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Thread: stop tabs sticking - how to solve?

  1. #1
    Lieutenant Commander, Concertmaster
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    stop tabs sticking - how to solve?

    Hi all

    When I press my general thumb pistons, some of the stop tabs are sticking thus meaning that the set combinations are not coming on properly.

    Can anyone advise me how to solve this problem without getting the organbuilder out and paying out yet more money?

    thanks
    kevin
    Nicht Bach sondern Meer

  2. #2
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso wljmrbill's Avatar
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    Might consider..cancel the currant piston stops and clear it... then reset the pistons. kind a like restore for a computer. DO NOT forget to copy the stop list first.. I did this one time and what a mess trying to remember what was set to the pistons.
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  3. #3
    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    Does the same thing happen when pressing the GC, or the manual pistons?

    And do these stop tabs bind at all when engaging them manually?

  4. #4
    Lieutenant Commander, Concertmaster
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krummhorn View Post
    Does the same thing happen when pressing the GC, or the manual pistons?

    And do these stop tabs bind at all when engaging them manually?



    when engaging manually they are ok but when any thumb piston is pressed, they dont come on - its just a case of them physically sticking.

    One of my combinations involves swell to great. when i press the sw to gt thumb piston it doesnt come on because its physically sticking and when i press any general or manual piston which involves sw to gt it doesnt come on because its sticking.

    Do i need to open the back up and spray something on it that will improve them mechanism or something?

    thanks
    Nicht Bach sondern Meer

  5. #5
    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    Please do not spray anything on these contacts !! Errant spray mist may short out electronic components, resulting in a much larger expense for repairs. Pipe organs and WD-40 are not good companions, and could do much much more damage along the way.

    Need to understand the capture system a bit more. Is this a fully electronic capture system or is it Electro-Pnuematic? In other words, do you have a "Set" button or must you push and hold the piston in order to set stops up on it?

    Also, did this suddenly start happening or has there been a gradual decline in how these pistons operate?

    If it is an electronic/digital capture system, there could be a voltage issue ... if the board is not getting the required DC voltage, erratic behavior like this can occur.

    Could also be (rare) a problem within the console rectifier ... if the console voltage swings too low, erratic stop tab behavior can result.

    If the problem started out with a few stop tabs, then migrated to more being affected, it could be a contact point issue, where the contacts themselves need to be thoroughly cleaned. I would best trust that kind of project to a professional as those contacts can (and will) become misaligned if handled too roughly, which then creates additional problems.

    I'm hoping that someone with greater technology knowledge will chime in to offer their ideas, too.

    Kh ♫

  6. #6
    Lieutenant Commander, Concertmaster
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krummhorn View Post
    Please do not spray anything on these contacts !! Errant spray mist may short out electronic components, resulting in a much larger expense for repairs. Pipe organs and WD-40 are not good companions, and could do much much more damage along the way.

    Need to understand the capture system a bit more. Is this a fully electronic capture system or is it Electro-Pnuematic? In other words, do you have a "Set" button or must you push and hold the piston in order to set stops up on it?

    Also, did this suddenly start happening or has there been a gradual decline in how these pistons operate?

    If it is an electronic/digital capture system, there could be a voltage issue ... if the board is not getting the required DC voltage, erratic behavior like this can occur.

    Could also be (rare) a problem within the console rectifier ... if the console voltage swings too low, erratic stop tab behavior can result.

    If the problem started out with a few stop tabs, then migrated to more being affected, it could be a contact point issue, where the contacts themselves need to be thoroughly cleaned. I would best trust that kind of project to a professional as those contacts can (and will) become misaligned if handled too roughly, which then creates additional problems.

    I'm hoping that someone with greater technology knowledge will chime in to offer their ideas, too.

    Kh ♫



    OK I wont no problem! Its electro-pneumatic and yes there has been a gradual decline and its happened before only for the organ builder to sort it out and then 6 months down the linbe it happens again - just wondered if theres a quick and non problematic way of correcting the fault

    thanks!
    Nicht Bach sondern Meer

  7. #7
    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    Quite possibly a voltage issue there ... if those coils are not getting enough "juice" from the rectifier, erratic results may occur. Also, the solenoid could be getting weak with age.

    If it's any comfort, I have the same type system and only 4 generals. I use them sparingly and make judicious use of the crescendo shoe for adding or removing stops.
    In fact, I use Gen 4 as my GC as I don't have one of those either.

    We are facing a complete rebuild/update in the next few years and I'm really hoping that we can upgrade the console at the same time and add a multiple memory capture system and replace the outdated swell motors at the same time.

  8. #8
    Captain of Water Music pcnd5584's Avatar
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    It would help to know the approximate age and type of combination system which the instrument has. Clearly, from the photographs (and the fact that it possesses general pistons), it is not the original system. There appears to be a setter piston, so the piston action is probably on a type of 'capture' system. I note that there is at least one hinged flap, at the treble end of the console, below the stop-key sweep. This may not be original, and it may house a multi-channel selector unit.

    However, without knowing the answers to the above questions (and without examining the instrument), all we can do here is offer general suggestions - such as on no account should WD40 (or any other substance) be introduced into the workings of either the instrument or console.

    Again, I would guess that the piston system was installed (or at least upgraded or even renewed), perhaps either at the time of the 1988 or the 2002 tonal alterations and additions. However, the NPOR survey makes no mention of any alteration to the action or piston system at any time.

    It is possible that there is a problem with the console rectifier(s), and that there is a voltage drop. It is also possible that, for some reason, the piston system has developed a fault. It is also possible (but less likely, if my conjecture regarding the age of the system is near the mark) that the piston action is, for whatever reason, nearing the end of its useful life. This can depend on a host of factors: for example, type and quality of components (not least the wiring), quality of original installation, presence of dust, damp or other environmental issues, interference by unqualified persons, amount of use it receives and several other considerations.

    However, whilst it appears clear from your original post that you wish to save your church money, I would caution that attempting unskilled do-it-yourself repairs on any part of the action of an organ (particularly where electrical components are involved) may, in the long term, cost the church considerably more money. There are many cases of this type of thing happening and a church having to spend a considerable sum of money, in order for a qualified organ builder to repair something which, however well-meaning, has been bodged.
    Last edited by pcnd5584; May-10-2014 at 22:41.
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