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Discussions => Instrument Design, Construction and Repair => Topic started by: Tone Dumb Greg on June 01, 2018, 01:33:13 PM

Title: Implementing a Microvox on a box I care about
Post by: Tone Dumb Greg on June 01, 2018, 01:33:13 PM
Having used an old Microvox, with reasonable success, on my Chinese pokerwork (yes, I do care about it, but I'm not precious about it), I have decided to treat my Saltarelle to a new 310.

1. However, having got it, I have developed a sudden reluctance to stick the velcro in place. I'm worried about permanently damaging the finish. Is there anywhere I could get a spare wooden treble grill from and bass cover (I'm less worried about the bass side. That's just an oblong panel with a few holes in it).

2. Is there any future in using it with a guitar style wireless unit, like this?
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06VVBHDF7/ref=psdc_407791031_t2_B0756YWWS9
 
Title: Re: Implementing a Microvox on a box I care about
Post by: Martin P on June 01, 2018, 02:12:16 PM
I have a Connemarra II with metal grille on treble side. I have happily put Velcro across the middle of the grill. Hopefully, should I ever have to remove it, the glue will clean off the metal. On my box, with careful positioning, the three pickups inside the Microvox black bar line up perfectly with three holes in the grill. The bass pickup can be a fiddle because I have mounted it on bottom rear corner of the bass plate and it easily gets knocked off. I probably should be more precious about the box which I bought new, but several years of playing out for Morris mean it’s case is no longer in showroom condition.
Title: Re: Implementing a Microvox on a box I care about
Post by: Tone Dumb Greg on June 01, 2018, 02:38:03 PM

..The bass pickup can be a fiddle because I have mounted it on bottom rear corner of the bass plate and it easily gets knocked off.


Yes. That happens with my pokerwork. I'm thinking about attaching semi-permanently (hot glue?) to a switchable bass cover, and/or routing a cable internally. Harder to knock up a wooden fretted grill, though.

Quote

 ...I probably should be more precious about the box which I bought new, but several years of playing out for Morris mean it’s case is no longer in showroom condition.

I'm precious about the Saltarelle because I didn't buy it new .
It's a long way from new but I don't want to increase its burden of history unnecessarily.
Title: Re: Implementing a Microvox on a box I care about
Post by: Tone Dumb Greg on June 01, 2018, 02:40:38 PM
Just had a thought. Could tie wraps work?
Title: Re: Implementing a Microvox on a box I care about
Post by: GPS on June 01, 2018, 03:35:55 PM
My solution to this problem was to make a new plywood grille for my Saltarelle; it has a simpler fretwork pattern than the original, and includes attachment points for the Microvox. which is held on by a couple of machine screws and nuts through the aluminium backplate. Under normal circumstances the box  carries its original grille (new grille-cloth, but otherwise totally unaltered), and when required for an amplified gig it's a simple job to swap grilles, and you know the Microvox isn't going to move or otherwise misbehave because it's solidly mounted.

Graham
Title: Re: Implementing a Microvox on a box I care about
Post by: Andy Next Tune on June 01, 2018, 03:44:04 PM
I've used microvox with velcro on a number of boxes of various vintage and never had a problem with it marking when removing it. Sometimes a little adhesive is left behind but that can be easily rubbed off separately. I just use two or three small strategically-placed pieces rather than longer strips on the treble end. The bass is mounted by a sound hole at the bottom - it has never felt really secure but has never fallen off during a gig.

Fitting a Microvox psu and bass mic inside the bass end of a box is on my 'future project' list, as are many other 'good ideas'!! I started a thread about it a little while ago.

