Author Topic: 3D printed jig for winding rhodes pickups  (Read 2444 times)

Offline adcbicycle

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3D printed jig for winding rhodes pickups
« on: April 03, 2017, 08:18:09 AM »
How do you wind your rhodes pick ups?
Do you do it by hand?
Is there a machine out there to do it?

I'm 3D printing a jig to do it because I had such a hard time trying to figure out how to hold and spin the oddly shaped pickup.
Would other people be interested if I printed several of these jigs?

Offline PaulHelmuth

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Re: 3D printed jig for winding rhodes pickups
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2017, 11:20:19 AM »
adcbicycle,

I hope I never have to rewind a pickup - but I think it's fairly common.

I would like to see some pics of what you have done though. And if I did have to rewind one, I'd probably be very interested in one of your jigs.

-Paul

Offline adcbicycle

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Re: 3D printed jig for winding rhodes pickups
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2017, 11:27:19 AM »
ok, I'll post some pictures when it's done. 80% there now.

Offline adcbicycle

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Re: 3D printed jig for winding rhodes pickups
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2017, 09:08:03 AM »
Some progress:

Offline pianotuner steveo

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Re: 3D printed jig for winding rhodes pickups
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2017, 05:12:17 PM »
That is so cool...good job!
1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
1975 Rhodes Piano Bass
1979 Wurlitzer 206A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 200A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 270 Butterfly Grand
2000 Yamaha acoustic piano
2004 Hammond XK3
2009 73A Rhodes Mark 7
2009 Korg SV-1 73
....and a few guitars...

Offline 4kinga

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Re: 3D printed jig for winding rhodes pickups
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2017, 08:51:21 AM »
That is awesome!
Are you considering selling any?!

Offline David Aubke

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Re: 3D printed jig for winding rhodes pickups
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2017, 09:14:43 AM »
That looks awesome!

If I may make a couple of suggestions:
1. The magnet wire used in Rhodes pickups is heavy enough to tolerate it but normally, you'd feed the wire off the end of the spool. Most pickup wire for guitars is much lighter and can't handle the tension needed to turn the whole spool. I guess since this is just for Rhodes, it's OK as-is but you might think about turning the spool 90 degrees.
2. I feel like more space between the spool and the wire guide would make this easier to use. You've got to get your hands in there to steer the wire and regulate tension.
3. Is there a counter anywhere in there?

Here's my homebrew rig. It could really use better bearing mounts like yours has.

(In this configuration, I'm transferring wire from one pickup (with a damaged center lead) to another.)
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Offline rhodesjuzz

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Re: 3D printed jig for winding rhodes pickups
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2017, 01:04:54 PM »
You guys have awesome gear. Get a copyright for your ideas and you could sell these ;)

Maybe VV as a reseller? :)
1976 Rhodes Suitcase 73 <effects loop || EHX Holy Grail Nano>
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Offline adcbicycle

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Re: 3D printed jig for winding rhodes pickups
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2017, 02:19:44 PM »
Ah ha, another jig!! Happy to see I'm not the only one who had trouble doing it without one.

Thanks for those tips David!
Why do you suggest the spool at 90 degrees? I was thinking I'd use the fact that the wire is coiled on the spool in order to get an even horizontal distribution on the pickup. How are you doing this? Are you manipulating it by hand?
I have yet to test it, so I think your point about getting the right tension may be a factor. I was hoping to have it all done automatically, but yes, I imagine I'll have to get my hands in there.
I was considering a counter as an add on, that digital one you have looks nice, where did you get it?

4kinga: I imagine that after I get a working version it will be easy to print off some extra parts to make some to sell, stay tuned!

Offline PaulHelmuth

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Re: 3D printed jig for winding rhodes pickups
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2017, 03:11:29 PM »
Well Done adcbicycle!

Fishing reals come to mind when you mention tension and distribution. Maybe that can provide you with some inspiration for parts, design, ideas.

-Paul

Offline David Aubke

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Re: 3D printed jig for winding rhodes pickups
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2017, 03:27:22 PM »
Why do you suggest the spool at 90 degrees?

We sell winders for guitar pickups at my day job. In the instructions for the Schatten winder, it says
Pickup wire isn’t meant to feed off a rotating spool. It’s too thin to take the strain of turning the spool. Instead, let the wire feed off the end of the spool vertically, about 3 or 4 feet below the winder
Rhodes pickup wire is much thicker than the wire they're talking about but it's still an unnecessary risk.


