOPIC:   FINDING THE RIGHT RELAY SYSTEM FOR YOUR NEEDS   If you want to read on or are considering a new relay system, or don't = know who or what to ask about a relay system in your quest, here are some tips and suggestions for those of you Shopping for a RELAY system:   MOST IMPORTANT! If you are looking for a new relay for your organ, take everything you = read on interest groups like this one with a GRAIN OF SALT.   DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH and CALL or request information about the relay = system from the supplier or manufacturer directly.   Don't depend on what others on this or any other list says, OTHER than = those professionals on this list who you have seen post informative, factual information and time tested tips like Al Sefl, and Larry Chace to name but two.   These people have been in the trenches in this industry and know what they are talking about from EXPERIENCE. Larry says he blabbers on too much, but everything he says is factual, based on sound principles or from = EXPERIENCE. Same with AL Sefl. Al is too modest, but you can take what he says to the BANK every time.   If printed information and brochures are available from the manufacturer = you are considering and there is a charge for these manuals or materials don't be a tight wad. PAY THEM for it. Printed materials are EXPENSIVE and time consuming to produce, but will give you an inside look at what you are getting yourself into before you commit to purchase. Ten bucks can often save you THOUSANDS of dollars on something that is not right for you.   Interest groups like this are great for ideas and contacts, but do your = own research and PLAY an organ that has the relay system you are interested in or someone recommends from these groups BEFORE you buy one. If someone tells you their experience with a particular product is GREAT, they may = not be as picky or as accomplished an organist as YOU are. I've seen relay systems that simply go to HELL when an accomplished organist sits down and can out play the relay. The organ/relay owner never knew or realized this because he can't play as well as you can.   TALK to the professional concert ARTISTS, they play all these systems in their travels. It can be quite embarrassing to hire one of these professionals to play your dedication concert and have him tell you he can out play your relay. The same applies to Performance recording systems. = ALL are not created equal, some MISS notes! Be SURE the system is right for = YOUR needs, not someone else's. Get it right the first time.   Go see the system in action, sit down at the console and PLAY IT, look at how it is installed, ask to see the wiring and programming manifest so you can see how easy or difficult the system is FROM YOUR Point of view to install.   Most Relay systems require that the CUSTOMER install the relay HIMSELF, unless you hire a professional with proven EXPERIENCE with that relay = system to install it.   Some manufacturers will provide the system paneled and junctioned, so all you have to do is hook up the keys, stops, pistons and chests. MONEY WELL SPENT for those of you not real technically inclined.   Other vendors will NOT offer pre paneled and wired systems, you have to do all the planning mounting and wiring yourself.   On systems you have to wire yourself, some systems require that you wire-wrap connections, requiring special tools and special skills. Others require attaching wires to hundreds of Screw Terminals, Others require soldering connections to plugs, and others have insulation displacement connectors where you simply poke the insulated wire into the connector and you're done.   If you have problems with your hands and wrists, some of these = installation requirements may be a physical challenge to you if you have to screw and tighten 3,455 wire connections by HAND.   IF you are COLOR BLIND, DON'T use color coded wire! No one will be able to figure out how you have wired the organ. If you use color coded phone = wire, LEARN THE COLOR CODE. DON'T invent your own.   When you wire something, WRITE DOWN and document what you have done, or = work from a wiring guide prepared ahead of time and stick to it. No, you WON'T remember what you wired yesterday.   Some relay systems require that you diode matrix keys, stops,and pistons. They have fewer boards and fewer wires, but are very labor intensive = wiring up the different matrix configurations.   Some relay systems are very straight forward and easy to install. Others are very inflexible and rigid when it comes to wiring all the Couplers = stops from ALL divisions ahead of division speaking stops to one board location. If you screw that up (experience speaking here) you have to go back and re wire things, or re wire the entire console if you didn't follow the instructions to the = letter. Again, been there, done the T-shit, video and DVD.   