I regularly use a guitar wireless unit (t-bone system from Thomann, no longer available) with my Microvox kit as does a fellow box player in the band who uses a different guitar wireless system. Both provide good sound quality. However both systems cost substantially more than that kit on Amazon (£100+), and most wireless kit reviews indicate money does buy quality of build, sound and interference suppression.
Title: Re: Implementing a Microvox on a box I care about
Post by: Tone Dumb Greg on June 01, 2018, 04:29:44 PM
The tiewraps (i.e., cable ties or zip ties) work a treat. I like GPS's solution a lot as a long term option, though. Not sure if my woodwork skills are up to fretwork. I could secure through the existing fretwork using clamping plates and threaded holes in the aluminium microvox back plate. I would end up with holes in the backing cloth but I might be able to tolerate that or even remove it and place it aside. Or I might take Andy's advice, for now. Decisions, decisions.

I've put velcro on the bass side but I don't like it at all. The pick up is really insecure and pulls off too easily. Not so easy to use tie wraps, either. I'm wondering about securing it to a bass plate and fixing in place with threaded bolts.

It's a shame Microvox don't provide slighty more engineered solutions.
Title: Re: Implementing a Microvox on a box I care about
Post by: GPS on June 01, 2018, 04:32:23 PM
Incidentally, I also use the 2-grille solution for Hohners of the "pokerwork" family; I have a Microvox permanently attached to an old 2915 grille sprayed black, and as it's only a matter of a quarter-turn on a couple of screw eyes, it can be quickly mounted as required on a D/G, C/F, G/C, Bb/Eb or whatever.
Title: Re: Implementing a Microvox on a box I care about
Post by: boxer on June 01, 2018, 07:14:08 PM
it's easy to mount Microvox's standard power unit on top of a pokerwork's right hand woodwork by partly sinking a small dome-headed woodscrew into the front right hand corner, so that the closure strap can fasten to the screw and sit diagonally across the top of the cabinet.  There's enough give in the strap to allow the power unit's belt clip to engage beneath strap.  The power unit will sit securely in place whilst you knock seven bells out of the box.  Wrap the tongue of the belt clip with plastic tape to avoid marking the cabinet.

It's a lot easier than burying the thing inside the box and the volume control's within easy reach of the keyboard.   

I've attached a picture - you can see the end of the strap peeping out from beneath the power unit, and almost see the head of the screw housed in the strap's metal eyelet.
Title: Re: Implementing a Microvox on a box I care about
Post by: GPS on June 01, 2018, 08:24:16 PM
I like GPS's solution a lot as a long term option, though. Not sure if my woodwork skills are up to fretwork.

Actually, you don't necessarily need fretwork skills. As long as you can cut a plywood panel to  the same size & shape as the original and accurately mark through the fixing screw positions, you can create a "soundhole" pattern with assorted drill sizes (or better, sawtooth/Forstner bits) and a round wood rasp (or, if you're careful, a Dremel-type tool with rotary rasps) OK. it might not be pretty, but in the end it's just a means of holding the mic in place without disfiguring the instrument.  Just make sure there's a hole where each of the mic capsules sits. And you still have the nice untouched original grille for "normal" playing.  I'm out with Cyprus Morris tomorrow, but over the weekend I'll try to find a moment to photograph my "arrangements" and post them.

Graham
Title: Re: Implementing a Microvox on a box I care about
Post by: Martin P on June 02, 2018, 12:09:00 AM
it's easy to mount Microvox's standard power unit on top of a pokerwork's right hand woodwork by partly sinking a small dome-headed woodscrew into the front right hand corner, so that the closure strap can fasten to the screw and sit diagonally across the top of the cabinet.  There's enough give in the strap to allow the power unit's belt clip to engage beneath strap.  The power unit will sit securely in place whilst you knock seven bells out of the box.  Wrap the tongue of the belt clip with plastic tape to avoid marking the cabinet.

It's a lot easier than burying the thing inside the box and the volume control's within easy reach of the keyboard.   

I've attached a picture - you can see the end of the strap peeping out from beneath the power unit, and almost see the head of the screw housed in the strap's metal eyelet.

