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My DIY hi hats

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  • My DIY hi hats

    Here's my interpretation of a hidden hi hat controller. Using the ideas found here with some scrap PVC pipe, a PVC test cap, and a spring from the local hardware store, I was able to put this together this weekend. It works great! The edge switch was cut from 0.003" brass shim stock. I'll have to see how long it holds up. So far, so good. It edge triggers and chokes well. The dampening material is vinyl shelf liner from WallyWorld. Its easy to work with, cheap, and works really well to cut noise. There's still the usual quiet "thwock" when the hats come together, and the strikes on the top cymbal could be a little more quiet, but in my situation, it isn't a problem. Since I used the cymbal as one of the switch contacts, I only needed three wires for the piezo and switch, so I'm adding an 1/8" stereo plug and jack between the hats for easy separating. As it is, it moves from one hi hat stand to the next in a flash and was easy to fine tune the height with the nuts on the clutch.








  • #2
    Looks good. The real question will be how long the potentiometer holds up for.
    TD-6v, (3x)CY-8, (4x)PD-8's (2x)PD-6's (1x)PD-80R (1)KD-8 http://www.cstoliker.com/Drums/

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    • #3
      looks great simple yet effective design. this might be my next project if it lasts a fairly long time.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Poco Askew View Post
        It works great! The edge switch was cut from 0.003" brass shim stock. I'll have to see how long it holds up. So far, so good. It edge triggers and chokes well.
        That is a nice clean design you have there. I have never heard of someone choking a hihat though. Either you are referring to when the hihat controller is completely closed, or you made a two-zone that has a membrane switch for an edge switch and it just happens to be chokeable. Based on the pictures, I would say that you have your edge/choke on the top. I love utilizing top-mounted chokes myself. I usually like to use copper tape, but I am all out. Where did you get your brass from?
        sigpic

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        • #5
          Originally posted by cheapthrill View Post
          That is a nice clean design you have there. I have never heard of someone choking a hihat though. Either you are referring to when the hihat controller is completely closed, or you made a two-zone that has a membrane switch for an edge switch and it just happens to be chokeable. Based on the pictures, I would say that you have your edge/choke on the top. I love utilizing top-mounted chokes myself. I usually like to use copper tape, but I am all out. Where did you get your brass from?
          Thanks guys!

          I agree - I usually don't choke hats on an acoustic kit, but I've seen it done for effect. And yes, the edge switch is on top. I wasn't expecting it to choke, but when the module is set to VH-12, I get bow and edge sounds, and it can be choked just like a crash.

          I've since made a small modification that smooths the top by removing the grommet and running the wire straight down through a small hole directly under the switch.

          My concern before starting the project was the longevity of the pot. It can be replaced in a couple of minutes, costs $1.22, and I don't gig with the kit, so its not too much of an issue. I may try to implement a rotary pot in another design, since they usually last longer.

          The brass shim stock has been hanging around the garage for many many years. I think it came from a scrap metal yard, but IDK for sure.

          [EDIT]

          I just googled "brass shim stock" and found lots of places that sell it - about $4.50 for 6" x 18" and $22 for 6" x 100". Might be a hassle. I'd check with a local metal supply. I live in a small town, but our steel yard has a prety good selection of brass, stainless, copper and aluminum (along with mild steel).
          Last edited by Poco Askew; 01-10-09, 11:39 PM.

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          • #6
            Could you talk us through the edge switch trigger build please?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by spanner View Post
              Could you talk us through the edge switch trigger build please?
              Its the same as the edge switch on a crash or ride. I made a template out of paper. Then cut double-sided tape and a plastic insulating layer to fit it. The plastic is also 0.003" from some packaging - like the clear tops they put on greeting card boxes (somewhat rigid, yet flexible). Next I cut some 26 ga. sheet steel, soldered a wire to it, and layered it up. I found the steel too difficult to depress to close the switch. That's when I replaced it with the brass. Since one contact is actually the cymbal, only one wire is needed. I originally ran it down through a small grommet next to the switch. I've since moved that wire to underneath the top contact where it feeds down through a 1/4" hole and runs under the cymbal to the 1/8" TRS phone plug/jack disconnect. This change just cleaned up the top of the cymbal to make it a little smoother. The second wire of the switch can be seen in the first picture of my OP, where it is connected to the cymbal via a ring terminal on the dual (trigger and controller) 1/4" TRS jack mount.
              Its all sealed up now, but here are some pic's from the construction with the steel "membrane". The dark line is felt pen.

