John Harvey
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Hauptwerk Project 3

This is a project to repurpose a single manual and pedals pipe organ console to a two manual Hauptwerk virtual pipe organ for a local organist to use at home as a practice instrument and for which the St. Anne's Moseley organ that comes with Hauptwerk would be quite adequate.

The donor console is a well-made unit that came from a closed church in Bournheath, Worcestershire. This small pipe organ was installed by Tipple in 1998 after the previous organ was destroyed by fire (NPOR).

Trevor Tipple, who is now retired, lives in Worcester and devoted his working life to the upkeep and renovation of pipe organs, mainly in the Worcestershire area, many of them by the long established organ builder Nicholson which is based locally in Malvern. In addition he was Organist & Director of Music at St. Martins with St. Peters Church in Worcester from 1966 to the end of 2018, a remarkable half century of service. He compiled Organs of the City of Worcester in 2005. He was awarded an MBE in 2013 for services to church music in Worcestershire.

The console had clearly been designed for the usual two manuals, and for this application the upper manual had been blanked off. The initial plan was to fit a second manual, however sourcing a suitable matching 58-note manual proved problematic. At that point a non-working Eminent electronic organ was advertised locally on eBay and the upper section containing the manuals and electronics was acquired for parts. (Note the pedalboard only had 27 notes).

As it transpired the only useful parts were the two manuals and the thumb piston rail, however the purchase was worth it just for these. The manuals have self-contained contact boards with the commonly used 8x8 diode matrix scanning arrangement emerging on a 16-way ribbon cable. The electrical contacts use rubber cups with a conducting centre that make contact with exposed pads on the printed circuit board, a design widely used in modern mass produced electronic keyboards, not to mention the 100 million desktop and laptop personal computers made each year. These do not suffer from the twin problems of contact bounce and corrosion that afflict older mechanical switches of all types.

This shot of the rocker stop tabs (which I am not using) shows the rubber cup with the central conducting pip on the inside, and the black contact areas on the circuit board that are bridged when the rubber cup is depressed.

Each keyboard is wired directly to an Arduino Leonardo board. In theory the entire console could be interfaced using a single Arduino with extra interfacing circuitry, however these boards are so cheap that it is simpler to use one each for the two keyboards, the thumb pistons and the pedals. See circuit diagram and code.

The thumb pistons use the same rubber cup contact method.

See circuit diagram and code.

That's it as of 23 November 2021. Next job is to wire up the pedals to an Arduino board and then fit everything into the Tipple console.