Ideal pedal pressure?

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Ideal pedal pressure?

Postby TerryMcGee on Mon May 13, 2013 11:31 pm

Karel Keldermans, while he was with us at Canberra recently, pointed out that we had some variability in pedal pressure that we had probably all become used to but was noticeable to a visitor. Mostly it appeared to be sharps being heavier than naturals, which is probably largely a leverage thing. I aim to check it out tomorrow when I'm up there for the next service. I wondered if anyone has come up with a recommended value for the ideal foot pressure needed to depress the pedal fully? And any suggested tolerance?

I imagine, if the batons are held down, all pedals ideally should take the same force to depress fully? Or should the bass end pedals be set lighter to partially offset the heavier clapper weights?

When I bought a Triumph TR3 sports car (in my youth), I found the accelerator pedal too light for comfort - you had to hold your foot off it to avoid going too fast. So I strengthened the spring. Then the car felt hopelessly underpowered, so I put it back the way it had been. Funny, us humans.
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Re: Ideal pedal pressure?

Postby JohnGouwens on Tue May 14, 2013 1:11 am

The leverage question is interesting, though the ergonomic factor of the slope (or not) of the sharps is another. You have to reach your leg up to get to the sharps, and is is therefore desirable that the top surface slope downward a bit to match a typical foot position. As for the spring tension, I see no reason on earth for any pedal coupler to have a heavier action than any other on a given instrument. The job of the pedal spring is to keep the pedal assembly from dragging on the return of the key, and really nothing more. That said, the spring should be tight enough so that the return is quick, and of course some springs are better for that than others. Are the Canberra springs adjustable, or are they the old scissor springs that have to be rather crudely bent to "adjust?"
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Re: Ideal pedal pressure?

Postby TerryMcGee on Tue May 14, 2013 1:41 am

Malheureusement, they are the Bend-It-Yourself scissor spring variety. And you'll remember what they are like to get in and out, lying flat on the floor with your arm outstretched and hand constricted, trying to convince the spring to budge or lodge. Pity poor moi. I'm not sure if my first appointment afterwards should be with a chiropractor or a psychoanalyst.

I suspect because of all that, I won't get too far tomorrow. It will really be a time of measurement and graphing, to find out the general trend and identify the real bad guys. I'd like to at least get as far as fixing one real bad guy though. I hope to be able to find a way to know how much it needs to be bent, so I don't have to keep putting them in and out. Once I've sized up the job and established an efficient methodology, I can work out how to proceed best.

Of course, after that, then there's the practice clavier.....
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Re: Ideal pedal pressure?

Postby JohnGouwens on Tue May 14, 2013 2:33 am

I'll have to e-mail you the photos of the replacement arrangement we did here, with much better springs for the job.
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Re: Ideal pedal pressure?

Postby TerryMcGee on Tue May 14, 2013 2:59 am

Yes, please! If it's not too big a job to install them, it may prove more efficient to do that than spend too long fooling around with these!

So what do you see as the benefits? Adjustable? That would be nice in my current circumstance. (And what I save on specialist medical interventions would probably pay for the springs!)

More linear? (i.e., the tension doesn't vary so much over the length of the stroke)?

Any other pros or cons?
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Re: Ideal pedal pressure?

Postby FrancesNewell on Wed May 15, 2013 1:30 am

John,
Can you post those photos here on the forum?
I'd be interested in seeing the inner mechanics of your pedals!
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Re: Ideal pedal pressure?

Postby JohnGouwens on Wed May 15, 2013 3:17 am

I don't really want to allocate website locations at school to link to. I can't load the pictures directly onto the forum. Terry might be persuaded to post them, I hope. I sent them to him.
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Re: Ideal pedal pressure?

Postby TerryMcGee on Fri May 24, 2013 11:29 pm

I'm rather low on webpage space too, I'm sorry. What's the "Upload Attachment" tab for? Let's see if we send images to this site...

Baton & Pedal Pressure.GIF
Baton and Pedal Pressure as measured May 2013
Baton & Pedal Pressure.GIF (71.49 KB) Viewed 26726 times


OK, that seemed to work. Just open the "Upload Attachment" tab, locate and attach the file. Then place your cursor where you want it and press the Place Inline button. Note that the vertical height is limited, so you need to keep the images low or use the slider bar to see the remainder of it. File size is also limited to 256K.

Now, in the graph shown, the navy trace shows what I found when I measured the weight required on the pedals at Canberra to just get the bell to ring. You can see the sharps are all heavier. I tried bending a spring but found them really strong! Then I noticed that our spare springs are thinner - 4mm compared to 4.8mm on the originals. So putting the thinner, softer new springs on the 6 worst sharps gave me the light blue trace. Considerably lighter, and almost the same as the adjacent naturals. You can be lucky....

Terry
Last edited by TerryMcGee on Fri May 24, 2013 11:48 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Ideal pedal pressure?

Postby JohnGouwens on Fri May 24, 2013 11:39 pm

I think I tried to ask once. I'll try again. I really am not sure. Clicking on "upload attachment" brought no noticeable results here.
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Re: Ideal pedal pressure?

Postby TerryMcGee on Fri May 24, 2013 11:43 pm

OK, worked it out, see my post above...
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