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Cybrid kickstarter?
#3031384 10/02/20 03:12 PM
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Folks,
I asked CyberGene to make a kickstarter for his Cybrid, for all DIY'ers which are less adventurous or have less time than he. Take a look at https://github.com/ekumanov/cybrid/issues/1 and see if you'd like to nudge him. If enough of us do that, and if that is not too much a burden for him, this might happen.

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Re: Cybrid kickstarter?
Del Vento #3031426 10/02/20 04:54 PM
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Oh, so it was you smile

Kickstarter will be worth it if it includes a keyboard action (the real hard component to find).

The rest is rather trivial. You ask about PCB-s. I ordered mine from AllPcb.com. The Gerber files I designed are there in GitHub, so you can directly order PCB-s from them with just these files and it was pretty cheap. I know they can also provide soldered components which wasn’t too expensive either.

However I’m not very good at entrepreneurship. Actually that’s an overstatement. I suck at it! It’s a family thing 😀 I have a three year old kid and a good job. Ultimately that’s why I decided to just pour everything in GitHub for people to use and not commercialize it. But a KickStarter? Sure failure for me...

Last edited by CyberGene; 10/02/20 04:55 PM.

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Re: Cybrid kickstarter?
CyberGene #3031436 10/02/20 05:35 PM
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Yes, it was me. My github name is pretty similar to the PW one, didn't you not suspect? laugh

I understood already you have not entrepreneurship desires (so I did not write things like "so you can buy that acoustic grand" laugh ) just a small project on the side.

FWIW, getting the action may be hard in Europe, but it's damn easy in the USA. Just search for "free grand piano" in craigslist and you will find no shortage of instruments ready to pick up. If you care, I can explain the historical reasons why that's the case, since it surprised me quite a bit -- but that's the way it is!
Sure, these instruments are often in bad shape, out of tune and with cracks in the soundboard, but sometimes with decent if not good action. Bingo! Go to one of these places, make agreement with the owner, untight and remove the strings, remove the harp and the lid, remove the action, and cut in two the cabinet. At that point, you can move it in the average American-sized car, perhaps in several trips. Bring to recycle the back part of the cabinet (besides the leg), the harp and the copper-wound strings. Toss the steel strings. Put in your garage or in your shed the cabinet, the 3 legs, the lyre and the lid for later (you have all you need to assemble a N1X-shaped instrument which will likely need refinishing). Congratulations, you have all the mechanics and cabinetry you need for your hybrid piano and you spent only your time (hopefully only a weekend), the gasoline (pretty cheap in the USA) and the cost of the tuning wrench if you don't already have one. Perhaps the nice dinner you will pay to your dear friend with helping you (even the smallest baby grand harp will require two people to handle). Now start working on the action and the electronics.

Anyway, thanks for suggesting allpcb.com
Since perhaps you have spoken with them already, do you know what they need as a design for soldering? Would they do it just from the schematics or do they need anything else? From the web is not clear to me...

Thanks!!

Re: Cybrid kickstarter?
Del Vento #3031443 10/02/20 06:01 PM
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I love reading and chatting about pretty much anything, and especially about different cultures, history, fun facts, weird facts, spam and then more spam, so feel free to elaborate on the reasons why there are so many free pianos over there? It’s your thread after all but it’s also about pianos, so if that’s considered an offtopic, I don’t know... 😲

Regarding allpcb, I haven’t discussed with them anything. It’s a highly automated system, I created an account, opened a form for ordering PCB-s, chose types, materials, silk screen color, etc, uploaded the files and chose quantity, it calculated the price (might have been around $20-30 total for all of them + shipping (and duties, tax included since they ship from China), maybe $50 total and I had the PCB-a with me in a week! Mind blowing, right. But that was before the corona. But their assembly (soldering) service is also automated.


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Re: Cybrid kickstarter?
Del Vento #3031445 10/02/20 06:07 PM
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The most tedious part was soldering by hand all 17 modules + 85 sensor boards. I calculated around 5500 joints 🤮 If I have to do that again any time in my life again I will jump from my balcony instead.

So, yes, if for some reason I will be creating another version, etc. I will certainly research the assembly service. But it required min number of PCB-s and I believe it might have been something like $20 per big PCB such as the module PCB, the one with the trimpots and all.

