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Hammond L-100 spinet, adding missing 14-17 frequencies to the generator questions.

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  • Hammond L-100 spinet, adding missing 14-17 frequencies to the generator questions.

    Hi everybody,

    I am new to this forum and for your information, as a french canadian, english is my second language. I will try to do my best.

    I recently acquired a first Hammond, a 1966 L-100 for 60$CDN shipped to my 2nd floor apartment. The organ was already in working condition, but I am restoring it completely, upgrading a little... I have already did the full foldback on upper and lower manual with Alan DuBois (mechanic1342) kits from Ebay, which is a great kit with detailed instructions.

    So here is my project now (and I am wondering if anyone ever done it). Did anyone add the missing lower tonewheels and pickups on these organs (frequencies 14-17 on L-100 and others with 13 bass pedals, frequencies 13 to 17 for M-1, M-2, M-3). I don't want any form of octave divider or inboard solid state. I prefer the hard way and go with the real thing.

    I am planning to add an additional drawbar, busbar and contacts on lower to have a sub-fundamental. I have already ordered the necessary stuff for this from Alan too.

    My questions are :
    1. Do you have a link for spare generator parts (4 teeth tonewheels, frequencies 18 to 24 or tonewheels pairs (frequency 6-18, 7-19, 8-20, 9-21, 10-22, 11-23, 12-24)
    pickups assembly including magnetic polepiece (frequency 18 to 24, ideally). Maybe you can do my day and you have these laying around.

    2. If I am not able to find parts, I will have to make them myself. I have some basic machining skills and I know a good machinist for more complex tasks. Do you have specs for those parts?
    -Are all 4 teeth tonewheel identical or they differ slightly from frequency to frequency?
    -What is the alloy for the discs (I have read that is mild steel with varnish to prevent corrosion, can you confirm)?
    -What is the alloy of magnetic polepiece and do you have a link to buy material like this.
    -Do you have specs for pickup coils (dimensions, wire gauge, inductance, resistance). Like tonewheels, do they are identical for all 4 teeth tonewheels?

    I just want to know if it is possible to do so, and if I can find parts, it would be easier for me before having to disassemble the generator.

    So thank you for your time and have a good day.
    Antoine Ruelland

  • #2
    What you describe is no small task.

    Making the wheels is no big deal. They're steel or any ferrous material. You could, if you wish, use the wheels that are already there. Yes, in those blank frequencies that you are now missing, there runs a simply circular wheel with no lobes on the perimeter. A simple slick disc. You could do your cutting on that. But I don't think you can do it without first removing the wheel.

    And you can use lots of sources for the coil and cap.

    But you may wish to consider the alternatives to disassembling a generator. After you examine it for some time, you will realize that there is some special tooling involved that looks like a table with many sliding parts. Such tooling would have to hold many parts stationary, while moving others, while keeping them all in exact relation to one another. In fact, simply building the necessary tooling would be a rather admirable achievement.

    If you intend to do this, and I'm all for you doing whatever you want, an alternative worth your consideration might be to find any of the many console generators out there. Not real easy, but they exist.

    They have all the tones you need. Then it becomes a much more simple, yet still involved, task of doing the wiring and probably voicing. You'll have to fit the generator to your cabinet which may require some rudimentary woodworking depending on which generator you score.

    There are also electronic solutions that simply generate the missing tones. But you said you prefer not. Still, if you start disassembling a generator, you may see some advantages.

    I've done (am still doing) what you describe, but I went the electronic way with dividers. Added full length busbars. Effects; perc mods; etc.

    All in all, you are embarking on quite the undertaking.


    • #3
      Salut Antoine, bienvenue sur le forum,
      As they say, you have your work cut out for you. I have a M100 with the octave drop on the lower manual, and I'll admit those few missing tonewheels are what I miss the most when comparing to a console. Ten years ago I built a circuit board that went under the keys for the first octave and activated a midi encoder to generate the missing frequencies in a midi module. I've now removed that and am also looking for a better way to add these frequencies.
      I don't have that much advice but if it were me I guess I'd look for a generator from a H100, X77 or similar, ideally one that's already been parted. At the same time, when getting the tonewheels from the donor, you'd get more experience in how the generator is assembled. (never done that myself, and I don't think I ever will.) Or just swap the generators.
      @Tiredoldgeezer: I'll look through your posts in case you've already shared details about your octave dividers, but if you haven't, I'm really interested in knowing more about this.
      Au plaisir,
      A100, X77, M3, M100, E100
      Leslie 147, 145, homemade road Leslie
      My youtube channel


      • #4

        What about the five missing playing keys? C-E....



