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Help: Autoharp tuning gizmo

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Fortunato 10 Jan 00 - 01:34 PM
Gary T 10 Jan 00 - 01:55 PM
Sandy Paton 10 Jan 00 - 02:09 PM
Sandy Paton 10 Jan 00 - 02:10 PM
jeffp 10 Jan 00 - 02:29 PM
Bill D 10 Jan 00 - 03:10 PM
Fortunato 10 Jan 00 - 03:39 PM
Gary T 10 Jan 00 - 07:16 PM
catspaw49 10 Jan 00 - 08:21 PM
Sandy Paton 10 Jan 00 - 09:49 PM
DonMeixner 10 Jan 00 - 11:18 PM
catspaw49 11 Jan 00 - 12:08 AM
jeffp 11 Jan 00 - 08:44 AM
Rick Fielding 11 Jan 00 - 08:15 PM
DonMeixner 11 Jan 00 - 11:54 PM
catspaw49 12 Jan 00 - 12:03 AM
Bill D 12 Jan 00 - 02:17 PM
catspaw49 12 Jan 00 - 03:56 PM
Bill D 12 Jan 00 - 09:41 PM
Bill D 12 Jan 00 - 09:50 PM
catspaw49 12 Jan 00 - 10:00 PM
GUEST,BlueJay 19 Jan 00 - 12:57 PM
catspaw49 19 Jan 00 - 01:01 PM
Bill D 19 Jan 00 - 02:28 PM
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Subject: Help: Autoharp tuning gizmo
From: Fortunato
Date: 10 Jan 00 - 01:34 PM

Help 'spaw, Bill Day, et al.

I made the autoharp gizmo without success: Clipped a plug off one end of a 12" patch cord (guitar) and put an alligator clip on the exposed copper wire, with good connection I think. I plugged this gizmo into the input jack on my Korg tuner and put the alligator clip on tuning peg(s) of the autoharp. No signal, no response. What could be wrong?

Thanks Fortunato


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Subject: RE: Help: Autoharp tuning gizmo
From: Gary T
Date: 10 Jan 00 - 01:55 PM

I'm no expert on this, but I believe you'll find that there's some type of transducer used to make these--something that will convert the physical motion of the part the alligator clip is touching to an electrical impulse. Radio Shack or a similar vendor should be able to identify what you need. It's probably inexpensive and small, but I bet if you study a "factory-made" alligator clip pick-up, you'll find that something is epoxied on to the clip, with the wire coming out of that "something".


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Subject: RE: Help: Autoharp tuning gizmo
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 10 Jan 00 - 02:09 PM

I think you're right, Gary. I don't see how it could work otherwise.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Help: Autoharp tuning gizmo
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 10 Jan 00 - 02:10 PM

I think you're right, Gary. I don't see how it could work otherwise.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Help: Autoharp tuning gizmo
From: jeffp
Date: 10 Jan 00 - 02:29 PM

I have something like this that I use to tune my fiddle. I'll take a close look at it tonight and post what I find.


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Subject: RE: Help: Autoharp tuning gizmo
From: Bill D
Date: 10 Jan 00 - 03:10 PM

well, took a look at mine, and it is hard to tell 'exactly' what they did...but I took a couple close-ups with the digital camera...here...2 pics

Therer are 2 wires coming to the alligator clip, one is simply wrapped around a little screw in the clip, the other is laid up the jaw, and 'seems' to have some silvery-white flat thing under it. Never having used a 'transducer' I wouldn't know if that is what is there. The whole area is then sealed with some sort of epoxy....hope the pics tell you something...


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Subject: RE: Help: Autoharp tuning gizmo
From: Fortunato
Date: 10 Jan 00 - 03:39 PM

Thanks everybody. I knew it was too easy.


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Subject: RE: Help: Autoharp tuning gizmo
From: Gary T
Date: 10 Jan 00 - 07:16 PM

Thanks, Bill D, that was thoughtful. It does look like there's something there, but I'm not knowledgeable enough to recognize it. I'm thinking it might be something as simple as a piezo-electric quartz wafer. A transducer, in the general sense, is anything that converts one form of energy into another. A microphone is a transducer that converts mechanical energy (diaphragm motion caused by air wave pulsations) into electrical energy (a weak audio signal). Piezo-electric quartz converts electrical energy into mechanical energy (in an electronic clock , for example) and vice-versa (I believe it's what Ovation uses for their factory bridge pick-ups).


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Subject: RE: Help: Autoharp tuning gizmo
From: catspaw49
Date: 10 Jan 00 - 08:21 PM

It is...Not to be rude, but, go find Don Meixner's post on the previous thread...talks about piezo pick-ups......I bought this gizy at Radio Shack (again Leej may know of numbers, But its a transducer wire....I stuck an alligator clip on one end and a plug on the other. Works fine guys ... Swear to gawd or whomever you please. Come to think of it, there are a lot of mikes and gtr. pickups lying about at your place maybe Probably take it out of one of them. If nothing else, check my link after you read Don's and you can order one fo 10 bucks.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Help: Autoharp tuning gizmo
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 10 Jan 00 - 09:49 PM

I believe you, 'sPaw, it's just that I'd never heard of a "transducer wire." Is this some kind of combination wire and transducer that eliminates the need for the tiny little piezo-electric gizmo soldered into the alligator clip? I don't live near a Radio Shack; nearest one is over thirty miles up the pike. Folkcraft sells a nice little non-scratchy clip and plug device for about $14.95, which may be available elsewhere for less. I'm not about to tear it apart to see what's glued to the clip, however. Guess I'll have to locate that other thread and see what $10 gadget you're talking about. Here goes....
Shucks, I don't even know what make a light bulb work!


