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Author Topic: coil springs  (Read 656 times)

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mselic

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coil springs
« on: October 21, 2018, 05:25:24 AM »

I've been experimenting with coil springs on the button levers in the keyboard mechanisms of one-rows.  The stiffness of a spring can easily be reduced by prying between the coils with something like a flat-head screwdriver, and the same springs can then be tightened back up again by holding each end the spring with pliers and twisting it back in on itself (yes, I realize that doing this over and over again isn't ideal for the life of a spring, but I'm experimenting...) This has allowed me to try out what different spring tension feels like on the buttons and how it relates to keyboard action.  I can make them have a very light touch or a rather stiff feel, and everything in between.  I've found that if you go too soft, the actions isn't quite as "crisp", whereas if they are too hard, well, that's just more work...there is usually a happy medium.

What I'm wondering about is this: let's say I get a particular set of springs, of a particular diameter with x number of coils, and I set them up to get a certain amount of tension on the buttons that I like.  If i get a different set of springs, made from a different diameter and with a different number of coils, and I set them up to get a similar amount of tension, will the end result be the same? Or would the feel of the springs be different, even if they have been set up to achieve the same amount of tension?  I ask this because I've noticed just how different coils springs and button action can feel from one instrument to another of similar design/dimensions.  I'm wondering if the size/shape/etc of the springs makes any real difference there, or if they are simply enacting a particular amount of tension/force regardless of those factors.  I'm hoping my question makes sense...
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Melodie D, Hohner HA114s in G and A, Hohner Erica D/C#

Tiposx

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Re: coil springs
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2018, 10:22:09 AM »

For the sake of consistency I would experiment with making them from scratch. The variables would be wire material and diameter and number of turns. If is quite easy to make a winding tool.
Tiposx
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tirpous

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Re: coil springs
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2018, 05:28:10 PM »

I would say the spring with larger wire and/or smaller diameter coil will apply more "come back home" force as it gets stretched further. 
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mselic

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Re: coil springs
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2018, 04:03:47 AM »

Here's an update, for those that it may interest: I experimented with larger coil springs (springs with both a larger wire and larger coil diameter) and I managed to get a very light touch on the buttons but still retain the "snappiness" that I desired on the one-row.  So to answer my own question, differently sized springs will behave differently even if they have been adjusted to both require the same amount of pressure to lift the pallet off the board.  The smaller springs allowed the pallets to lift easily, but were somewhat sluggish in their return, resulting in what I would describe as "mushy" playing.  The larger springs allowed the pallets to lift just as easily, but their return was quicker and more immediate, resulting in a crisper sound and feel.

I realize for some this may all sound like obsessing over minute details, but for me it completely transformed my instrument!  I am happy that I was able to replicate on my own instrument the feel and action of keyboards that I liked in others.  Anyhow, information to share for those who care!
« Last Edit: November 02, 2018, 04:05:35 AM by mselic »
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Melodie D, Hohner HA114s in G and A, Hohner Erica D/C#

Winston Smith

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Re: coil springs
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2018, 06:42:22 AM »

"Here's an update, for those that it may interest:"

It certainly interests me, as far as I'm concerned this type of posting is a main part of why I love this site. Thanks mselic, and keep them coming!
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Although I can carry on messing with melodeons, the ongoing attention of the Ministry of Truth and the Thought Police will (no doubt) eventually teach me to really love Big Brother!
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