Last edited by CyberGene; 10/02/20 06:08 PM.

My YouTube, My Soundcloud
Currently: Yamaha N1X, DIY hybrid controller -> Garritan CFX
Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
Re: Cybrid kickstarter?
CyberGene #3031486 10/02/20 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
The most tedious part was soldering by hand all 17 modules + 85 sensor boards. I calculated around 5500 joints 🤮 If I have to do that again any time in my life again I will jump from my balcony instead.

So, yes, if for some reason I will be creating another version, etc. I will certainly research the assembly service. But it required min number of PCB-s and I believe it might have been something like $20 per big PCB such as the module PCB, the one with the trimpots and all.

See? Here is where kickstarter will help laugh
Looking forward to it.

Originally Posted by CyberGene
I love reading and chatting about pretty much anything, and especially about different cultures, history, fun facts, weird facts, spam and then more spam, so feel free to elaborate on the reasons why there are so many free pianos over there? It’s your thread after all but it’s also about pianos, so if that’s considered an offtopic, I don’t know... 😲

Well, for historical accuracy someone may need to correct me, but here is my approximate version.
From the late 1800s to the Second World War, aka WWII (and even after) the USA has enjoyed an increasing prosperity and relative peace. There were enough wealthy people spread around the country and relatively less opportunities of entertainment. Towns were small and far apart, unlike Europe, and war did not destroy piano manufacturing and customers' wealth (yes, the WWII caused many piano manufacturers being drafted into building airplane parts, but that was later and not as disruptive as WWII was to Europe).
It was common to have pianos in houses in a sense like it is to have TV today (I am probably exaggerating this statement...) -- until the radio came and become widespread, the piano was the main source of music and entertainment, and the options were at home or at the saloon. Money + lack of other entertainment options = lots of pianos being built and purchased. In fact, in most churches also there was (and still is!!) a piano. I don't think I ever saw a piano in a church in Europe, while I don't think I have seen a church WITHOUT a piano in the USA. Pianos were shipped all around the country, even in remote areas.

In this context, look at how many American manufacturers existed!! I think these are all US-based, not a single European, but I may be wrong: https://antiquepianoshop.com/online-museum/

Obviously the vast majority of these instruments were cheap, and did not survive, but enough of them did and are kept in someone's house. Until someone needs to sell the house and needs to get rid of the instrument quick... Compared to the cost of the house, the value of the instrument is negligible, especially because nobody plays it since grandmother died, so the instrument went in disrepair and nobody knows how much it's worth it, if anything. For the market economy it's worth probably nothing, just because there are so many of them and serious players prefer newer instruments -- perhaps even second hand, but newer or in better condition. Hence, to get rid of them, the owners decide to give it away (so they can sell the house), and the only people looking into them are beginners kids whose parents do not want to invest money into an instrument. Yet, even with minimal repairs/tuning/adjustment plus professional moving required (certainly for the grands, some people attempt DIY moving of uprights), the cost is not less than entry level digital. Hence, many of these grands go "unsold" even with the free price tag. And could be our goldmine for DIY'ers building a small army of Cybrids

Cheers

Re: Cybrid kickstarter?
CyberGene #3031492 10/02/20 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
The most tedious part was soldering by hand all 17 modules + 85 sensor boards. I calculated around 5500 joints 🤮 If I have to do that again any time in my life again I will jump from my balcony instead.

So, yes, if for some reason I will be creating another version, etc. I will certainly research the assembly service. But it required min number of PCB-s and I believe it might have been something like $20 per big PCB such as the module PCB, the one with the trimpots and all.

17*$20 for the larger PCB + something for the small ones, could be $400 + parts + PCB printing itself. Not exactly inexpensive, but doable, especially if the professional services guarantees success: I am sure some DIY could screw up some of the soldering and would appreciate the partially assembled electronics.

Even if we make just 10 instruments of them via kickstarter (or other means), that will be almost 1,000 sensor boards and almost 200 big PCBs, so maybe we qualify for the first tier of volume discount? I think it makes more sense to do this collectively (it may not need to be you, even though your help will be well appreciated), rather than each one on their own.... but let's see if others chime in and if the enthusiasm is still there or if it has withered.