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Subject: RE: Help: Autoharp tuning gizmo
From: DonMeixner
Date: 10 Jan 00 - 11:18 PM

Tranzducer wire is a piezo wafer system. Very simple. Buy one from Spaw. He'll do you right and it'll work. Or be advebtuous and try my system

Don


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Subject: RE: Help: Autoharp tuning gizmo
From: catspaw49
Date: 11 Jan 00 - 12:08 AM

Sandy....Sorry I didn't link it last time....The place in St.Louis is HERE under Accessories ..........Just got in a hurry to see what more the damn bathroom is going to cost.............oy.................

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Help: Autoharp tuning gizmo
From: jeffp
Date: 11 Jan 00 - 08:44 AM

I checked mine, and it looks pretty much like Bill D's. I imagine it is a transducer.


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Subject: RE: Help: Autoharp tuning gizmo
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 11 Jan 00 - 08:15 PM

Reminds me of the time I took my Ovation to the music store (Richmond's Trading Post) and asked them to fix the pickup. They said "how old's the battery"? I said "Battery"?

Absolutely true. Did the same with a condenser mike once.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Help: Autoharp tuning gizmo
From: DonMeixner
Date: 11 Jan 00 - 11:54 PM

Im sure that Rick and Spaw and probably others understand how the piezo wafer works but for the sake if others I'll try to explain with being "sciency". For simplicity sake a piezo wafer that is found in a Radio Shack buzzer is a very thin piece of crystal sandwiched between to conductive plates.

When a crystal is flexed, even microscopically, it gives of a small electrical charge. The vibration that causes the flexing can be as single tap or a vibrating top on a guitar. The piezo pick up takes these electrical pulses and sends them down the wire to the tuner and it reads them as tones. Fewer vibrations equall low tones more equall high tones. Because the crystal creates its own electricity no outboard power is needed to make the sound travel down the wire. The batteries in the tuner allow the tuner to read and amplify the signal into a useable form for the tuner to work.

Magenetic pick ups are a powered pick up that reads a signal vibrating in a magnetic field. The principle of slow and fast vibrations is the same however.

Thats a very basic explanation. There are engineers who can explain it using better science but thats it in a nutshell.

Don


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Subject: RE: Help: Autoharp tuning gizmo
From: catspaw49
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 12:03 AM

They have a lot of uses too. Some "Off the Car" wheel balancers use piezo sensors. It was where I first learned about them..........past life, ya' know?

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Help: Autoharp tuning gizmo
From: Bill D
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 02:17 PM

ok!..so that funny little flattish thing under the epoxy and against the jaw of the alligator clip IS the "Thingamabob that does the the job"!,,Neat!..Thanx, Don!...now I can build similar stuff...


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Subject: RE: Help: Autoharp tuning gizmo
From: catspaw49
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 03:56 PM

Only if it goes "Bippity, Boppity, Boop." Sorry Bill, won't work otherwise!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Help: Autoharp tuning gizmo
From: Bill D
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 09:41 PM

that, I believe is "Bibbity, Bobbity , Boo", 'spaw


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Subject: RE: Help: Autoharp tuning gizmo
From: Bill D
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 09:50 PM

(I lived in New Orleans and saw the worlds premiere of "Song of the South"...my grandmother took me...we sang that song till EVERYONE was sick of it)


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Subject: RE: Help: Autoharp tuning gizmo
From: catspaw49
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 10:00 PM

Gee...always thought it was boop.......I'm a broken man. Folk process strikes back!!!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Help: Autoharp tuning gizmo
From: GUEST,BlueJay
Date: 19 Jan 00 - 12:57 PM

I made one of those years ago: read about it first in the late freat FRETS magazine. It was billed as a simple acoustic pickup, and cost only a few dollars and a little frustration. I tried it on guitar, banjo and mandolin, with it finally ended up being used exactly as you say, as a tuning aid on my autoharp, (unsightly to say the least). I tried using it as a pickup for amplification, but there were too many problems and it just didn't sound good.

If all you want is a tuning aid, it's ok, but why not get a real pick up you can amplify (if need be). My playing style is kind of soft, and it really helps me when playing with guitars, basses etc.

I have tried everything from Barcus Berry types to studio mikes to lapel mikes. I now use a new Pick-Up The World polymer film that mounts out of sight on the soundboard under the tuning bars. It sounds better, more consistently, than anything I have used. The Radio Shack buzzer just won't pick up all the strings no matter where you put it, and microphones are so prone to feedback and positioning.

If you're interested, check out pick-uptheworld.com, which is their web page. Apparantly these things have been used successfully in Grand Pianos.

P.S. I apologize for the length. I see most people only post two or three sentences, but I like to write. I'm also new here and not an official "member", but have surfed in occasionally for the past year, and found out that Willie Nelson wrote "The Night Life", which had me stumped for twenty years. And leave it to my nine year old daughter to find the Mudcat Kid's Page, and hence thecomplete lyrics to "It's Only A Pee-Pee". wish I knew the tune. Thanks for your patiece, I hope they don't edit this thing for length!!! Apologies if there is another BlueJay, I picked it "cause that's what an old railroader usedto call me. Bye.


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Subject: RE: Help: Autoharp tuning gizmo
From: catspaw49
Date: 19 Jan 00 - 01:01 PM

Lord Blue Jay, join up. I like your comments and believe me, they're SHORT compared to a lot of the stuff around here!!!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Help: Autoharp tuning gizmo
From: Bill D
Date: 19 Jan 00 - 02:28 PM

yup


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