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MMD > Archives > February 2009 > 2009.02.03 > 03Prev  Next

Blower For Large Street Organ
By Roger Wiegand

My 89-key Gavioli probably has similar wind requirements.  Its bellows
were lost in a salt water flood of the organ some 50 years ago and it
has been playing on a blower since then.  The blower on my organ comes
from B.O.B. Stevenson 
They are still in business and were extremely helpful when I talked with
them by email and on the phone about my older model.  With the plummeting
value of the pound vs. the dollar they may well be a cost-effective choice
as well.

You may be amazed by the start-up current drawn by a blower -- I was!
Unless you can reliably connect to a 220-volt power supply with a hefty
amperage rating, I'd strongly suggest opting for a motor with speed
control or a soft start feature.  After much trial and tribulation
I ended up running my blower on a 1.5 hp 208-volt 3-phase motor using
a programmable variable speed drive by Baldor Electric Company 

The drive converts 110 VAC single phase input into 208V 3-phase variable
frequency output (a clever device indeed).  With this I can start up
and run reliably on any 20 ampere circuit and many 15 amp circuits.
This was not a cheap solution, but many other configurations resulted
in tripped breakers and a silent organ.

Pressure on my organ is regulated by springs and a lead brick on the
original reservoir bellows.  While in theory you don't need a reservoir
with a blower, I've never seen an organ done that way.  My blower is set
up so that the reservoir constantly dumps air through the relief valve
except at the most forceful fortissimos.

Roger Wiegand
Wayland, Massachusetts 

(Message sent Tue 3 Feb 2009, 14:09:04 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  Blower, Large, Organ, Street

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