        • #5
          Originally posted by bourniplus View Post
          @Tiredoldgeezer: I'll look through your posts in case you've already shared details about your octave dividers, but if you haven't, I'm really interested in knowing more about this.
          No need. I have not.

          Was wanting to complete - and be satisfied - with the final product (i.e. dividers). Went through a couple of iterations trying to keep the part count down, but ended up with 'edgy' sine waves. This next idea, with what i thought would be too many parts, is my next go at it. I'm stoked, though. Will probably do a writeup on the whole enchilada once I'm happy.

          Trouble is, I get 'feature creep' pretty bad, so I might not ever be satisfied.


          • #6
            Wow - these are admirable and difficult goals!
            To be honest, the juice probably isn't worth the squeeze.
            The time, money, sweat and false starts & dead ends involved probably aren't worth it compared to just buying a console or a modern clone wheel.
            This would only be worth doing if you really really really love the engineering challenge
            1971 T-202 with Carsten Meyer mods: Remove key click filters, single-trigger percussion, UM 16' drawbar volume correction. Lower Manual bass foldback.
            Korg CX3 (original 1980's analogue model).
            1967 Leslie 122 with custom inbuilt preamp on back panel for 1/4" line-level inputs, bass & treble controls. Horn diffusers intact.
            2009 Marshall 2061x HW Plexi head into Marshall 4x12 cabinet.

            1964 C3
            196x M-102
            197x X5
            197x Leslie 825


            • organoman
              organoman commented
              Editing a comment
              I totally agree. Only 7 drawbars available, lower manual chassis missing two busbars and 88 corresponding contacts, missing five playing keys, not the best TG organ to begin with!

          • #7
            If I went thru all the trouble with adding those extra frequencies, I would go for an E-100 lower manual instead of a modified L-100 manual. Just for the range.
            Current organs: AV, M-3, A-100
            Current Leslies: 22H, 122, 770


            • #8
              Welcome aboard! I agree with the 'too much work' replies.Find an E100 or even an R100 for the upgrade.
              By now most of them are available cheap AND DON'T WORK.
              Why I prefer the R genny over the E? 91 wheels.The E uses divider circuit like the T.

              Two years ago,Wes G saw it in person,an non functional R124 was 'rescued' free in Surrey.
              With hemostat in hand popped a spring back into the main shaft and voila!
              A 91 tone genny,sans vib scanner.Turns out an E100 pie scanner will hang right off there.Installed one.
              Manuals are being 'shortened' on the blank sheet metal bass ends and smaller (H100) left hand cheek blocks installed.
              I know a good metal worker! It's all going into an M100 chassis.
              R124 bass pedalboard is a single contact on/off system too.Thanks again Wes,will 'get around to it'.Third in line at the moment.
              A100/251 A100/147 A102/222 B2/142 BV/147 BCV/145 M3/145 M102/145 M111/770 L101/760 T222/HL722 M111/770 no B3/C3!


              • #9
                Thank you for all the responses. As I am new to the forum, I didn't have email notice that I had reply.

                I am learning very much on Hammond with this project and I prefer to make my experiences on something that worth less than a pristine B3.
                I know some of you have concerns about this project, I know it is ambitious, and probably not worth it in matter of time and investment.
                But, I am stubborn, and I know that it is possible, not simple, but possible. In Quebec province, tube tonewheels organs are scarce, even spinet, so I considerate myself lucky to have this, even if some are bashing about those models. Because of this local context, sourcing parts is mostly online, and buying a generator online is out of question due to shipping cost. And of course, I would like a console, but I am living in a 3rd floor apartment with "too much stuff issues" and the staircase is not wide enough for a console (27" at some places). The L100 was still a challenge to climb up there. And I know that the keys are not there, but I will wire them on lowest 13C (frequency 13 to 17), then foldback down to 6F, not perfect, but the same scheme as a B3. On the B3, the lowest frequency is still 13 on note 13C, then foldback on the lowest octave key down to note 1C, which is still frequency 13.

                So here is my progression.

                1. I will add an 8 busbar on the lower manual with contacts. I already made the upper foldback and busbar lubing, so this is not complicated for me. I am on the way to receive the parts.

