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I'm just over 60 years of age, and in that time, I have seen organ-actions change dramatically; first away from the electro-mechanical systems using telephone-exchange technology, to the early electronic, transistorised systems and now to the computerised systems of to-day. In effect, not only has the technology changed every 20 years or so, it means that there is now the same sort of planned obsolence we see in motor-vehicles, where spares become increasingly scarce as time marches on. Although I have no reason for suggesting this, I also wonder how reliable the hall sensors of some modern key-actions will be, knowing only too well that a motor-vehicle ABS and engine-speed sensors have a distinctly limited life.Of course, the same arguments apply exactly to electronic instruments; many of the earlier ones now almost irrepairable; especially where they use dedicated IC's.Compare this, if you will, to certain tracker instruments, which clatter and clank away throughout Europe, making every piece of music sound like a stage presentation of "River Dance." At the very least, they still work, albeit with a few problems and the occasional bit of maintenance.Even the worst pneumatic actions usually lasted 30+ years, and the best of them three times longer, but with one massively important difference. With both mechanical and pneumatic actions, even a skilled mechanic, engineer or DIY enthusiast could make sense of them and effect the very minimum of a temporary repair or even something more permanent. Glue, bits of leather, iron wire and screw drivers are still remarkably common-place in hardware stores and elsewhere.At the re-opening of a certain cathedral organ in the UK, a "spike" in the electrical system caused a considerable delay in proceedings, and it wasn't until the second-half of the programme that the full organ could be used.I just wonder of there isn't a certain attractiveness in transmission-systems which require little more than a few multi-plugs and a minimum of wiring, but at what cost long-term?MM
……….At the re-opening of a certain cathedral organ in the UK, a "spike" in the electrical system caused a considerable delay in proceedings, and it wasn't until the second-half of the programme that the full organ could be used.……………..MM
Dear MMI agree wholeheartedly with you on this important issue……….Best wishesDavid P
Although I’m quoting David’s response…………MM
………………As the UK is short of at least one if not two nuclear power stations, there will be power cuts in five years time . . . .David P
…….. Best wishesDavid PPostcript - at least wire contacts are demonstrably repairable with mere cleaning of oxidisation. However, one should attach a proviso that some are rhodium plated and others similarly plated with slower oxidising metals than the base metal . . . so sandpaper is not the stuff to use on them. I forget what is the recommended way of cleaning contacts . . . ?
Hi!http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Relay-and-Switch-board-pipe-organ-/251065571038is interesting as it raises precisely the issue in this thread. Here we have a telephone technology relay box for a unit organ which has been replaced by some solid state alternative. In 50 years time, the relay box will still be working . . . and the electronic replacement . . . ??Best wishesDavid P
[It was this sort of thing which I had in mind regarding Hall-effect switches. MM mentions problems with them in motor vehicles, which is interesting, but is that perhaps associated more with that particular application? It sounds like it may be a rather harsher environment than the average organ console.Best wishes
Hi!I'm sure that there are some rather expert and experienced members of this forum who might know of detached tracker consoles. I seem to recall example(s) where long horizontal trackers were used, it being an artform of engineering to arrange significantly low mass and responsivity . . . Best wishesDavid P
………The last time I priced up an engine ignition sensor, it came complete with an ECU....total cost about £600 In organ terms, that's my worry, because it could seal the fate of an organ in due course.MM
Try this David:-http://www.jwwalker.co.uk/reference/Grand%20Rapids%20Excerpt.pdfMM
Weingarten!!! . . .Casavants' are urging me to have new solid state systems when the organ here is restored. At present, the pistons are set by a patent mechaism dating back to the 1900s, and the console dates from 1927. To the player, it's the usual drill - pull out the stops, hold the setter piston in and push the piston required. Inside, there's an amazing, intricate set of little wooden bits (technical, eh?). There are a few glitches in it now, but it mostly works. Will a modern system be as good in 80 years time?
Good gracious, I wonder how heavy the action is !!!! Very ingenious, is that the longest tracker run??