I was thinking I'd use the fact that the wire is coiled on the spool in order to get an even horizontal distribution on the pickup. How are you doing this? Are you manipulating it by hand?
Yes, I run the wire between pinched fingers so that I can both control the distribution across the bobbin as well as the tension. There is vigorous debate in the tone-nerd community regarding which is better: machine wound or 'scatter wound'. I've never heard of someone using the supply spool to control distribution but that's probably because you're not supposed to be unrolling it like that.

I was considering a counter as an add on, that digital one you have looks nice, where did you get it?
https://www.amazon.com/Counter-Digital-Proximity-Switch-Magnetic/dp/B01875612U
« Last Edit: April 12, 2017, 03:32:49 PM by David Aubke »
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Offline Max Brink

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Re: 3D printed jig for winding rhodes pickups
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2017, 11:44:35 PM »
Very cool! I enjoy the funky colors! These days you hear of people worried about automation taking jobs but I'm very optimistic what 3D printing and automation can bring to small businesses and creative endeavors. I don't mean to get into a political discussion but on one hand you can employ a lot of people hand wiring guitar pickups in the 1950's but today we can 3D print parts for automated pickup wing! That's amazing!

--You can probably 3D print whatever you call the plastic between the mounting for the bobbin and windings as well. I think that experimenting with changes between the wirings could be an interesting thing to study! What happens when we overwind and underwind rhodes pickups??? I'd love to experiment as a full set!
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Offline adcbicycle

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Re: 3D printed jig for winding rhodes pickups
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2017, 08:38:41 AM »
That's true, you could print that part. It would be a bit difficult to remove and reuse the magnet tip and metal support arm though... especially for an entire piano set.

Testing different number of windings should be an easy experiment though. I would bet the effect of more windings would be an increased volume, so similar to moving the pick up closer the tine. I could be wrong though.

Offline David Aubke

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Re: 3D printed jig for winding rhodes pickups
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2017, 08:57:58 AM »
the plastic between the mounting for the bobbin and windings

I just can't figure out what you're talking about here. To me, the only plastic part involved is the bobbin itself.


Testing different number of windings should be an easy experiment though. I would bet the effect of more windings would be an increased volume, so similar to moving the pick up closer the tine. I could be wrong though.

The first two rewinds I ever did were for a Fifty Four with white-tape pickups. It didn't occur to me that the magnet wire would be such a heavy gauge so I used regular guitar pickup wire that I had on-hand. Instead of measuring the resistance, I measured the diameter of the coil to decide when I was done. The result was a pickup with at least 50% more wraps than standard. Someday, I'll be digging that Fifty Four back out and I can speak more authoritatively about the effect but at the time, I didn't even notice while playing.

More wraps should basically equal more volume. But it also generally means a warmer sound - "warm" being a euphemism for muddy. I'd be more interested in reducing the wraps or alternating reverse-wrapped pickups or something like that.

For me, reducing the output strength of the individual pickups and/or the entire circuit results in tone with more character - more distinct individual notes with bell-like sound. This is why I rewired my Fifty Four to be more like a Seventy Three.

[edit]
I forgot I had made recordings of the two configurations - the Fifty Four's original all-series vs. sets of three in series like a Seventy Three. I can hear a difference and I definitely like the weaker signal.
All series
Series/Parallel
[/edit]
« Last Edit: April 13, 2017, 09:03:32 AM by David Aubke »
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Offline adcbicycle

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Re: 3D printed jig for winding rhodes pickups
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2017, 10:16:21 AM »
Interesting! The parallel definitely sounds a lot brighter to me. My 1980 73 has sets of 5 or 6 pickups in series I believe, so I would think it would be in between your 2 examples.

What size wire did you end up using after your trials David? I'm trying 36AWG.

Offline David Aubke

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Re: 3D printed jig for winding rhodes pickups
« Reply #15 on: April 13, 2017, 10:23:37 AM »
What size wire did you end up using after your trials David? I'm trying 36AWG.

I use 36 or 37 ("220, 221... whatever it takes"). I don't remember which I was able to get my hands on but I don't think it makes any difference.
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Offline Max Brink

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Re: 3D printed jig for winding rhodes pickups
« Reply #16 on: April 13, 2017, 09:20:16 PM »
My apologies for using the wrong terminology. I'm no expert when it comes to pickup design/theory but I'm very fascinated by it and would love to here what kind of alternate tones you could produce by altering magnet type, wire diameter, pole piece shape/diameter...
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Offline adcbicycle

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Re: 3D printed jig for winding rhodes pickups
« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2017, 10:09:01 PM »
Seems to be working!
https://youtu.be/ffbsw7MbhUI

I tried a few different methods of guiding the wire and it seems the best is just to use my finger. The machine is somewhat automatic but requires a little manual guiding because the width of the wire spool is larger then the width of the pickup.
I see your point David of leaving some more space to allow the manual guiding. But I'm probably going to leave as is so that the whole machine is compact and simple.

