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Thread: Newbie help needed, Allen Digital Computer Organ

  1. #1
    ppp Pianississmo ArcadeSage's Avatar
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    Newbie help needed, Allen Digital Computer Organ

    Have a few newbie questions and this seemed like the place to ask. Need some help identifying an Allen organ.

    The tag underneath says 224-RTC AC-8716

    Any assistance tracking down some sort of manual or guide would be greatly appreciated.

    I have photos I can post.

    This is our church organ, no one with the church knows how to play, so I'm taking it upon myself to hunt down a tutor and start learning.

    What are some general maintenance things I should check with the organ itself?

    What would be a good home size practice instrument to pick up? I see Craigslist and Facebook listings fairly often of organs that can be had for the low low price of just picking it up.

    Much thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    fff Fortississimo davidecasteel's Avatar
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    According to the list, an Allen 224 is a 2-manual MOS-2 instrument with AGO pedals and 22 pistons. I'm not sure what the "RTC" stands for, but possibly that it has a Tone Card Reader?

    David

  3. #3
    ppp Pianississmo ArcadeSage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidecasteel View Post
    According to the list, an Allen 224 is a 2-manual MOS-2 instrument with AGO pedals and 22 pistons. I'm not sure what the "RTC" stands for, but possibly that it has a Tone Card Reader?

    David
    It does have a tone card reader.

    Thanks for the info!

  4. #4
    p Piano Moller Artiste's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidecasteel View Post
    According to the list, an Allen 224 is a 2-manual MOS-2 instrument with AGO pedals and 22 pistons. I'm not sure what the "RTC" stands for, but possibly that it has a Tone Card Reader?

    David
    David, I'm pulling deep from my memory about RTC. I think it indicated a Roll Top Console. Allen

  5. #5
    Moderator myorgan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArcadeSage View Post
    Any assistance tracking down some sort of manual or guide would be greatly appreciated.
    Manuals and guides are available for purchase on Allen's website: https://www.allenorgan.com/store/ownersmanualsmos.html.

    Quote Originally Posted by ArcadeSage View Post
    This is our church organ, no one with the church knows how to play, so I'm taking it upon myself to hunt down a tutor and start learning.
    It would help if you could provide your approximate location (i.e. State or Province). My plan was to create a triangle of help for those churches needing organists:
    1. They would find a pianist willing to learn organ,
    2. I would give him/her lessons, and
    3. The church would pay for the lessons as long as the person agreed to play for the church.

    To date, I've had no takers. Oh, well. It was a nice idea!

    Quote Originally Posted by ArcadeSage View Post
    What are some general maintenance things I should check with the organ itself?
    You should check the card reader battery(batteries) first of all. If it/they hasn't/haven't been removed from the board that processes the card reader data, it is well-known that these batteries develop leaks which can cause damage tot he board. The solution is to remove the battery to an off-board location (i.e. floor of the organ), and solder leads to where the battery was formerly mounted.

    Other maintenance recommendations are mentioned multiple times on the Forum. Check out JBird604's posts for those recommendations.

    Quote Originally Posted by ArcadeSage View Post
    What would be a good home size practice instrument to pick up? I see Craigslist and Facebook listings fairly often of organs that can be had for the low low price of just picking it up.
    Pretty much any 2-manual instrument with AGO dimensions (i.e. 32 concave/radiating pedals) should be sufficient. Most people opt for Allen or Rodgers, as they have historically had the better reputation. Other, more recent organ manufacturers who have also begun establishing some better reputations for sound quality, build quality, and usefulness for practice/church purposes.

    Hope this helps, and welcome to the Forum!

    Michael
    Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
    • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
    • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
    • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 4 Pianos

  6. #6
    ppp Pianississmo ArcadeSage's Avatar
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    Thanks so much for the info.

    I'm located in West TN and have a couple local leads on tutors. Hoping to get in touch with them in the next week to see what we can work out.


    Quote Originally Posted by myorgan View Post
    Manuals and guides are available for purchase on Allen's website: https://www.allenorgan.com/store/ownersmanualsmos.html.

    It would help if you could provide your approximate location (i.e. State or Province). My plan was to create a triangle of help for those churches needing organists:
    1. They would find a pianist willing to learn organ,
    2. I would give him/her lessons, and
    3. The church would pay for the lessons as long as the person agreed to play for the church.

    To date, I've had no takers. Oh, well. It was a nice idea!

