You are working on an organ and a bunch of stops and couplers scattered throughout the console aren't working. The 4th DK in the first column, the 1st DK in the 3rd column, the 3rd DK in the 4th column and so on. It seems random. Pull out your Technical Manual and compare the stops and couplers that aren't working to the Stop Rail Wiring Table. You may discover that it isn't random after all, there is a pattern. In this case the 4th tab in every byte (8 tabs) wasn't working.
Organist calls, tells you that when they turn on the Swell Diapason and press a key, nothing happens. The organist is able to tell you that the display for the Crescendo shoe is working, and Pedal stops play, therefore, you know that at least you have a 'Yes' to both 'Is it plugged in ?" and 'Is it turned on?'. You also have at least some of the answers to 'What exactly happen?'. What you don't yet know however is; where exactly is the problem.
3) What exactly happened?
Several years ago we had a system in a church and every so often there would be a cipher. Nobody could figure out what was going on. The builder was in there repeatedly, we even stopped in at the church on our way to the Boston AIO in 2001, all to no avail. It wasn't until we got a 'Yes' to a couple of the questions below that we figured out what was happening.
Welcome to Part 2 of my series on questions to ask when trouble shooting. In the first part you asked the question "Is it plugged in?", and you know your power supply is good, you haven't lost ground, and everything is connected, what is next?
2) Is it turned on?
Under this question I would include not just, "Did you turn they key?" (don't laugh, it has happened), and "Did you physically turn on the drawknob?", but also "Does the computer know the organist did something?" and, "Is the circuit board receiving/processing data?".
Back when I was in college studying electronics, the school I was attending had a talent competition one day. I brought my keyboard in to play, cheap thing only 61 keys, not even touch sensitive, but I was a poor student and it was free. I got myself set up on the stage, went to play, and got nothing. I glanced at the On/Off button, it was on, I glanced at the power cord, I had forgotten to plug it in. This demonstrates the first two questions every service person needs to ask when trying to solve a problem.
In honour of Classic's 40th anniversary, I've been looking back at some history and came across something I thought was interesting. I remember, back when I was in public school, Casio coming out with this keyboard which used colours associated with keys to teach people how to play the piano. Later on these keyboards started giving you feedback whether you played the right notes. I thought it was a neat idea, so did a lot of other people, and Casio made a lot of money on that product. Interesting this is, Henry is the one who invented the feed back system.
MIDIWorks (the Hauptwerk MIDI branch of Classic) showcased our products in this year's AGO Convention in Houston, Texas. For those that don't know, AGO (American Guild of Organist) hosts a convention every 2 years where organists can go to meet, connect, and explore the most up-to-date organs and organ based products/systems.
I was getting ready to post the first article in a series about "Asking the Right Questions" when I thought, this blog must be getting around the 1 year mark. So, I looked back over the articles I've done and realized that Classic Vox turned 1 year old, last month. I haven't been as consistent with it as I wanted, but I know there are lots of you out there reading it, thank you! :)