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Cygnus Midi Bass Pedal Conversion Project 2 (for her).

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Flux Jetson, Dec 22, 2012.

  1. Hey folks. This is a second project I'm doing involving the use of the Cygnus Midi Bass conversion kit by midipedals.com. You may contact them directly or PM Talk Bass member "twocargar" for even more information. Here's a link for more information regarding the Cygnus midi bass pedal conversion kit.


    This time it's for my wife, we're putting them beneathe her 1977 Rhodes Stage 73 electric piano. I'm posting this in here becaause it is a variation of project #1. Project #1 involves a set of bass pedals from a Hammond M100 with normally open pedal contacts. Here's a link to that project ....


    There's also a Midi Bass Pedal Club here at Talk Bass, here's a thread that involves that club ...


    This project is using a set of bass pedals from a 1970s Hammond T-series organ that has nornally closed contacts. Both projects will turn out a bit differently, so I though some people here may be interested to see how each project ends up. Methods and ideas from both of them are to be quite applicable to any DIY midi bass pedal project that bass players may wish to take on.

    This thread will get added to pretty slowly at first, we don;t even have the Cygnus conversion kit for it yet and probabaly won't until after January of 2013. But the project has started so I thought I'd get the thread going.

    Here's a few pics of the Hammond T-series organ bass pedals. These pics may help others identify the differences between T-series and M100/L100 series pedals in the event someone wants to buy some off of Ebay as we did.

    Note the funky green pc boards where the switches are located (a T-series identifier)....

    After removing the circuit boards, she cleaned up the mechanicals really well, and we set them inside the (not yet completed) maple veneer 3/4 inch plywood piano stand we'd constructed for the piano. It seems like it's going to be a good match.

    Here's the bottom side of one of the three circuit boards, you can see five of the thirteen reed switch assemblies on the board.....

    Here's one of the reed switches in it's normal state, which is closed contact. The upper reed is contacting the center reed....

    Now here's the reed switch in the condition it is in when a pedal is stepped on, the center reed contacts the lower reed....

    To reverse these switches' operation from normally closed to normally open (as required by the Cygnus kit) it's an easy task by doing some easy-peasy soldering at the switch's contacts on the board. Here's the top side of one of the boards, the three soldered pads just above the two slotted head machine screws are the three contacts of the reed switch. The two screws are what secure the reed switch assembly to the circuit board.

    Here, you can see how the reed switch is set up on the board and how the solder pads coincide with the switch contacts.

    We've absolutely no idea how we're going to proceed with this project yet. We're going to get mine done first, and probably progress along a little bit on this one as we work on mine. Then when mine are done (or mostly done) we'll get into moving forward on this set.

    I'll post a few more pics in the next entry ....

  2. Here's a few more pics ....

    On the T-series Hammond bass pedals those circuit boards that the reed switches mount to are mounted themselves on these nice and solid aluminum standoffs across the rear most metal beam frame...

    The large coil springs are only used to hold the pedal arms themselves on to the framework, the pedals actually pivot at that point. The entire thing is made of steel except for the pedal covers which are some sort of phenolic/type material (but not "phenol" or funky plastic).

    These smaller coil springs are the pedal arm return springs that return the pedals to their UP position when you release the pressure of your foot on them while triggering a note. The square-white felts serve not only as side-to-side guides for the pedal arms, but also as "upstop pads" the prevent the pedal arms form "clunking" when foot pressure is released.



    This particular set has all of the pedal covers completely intact and undamaged. After my wife cleaned them up a bit this turned out to be a very nice set of bass pedals.

    The only things needed on the circuit boards are actually the reed switches. If one were to wish it, all of the other components on the three boards may be desoldered (or simply cut) and removed from service, they will serve no purpose whatsoever in this conversion project.


