Down-wires

Discussions on various technical aspects of carillon instruments and standards.

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Re: Down-wires

Postby Gideon Bodden on Mon Mar 18, 2013 6:26 pm

In order to get the full advantage of rigid down wires, it is necessary to have no hooked connections, so no bending of loops at the end of the wires. By the way, if you replace a flexible cable by a rigid wire, which weighs more than the cable, then you will have to adjust the return springs in order to end up with the same key pressure as before.
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Re: Down-wires

Postby TerryMcGee on Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:16 pm

Just confirming that point, Gideon, am I right in interpreting that as the solid wire is swaged or wrapped tightly at both top of adjuster and to roller-bar crank? Or does there need to be a little looseness at the crank to allow for its small degree of rotation? But not a shackle?

The logic being that you want the roller bar "attached" to the baton for more intimate control?

Now, if I do this experiment, do I replace just the downwires, or do I need to replace the (currently flexible) pull-wires to the clapper tails at the same time? What's the preferred arrangement there? Shackles both ends, clapper end only, or other?

Terry
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Re: Down-wires

Postby JohnGouwens on Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:32 pm

Some of this could get pricey for what is just an experiment. I agree with Gideon that you'd get better results with all rigid connections. (I'm not sure what you'll do about the wire going to the turnbuckles, though! Hard to hide that.) The more traditional arrangement (as in the original Canberra installation) is a series of solid wires joined where necessary by loops. Gideon is right that a single solid wire is greatly preferable, but that might have to wait for a larger, funded project.
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Re: Down-wires

Postby FrancesNewell on Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:35 am

I have to ask: is the difference in the wires any danger to your carillon?
Could it pose an imbalance that could damage it?
How much tension will be in those stiffer wires?
Enlighten me please :)
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Re: Down-wires

Postby TerryMcGee on Tue Mar 19, 2013 1:19 am

JohnGouwens wrote:Some of this could get pricey for what is just an experiment. I agree with Gideon that you'd get better results with all rigid connections. (I'm not sure what you'll do about the wire going to the turnbuckles, though! Hard to hide that.) The more traditional arrangement (as in the original Canberra installation) is a series of solid wires joined where necessary by loops. Gideon is right that a single solid wire is greatly preferable, but that might have to wait for a larger, funded project.


Yes, there is some irony involved here. Straightened stainless steel wire isn't very expensive, but it doesn't grow on trees. The supplier's "minimum order" is not much less than the cost of enough to do the whole carillon! I have to think my way through that conundrum!

Perhaps I'm being silly wanting to do the experiment - I should just take it on faith that everyone else seems to prefer solid! Still thinking.... (It can be slow work!)

And yes, pretty obvious to the player which are the solid wires, unless I hang a little curtain, and who is going to be able to resist taking a peek?

(I can resist anything except temptation - Oscar Wilde)

I am reminded of a 19th century flute player who came up with what he thought was a better foot-joint keying system. Afraid that his contemporaries would steal his idea during concerts, he arranged a little curtain on the foot to disguise the mechanics! We have words for that sort of person they probably didn't have then.

Terry
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Re: Down-wires

Postby TerryMcGee on Tue Mar 19, 2013 1:27 am

FrancesNewell wrote:I have to ask: is the difference in the wires any danger to your carillon?
Could it pose an imbalance that could damage it?
How much tension will be in those stiffer wires?
Enlighten me please :)


No danger, Frances. Firstly, the Canberra carillon originally had solid wire, the flexible wire was installed in a later refurbishment. But secondly, the wires are not under tension other than their own weight and the weight of the batons. It's not like say guitar strings, where the strings are under considerable tension, and moving to a thicker grade than the maker intended could dramatically up the overall force and bring very sad consequences.

Good to ask such questions though. Rather than the other approach: "It seemed like a good idea at the time"!

Terry
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Re: Down-wires

Postby FrancesNewell on Tue Mar 19, 2013 11:16 am

Terry, You got me! I've been a guitarist for decades!
When I have to put in a new string, I am very sensitive to thickness, gauge, and composition of each string.
So is my guitar neck! I'm glad to hear that your carillon frame can withstand the tension of your new wires!
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Re: Down-wires

Postby JohnGouwens on Tue Mar 19, 2013 3:59 pm

I would add that the down wires are held in tension more by the clapper weight and the return springs than by the keys. The keys, after all, are at their top "at rest" position, and inevitably, there is more tension than that from the clapper and spring or the key wouldn't stay up. The framework isn't sensitive to changes in the down wires, though. If you order enough wiring to set up Bathurst, that's the time to order a few spares for a Canberra experiment.
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Re: Down-wires

Postby JohnGouwens on Sat Mar 30, 2013 6:18 am

Incidentally, I'm checking with some organbuilder friends about what they do for low-friction bushing situations (sides of keys, etc.) and have found that two of the major American builders of tracker organs are now using carbon fibre rods in lieu of either the wood or metal they used to use. Their carbon fibre rods are MUCH smaller than what I've seen used in a carillon, but I'm inquiring of them about how they attach them to things also. If they have managed to get the "bugs" out of dealing with carbon fibre rods, that could be the solution of choice!
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