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  • Allen model 1203-4ManDKC project

    Hello All,

    Finally, after 8 weeks of an agonizing wait and a week and a half of extraction toil, this Allen organ is at my home, albeit in pieces, but here none the less. (Ref. https://organforum.com/forums/showth...ge-Allen-organ)

    The 8 week delay was due to insurance issues between the church and the folks at Walker, and the church's new insurance company who apparently never dealt with something like this. In the contract Walker was responsible for removing the old organ from the balcony and disposing of it, and that was their intention regardless of how it needed to be done. Unbeknownst to me, Walker would not remove the balcony railing because of liability issues, so they intended to gut the console to lighten the load and get it over the railing to remove it. I searched high and low to find organ movers that would be willing to take on the task of moving this rather large behemoth to no avail. Again, it was just too large and nobody was willing to take on the liability. So instead of Walker dismantling this beautiful instrument with a chainsaw, they allowed me to take it apart to "lighten the load" so they could get it over the railing. Their only requirement was that it was as light as the organ that they were putting up there. So I proceeded to dismantle the console with surgical skill, ie. the least amount of butchering possible. I documented the process extensively with pictures and notes, and she will go back together and sing again. Reassembling it and repairing the myriad of original problems will be my winter project, and in the process I will add midi and other goodies that I have in mind and had planned to do anyway.

    For a MOS1 organ from 1982, it has quite the spec. If anyone is interested I can post details about what it is, and my progress as it develops.

    Joel
    Last edited by JoelHof; 09-06-2018, 08:58 AM.

  • #2
    Congratulations...on many fronts! It looks like a wonderful instrument. Check with the Zuma Group on midi-fying this organ.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Hamman. Thanks for the encouragement. I believe the Zuma Group's products work on MOS2 systems only. This 1203 is a hybrid per se. Swell, Great, Choir and Pedals are MOS1, and the Bombarde division is SDDS (MOS2?). Although there's coupling between the Bombarde and the rest of the divisions, I'm not sure if the Zuma board would work in this configuration. There is an SDDS MUX board where it would tie into though. My plan is to venture into building my own midi interface using Arduino. A formidable task on this scale, but pretty straight forward. I can make it what I want, add and customize anything, and it's extremely cost effective. A bit of circuitry, a bit of wiring, and lots of coding. Should be interesting ... Gotta put it back together first. That should be really interesting! ;-)

      Joel

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by JoelHof View Post
        Hi Hamman. Thanks for the encouragement. I believe the Zuma Group's products work on MOS2 systems only.
        The Zuma Group Keyboard Encoder was designed to interface an SDDS Mux board. This board was used primarily in MOS2 models, but the Zuma Keyboard Encoder should work with any SDDS Mux board regardless of the model Allen it's installed in. The question is whether all the keying for your MOS1 is routed through the SDDS Mux board. The SDDS Mux board supports 5 divisions, so it is possible that it was used as the keying system on your organ. The Zuma board supports only four divisions, so some customization would be needed to support 5 divisions, assuming all the keying is accomplished through the SDDS board. Contact me via PM if you wish to explore this possibility further.

        The Zuma MIDI Stop Controller board is a drop in replacement for the DM capture board found in MOS1, MOS2 and some ADC models. The DM boards nominally support 4 divisions so it's likely that your organ has two of these capture boards, but it's also possible that Allen allocated the resources of the a single board across the 5 divisions of your instrument.
        -Admin

        Allen 965
        Zuma Group Midi Keyboard Encoder
        Zuma Group DM Midi Stop Controller
        Hauptwerk 4.2

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by JoelHof View Post

          For a MOS1 organ from 1982, it has quite the spec. If anyone is interested I can post details about what it is, and my progress as it develops.

          Joel
          Joel, Of Course we are Interested !!! Congratulations on the acquisition, though it was quite the project. Gotta love OAS.
          Regards, Larry

          At Home : Yamaha Electones : EX-42 ( X 3 !!! ), E-5AR, FX-1 ( X 2 !! ), US-1, EL-25 ( Chopped ). Allen 601D, ADC 6000D. Lowrey CH32-1. At Churches I play for : Allen Q325 ( with Vista ), Allen L123 ( with Navigator ). Rodgers 755. 1919 Wangerin 2/7 pipe organ.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Larrytow View Post
            Joel, Of Course we are Interested !!! Congratulations on the acquisition, though it was quite the project.
            Seconded! Photos would be nice too, and recordings if possible.
            Viscount C400 3-manual
            8 channels + 2 reverb channels (w/ Lexicon MX200)
            Klipsch RSX-3 speakers and Klipsch Ultra 5.1 subwoofers

            Comment


            • #7
              If you are not aware of them, Harrison Labs in Colorado offers midi and enhancements for MOS1 instruments.