Some relay systems designed for Classical and house of worship organs do = NOT include "trap relay" consideration. Some Kimball CHURCH organs HAVE traps. Be sure your relay can accommodate ALL the needs of the instrument BEFORE you buy. After you buy, it can be very expensive to implement these things the relay system was not designed to do.   Know how much you are willing to learn or UN-learn before you buy = something that you don't understand or can't install yourself. If you like to argue and challenge advise, DON'T ask for assistance from others. If you enlist the help of a professional and they tell you to do something based on experience, DO WHAT THEY TELL YOU TO DO. Don't argue or do it YOUR way, = and when you screw it up, don't expect them to bail you out and waste their time and advise a second time.   READ THE INSTRUCTION MANUAL TWO or THREE times before you start to install = the system. IF they give you forms to fill out, USE THEM. DON'T use your own forms or invent NEW ones.   Some Computer based and microprocessor based system come PRE PROGRAMMED = for you, based on your wiring or predetermined wiring sheets. Other systems require YOU to program the system yourself from your wiring documentation = or predetermined wiring lists.   If you have to program the system yourself, ASK for or BUY the programming manual or guidelines so you can see how the programming is done before you buy one. ASK ahead of time about HELP and factory internet or telephone assistance with the programming.   If you have to program the system yourself, you should be prepared to = spend time on the telephone, often at YOUR (long distance) EXPENSE while on HOLD for assistance. Don't expect help after 6:00 PM or on weekends. 3:00 PM when calling from the West Coast UNLESS 24 hour 7 day help and assistance = is available from your supplier or manufacturer.   If you can afford to have the system professionally installed IT will be = the BEST money you have ever spent, and will free your time up for the more = fun things like having a LIFE. You'll sleep better and your organ will be playing that much sooner.   FACT: There are GOOD relay systems on the market and there are not so good relay systems on the market. There are inexpensive relay systems and there are expensive relay systems.   Expensive does NOT mean better if it does NOT do what you need it to do.   Inexpensive does not mean that it will do all the things a more expensive system will do.   Generally, don't expect ALL inexpensive relays to do what a more expensive system can do. ALL Relay systems do basically the SAME thing, but some do it more elegantly than others.   Generally, a more expensive relay system has less options and more = FEATURES, faster speed, A built in combination action with more memories, a built in performance recorder and midi control system and more "bells and whistles" that you may or may not need or want. A relay system alone that does not include a combination action can be doubly expensive, and difficult to merge the two technologies IF they come from different manufacturers.   Regardless of the price of the relay system you select, I'll paraphrase = what Larry Chace said: There ain't nobody gettin rich in the relay business.   CHEAP does not mean anything more than CHEAP. It's an overused and abused word.   CALL the manufacturer or supplier and ask for information and reference installations. You might have to travel, but it's worth the expense to = find that a cheap relay is just that, REALLY CHEAP and won't do what you want = it to.   ASK questions. If you don't know anything about the technology your are asking about, tell them up front. Most manufacturers are willing to give you some guidance and spend time with you if you are up front with them. Some may even refer you to another manufacturer or vender that may meet your needs, but Some WON'T.   Most suppliers, manufacturers and vendors EXPECT questions about their products, but DON'T waste their time. Send an EMAIL and give them time to reply. Most everyone these days has email. Don't send a LETTER and expect a 10 page reply. Use EMAIL and if they don't have email THEN use the telephone.   If you don't understand something they have sent you, CALL and ask about = it on the phone. TAKE NOTES or record the call WITH THEIR PERMISSION so you = can concentrate on the conversation, not your notes.   If you CAN'T afford the price of the relay you are considering, DON'T = waste other peoples time by calling them up just to talk about dreams plans you can never afford to complete.   HAVE A LIST OF QUESTIONS ready ahead of time. TIME IS MONEY.   DON'T buy strictly on a "CHEAP" price. You'll get a CHEAP RELAY. There are some new INEXPENSIVE relay systems that will do WONDERFUL things, but = there also are inexpensive relays that will plague you to death with problems.   