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  • Building Swell Shoes



    Hi,</p>

    I am building a console to be used with the Hauptwerk software and I am in the process of building swell shoe mechanism. I have some appropriate swell shoe plates, but I am struggling to find a suitable rack and pinion mechanism that will enable the linear shoe movement to be turned into a potentiometer rotation. Does anyone have any recommendations on where I might source suitable rack and pinions from? Also, I'd be interested to know of other experiences of doing similar projects and, finally, any views on what the angle of rotation should be for the shoe (I understand that this is not standardised).</p>

    Thanks,</p>

    James
    </p>

  • #2
    Re: Building Swell Shoes



    Hi James,</P>


    You might want to take a look at several recent listings on The Church Organ Trader (AKA keyboardtrader.com) by Aiden &amp; Ron. They are selling several Allen console parts including two separate listings for some expression shoes:</P>


    http://www.keyboardtrader.com/msgboard.cfm</P>


    Good luck and God bless!</P>

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Building Swell Shoes

      You could instead use a linear potentiometer.  Peterson EMP sells a comeplete kit with a 10k slide pot, complete with linkage, mounting hardware, clevice and pin.  Arndt also sells a slide pot kit, though not as complete.<DIV><BR class="khtml-block-placeholder"></DIV><DIV>Another approach I often used when dealing with rotary pots was to use a simple crank arm, which would give you roughly 90 degrees of motion if you set the linkage up right. Such a setup would require a pot value 4X whatever the system calls for, since you are only using 25% or so of the total range.  Unless being used as a direct audio control, rotary pots tend to deliver less consistent results compared to slide pots.</DIV><DIV><BR class="khtml-block-placeholder"></DIV>

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Building Swell Shoes



        Thanks for the response - very helpful. I was taking the rack and pinion approach because I thought this would give better control of the swell pedal. In your experience is this case?</p>

        Thanks,

        James
        </p>

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Building Swell Shoes

          I recall now that Klann made (and probably still makes) a rack and pinion for potentiometer use.  Certainly this might give you a wide range of control, but it all depends on how it is being used.  Is the pot being used as a direct volume control for the amplifier, or is it sending a value to an A/D converter to determine a value within the control system?<DIV><BR class="khtml-block-placeholder"></DIV><DIV>All things being equal (which they rarely are) the former situation probably calls for a rotary pot, the latter a slide pot.  You can purchase pots directly from Newark or Digi Key.</DIV><DIV><BR class="khtml-block-placeholder"></DIV>

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Building Swell Shoes



            Edward - Thanks for your continued help.
            </p>

            The pot(s) will be used as part of a control system (midibox). Who are klann? Do you have there contact details?</p>

            Thanks again,</p>

            James
            </p>


            </p>

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Building Swell Shoes



              Edward - I have found the Klann website and they do a rack and pinion assembly which is exactly what I need! There are no prices on their website, off hand do you know how much these are?</p>

              James
              </p>

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Building Swell Shoes

                I don't have a Klann price list, but even so I believe Klann prices to sell to the trade.  I would suggest you call them during regular business hours.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Building Swell Shoes



                  Well - my hopes were built up, only to be dashed. The klann assemblies are perfect for my requirements, but are too expenisve (particularly when factoring in shipping to the UK). I'm now beginning to err towards linear potentiometers.</p>

                  James
                  </p>

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I bought the Arndt pots, about $70US with bracket but I am having two problems fitting to shoe. First the shoe must be drilled somehow to attach the wiper arm and the range of motion of the pedals must be restricted so the pot is not crushed. I'm attaching the pot to Allen shoes. Anyone done this who can make suggestions?
                    Mike Stevens, Bonsall California
                    Console: Allen TC-1. Two manuals, AGO pedalboard, 34 thumb pistons, 4 toe pistons. Midi cards from DTS. Amplification Krell KSA250 stereo, Speakers B&W 801 Series3. Favorite Sample Set Grafthorst-027 (Bad Ass SubBas16)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Klann will sell to individuals, but their swell shoe with rack & pinion and also their rack & pinion by itself are rather expensive.

                      I have the Arndt slide pots, but have not been able to figure out how to get them to work--they say it should be obvious, but it sure is not obvious to me. Worst $70 I've spent, I think.

                      Rodgers originally used the Klann arrangement, but later went to using an arm attached to the shoe and another arm attached to a rotary pot, with the shoe movement rotating the pot approximately 90 degrees. Take a look at this auction for some good pictures of the arrangement: http://www.--------/itm/Rodgers-Rola...YAAOSw1KxXMojW

                      It would be easy enough to duplicate this approach, if approx 90 degree rotation is sufficient. Usually with MIDI you can scale the expression range so it's a possibility.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I think I've found an affordable rack & pinion arrangement. Here's the rack: https://www.amplifiedparts.com/produ...d-other-pedals

                        That's a little short, so you might have to use 2 of them, back to back, and fiddle with the spacing to make a smooth transition between them.

                        Here's the pinion gear: https://www.amplifiedparts.com/products/gear-dunlop-wah

                        Unfortunately it is sized for a 1/4 inch D-shaft, so you'll have to get a pot to match.

                        I think this approach is about as inexpensive as you can get for a rack and pinion.

                        On ebay, I've looked at a number of different swell shoes that are for sale, and it seems the most common approach is to use 2 arms: one attached to the pedal, and one attached to the pot, the 2 arms are connected at a point where they can pivot so that moving the pedal pushes or pulls the arm attached to the pot shaft; probably gives 60 to 90 degrees of rotation. The pedal arm is probably easiest to make out of aluminum flat stock; the pot shaft could be made at home using hardwood (birch or maple. maybe); drill and tap for a set screw.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          toodles, that rack has 18 teeth and the pinion has 14. Even movement of the rack just its full length would rotate that pinion more than 360°. To achieve a 90° rotation would require either a linkage to reduce the pedal movement to less than 1/4 the length of the rack OR some sort of gear arrangement to drop the rotation by a factor of 4 or 5. Two racks back to back would not do any good.

                          David

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by davidecasteel View Post
                            toodles, that rack has 18 teeth and the pinion has 14. Even movement of the rack just its full length would rotate that pinion more than 360°. To achieve a 90° rotation would require either a linkage to reduce the pedal movement to less than 1/4 the length of the rack OR some sort of gear arrangement to drop the rotation by a factor of 4 or 5. Two racks back to back would not do any good.

                            David
                            Dave,

                            I believe you are overthinking this!

                            You don't need a linkage to change the rotation--swell shoes only travel about 30 degrees, and it's just a matter of placing the pot an appropriate distance from the pivot to get the linear motion (pretty much vertical motion) such that 30 degrees gives you less than full rotation of the pot.

                            Since the pinion gear is 1/2 inch diameter, it's circumference is about 1.57 inches (half PI). As long as the rack is at least that long, you can rotate the pot enough. This rack (from the picture) seems to have enough length--extra is OK, but too short is not OK.

                            My calculations indicate a little less than 4" distance between the shoe pivot and the pot shaft center should be about right--travel won't exceed 360 degrees.

                            My comments about using back-to-back racks was before I calculated things--you are right, 2 are of no value.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              toodles, I do tend to overthink things, but I find it works well for me. And it's not necessary to consider the diameter of the pinion since we know how many teeth it has, and how many are on the rack. As long as there are more teeth on the rack than on the pinion, the rack is long enough to cause a full rotation of the pinion. (And, of course, it would be bad to over-rotate the potentiometer shaft.)

                              I have 2 Engineering degrees and my mind just automatically considers details such as these. I can't help it.

                              David

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