    You should check the card reader battery(batteries) first of all. If it/they hasn't/haven't been removed from the board that processes the card reader data, it is well-known that these batteries develop leaks which can cause damage tot he board. The solution is to remove the battery to an off-board location (i.e. floor of the organ), and solder leads to where the battery was formerly mounted.

    Other maintenance recommendations are mentioned multiple times on the Forum. Check out JBird604's posts for those recommendations.

    Pretty much any 2-manual instrument with AGO dimensions (i.e. 32 concave/radiating pedals) should be sufficient. Most people opt for Allen or Rodgers, as they have historically had the better reputation. Other, more recent organ manufacturers who have also begun establishing some better reputations for sound quality, build quality, and usefulness for practice/church purposes.

    Hope this helps, and welcome to the Forum!

    Michael

  7. #7
    f Forte Larrytow's Avatar
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    You got good advice from Michael ( as always ), but I think he mistyped when he wrote Card Reader Batteries, as there are none. I'm pretty sure he means Memory Backup Batteries. But his advice is all quite correct regarding the memory batteries.
    Regards, Larry

    At Home : Yamaha Electones : EX-42 ( X 3 ! ), E-5AR ( X 2, 1 parts, 1 not ), D80 ( parts ), FX-1, FX-20, HS-7T ( parts ), EL-25 ( X 2, 1 chopped, 1 not ). Allen organs : T12-A, T-12B, ADC-6000D. Baldwin 626. Hammond Concorde. Lowrey CH32-1. A bunch of Synthesizers and Keyboards. At Churches I play for : Allen Q325 ( with VISTA ), Hammond A105, Baldwin 720T, Several small and medium size pipe organs of many sorts and builders.

  8. #8
    pp Pianissimo samzer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larrytow View Post
    You got good advice from Michael ( as always ), but I think he mistyped when he wrote Card Reader Batteries, as there are none. I'm pretty sure he means Memory Backup Batteries. But his advice is all quite correct regarding the memory batteries.
    Larry, you're mistaken here. My ADC4000 had a battery on the TG5 card which is the Alterable card. It enables memory for the last card read into the system. If the battery is good the card will remain when the organ is turned off and will be retained for use the next time the organ is turned on. Without the battery the alterable system has no memory. I did not find it to be a useful feature and with consideration of possible damage from battery corrosion I removed it. Of course, if someone wanted to retain the feature it would be good practice to locate the battery elsewhere.
    Sam

    Allen ADC5400, Allen ADC4000, 1910 Chickering QuarterGrand
    Past---Galanti Praeludium II, Yamaha Clavinova, Hammond A102, W.W. Putnam Reed Organ

  9. #9
    f Forte Larrytow's Avatar
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    Sam,

    Thank you for the correction ! I had no idea that the TG5(s) for the Alterables might have a battery. That is what makes this forum so wonderful - learning all these interesting little bits of information that are pretty obscure.

    I'm gonna have to look at my ADC6000 now, to see if it has them. I think it does not, or they are long dead, because mine does not retain the Alterable voices when shut off. As with you, that never bothered me, and I just figured that was how it was designed, just like all the MOS organs are.

    I do think it is odd that Allen would have two different memory batteries : one for the Capture memory, and then one for the Alterable memory. Perhaps that was an improvement they made along the run of the ADC series. I'm pretty sure mine is a 1984 model, so it may may not have that setup.
    Regards, Larry

    At Home : Yamaha Electones : EX-42 ( X 3 ! ), E-5AR ( X 2, 1 parts, 1 not ), D80 ( parts ), FX-1, FX-20, HS-7T ( parts ), EL-25 ( X 2, 1 chopped, 1 not ). Allen organs : T12-A, T-12B, ADC-6000D. Baldwin 626. Hammond Concorde. Lowrey CH32-1. A bunch of Synthesizers and Keyboards. At Churches I play for : Allen Q325 ( with VISTA ), Hammond A105, Baldwin 720T, Several small and medium size pipe organs of many sorts and builders.

  10. #10
    mp Mezzo-Piano samibe's Avatar
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    Larry, if your 6000 has a card reader then it might still have the batteries in the cage. You will want to get them moved asap. The card reader batteries are in the cage and if they leak they can damage the backplane board and brick the organ.
    Sam

    Home: Yamaha P22 and a modified Allen ADC-4500 ... for now.
    Church: Allen MDS-5
    Files: Allen Tone Card (TC) Database, TC Info, TC Converter, Chorus/Mixture TC Generator, ADC TC Soundfont, and MOS TC Soundfont

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