One of those offbeat ideas - a dust-collector-powered pipe organ?

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One of those offbeat ideas - a dust-collector-powered pipe organ?

Postby Bob Hammond » Thu Oct 04, 2018 11:05 am

Every once in a while, a semi-crazy idea pops into my head. I was thinking about one of my high school teachers who had built a new house for himself - around a church pipe organ that he'd bought (Really!). So it occurred to me that it might be possible to build one using a dust collector blower for the air source. Is there information about making experimental organ pipes?

Hmm, my teacher must be enjoying the heavenly music by now, but I wonder who bought his house, and if they play the organ.
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Re: One of those offbeat ideas - a d/c-powered pipe organ?

Postby Steve Sawyer » Thu Oct 04, 2018 11:34 am

That's a very interesting idea, but I'm not sure a DC blower would be appropriate unless there was a way to "bleed off" air when the pipe valves are closed. My understanding is that DC blowers will overheat if the air isn't moving, providing a load. You can ruin your motor if you run a DC system with all the blast gates closed. Kinda noisy too! :)

I remember the compressor for the huge pipe organ at our church when I was a kid. It sat at the bottom of a closet. Couldn't have been more than 3'x2' in footprint, and it was incredibly quiet. What are the requirements for a pipe organ (PSI/CFM)?
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Re: One of those offbeat ideas - a d/c-powered pipe organ?

Postby Jim McConkey » Thu Oct 04, 2018 1:41 pm

How much air is needed entirely depends on the size and number of pipes. Have a look at this discussion on portative organs, which are small, easily carried organs. There is plenty of info on-line about making organ pipes.

If you can find a suitable pressure gauge, it is always possible to put the DC motor in a control loop that tries to maintain constant pressure in the air box. If the box fills up, like when the organ is not being played, the motor would stop until it is needed, which would prevent it from being damaged.
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Re: One of those offbeat ideas - a d/c-powered pipe organ?

Postby Mario Proulx » Thu Oct 04, 2018 3:39 pm

You don't want to start and stop the motor constantly...!

All you need to do is build a waste gate the bleed-off excess pressure. Like on an engine with a turbo..
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Re: One of those offbeat ideas - a d/c-powered pipe organ?

Postby Steve Sawyer » Thu Oct 04, 2018 4:31 pm

Mario Proulx wrote:You don't want to start and stop the motor constantly...!

All you need to do is build a waste gate the bleed-off excess pressure. Like on an engine with a turbo..


The motor on my DC system is labelled to not cycle on/off more than six times an hour.
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Re: One of those offbeat ideas - a d/c-powered pipe organ?

Postby Jim McConkey » Thu Oct 04, 2018 5:07 pm

I don't know about this particular motor, but DC motors are used all the time in CNC machines with motor controllers with no problem. The controller are more of a fancy automatic speed control that constantly regulates the pressure as needed rather than a crude on/off switch.
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Re: One of those offbeat ideas - a d/c-powered pipe organ?

Postby Steve Sawyer » Thu Oct 04, 2018 5:11 pm

Jim - DC here is referring to dust collection, not Direct Current! :)
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Re: One of those offbeat ideas - a d/c-powered pipe organ?

Postby Mario Proulx » Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:13 pm

The "DC" here is "dust collector".

Also, the lag time in starting and pressurizing would make the organ useless, musically....
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Re: One of those offbeat ideas - a d/c-powered pipe organ?

Postby Steve Sawyer » Fri Oct 05, 2018 2:00 am

Mario Proulx wrote:Also, the lag time in starting and pressurizing would make the organ useless, musically....


I keep thinking along the lines of a compressor rather than a blower. Something with a reservoir.

The psi/CFM requirements for a given set of pipes would tel the tale.
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Re: One of those offbeat ideas - a d/c-powered pipe organ?

Postby Bob Hammond » Fri Oct 05, 2018 10:02 am

Hmm, the first question is to determine the pressure & maximum flow rate after determining how many ranks of pipes are desired. Maybe a simpler way would be to make a mechanical bleed valve, with the issue of keeping bleed off quiet.
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Re: One of those offbeat ideas - a d/c-powered pipe organ?

Postby Barry Daniels » Fri Oct 05, 2018 11:59 am

I am sure that a pipe organ is more of a low pressure/high volume application which would be in the range of a blower instead of a compressor. Something more like a squirrel cage fan would probably be applicable.
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Re: One of those offbeat ideas - a d/c-powered pipe organ?

Postby Mario Proulx » Fri Oct 05, 2018 7:39 pm

All the huge pipe organs use blowers, not compressors.
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Re: One of those offbeat ideas - a d/c-powered pipe organ?

Postby Barry Daniels » Fri Oct 05, 2018 8:13 pm

In my old day job I bought a few industrial blowers for my environmental remediation projects. We used a type called regenerative blowers. They could operate continuously for a few years. Looks like they're all made by Fiji now.

https://www.grainger.com/product/FUJI-ELECTRIC-0-05-Regenerative-Blower-1-5F241
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Re: One of those offbeat ideas - a d/c-powered pipe organ?

Postby Mark Wybierala » Sun Oct 07, 2018 10:25 am

How about buying an old rusty pickup truck and building an organ in the back running off the exhaust system???
Or even better, a steam powered pipe organ.
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Re: One of those offbeat ideas - a d/c-powered pipe organ?

Postby Jim McConkey » Sun Oct 07, 2018 4:41 pm

The "DC" here is "dust collector".


Ah! That is why is we strongly recommend taking the time to spell out all but the most common abbreviations. Not only do different people use different abbreviations for the same thing and the same abbreviations for different things, but our foreign readers often have no idea of what the abbreviations mean at all.
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Re: One of those offbeat ideas - a dust-collector-powered pipe organ?

Postby Karl Wicklund » Sun Oct 07, 2018 5:35 pm

To be fair, “dust collector” is in the thread title and in the original post.
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Re: One of those offbeat ideas - a dust-collector-powered pipe organ?

Postby Jim McConkey » Mon Oct 08, 2018 3:37 pm

It is, but DC used in connection with motors almost always refers to the power source. The whole point is spelling things out only takes 2 more seconds, but prevents a lot of confusion.
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Re: One of those offbeat ideas - a dust-collector-powered pipe organ?

Postby Matthew Lau » Wed Oct 10, 2018 2:04 am

It's a lot of work.
This is on my "do not build list"

http://www.rwgiangiulio.com
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