                2. Adding a 8th busbar, I need a drawbar tab switch with 8 poles to replace the 7 poles switch. I bought an M-100 lower manual switch assembly. I will cut the frontplate and have 3 presets (flute, diapason, ensemble) at the place of only "ensemble".

                3. I need an 8th drawbar. There is already a slot in the drawbar assembly and the busbars are long enough to add one. I just need an extra L-100 drawbar. I am on the way to find one, but still in search.

                4. I needed the missing tonewheels, I found 4 teeth on ebay and received them. The brass bushing is crimped to retain the disc, I managed to remove without damaging the disc, but it is not an easy task but it is the kind of work I do all day for a living (I am doing overhaul on high voltage circuit breakers, some old as 70 years!). For you information, the blank disc in the generator are smaller, so can't reuse them. I will remove them, keep the same gear and put the ebay 4 teeth disc on them. I did not try to disassemble the generator for the moment, but it is not what scares me the most.

                5. I will need to find 5 polepieces and pickups (frequencies 18 to 24). The are different types of pickups, I didn't remove them but they are labelled and come in different sizes, number of turn and wire gauge. The one I need are labelled 14L. In worst case, I am able to take a coil and find the specs and rewind 5 new coils. And there is no filter caps or coil on these frequencies, only a resistor wire.

                I will keep you updated with progression pictures soon and a video when all will be done.


                • Baseman norm
                  Baseman norm commented
                  Editing a comment
                  That's good information
                  I been looking to do the same thing

              • #10
                Originally posted by aruelland View Post
                I would like a console, but I am living in a 3rd floor apartment with "too much stuff issues" and the staircase is not wide enough for a console (27" at some places).
                Don't let that discourage you; not all consoles are as deep as the B-3/C-3. A-100 and E-100 are both 64 cm deep, for example (25 inches).
                Current organs: AV, M-3, A-100
                Current Leslies: 22H, 122, 770


                • #11
                  Regarding tube tonewheel Hammonds being scarce in Quebec, that's not been my experience. There's a (non-working but maybe easily fixable) free E100 with bench and pedals right now on kijiji, it's been there for three weeks. I called the guy when I saw the ad and he wasn't available that day, so I kind of delayed the project since, but I think I'd prefer if someone else went to get it. Last year there was a C3 with Leslie 122 and the Roll-r-karies, all for 1500$, that stayed advertised for a long time.
                  A100, X77, M3, M100, E100
                  Leslie 147, 145, homemade road Leslie
                  My youtube channel


                  • #12
                    that's awesome


                    • #13
                      I think I understand what can drive someone to make these projects. I've done a few myself: projects that are more fun for the challenge of "getting it done" than for the value of the end result itself. 25 years ago I made a MIDI piano controller out of an old upright piano keyboard. I used an old PC XT motherboard and designed and made my own ISA card to create two inputs per note, so that I could measure the time between two contacts, to determine velocity. All programmed in assembler. It was a lot of work, but I sure had fun designing it and solving ("getting it done" again) problems. It worked pretty well too. Four years ago it was a totally different project: Replacing the broken transmission of an otherwise like-new snowblower with a different type (that came from a donor machine). This involved lots of tight fitting, metal cutting, welding, etc. Again, I had lots of fun in the design process. Some minds just like the challenge. Last summer, I made a compact Leslie, using actual Leslie parts (standard upper horn, "cheesewheel" lower rotor from an organ's internal Leslie). I'll possibly have another upcoming organ project that's at least as crazy as Antoine's project here ;-)


                      • #14
                        I just thought of something that might prove to be a bit of an issue for you:

                        You would need to use an E-100, H-100, R-100 or X-77 generator as a donor for the drive gears for your extra wheels - other models won't work. The main shaft in the self starting models spin at a different rate than the twin-motor generators.
                        Current organs: AV, M-3, A-100
                        Current Leslies: 22H, 122, 770


                        • guylavoie
                          guylavoie commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Sure about that? Unless the physical construction of the wheel itself is different, like a built in drive gear, the number of bumps (which will be a multiple of 2) should be the same. Just wondering...and learning!

                        • enor
                          enor commented
                          Editing a comment
                          The wheels are driven by a cog wheel pair off the main shaft. The main shaft, on 60Hz organs, spins at either 1200 rpm (for the dual motor organs) or 1800 rpm (for the self starting ones)

                      • #15
                        Interestingly, there is someone selling individual tonewheels on ebay right now: