Don Johnson's Website

My Personal 'Stuff'

My third
crank organ
- a MIDI Busker
I sold the first Busker after building Topsy, but some years later I parted with Topsy as well since my heart condition meant I had problems humping the organ and its cart in and out of my car.

Some further time later, when talking to John Smith about a MIDI version of the original Busker he was making, he persuaded me to make one myself by sending me lots of useful materials - so how could I refuse?

I now use an iPhone and Bluetooth instead of a Palm
see - iPhone and MIDI page

The design for this organ was based on the original
John Smith Busker organ I built previously

You can find out more about John's wonderful work here

(It's a whole new world!)

Below are some pictures of  the construction
Click or tap them to see larger versions
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The 15 front pipes of this 20 note organ

The 5 rear pipes - before they were mitred to fit in the case

An underside view of the Windchest - showing the wiring of the solenoid valves John supplied

The Windchest with its Perspex cover that enables the solenoids to be seen if the organ is held up in the air!

The double-acting bellows - made to Melvyn Wright's design

Another view of the bellows, showing the actuating 'con-rod'

The bellows fitted into the rear of the temporary case - used before finalising the design

The windchest and pipes fitted in place

Rear pipes mitred to fit in the case

The back of the case, showing the winder for operating the bellows and the 'electronics' shelf with a trial arrangement of components

Second arrangement of the components.

Final arrangement of the components, with the Palm cradle on a dropped down shelf

Interface between the Palm cradle and the MIDI Control Board

The original pressure spring and the external non-return valve fitted to the top bellows because the internal valve was unreliable

The final - weaker - spring that reduced the operating pressure to a more sensible 3 inches water gauge

The rear of the final case- also fitted with a Perspex cover so that the internal 'works' can be seen

The front of the final case, showing the finials - made from gold-painted tops of old-fashioned 'dolly' clothes pegs - fitted on  pipes whose tops are visible

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Latest view of the organ interior with the lid off, showing the iPhone ready to be taken out and used to control playing of MIDI files - instead of the Palm used previously

Wiring of the LEDs for the colour display.  This was done twice as the first time I forgot that the wires to the connections on an IDC cable for a 25-way D Type connector do not go to Pins 1, 2, 3 4, 5 etc., but to 1, 14, 2, 15, 3,  etc.
So the long, fiddly job had to be completely redone - the second time I had it plugged in so that I could test each connection as it was made.

If you click here, you can see and hear the organ playing, with the addition of COLOUR!

An alternative front is fitted to the case

I have a push-button that I can use
to turn the colour display On and Off
- which I demonstrate

The tune is called 'Sundon'