              I hope this is understandable and helps. Good luck!

              Template, switch and double-sided tape with top backing still on:


              Switch in place:
              Last edited by Poco Askew; 01-11-09, 08:38 AM.

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              • #8
                That is great stuff. Very clean and innovative.
                sigpic

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                • #9
                  Can you provide the exact PVC parts you used? I attempted this same thing in my thread here: http://www.vdrums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=42133 and couldn't find parts that would fit inside the hats and still allow the hats to close completely. Your hats can close completely right?

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                  • #10
                    Poco,

                    Fantastic build. I'd love to see some schematics/plans of your PVC/spring components. Very nice and innovative design.

                    I usually like to use copper tape, but I am all out.
                    Not to hijack this thread but I'd like to ask Cheapthrill about the copper tape. Do you use this as the actual switch component or as a way to solder to a cymbal? Also, what kind of tape do you use? You can PM me so as not to hijack this thread.

                    Thanks,
                    Dan

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by lidrummer View Post
                      Poco,

                      Fantastic build. I'd love to see some schematics/plans of your PVC/spring components. Very nice and innovative design.


                      Not to hijack this thread but I'd like to ask Cheapthrill about the copper tape. Do you use this as the actual switch component or as a way to solder to a cymbal? Also, what kind of tape do you use? You can PM me so as not to hijack this thread.

                      Thanks,
                      Dan
                      Feel free to hijack! I'm easy.
                      I'm curious too about the copper tape since I have no idea how long this shim stock will last. Its just what I had laying around. Give me a few minutes and I'll see what I can come up with for a parts list. I'll see if I can post a schematic, but I do my design on an ancient Mac notebook running ClarisCAD. I don't know how I'll survive when it dies. I doesn't do the internet, but I might be able to do some file conversion and get something worth looking at.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by lidrummer View Post
                        Poco,

                        Fantastic build. I'd love to see some schematics/plans of your PVC/spring components. Very nice and innovative design.


                        Not to hijack this thread but I'd like to ask Cheapthrill about the copper tape. Do you use this as the actual switch component or as a way to solder to a cymbal? Also, what kind of tape do you use? You can PM me so as not to hijack this thread.

                        Thanks,
                        Dan
                        I don't think Poco would mind a quick post here because we are both using top-mounted membrane switches. I just posted a thread about my three-zone ride using copper tape, check it out and feel free to ask me anything over there...
                        http://vdrums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=46118

                        Once again... nice work, Poco.
                        sigpic

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Gastric View Post
                          Can you provide the exact PVC parts you used? I attempted this same thing in my thread here: http://www.vdrums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=42133 and couldn't find parts that would fit inside the hats and still allow the hats to close completely. Your hats can close completely right?
                          Yes - they do close completely, with at least 1/4" to spare - maybe more. Of course that will all depend on the shape of your hats. I'm using the cheapest junk I could find (sorry to any Planet 'Z' owners). The limiting factor is the slide pot. The one I used is 1.98" long. The large diameter cylinder overall height is 2-3/8" tall. It could be slightly shorter and still allow the pot to mount, maybe as little as 2-1/8". In my case, that would give me about a 1/2" of "fudge room" and still get the hats completely closed. I'm working up a parts list and diagram. When finished I'll be back...

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                          • #14
                            Converting my drawing isn't working well. Bitmap is the only common denominator and the quality isn't good enough after scaling to provide good detail. So please refer to the pictures in this thread, especially the two in this post. I think I can cover all the details better this way. Of course dimensions could vary based on your particular hi hats and stand.

