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Simple Hauptwerk Build!

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  • Simple Hauptwerk Build!

    With nowhere to practice this summer, I figured it was time for a home organ setup.
    I didn't have much of a budget with this project, but it works well and I think it's time to show it off!

    I got the pedals off of an old Allen analog model that somebody was offloading for parts. They didn't have any contacts, only magnets, so I mounted 32 of these Meder reed switches on small PCBs on a plywood board traced to the shape of the end of the pedalboard: https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/876-ORD324-1520.

    I then wired them up to the PIC-1 Pedal and Swell Shoe Encoder from DTS Midi Systems. It was surprisingly simple and easy and it comes with these friction fit wiring harnesses that remove any soldering from the board side of things. Still had to do a good bit of soldering for wiring to the switches.

    For the manuals, I picked up 2 Nektar Impact 61 key midi controllers and built a poplar stand with removable legs so that it could still travel. The Nektars aren't anything amazing, but they seem to be built solidly enough and are totally functional for practice. Also, really great for the price.

    I use a Zoom U-24 as an audio/midi interface and it works great. Still haven't done anything with speakers, but my studio monitor headphones are working for now.

    Now to add the swell shoe!

    Feel free to ask any questions and enjoy the photos!
    Post with 2 views. VPO Build

  • #2
    Very nice. I wish I had your skill and your workshop!


    • #3
      Thanks, tbeck!


      • #4
        Very well done and an inspiration for us all! Thanks for the nice pics and for explaining the process.

        I too am in the process, but am proceeding slowly due to work constraints, and taking a different approach. I have now gutted an old Rodgers console and am starting to add my keyboards and pedals and such. Will soon post a video or photo shoot on my thread. But I'm so glad to see how you did this. I really considered that approach myself, but went with the old console since it was already built and kinda pretty, and had nice speakers built in. Love the way you suspended the keyboards above the pedals with precision. I may have to build one like this just for the heck of it.

        Looking forward to more pics and details on how you connect it all together with a computer. And recordings of the sound would be nice too! Keep up the good work!
        *** Please post your questions about technical service or repair matters ON THE FORUM. Do not send your questions to me or another member by private message. Information shared is for the benefit of the entire organ community, but other folks will not be helped by information we exchange in private messages!



        • Mgbauer
          Mgbauer commented
          Editing a comment
          I admire the approach with an old console! I had the opportunity to pick up a whole Allen console that was out of commission and thought about converting the whole thing, but I really needed something that could move with me. I think a full console is somewhere in my future.

          Appreciate the kind words too! I'll update my original post with some plans for the table as well. It's all within AGO spec.

      • #5
        That is indeed a very nice construction job on the console ! Nice photos too. I'm figuring that monitors for the computer will go on either side of the music desk eventually ?

        One of your photos mentions staining the wood. To me it looks black, so I'm wondering why stain ? Perhaps I'm lazy ( and not a particularly good woodworker either ), but when I want to make something I've built from wood black, I just spray paint it. But then, I always have black spray paint in the shop, so it's handy. Is there a reason to stain rather than paint, or just a preference ?

        Good job on the pedalboard conversion as well. Those Allen pedalboards are some of the nicest ones you can find for any sort of retrofit job. Earlier this year I retrofitted one to a 100 year old pipe organ console. For that one though, I used an older Allen one with actual contacts.
        Regards, Larry

        At Home : Yamaha Electones : EX-42 ( X 3 !!! ), E-5AR, FX-1 ( X 2 !! ), FX-20, EL-25 ( X 2, 1 chopped, 1 not ). Allen 601D, ADC 6000D. Baldwin 626. Lowrey CH32-1. At Churches I play for : Allen Q325 ( with Vista ), Allen L123 ( with Navigator ). Rodgers 755.


        • Mgbauer
          Mgbauer commented
          Editing a comment
          Thank you! You're exactly right about monitors, and I think I have a little more building to do to give them a true stand.

          For the finish, spray paint probably would have worked just fine but I ended up going with the Minwax "Wood Finish Water-Based Solid Color Stain". Being water based, it was less nasty to let dry in my basement, and although its hard to tell from the photos, a little grain still shows through and it's a little more furniture-like than a spray painted piece. It's a combination of cheap poplar lumber and pine plywood so I needed something dark to get rid of the poplar green and make the two match more closely. It's not the finest finishing I've done on woodwork, but I'd recommend it for something like this.

      • #6
        Here are the plans to the stand!
        Attached Files


        • jbird604
          jbird604 commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks for sharing your plans. Looks like one that most people could build with basic tools. I think this is the future of home organs.

      • #7
        Nice work. I like that you mounted the pedal reed switches to perf board and that you can slide each switch up and down.
        Home: Allen ADC-4500 Church: Allen MDS-5
        Files: Allen Tone Card (TC) Database, TC Info, TC Converter, TC Mixer, ADC TC SF2, and MOS TC SF2, ADC TC Cad/Rvt, MOS TC Cad/Rvt, Organ Database, Music Library, etc. PM for unlinked files.


        • #8
          That is very spiffy and I envy the woodworking capability. It would not have worked for me because I don't have the clearance between the pedals and front of the console (I bought the whole thing - console, pedals and bench - from a used pipe organ parts delaer). Mine was designed so the pedals had little wooden pushers and the console had little rods sticking out that got pushed and swung a bar to contacts internally. I'm rethinking my magnet/switch arrangement, but it is good enough for now. Perhaps when I've finished the stops and everything else, and have had time to contemplate and understand the problem better I will take it apart and make a better solution. You've given me some good ideas to think about.


          • #9
            How are those Nektar controllers in terms of feel? Reasonably close to an organ?


            • #10
              The biggest problem with them is where the keys actually rotate. The axis is not much behind where the exposed part of the key ends, so there's a considerably different feel depending on whether you hit the very front of the key or closer to the rear.

              All in all, it's built pretty solidly and the point of rotation is a worthwhile trade-off for it's tiny footprint. Would definitely recommend for the price.