Hi All, It has been a long time since I last wrote. "There are plans,
and then there are plan!" Since I sell a set of plans for building a
simple crank organ, I just had to comment. Ed Gaida sent me his set
of plans for the John Smith organ and the Midster punch. Ed consigned
me to build the electronics part of the Midster. (See second part.)
I understand how long it takes to design, build and document a large
project. I have seen John Smith's plans and video. Everything he
sells is overpriced! He also has a knack for selling items piecemeal.
His marketing reminds me of Mr. Haney on "Green Acres": "Mr. Douglas,
would you also like to buy a steering wheel for that tractor?!" The
video is quite funny to watch! Mr. Smith narrates the video with new
info while showing you the old design!
Now the positive aspects of John Smith's plans. The overall idea is
a perfect "ten" -- a simple, lightweight pipe organ. The sound of the
organ is mind-blowing. I can't wait to see a competing design.
And now the Midster punch. I built the older model of Midster. The
overall design is slick. Here are the problems:
The alarm part of the software does not work with the hardware. Leave
off the alarm. The punch may come on when the computer comes on. Run
the program first before turning on the punch, or run a program like
LPTOUT in your AUTOEXE.BAT. The 330-ohm resistors on the sensors need
to be lowered to 220-ohms. The 10K resistors on the input of the
SAA1027 need to be lowered to about 8K. Oh yeah, block off the paper
sensor, it is worthless.
As you can see great plans are not always perfect. For more plans
check out my web site: http://www.geocities.com/crankorgan/index.html
John 'Crank' Kleinbauer