                            The place to start: Grab a piece of 1-1/2" diameter PVC pipe and cut it to about 2-3/8" long. Set it between your hats. If they will still close, you're good to go. If not, this design with this specific pot will work with anything over about 2". You'll just have to be very careful in the layout and mounting of the slide pot. If you don't have 2" and can find a shorter slide pot, its overall length is the minimum you need between your hats (plus a little for clearance).

                            First the larger cylinder was cut from standard 1-1/2" schedule 40 PVC plumbing pipe. The OD for this pipe is about 1.670" (sorry ex-machinist; I'm used to giving dimensions in 1/1000's of an inch). The ID is not critical in this project. The pipe was finished to a length of 2-1/4". Then a 2" plumbing test cap was glued (welded) to one end with PVC cement and trimmed to the same OD as the pipe. The test cap was center drilled with a 7/16" bit, which gives a good snug slip fit over the hi hat stand's rod bushing. This test cap is 1/8" thick so the overall length of the finished cylinder is 2-3/8".

                            Mounting holes for the pot were drilled, keeping the top of the pot about 1/8" below the top of the cylinder when mounted. The pot I used is an Alpha from Mouser http://www.mouser.com/Search/ProductDetail.aspx?qs=NPkb10g2yLAN%252b1x1iUgHcA%3 d%3d
                            It has it's mounting holes on 1.77" centers. One small caution with this particular pot; it is designed for 2.6mm mounting screws. In my small town the only thing available is 2.5mm. I don't know who the genius was that decided we need two different screws 0.1mm (0.004") different in diameter, but I'd like to shoot him. Luckily, both screws have the same pitch threads, so the 2.5mm, while slightly loose, works and holds just fine.

                            Opposite the mounting screw holes, I drilled some larger holes which makes it easy to get a small screwdriver through the cylinder to the screws and mount the pot. The final work on this piece was to cut the slot for the pot's lever. The pot has 30mm of travel, but I cut the slot about 1/16" shorter at each end. I still get 0 ohms at one end and 24.5K ohms at the other and I figure I'd rather have the PVC pipe take the impact of the hi hat moving up and down, rather than the pot itself. Done with this part!

                            The plunger is also made of scrap PVC pipe. The main length is cut from 1/2" pipe. Finish length with my hats is 1-1/4". This is the last dimension I finished after testing everything with sound deadening between the cymbals and a centered position with the nuts on my hi hat clutch. YMMV - probably between 1" and 1-1/2". The spring "retainer" was cut from 3/4" pipe. I drilled out the center of it with a 5/8" bit, since that gave a good fit over the OD of the 1/2" pipe. Glued it with PVC cement. I then notched the ring of this "spring retainer" to allow the pot lever to get past it. A simpler design I think would work is to omit this 3/4" pipe piece and just epoxy a cut flat washer on the end of the 1/2" pipe. It will keep the plunger centered on the hi hat rod and give a good bearing surface for the spring. In my method, I cut the 3/4" pipe so it sticks down about 1/8" - just enough to hold and keep the spring centered.

                            Next I drilled a hole just above the spring retainer to accept the pot lever. A #26 drill is perfect, but more common sizes will work (9/64" would be tight and 5/32" is max). Last thing for this piece, after the overall length is established, is to epoxy a cut washer on the top to hold it centered. A #10 washer is a perfect fit for the hi hat rod and plunger diameters. By tipping the larger cylinder a little, the plunger will fit past the pot lever, but it holds like a champ once everything is centered.

                            Hardware notes: I had to trim 1/8" off the end of the pot lever to keep it from interfering with the hi hat rod. The spring is part number C-692 from Ace Hardware. It is 1-1/2" long x 5/8" diameter x .041" thick wire. http://www.acehardware.com/product/i...gkw=C-692&sr=1 I didn't pay this much!!

                            Sorry this is so long. Did I cover everything? Ask away if I was unclear on anything.


                            Last edited by Poco Askew; 01-29-09, 08:39 AM.

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                            • #15
                              I feel like I could make one of these based on your description; it is very detailed and I like it like that.

                              I personally can't stand how many different sizes and threads a screw can have, especially when there is only a 0.1mm difference!
                              sigpic

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