              Comment


              • #8
                Joel, I am pleased that this organ rescue story has a happy ending. I first learned of the instrument through a service customer in western PA and passed the information along to the only person I could think of in the Philadelphia area--our friend rjsilva. He deserves a lot of credit for scoping out the organ and generating interest in saving it. As you recounted, the alternative was not good and would have involved a sledgehammer or a chain saw.

                Let's see some pictures of this project as it progresses.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hello All,

                  Thanks to don60 and rjsilva. This is truly a gift. Maybe my nemesis, but a wonderful gift none the less. Here's a couple of photos of before, during and after the removal of the console. You supply your own tissues if/when you cry ...

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                  Cont'd
                  Last edited by JoelHof; 09-09-2018, 05:47 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Joel,

                    Thanks for the photos. You did a nice job on the disassembly.

                    I see four computer boards, just as the model number would indicate. Despite the impressive size of the instrument, the internal architecture seems fairly simple. Making sense of everything on reassembly ought to be straightforward if you have good notes. I take it from your comments that you have an engineering or computer science background, which will help immensely.

                    Are you going to refinish the console?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Click image for larger version

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                      This last one is the Walker going in:

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                      I just finished cleaning/reassembling the amp racks, and all the speakers are cleaned up. Fortunately all the HC12/20 15" woofers have the accordion surrounds with the exception of one, and it's completely blown out. The peerless speakers will need new surrounds. That will get done during the cold months. The HC8 speakers are all in good shape with heavy duty rubber surrounds. The console will start to go back together starting soon enough. That will be a big job.

                      Quick spec run down: This is a standard 1203 DKC customized with a 4th manual. To fit it in Allen had to expand the dimensions a little bit. 4 computers are for the swell, great, choir and pedals just as in a normal 1203. They added the Bombarde division using an external SDDS rack with 5 boards. There's a 12 channel amp rack for the standard 1203 outs, 4 channels for the "mains", and the 4 channels for the "flutes" are sent through crossovers to get 4 treble and 4 bass, for a total of 12. Then there are an additional 10 channels for the SDDS on a separate amp rack (2 per board). They added a separate relay system for the Pontifical Trumpet (en Chamade) to pick up two of the channels and send them to separate speakers. The system has 2 memory capture boards to accommodate all the divisions. I was fortunate in that I have the service packet that shows how the system was setup, and I also know the company that installed it some 36 years ago. A couple of the programmable stops have been changed from the standard 1203 spec and of course the Bombarde division was custom spec'd.

                      There are 15 blank draw knobs readily available for customization ... say midi? heheheheh

                      Joel
                      Last edited by JoelHof; 09-09-2018, 06:04 PM.

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                      • #12
                        A couple more pictures ...

                        Speaker stack: Click image for larger version

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                        Amps and SDDS racks (SDDS still needs cleaning and rewiring): Click image for larger version

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                        The goodies: Click image for larger version

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                        Power supplies (dirty): Click image for larger version

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                        Pedals and custom HC8's (antiphonals): Click image for larger version

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                        Cont'd

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                        • #13
                          ... and last but not least, the console: Click image for larger version

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                          yeah, there's a little bit of work to do ...

                          Joel

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                          • #14
                            Thanks for the photos! I didn’t realise there were that many speakers. I’m really glad your rescued the organ and are willing to put the work into it.
                            Viscount C400 3-manual
                            8 channels + 2 reverb channels (w/ Lexicon MX200)
                            Klipsch RSX-3 speakers and Klipsch Ultra 5.1 subwoofers

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Hi Joel,

                              To repair the 6" midranges order the bulk package for Bose. I believe there are 8 surrounds in a package, Companies: Speakerworks, Simplyspeakers, Newedge, or Parts Express. I forgot which one carries that bulk package but just Google.

                              Also could you send me the numbers on the white tag on the MOS computer boards on your 1203? Also which position they're in? I have a 1203 where that got confused. Thanks

                              John
                              Can't play an note but love all things "organ" Responsible for 2/10 Wurli pipe organ, Allen 3160(wife's), Allen LL324, Allen GW319EX, ADC4600, many others. E-organ shop to fund free organ lessons for kids.

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