It often amazes me when I hear people say how many THOUSANDS of dollars = they paid for a new Brass Saxophone or Brass Trumpet and then bitch about the cost of a good relay system like it is an insignificant part of the organ.   I keep bringing this up because it is IMPORTANT. Before you buy any relay, cheap, inexpensive or expensive what ever you want to call it, PLAY an = ORGAN that has one INSTALLED. If the Manufacture won't tell you where any of his installations are, DON'T BUY THE RELAY. He's obviously hiding something.   ASK HOW MANY SYSTEMS have been INSTALLED and are operational.   ASK for customer references and those who are willing to open their homes for visitation.   A happy customer will generally ALWAYS want to show off his organ to other interested persons. CALL IN ADVANCE. Don't EVER just show up at the door = if a manufacture or supplier gives you a customers name and address. When you call, tell them where you got the reference from. Give them YOUR name and phone number incase something comes up.   Talk to the organist who has to PLAY the organ, but DON'T waste their = time. Ask about problems, ASK if you may play the instrument, ASK before you change combination action settings, but see if the combination action has the requirements and features YOU need for your type of playing standards. ASK the organist to demonstrate the features of the combination action for you and then with permission try them for yourself.   Ask to see the performance recorder in operation if the instrument is set = up to record and play, and ASK if you may make your own recording to see if = it meets YOUR needs, and playing style.   If you have to unplug "this" over here and plug in "that" over there in order to record or play back, ask yourself if you want to go through that every time you want to record or play a performance? Oh....IF you need to read music on your visit take a FEW pieces of MUSIC with you. Don't haul in a file cabinet.   ASK if you are able to IMPORT other media to play the instrument. Can you use a MIDI file from the internet to provide music on your instrument? Can you take a recording file from another instrument (with the same system installed) and play it on YOUR organ? Most CANNOT, but some CAN. If you DON'T PLAY the organ yourself, this should be especially important to your installation needs!   ASK about MIDI, IF you need midi. If you have no desire to incorporate = midi gear, don't worry about it. Regardless of manufactures claims, Most mid equipment is at best, a little DIFFICULT to interface to a pipe organ without jumping through a few hoops. You have to have or be willing to = LEARN about MIDI before you can master it. Some relay systems have elegant MIDI implementation, others DON'T. Some control only certain aspects of SOME midi devices, but not ALL midi devices, and not ALL system midi interfaces are USER FRIENDLY. Don't take someone's word that you can do ANYTHING with midi on the "XXX" system, YOU CAN'T   If you are looking for a USED relay, or you find a deal on eBay, if the system is not being made any longer being produced or the company is out = of business or not dealing with NEW customers (with the exception of a = electro pneumatic relay that you can rebuild yourself) PASS on it! Something else will come along OR it will come along and will serve your needs better as soon as = you buy the DEFUNCT product, Guaranteed.   ASK ABOUT the Warranty and specifically WHAT that LIMITED warranty really covers. If the system breaks down or blows up will they come to YOU and = fix it? (Don't expect this service to be FREE).   You will find that more expensive systems come with better warranties. = Some systems include in the price a setup and check out at YOUR location to get your system up and running and fix any programming or wiring errors for = you, and supply you with extra boards and spare parts for emergency situations, and offer 24 hour 7 day a week telephone and internet assistance. Others = do not.   There is NOTHING wrong with a DIODE KEYED relay if it will serve your = needs. It's basically bullet proof, easy to trouble shoot service and repair but it is very labor intensive to build one from scratch. If you have more time than money this is a basic way to go to get your organ up and = playing. GENERALLY, with a diode switching system you can retrofit a POSITIVE = voltage keying system WITH several different "brands" of midi interfaces. Some = midi retrofit systems allow NEGATIVE keyed system interface, but generally POSITIVE keying is the most common. Very early diode keyed systems = required negative keying, so that should give you an idea of age if you are considering buying a used diode relay system.   