mutated turbo-driven melodica ! ! !

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JahNice
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mutated turbo-driven melodica ! ! !

Post by JahNice » Mon Feb 23, 2009 2:38 am

I got this rare instrument some weeks ago on a flea market for 20€ and i wanted to share it with all ddb massive :D ... It is called a ''Harmophon''.. From what i read on the internet it must have been manufactured by a german company called Koestler between 1955 and 1970.

It is a free-reed instrument like a melodica, the only main differencs are:

a) it is built in a suitcase
b) its bigger (closed suitcase: 35cmx70cmx16cm)
c) u dont have to blow air into it to get a sound, because an integrated turbine does the job..
d) the sound is very similar to the sound of a melodica, but fatter and warmer (to my ear)

The only controls on this are the on-off button and an adjuster for how much air is blowen through the instrument ( u can see it below the keyboard, it is a slider which can be moved from left to rigth and vice versa).. oh, and its got 49 keys on the keyboard (i guess these are pretty basic controls for a musical instrument like this.. :stupid: )

I havent recorded it yet and i dont know if its any good for recording because along with the melody u get the sound of the turbine. When i get time i will record it and if anyone is interrested i can post my recordings here. I am also planning to check if i can get another turbine or motor that wouldnt be so noisy (i guess they ll be making quieter turbines than 40+ years ago :-? )..

For now here are some pics.

Yiannis aka JahNice
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My Harmophon closeup.JPG
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my harmophon1.JPG
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my suitcase.JPG
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Klaus5
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Post by Klaus5 » Mon Feb 23, 2009 2:49 am

Wow sounds pretty insane! I would be interested to here a recording of it.


Seems to be a electric version of a harmonium (bellows powered keyboard thing)
Image

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JahNice
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Harmophon Recording

Post by JahNice » Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:04 pm

Hi Klaus5, i'll work on it, maybe today or tomorrow i will have a recording for u..

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JahNice
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Harmophon recording

Post by JahNice » Tue Feb 24, 2009 12:00 am

Ok here it is:

http://www.interruptor.ch/Php5/dubboard ... highlight=

A harmophon dub tune..

I'm surprised because the noise from the turbine isnt as a loud as i thought i would be.

What do you think about the harmophon sound?

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fillspiller
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Post by fillspiller » Sun Feb 14, 2010 2:12 pm

i found one of these yesterday, but the motor or turbine or whatever makes the fan spin is missing. jahnice is gonna help me figure that out, though, so hopefully y'all will hear another soon. here's mine when i got it home before taking it apart:
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harmophon.jpg
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JahNice
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harmophon interior underside

Post by JahNice » Sun Feb 14, 2010 3:06 pm

here we go, hope these gonna help. If not i have the harmophon still open.. i can make more tomorow! (germon mode)Dutzen is kein problem! Culcha Candela kenn ich auch sind aber viel zu poppich für meinen geschmack und hören sich an wie seeed vor n paar jahren.. leider nix für mich :) Ich komm aus Dortmund! See ya, Yiannis
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IMG_1668.JPG
IMG_1668.JPG (67.75 KiB) Viewed 16474 times
IMG_1682.JPG
it says E 120 2g (type?) 066 5038(serial?)
110/220 V 50Hz
4W 0,52/0,26 A
2600 rotations / Minute
IMG_1682.JPG (56.44 KiB) Viewed 16474 times

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fillspiller
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Post by fillspiller » Sun Feb 14, 2010 3:15 pm

thanks! the motor is just a motor or does it make wind, as well? i still have that wrench-like plastic piece, so that's good. could you get a photo showing what that does on the motor end and how it interacts with it? what does it do? volume? pitch? vibrato? i'll do some research on that motor and might have to ask for a little more info based on what i find out.

as for culcha, yeah, i just checked them out, as i haven't talked to hanno in close to ten years, and it was a little poppy for my taste, as well, but i'm happy to see he's making music presumably for a living now. long gone are the days of us sleeping in a car outside of amsterdam, ha! i really like the old seeed stuff, but i haven't heard anything new from them since maybe 2003.

