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Swell Engine Convert or Build New

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  • Swell Engine Convert or Build New

    I am looking for instructions to build a swell engine that is adjustable for speed and will push to close. I have 4 swell engines in the garage at church but they are all push to open, can they be converted to push to close? Any ideas how to build the swell engine the Arndt Organ Supplies builds that has infinite travel and speed adjustments? I also have a 1/2hp blower with 1750 rpms, any ideas what the static wind might be? I am using this in a home organ which has the potential to get installed in my church. I have my kilgen 16 bourdon finallyspeaking out of tune but hey it is still fund to play....very exciting next is the principal.

  • #2
    Re: Swell Engine Convert or Build New



    I'm using an OSI-251 Electric Shade Motor. It has 16 channels and can be either push or pull. You normally want the shades </P>


    open when the organ is off for better air circulation and temperature control. Re the blower why not turn it on and measure</P>


    the pressure. Cap the outlet, of course. Probably 4 or 5 inches pressure.</P>

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    • #3
      Re: Swell Engine Convert or Build New



      What is the easiest way to measure wind pressure when you don't have a meter. I tried doing the tube with water plugged into the reservoir and the wind line and the pressure is always the same or at least appears to me to be the same. How much was the osi shade motor?</P>


      chris</P>

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      • #4
        Re: Swell Engine Convert or Build New



        Having the shades open when the power is off is good for the case of some pipes in the open and some under expression. This keeps the entire organ closer to the same temperature. </p>

        If the entire organ is enclosed keeping the shades closed when the power is off and having a chamber heater eliminates temperature fluctuations and reduces the amount of dust and dirt. Tuning will be more stable and the reeds are less likely to get dirt in them.
        </p>

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        • #5
          Re: Swell Engine Convert or Build New

          as far as push to close or push to open goes,  I would think that a motor could be fitted either way.  It all depends on spring placement.  

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          • #6
            Re: Swell Engine Convert or Build New



            Ok here is "Shade 101" Usually the swell shades are all linked together so they all open a little bit at a time, controlled by a pneumatic motor assembly or electric motor assembly rotating an arm linked to the shades. A group of large pneumatic pouches or pneumatic motors are enclosed in a box that is pressurized with wind from the blower.The motors are connected either in series or connected to a wiffletree assembly. A wiffletree is a mechanical linkage assembly that I just can't explain here. Maybe some of the experts can take over for that. These all work better in tension than pressure. A spring pulls on the end motor or wiffletree middle, expanding all the motors. That could correspond toeither full open or closed shades. Now, energize one magnet and one of the pneumatic motors is vented to the outside causing it to collapse and move the control rod inward. Energize both the first and second magnets and two pneumatic motors are vented and collapse, moving the rod more inward. Eventually, all the magnets are energized and all the pneumatic pouches collapse and the rod is fully in. So,if that is pull to close then the shades will be fully closed and will upen as magnets are de-energized finally fully open, staying that way when the organ is turned off. Now, some designs might have the magnet operation reversed so the pneumatic motors are collapsed with the magnets off. It all depends on the design. In a 2 chamber or partially enclosed organ, the shades are usually open for air circulation when the organ is off.Theatre organ actuators can becompletely different with Wurlitzer for instance having an individual motor for each shade. Each shade is either open or closed. There is no in-between. Some new designs in fact some have then computer controlled so as the pedal is pushed down, the shades open sequentially in various patterns, maybe different each time.</P>
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            • #7
              Re: Swell Engine Convert or Build New



              Your swell motor problem, using the machines you have in the church garage, is not too difficult. It will involve two things.</P>


              1. Redo the spring arrangement on the shutter assembly so when the organ is turned off, the spring will pull the shutters open. Then redo the motor linkage so it will now push the shutter trace to make them close. You will need to putz around with the spring tension and the stages on the motor to make the shutters responsive to each new stage coming on....not an easy job, but it can be done with patience and determination. From my own experience, I have found that often I have to add a second spring in tandum (hook the end of the first spring into the end of the second spring for double the length) for a more gentle pull, and reduce the motor'swind by 70 to 80% to keep things responsive, but not too jerky. Also, be sure your shutters, shutter dogs and trace, and all linkage are absolutely as free from friction as possible. </P>


              2. You will have to redo the contacts on the expression pedals. The contacting arrangement will have to be opposite of what is there now. If you have a roller contact system, you can take it apart, reverse the roller and the actuating stud screwed into the end. This will reverse your shorting plate arrangement on the roller. If you have some other sort ofarrangement on the expression pedal contacts that makes it a real challenge to convert over, then have an organ tech order new expression rollers from an organ supply house, or luck up on finding what ever number you need on e-bay, or Church Organ Trader, or theatre organ home page. Best of luck.</P>
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              • #8
                Re: Swell Engine Convert or Build New



                Thanks for the info Jay999, I have not ever installed swell shades before, and the ones I have were frames and shutters in seperate pieces, which i have yet to assemble. I have just gotten my bourdon and Principal 4 connected to my relay. I will have to mess about with swell engines or could just by an electric engine i guess.</P>


                Thanks</P>


                Chris</P>

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                • #9
                  Re: Swell Engine Convert or Build New



                  Chris, The electric shutter motor from Organ Supply Industries is a good one, and would do you a favor of not having to regulate the motor stages. Whatever the contact arrangement is on your console can be used on the Organ Supply motor. You also don't need springs, as the motor pushes and pulls the shutter trace. You will need both positive (+) and negative (-) organ power to the motor as well as the signal wire cable from the expression pedal. Last one I bought was $620, about a year ago. The only down side I have experienced is that you have to remember to push the expression pedal open before turning off the organ so the shutters will be open for temperature control. Organ Supply will tell you that there is enough energy left in the organ to open the shades automatically, but that is only if you have a pressure switch that turns the rectifier off after you have turned the organ off.</P>


                  As you assemble your shutters and frames, be kind to yourself in being sure you get all the shutter pins working in the frames with some vasciline at each joint. Also apply some vasciline in the trace pins. This way, once the entire assembly is erected, you won't have to go back and take things apart to lubricate a squeeking shutter. Best wishes......</P>

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