I use the Microvox pickup that doesn’t need an external power supply. It has a single AA battery inside. Any comments on pros and cons of different types of Microvox. I simply feed mine direct to a Cube portable amp. Seems to work well enough playing out for Border Morris. I suspect it would not be adequate for recording purposes.
Title: Re: Implementing a Microvox on a box I care about
Post by: Tone Dumb Greg on June 02, 2018, 01:07:03 AM
Thanks Graham.

Boxer, my new microvox (a 310) hasn't got a separate p/s either. The older one on the pokerwork has, though. But only for the bass side. I'm trying to decide if sitting that on top of the bass is easier than the belt clip. It might be if used with a wireless transmitter. I tempted to risk getting one and trying it. I have used cheapo 2.4GHz Mic systems and they seem OK. If something is going on locally that is interfering I'll just plug in a lead. My main worry is excessive latency. That could render them unusable.

Title: Re: Implementing a Microvox on a box I care about
Post by: GPS on June 03, 2018, 11:44:16 AM
This is my alternative grille with the Microvox attached. Just held in by the normal screws, leaving the original grille untouched.

Graham
Title: Re: Implementing a Microvox on a box I care about
Post by: GPS on June 03, 2018, 11:46:50 AM
And here's the inside.
Title: Re: Implementing a Microvox on a box I care about
Post by: hickory-wind on June 03, 2018, 02:54:09 PM
Here is a non-adhesive attachment method I've used on a near new Costalotti. It worked great for an offertory at church. Two thin sheet metal brackets were cut and formed into a U shape. Velcro was added on the front side. The thin metal fits between the grill and case. I did need to punch some holes so as not to obscure two of the three mic capsules. Quick and completely reversible with no modification to the instrument.

Scott

BellingersButtonBoxes.com (http://BellingersButtonBoxes.com)
Title: Re: Implementing a Microvox on a box I care about
Post by: Tone Dumb Greg on June 03, 2018, 05:37:27 PM
That grill looks more than  acceptable Graham.

I like the way that both yours and Scott's solutions leave the microvox pickups clear.
Title: Re: Implementing a Microvox on a box I care about
Post by: Tone Dumb Greg on June 03, 2018, 05:46:25 PM
So far as the guitar pick up goes. I've decided to suck it and see. I've ordered a very very very cheap one from China with low expectations. If it works at ll I will be impressed. Actually, I've had a few jackpot results with this approach in the past.
Title: Re: Implementing a Microvox on a box I care about
Post by: boxer on June 04, 2018, 09:18:11 PM
T D Greg:

I'm surprised to learn that people manage to use the non-ps Microvoxes successfully on narrow keyboard, right-angled instruments like the Pokerwork.  Good luck to them if it works, but I use the slimmer ps driven mikes because they don't get in the way of my fingers.  Perhaps I just wave my fingers about with more abandon that would be proper or decent on a fifth-tuned box.

I've successfully used heavy duty velcro to mount power units on the top of non-pokerwork boxes (having first removed the belt clip from the pu's case - it's just a matter of undoing two small crosshead screws).

I'm surprised to hear of a morris box player needing to use an amp.  Must be playing along with a crowd of heavy duty musos.  Things have clearly changed a lot since I did that sort of thing for a gang of noisy NW cloggies. 

I wouldn't use any box-mounted pickup or mike for recording.  A decent condenser mike on a stand in a good studio would be my preference (or a pair of them if I played the basses).

My limited experience of wireless systems has been that the batteries always let us down at some point in the evening, varying randomly between just after half-time, and just before the last dance.  Cables are cheap, light and reliable and they don't need batteries.  However, I must confess that I envy the wireless guys when they leap about and dance all round a stage.....

Good luck with your endeavours Greg 
Title: Re: Implementing a Microvox on a box I care about
Post by: Tone Dumb Greg on June 04, 2018, 10:02:24 PM
T D Greg:
I'm surprised to learn that people manage to use the non-ps Microvoxes successfully on narrow keyboard, right-angled instruments like the Pokerwork.  Good luck to them if it works, but I use the slimmer ps driven mikes because they don't get in the way of my fingers.  Perhaps I just wave my fingers about with more abandon that would be proper or decent on a fifth-tuned box. To be honest, the bass side is more of an issue. The velcro doesn't seem very secure.