I actually played a bit with the PCB Assembly Quote at https://allpcb.com/ and for just assembly it estimates about $170 for one instrument but it goes down to $40 each for 10 instruments (I put on the big PCB only, since the others are probably rounding error with the kind of estimate I am making). To me, this option sounds really appealing. Even adding the other PCBs, the printing costs and the parts price, it sounds it might stay under $100. At this volume, for most countries the shipping is also free. Even increasing the number of parts and joints to match your $20 per PCB ($400 for one instrument), it still goes down to about $60 per instrument when making 10 at the same time.
Am I making some big mistake?

Re: Cybrid kickstarter?
Del Vento #3031536 10/03/20 02:52 AM
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Thanks for the explanation regarding pianos in the US. It makes sense. Situation in Europe is much different. You can open the Klaviano site and search for grands, they are mostly in Western Europe and the prices asked are ridiculous even for century old instruments in dubious condition. The same price will get you a brand new Kawai/Yamaha baby grand which of course is just a baby grand but a modern and a very reliable one that just plays, no need for expensive restorations. And then, let’s see Bulgaria, a poor country that lost both world wars, then followed 45 years of totalitarian rule under the Soviets, then an abrupt transition into democracy where ruthless oligarchs and criminals stole what was left, privatized working factories to only steal more and bankrupt them... And you will see why there are a total of 5 grands sold in entire Bulgaria 🤣 And cr*ppy ones at that...

Your calculations might not be too much off. I believe that’s a good approximation.

I still believe what I did was a rather poor attempt. When you look at something from aside it looks like an impressive achievement but I’m sure many decisions I made are not optimal and can be improved, especially on the electronics side. I believe the many trimpots can be eliminated by relying on precise placement of the sensors and just setting an entire group of sensors to use the same voltages, etc. My power supply is a very weak solution too.

Also, each piano has different geometry of the action, hammer rail, split sections, rail profile, etc. This will require for people to DIY the PCB and sensor frames, as well as the stop rail, individually. It’s not a big deal, I made the entire frame from aluminum profiles that I cut and drilled with a hacksaw and hand drill, took a day in total but the actual decision how it will be located took me months of just sitting and looking at the action 😁


My YouTube, My Soundcloud
Currently: Yamaha N1X, DIY hybrid controller -> Garritan CFX
Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
Re: Cybrid kickstarter?
Del Vento #3031551 10/03/20 05:06 AM
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I thought a kickstarter was a pedal on motorcycle. Step on it to start the engine.
Clearly that's not what's meant here. So ... can someone explain what is a kickstarter?

Re: Cybrid kickstarter?
Del Vento #3031553 10/03/20 05:15 AM
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Guys, let's start a kickstarter and raise money to hire a "professional" to kidnap CyberGene and start a midi controller sweatshop. Who's with me!

Re: Cybrid kickstarter?
Del Vento #3031558 10/03/20 05:58 AM
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Kickstarter (www.kickstarter.com) is where scammers scam money from clueless people by presenting "revolutionary product ideas" which are only revolutionary in the sense that they are impossible according to the known laws of physics.

Perpetual motion machines and stuff like that. 😁

Well, not quite, but unrealistic/unfeasible ideas anyway. And after a while the "Where's the product? I want my money back!" comments start to appear.

And maybe there are some serious and realistic product ideas too. Like the Cybrid could be.

Re: Cybrid kickstarter?
Del Vento #3031582 10/03/20 07:10 AM
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What about my ‘Teleporting Helmet 2.0’, do you think that’s a joke/scam?

Now, I am not talking about ‘Star Trek’ type teleporting (where one is disintegrated here in order to be re-integrated there). No, my helmet only teleports your consciousness, whilst your biological body sits comfortably at home.

Your consciousness is ‘uploaded’ onto an avatar of your choice. The avatar can look exactly like you or ‘it’ can look like most anything you want (we are adding new avatars on a daily basis). Get creative and choose one from our currently available avatars: you, a dog, a fly, a horse, or a horse’s a$$!

All this while the real you is resting at home wearing my trademarked helmet!