If you are considering using "MIDI" components as a relay.....It should be = a really small organ, and the midi components should be built to handle INDUCTIVE loads. There is a BIG difference between electronic organ MIDI = and PIPE ORGAN MIDI interfaces. In MY opinion, You should NEVER consider a = MIDI message based combination action for inductive electro-magnetic stop actions. Lighted tablet and drawknob actions are fine for a midi message based combination action, because they are based on NON INDUCTIVE load switching. High Current inductive loads can introduce spikes into a midi based system not designed to handle heavy inductive load switching.     And Finally, NO OFFENCE to anyone on this or any other list, but If you = are considering commercializing or entering the pipe organ relay market with your home brew relay system, DON'T. A "to remain anonymous" person in this industry summed it up the best when he said:   "For a dying industry, there sure are a lot of people [in the relay business] wanting to get in on it".   If you made it this far, for those who wish to reply privately, or = publicly to this list posting I welcome your comments but I will be out of town and out of internet range until October 3rd, so if you reply I'll get to your message as soon as possible.   Regards to you all and happy relay shopping. May you find the best relay for your needs.   Tim Rickman Rickman Control Systems Reno, NV                            
(back) Subject: Relay Design Criterion From: "John R. Ball" <> Date: Sat, 27 Sep 2003 21:45:23 -0400   Dear List, I spent a considerable amount of design thought and spec writing for my = own pipe organ control system over the past fifteen years. =20   It became obvious quite early that the PC had so much more going for it = than imbedded controllers or special purpose logic systems. Think about = the vast array of software support for programming and debugging a PC, = Also think about all of the I/O devices that are at your disposal. = Consider the absolutely amazing low prices for a complete PC today. And = finally, consider that I think there will always be personal computers = in some form or another that can run C or C++ or C# or their future = derivatives.   So, the number one criteria for my design is: use the PC to its maximum = capability.   And the corollary to this is the number two criteria: use an absolute = minimum of external, special purpose hardware.   It has been mentioned that external hardware components may go obsolete = and become hard to replace. Therefore, use a generic design which can = easily be re-implemented with components currently in vogue. When a = board fails 20 years from now you can scrap it and re-implement its = function with current components.   Let the PC control all of the sequencing that would ordinarily be done = with a state-based external logic system. This use of the PC eliminates = a whole lot of external hardware. The PC can provide all of the = necessary clocking and line selectivity through a parallel interface = (either internal printer port or via an add-in card). External hardware = components are reduced to line drivers, shift registers, and a very few = logic gates.   If one is truly worried about PC obsolescence then just buy 10 or 20 = 386-based or slower 486-based PCs and store them until needed. They = will be very cheap or even free. A 100MHz PC will easily run a 60 rank = organ.   My work experience enables me to do H/W design and PC programming so my = solution to the "relay" problem may not be suitable for everyone. = However, I hope that list members will gain something useful from this = short design note.   Regards, John Ball McLean, VA    
(back) Subject: PC Based Relay System From: <> Date: Sat, 27 Sep 2003 23:26:01 EDT   List,   I'm not sure if I've ever heard of PC based relay systems. How are they configured? Are there input cards for keys, stops, buttons, etc and = output cards for SAMs and pipe valves? Are these cards proprietary?   Is it possible for an amateur to assemble one of these systems, or would = that be like trying to re-invent the wheel? What are the PC-based relay = systems out there?   Thanks, Keith    
(back) Subject: Re: [Residence Organs] PC Based Relay System From: "Bob Loesch" <> Date: Sat, 27 Sep 2003 20:38:06 -0700   Hi Keith. If I'm not mistaken, both Emutek and Artisan are PC based. Both are nice systems from what I've heard, but I've only heard the Artisan, and have never played either. Perhaps Tim Rickman can tell us who made the relay for Dick Schroder's 3m14rk(?) Morton, as that's the only solid-state relay =   organ I've any extensive experience with playing. Whoever made it, it was =   a really a nice unit.   At 11:26 PM 9/27/2003 -0400, wrote: >List, > >I'm not sure if I've ever heard of PC based relay systems. How are they >configured? Are there input cards for keys, stops, buttons, etc and >output cards for SAMs and pipe valves? Are these cards proprietary? > >Is it possible for an amateur to assemble one of these systems, or would >that be like trying to re-invent the wheel? What are the PC-based relay >systems out there? > >Thanks, >Keith   Regards, Bob