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fillspiller
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Post by fillspiller » Sun Feb 14, 2010 7:35 pm

okay. some friends think it would help if i had all the info that's written on the side of that motor. some of it i can't read from the angle of the shot, so perhaps if you could transcribe that for me it'd help. if raelco (local electronic shop) is open tomorrow, i'll go there, but they're likely closed for presidents day, so it might be tuesday before i can show it to them. this instrument deserves functionality. i WILL figure out a way to make this work! (i hope)

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JahNice
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Post by JahNice » Sun Feb 14, 2010 11:22 pm

just got home, have to get some sleep right now cause i got to go to
school tomorow, i ll take some more pics in the afternoon!

Look into the description, just above the photo "IMG_1682.JPG", i had
written the specs there. it is build by AEG and it also says "E-Mot" which
could mean electronic motor?. the wrench thing is for swell effect/volume
slider below the keyboard.

Saludos Yiannis

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fillspiller
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Post by fillspiller » Mon Feb 15, 2010 1:34 am

JahNice wrote:just got home, have to get some sleep right now cause i got to go to
school tomorow, i ll take some more pics in the afternoon!

Look into the description, just above the photo "IMG_1682.JPG", i had
written the specs there. it is build by AEG and it also says "E-Mot" which
could mean electronic motor?. the wrench thing is for swell effect/volume
slider below the keyboard.

Saludos Yiannis
oh, i missed that. it seems it might be very similar to a common bathroom vent motor. i feel like we're close to getting this completely figured out! :)

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fillspiller
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Post by fillspiller » Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:06 am

here's some shots of how i reappropriated a bathroom vent motor to replace my missing motor:

the bathroom vent purchased at lowes for $14 (120 V, 60 Hz, .9A):
Image

text on motor:
Image
Image

the screw placement on the new motor didn't match up to the original holes, so i had to drill new ones in the mounting plate. i also had to get 2.5" screws to replace the ones the motor came with and use spacers to stabilize the unit including a nut to make it all tight on both sides of the mounting plate with locking washers on the underside. the red wire insulation is used as a shim because i drilled out the fan's spindle hole a tad too big
looking down into the fan:
Image
Image

i cut the plug off the new motor, stripped back the wires and inserted them into the connector attached to the original plug. the connector had to be moved from where you see two small holes under the label on the bottom right.
the whole assembly:
Image

you may note that i left out the volume swell arm, mostly because i'm unsure how it worked with the original motor, and it just seemed not worth messing with for very little benefit. it took me several tries to get it all to fit right, and if you use a different motor, i'm sure you'll have some tweaking to do with spacers and such to get the fan in the right position.

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JahNice
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Post by JahNice » Thu Feb 18, 2010 2:05 pm

Hey, i could not post anymore pics, cause my internet pc died on me. Had
to fix an old penium 3 @ 500 MHz, to get back online.. but i'm glad to see
you worked it out on your own.. Good job!

A Nice thing to replace the "wrench" would be a dimable motor.. So one
could control from there how much air goes through the harmophon.

Is it working good right now?

Peace Yiannis

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fillspiller
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Post by fillspiller » Sat Feb 20, 2010 5:10 am

JahNice wrote:Hey, i could not post anymore pics, cause my internet pc died on me. Had
to fix an old penium 3 @ 500 MHz, to get back online.. but i'm glad to see
you worked it out on your own.. Good job!

A Nice thing to replace the "wrench" would be a dimable motor.. So one
could control from there how much air goes through the harmophon.

Is it working good right now?

Peace Yiannis
it's working great, if not a little loud. i think i figured the idea behind the "wrench" out. it probably just closes off the hole, right? in which case i'll probably take it apart again and work it back in. now that it's all put together, though, i'll probably wait until i'm motivated to do so again. i just started another music project this week, so my musical attention is on that at the moment.

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