Who’s in? laugh

Re: Cybrid kickstarter?
Del Vento #3031585 10/03/20 07:21 AM
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"Thunderf00t" on YouTube will debunk your "Teleporting Helmet 2.0" and explain why it's unfeasible based on the laws of physics.

Re: Cybrid kickstarter?
Pete14 #3031587 10/03/20 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Pete14
Who’s in? laugh

Nah... I'd rather teleporting gloves. A 'jazz hands' version preferably. 🎶


Learning to play. Consciously incompetent, which apparently is a good starting point. smirk
Re: Cybrid kickstarter?
Del Vento #3031590 10/03/20 07:41 AM
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.....we’re working on that, too; so don’t you get any ideas on developing anything similar, or you will have a lawsuit coming your way! laugh

Yes, we will offer ‘Jazz hands’ amongst many others like ‘Wang and Lola hands’, ‘Lang Lang hands’, and even ‘Trump tiny hands’ (‘Trump tiny hands’ will be programmed to play the piano).

Re: Cybrid kickstarter?
Pete14 #3031604 10/03/20 08:21 AM
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Now, getting back on topic... From CG comments I assume the kickstarter is not going to happen, but if more people are interested in sharing the cost of a pcb/electronics order, count me in...

Re: Cybrid kickstarter?
CyberGene #3031615 10/03/20 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
I still believe what I did was a rather poor attempt. When you look at something from aside it looks like an impressive achievement but I’m sure many decisions I made are not optimal and can be improved, especially on the electronics side. I believe the many trimpots can be eliminated by relying on precise placement of the sensors and just setting an entire group of sensors to use the same voltages, etc. My power supply is a very weak solution too.

Also, each piano has different geometry of the action, hammer rail, split sections, rail profile, etc. This will require for people to DIY the PCB and sensor frames, as well as the stop rail, individually. It’s not a big deal, I made the entire frame from aluminum profiles that I cut and drilled with a hacksaw and hand drill, took a day in total but the actual decision how it will be located took me months of just sitting and looking at the action 😁

There is no way out of the mechanics, unless you want a new, industrialized product, sold by major manufacturing. So let's leave that part alone since this is a DIY project: people will need to do the mechanical matching on their action.

Regarding the electronics, like software, there is always room for improvement. It's hard for a DIY to reach state of the practice, impossible to reach state of the art. The perfect is the enemy of good. There will always be room for a Cybrid II. So let's not worry about that.
For the Cybrid I, it works, so it's good enough, isn't it? Are you going to toss it, or are you still using it? Let's just worry if there is there anything that could be improved easily. I remember you changing the version of one chip and getting fast readout time. Is that pin-compatible, i.e. basically already done? And what is it the readout time, or in other words the time resolution when measuring the MIDI velocity?
For the very important power supply (*), I though to make it battery powered and forget the issues with ripple. An easy solution would be the "on-off" switch to be a double switch: turning on the piano disconnects the power supply (so no ripple) and connects the battery, turning the piano off disconnects the battery from the piano and place it to the AC charger, and for that purpose the ripple is irrelevant. Easy-peasy, but with the potential drawback of not long playing time allowed. How much power does it draw? Plenty of USB battery-packs available inexpensively, perhaps one of the big ones would allow enough hours for this to be a non-issue, but I don't know.

(*) for people lost in this: for technical reasons the DC power supply must be very stable to achieve an accurate MIDI velocity measurement; getting the DC from the AC of your plug in the wall will have a residual oscillation since AC means "alternate" hence not constant; this can be solved but it is electronically complex and somewhat expensive; a battery does not suffer from this issue and therefore could be a good and inexpensive workaround.

Originally Posted by vagfilm
Now, getting back on topic... From CG comments I assume the kickstarter is not going to happen, but if more people are interested in sharing the cost of a pcb/electronics order, count me in...

Ok, so we are two, one in USA and the other in Europe. Let's see if we can get to at least 10 to achieve some economy of scale.

Re: Cybrid kickstarter?
Del Vento #3031616 10/03/20 08:59 AM
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I’d be glad helping you and stuff. But I’d be really happy to see smart heads improving the design 🤓


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Currently: Yamaha N1X, DIY hybrid controller -> Garritan CFX
Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200

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