    And in case you were wondering, that piano stand is not quite finished up just yet. It needs to have one or two dress-pieces added down the front edges to conceal the 2x4 brace struts. When we're done mounting things to it we'll be putting some various applications of finish on it as well. My wife is still bantering between using just a number of coats of Tung Oil, or maybe staining it then putting Tung Oil on it. It will also have angle steel edging installed on the outside corners. There will be several foot controllers and a stomp-box or two inside the console right iin there with the sustain pedal and the midi pedals. There will also be a dimable light or two inside the console And jsyk, all of those 2X braces are "screwed and glued" in. ... here's a shot where you can see the number of heavy screws used, each brace was also glued in as well.


    And under the top deck is a length of 1/4 inch wall 1.5 inch squar etubing that is BOLTED to the top deck to offer it support from beneathe ....


    I used four round headed square shanked 1/4-20 "stove bolts" to secure that steel brace to the deck. This brace prevents the deck from ever sagging from the weight of the piano. I literally jumped up and odwn on that deck after that brace was put in without the deck flexing one bit. The brace is set back a few inches to prevent wacking one's kness against it while settling-in to ait down and play. The nuts are on the bottom, and countersunk inside of the tube to prevent injury from accidental hard contact with knees.

    And lastly, notice the upward taper on the bottoms of each pedal so that when they are pressed down toplay a note the bottoms of the pedals don't hit the floor.

    Ok, that about lines out the important details of the Hammond T-Series bass pedals. You can see they make fine candidates for a DIY midi bass pedal project. And the midipedals.com website offers a number of instructional resources to add ease to the installation. Just follow the links that are provided in their website.

    I'll be adding more info to this thread once this project progresses. I'll be showing all of the wiring details and how to connect the Cygnus kit to the reed switches as well.

    Thanks for hanging out!

    doindadomodance. wookdance.

    Flux Of Earth.
  3. howardcano


    Dec 4, 2012
    Olathe, KS
    Another fantastic thread! Thanks!

    To guarantee proper operation of the MIDI converter, you must remove any components that connect to the switch contacts. It's easy enough to clip them out, and will probably save some troubleshooting later on.
  4. twocargar

    twocargar Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2008
    Manchester, NH
    Cool project, Flux! Thanks again for the shout out!
  5. Thank you Howard. :) I'd planned on desoldering them all, I'm not very much of a vintage component freak but there are a lot of old caps, transistors, and resistors on the three boards. I figgerd on carefully removing them and keeping them for posterity's sake, y'know?

    But by the time I get them prepped for the midi-kit all that will be on each board are the reed switches. As you may have already concluded I'll be posting all of the procedures as I go along. :)

    Thanks for the advice, it's good to know that those little parts need to be pulled for the kit to properly behave ... important dope that the next person that uses these T-Series pedals will also need to know!

  6. Any time my good sir! :)
  7. KeithPas

    KeithPas Supporting Member

    May 16, 2000
    I am officially blown away!
  8. NOTE: I replaced some of the pics in the first two posts with pictures that have highlighted circles and such to make understanding what is going on that much easier.

    Thanks. Fluxhole.
  9. Thank you. :)

    In case anyone's interested, here's a list of all of my projects so far here on Talk Bass:

    :) - http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f8/2-channel-modification-j-many-pictures-908965/

    :) - http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f36/experimental-fully-modular-bass-rig-902681/ ("The Monster Project" -- on page 12 by now! This thread is an extension of myself at this point. A super detailed photo-journal of my individual quest for tone, as well as an attempt to escape from the clutches of amp manufacturers.)

    :) - http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f36/cygnus-midi-bass-pedal-conversion-project-1-a-938717/ (Sister-thread to this project thread that you're reading now.)

    :) - http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f36/bass-pedal-taurus-roland-midi-etc-club-781414/ (this thread has info and help from many other members in the area of midi bass pedals).

    :) - http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f15/adding-guitar-amp-produce-clarity-mid-voicing-921702/ (not really a "project" per se, but much great info!)

    :) - http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f36/aphex-xciter-stompbox-937052/ (a review of a great EQ unit that may be found useful).

    :) - http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f36/just-scored-rane-pe-17-parametric-eq-trade-938966/ (my walk and understanding of a parametric EQ that was introduced to me by Talk Bass member "passinwind". A review of the Rane as well as a tour through it's functions, and some applications of it's features.)