Next steps, refining the design and adding a counter.

Offline adcbicycle

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Re: 3D printed jig for winding rhodes pickups
« Reply #18 on: April 15, 2017, 11:15:55 PM »
And to remove the wire from the pickup, you just move the drive belt to the spool side:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQi0sbWM0xM

Offline JanneI

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Re: 3D printed jig for winding rhodes pickups
« Reply #19 on: April 17, 2017, 10:53:15 AM »
Cool!  8) Much better than mine dirty fast solution :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bv1raPnFmvg

Offline adcbicycle

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Re: 3D printed jig for winding rhodes pickups
« Reply #20 on: April 17, 2017, 11:04:00 AM »
Great counter!

Offline David Aubke

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Re: 3D printed jig for winding rhodes pickups
« Reply #21 on: April 17, 2017, 12:07:15 PM »
Dave Aubke
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Offline adcbicycle

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Re: 3D printed jig for winding rhodes pickups
« Reply #22 on: April 17, 2017, 07:46:25 PM »
That is amazing! Ingenious use of a mouse.
Also good to know you thought 3100 was about the right number.

In the interest of keeping things small, cheap and simple, I'm thinking I'll incorporate one of these into my winder: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Mini-Digit-LCD-Electronic-Digital-Golf-Finger-H-Held-Tally-Row-Counter/32773715123.html

Offline Badoumba

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Re: 3D printed jig for winding rhodes pickups
« Reply #23 on: May 15, 2017, 05:34:59 PM »
My Mark 1 has 73 hand wounded pickups, for a less bright sound but more harmonics. No gear or tools. It took me a complete week but I am glad I took the time for doing it!

Offline David Aubke

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Re: 3D printed jig for winding rhodes pickups
« Reply #24 on: May 16, 2017, 07:16:26 AM »
My Mark 1 has 73 hand wounded pickups, for a less bright sound but more harmonics. No gear or tools. It took me a complete week but I am glad I took the time for doing it!
You wound 226,300 wraps by hand? That's dedication.
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Offline adcbicycle

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Re: 3D printed jig for winding rhodes pickups
« Reply #25 on: May 18, 2017, 11:24:51 AM »
My Mark 1 has 73 hand wounded pickups, for a less bright sound but more harmonics. No gear or tools. It took me a complete week but I am glad I took the time for doing it!

That is insane! I can't imagine doing a single pick up by hand.

What number of winds did you use for this sound?

Offline sinemod

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Re: 3D printed jig for winding rhodes pickups
« Reply #26 on: October 10, 2018, 03:50:11 PM »
Hi Guys where can i find the wire use in the fender Rhodes pickup

Offline aoliver

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Re: 3D printed jig for winding rhodes pickups
« Reply #27 on: November 30, 2018, 01:23:21 PM »
Hi Guys where can i find the wire use in the fender Rhodes pickup

I think any 37 AWG magnet wire would do. Try looking at transformer stores.

Offline aoliver

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Re: 3D printed jig for winding rhodes pickups
« Reply #28 on: November 30, 2018, 01:32:21 PM »
Hello guys,
Hello guys,

I'm Alvaro from Chile and this is my second post.

What do you guys think about 3D printing my own pickups bobbins? It should be fairly easy, since David Aubke published Sketchup 3D models for the entire pickup some time ago.

Is there any trade-off using ABS or PLA plastic to print this part?

Regards

Offline sean

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Re: 3D printed jig for winding rhodes pickups
« Reply #29 on: November 30, 2018, 06:40:34 PM »

If you drop your Rhodes in the ocean, the PLA pickups will only last two years.  The ABS will last for centuries.


I would think that both would be fine for just being a bobbin to hold the pickup windings, the tip, and the magnet slug.

You want to find a compatible glue to secure the slug to the tip.  Old Rhodes pickups seemed to have a lot more sloppy adhesive on the pickups than later models.  I don't even think the glue is required, because the magnetic slug holds on to the tip pretty tightly.  I bet the glued-in slug was required for factory production and parts shipment.

The bobbin material has to be flexible enough to survive the force-fit mounting of the tip.

I would think the only difficult situation that the pickup bobbin material has to endure is the soldering of the pickup terminals.  The pickup terminals get up to 850°F or 500°C when heated by a soldering iron, and the terminal can melt the bobbin and get loose or fall out.  If you work quickly, the bottom of the terminal doesn't get hot enough to melt the bobbin; but if you aren't careful and efficient, it is pretty easy to ruin a pickup.  So maybe you should choose the bobbin material based on stability and strength when heated.

Sean