It sits quite happily about half way up the grill, and works fine.

Quote
I've successfully used heavy duty velcro to mount power units on the top of non-pokerwork boxes (having first removed the belt clip from the pu's case - it's just a matter of undoing two small crosshead screws).

Thanks. I am thinking of using this idea for the transmitter.

Quote
I'm surprised to hear of a morris box player needing to use an amp.  Must be playing along with a crowd of heavy duty musos.  Things have clearly changed a lot since I did that sort of thing for a gang of noisy NW cloggies. 

This is border morris. We are the sunny face of the darkside.
The main reason (there are others) we decided to "go electric" for big occasions, such as music festivals, after watching the way a crowds attention is drawn and retained when they can hear the band above a multitude of other sound sources (I'm not talking about other morris sides. More, things like dancing robots with onboard sound systems). It's not to everyone's taste  but it's becoming the way it's done and the way we do it.
A second reason is it makes it easier for the dancers to hear us when they're upwind. It's surprising what a difference this makes.

Quote
I wouldn't use any box-mounted pickup or mike for recording.  A decent condenser mike on a stand in a good studio would be my preference (or a pair of them if I played the basses).

This is only for live and dirty performance  (:)

Quote
My limited experience of wireless systems has been that the batteries always let us down at some point in the evening, varying randomly between just after half-time, and just before the last dance.  Cables are cheap, light and reliable and they don't need batteries.  However, I must confess that I envy the wireless guys when they leap about and dance all round a stage.....

Cables will always be available in the event of failure.

Thanks for the good advice.



Good luck with your endeavours Greg
[/quote]
Title: Re: Implementing a Microvox on a box I care about
Post by: Stotty on June 17, 2018, 11:40:26 PM
I saw this solution today on a box payed by a young lady from Scarborough.  Although she wasn't aware of the construction details, it seems to be based on two strips of wood which are held on the grill with screws which go through the grill (presumably replacing, and slightly longer than, the original grill screws).  I expect that there are strips of foam, fabric or leather between the strips of wood and the grill to provide some protection for the grill.
 I can't find where the clamps might come from having googled for some time.  They are rather like "hoffman" hose/tubing clamps used in labs, but more elaborate and they have a flatter base.  In any case I think I would use strips of velcro attached to the wood strips and then possibly attaching two similar strips of wood (or plastic) to the two ends of the Microvox with velcro on them.  Velcro would mean most of the kit could be removed easily when the mic isn't needed  I could see this approach working on any box with a flat grill and corner (or end) screws.   
Title: Re: Implementing a Microvox on a box I care about
Post by: Tone Dumb Greg on June 18, 2018, 09:47:13 AM
Thanks for those pictures. It certainly looks secure. I wonder, does she leaves the clamps permanently mounted when she takes the pickup off? I worry that frequently taking the mounting plates off would end up stripping the threads of the screws securing them. I do like that, though. I wonder where the clamps come from?

At the moment I'm still using tie wraps (aka cable ties), fastened through the grill, with a degree of success. They don't look very "designed", but they work.

The single bass pickup is a more urgent issue. Currently velcroed, but it tends to fall off. A clamp on a base held between the lower and middle cover fixing screws might sort this without being intrusive.
Title: Re: Implementing a Microvox on a box I care about
Post by: Anahata on June 18, 2018, 02:29:05 PM
The single bass pickup is a more urgent issue. Currently velcroed, but it tends to fall off.

The bass pickup on my Oakwood is built in to the instrument, and there is an RCA (phono) connector  on the back of the bass casework.
It does involve drilling a hole, but the result is entirely neat and inoffensive, and invisible from the front.
It's actuallly a Microvox swan neck mic, internally held so the capsule is right next to one of the airholes, to minimize cavity resonance.
Title: Re: Implementing a Microvox on a box I care about
Post by: Tone Dumb Greg on June 18, 2018, 03:01:52 PM
The single bass pickup is a more urgent issue. Currently velcroed, but it tends to fall off.

