It's been several years, with a few false starts, but our new Linux-based computer system is now being installed into churches. We call this new system Maestro, and are referring to the old CCC/PCC based system, which is still available, as Legacy. 

The new computers are mounted inside the same grey metal box we use for the Legacy system, so any builder familiar with wiring the Console Control Unit will not have much of a learning curve, you still parallel wire your keyboard, pistons and stops to the lid of the box. Switch input is +12V common, stop action outputs can be positive or negative. 

The big changes the builder will see are on the side panel, to start with outputs for indicator lights have been moved to the lid. Displays such as bargraphs and numeric displays will now be wired into an interface board, this interface board then uses a standard USB cable to the computer, we configure the USB ports and will tell you what to plug in where. 

Connection to the chamber has changed as well, builders now have the choice of using a standard Ethernet cable, or going wireless. A standard off-the-shelf Ethernet Switch is used to route data to various locations, or you can put a WiFi router on the console output with a bridge in each chamber to receive. 

The biggest change from a builder's perspective between Legacy and Maestro is probably how they will interface with the system. Using any laptop, tablet, or even a smart phone, the builder can now access the system from anywhere in the world and run diagnostics, turn on stops, pistons, or keys, set software switches and masks. If the builder has a lap top, they will even be able to access the build configuration and move stops and pistons, without having to contact Classic. The builder can also move chests around in the chamber. In the future the plan is to enable the builder to even re-configure chests, not just move them around. For example, right now the builder can move the Bourdon Chest from slot 4 to slot 6 on the chamber box, in the future the builder will be able to change the quint portion of the Resultant from playing the Principal to playing the Bourdon.    

Memory levels and locks have changed as well. In Legacy there was a maximum of 256 Memory Levels and 3 sets of locks. The System Lock gives the builder access to everything in the system, the Master Lock gave the organist principally responsible for the organ access to everything except hardware configuration, individual Memory Levels could also be locked so a sub-organist or student could set up their own combination action or a few memory levels. 

A Maestro System is shipped with a default 'Organist', a set of 200 memory levels that can not be locked, but, from the default configuration additional 'Organists' can be defined, each of which can be locked. For example, we ship a system to St Paul's, the organist there, 'Tom', sets up some combination actions on various memory levels for general use. Tom has some students, so he copies the configuration of the default to a unique 'Organist' configuration for each student. Each student now has their own set of 200 memories which can only be accessed if you know the password. The 'Organists' can also be deleted if not needed.        

There's more information about Maestro elsewhere on this web site, and in the future I will probably be doing profiles of a couple installations.

 

Bye for now

Cathy

 

2015-12-23

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