The bass pickup on my Oakwood is built in to the instrument, and there is an RCA (phono) connector  on the back of the bass casework.
It does involve drilling a hole, but the result is entirely neat and inoffensive, and invisible from the front.
It's actuallly a Microvox swan neck mic, internally held so the capsule is right next to one of the airholes, to minimize cavity resonance.

My Microvox 310 has a single bass pickup permanently connected to the treble bar, with power supply and a preset balance control inside the treble bar and the combined signal delivered as a mono signal to a 1/4" jack.  I am thinking of splitting the connecting cable and fitting a plug in connector, then mounting the bass pickup inside the bass cavity, leading a connecting lead through the bellows, as discussed in other threads, but I wasn't sure how acoustically effective this would be. Is the transducer in the swan neck similar to the condensors the dedicated accordion microvox uses?

Come to that, I wonder if there would be any future in taking the treble bar out of it's case and mounting it inside the treble casing?
Title: Re: Implementing a Microvox on a box I care about
Post by: Anahata on June 18, 2018, 06:57:49 PM
I am thinking of splitting the connecting cable and fitting a plug in connector, then mounting the bass pickup inside the bass cavity, leading a connecting lead through the bellows, as discussed in other threads, but I wasn't sure how acoustically effective this would be. Is the transducer in the swan neck similar to the condensors the dedicated accordion microvox uses?

I'm sure Alan Hughes told me (a fair few years ago) that the mic capsule is the same for all the 400 series mics, but not the same as your 310 - I think all the M300 range use a larger diameter capsule which is more prone to overloading on loud instruments.

Quote
Come to that, I wonder if there would be any future in taking the treble bar out of it's case and mounting it inside the treble casing?
Where? It's unlikely to fit behind the grille, and it will sound completely different and most likely not very good inside the bellows.
Title: Re: Implementing a Microvox on a box I care about
Post by: Stotty on June 18, 2018, 09:28:47 PM
Thanks for those pictures. It certainly looks secure. I wonder, does she leaves the clamps permanently mounted when she takes the pickup off? I worry that frequently taking the mounting plates off would end up stripping the threads of the screws securing them. I do like that, though. I wonder where the clamps come from?

I expect that she will just remove the Microvox from the clamps and leave the clamps on the melodeon, but I didn't ask.  I certainly don't think it would be wise to keep removing and replacing the screws.
Title: Re: Implementing a Microvox on a box I care about
Post by: Tone Dumb Greg on June 18, 2018, 09:54:59 PM
Food for thought, thanks, both of you.
Title: Re: Implementing a Microvox on a box I care about
Post by: Tone Dumb Greg on June 24, 2018, 11:46:56 AM
So, in further pursuit of the ideal  set for amping for events, as I said earlier, I thought I would try a wireless guitar system.
I did a search on everone's favourite websites, for the cheapest unit I could find, to test the concept with, and found a Flanger FW1 2.4 GHz system from China,  on ebay,  for the unbelievable price of £1.99 with free standard delivery. It must be junk, I thought, but for £1.99 I might as well take a chance. Ignoring the option of overnight delivery  for a mere £300, I placed my order, paying through paypal.

Yesterday I had the notification that it has been despatched (why does the stupid spellchecker have to show this as a misspelling?). When I hit the link in the notification the target page gave the price as £91.99. A note said that the listing had been updated by the seller, with another link to my actual purchase. On this link  the details were as I purchased the item.

It seems that the seller has made a mistake in the original post and that he has chosen to honour his commitment to me.

So, should I be wary that there is some sort of scam involved? So far as I can tell, there isn't. Secure payment and item despatched.

If this is genuine, should my sense of honour induce me to contact the seller and offer the full amount?