Author Topic: Optical trigger advice please  (Read 494 times)

Optical trigger advice please
« on: April 28, 2022, 12:00:57 PM »
I have a Alesis trigger IO and a DM ten and I'm trying to get this optical hi-hat to work.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/rHfVdi3je4idmqap6


The optical sensor is powered with a five volt supply (in the project box clipped to the stand) and the output from the sensor goes to the mono jack socket.Then to either the Trigger IO or the DM ten .
The 'cymbal' a Roland CY eight has a stereo jack out. Presumably the edge sensor is one of the pair coming out.

And I've fitted a box, mainly as a spacer, with reflective tape on the underside.

The sensor is working I can see the green leds in the box going on and off as I use the pedal. I just don't know how to connect/set it up properly. My dyscalculia doesn't help.
(numerical equivalent of dyslexia) so I get a bit lost with midi and cc numbers.
If anyone can explain it in simple terms I'd be grateful.

There's a picture of the boxes I used with part info if anyone else is doing this. I got them from 'rapidonline.com' They seem sturdy enough to take the hi-hat bouncing off them.
I hadn't clipped the bottom box back in properly in the side on photo. It does fit better than that.
I cut a rubber washer to fit under the top box. Sticking a cake cutter upside down on the stove and then pushing it onto an old mouse mat cut the perfect circle by the way. Don't tell the baker in the house you're doing it though :-)

Offline Chaser

Re: Optical trigger advice please
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2022, 06:51:24 PM »
I have a Alesis trigger IO and a DM ten and I'm trying to get this optical hi-hat to work.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/rHfVdi3je4idmqap6


The optical sensor is powered with a five volt supply (in the project box clipped to the stand) and the output from the sensor goes to the mono jack socket.Then to either the Trigger IO or the DM ten .
The 'cymbal' a Roland CY eight has a stereo jack out. Presumably the edge sensor is one of the pair coming out.

And I've fitted a box, mainly as a spacer, with reflective tape on the underside.

The sensor is working I can see the green leds in the box going on and off as I use the pedal. I just don't know how to connect/set it up properly. My dyscalculia doesn't help.
(numerical equivalent of dyslexia) so I get a bit lost with midi and cc numbers.
If anyone can explain it in simple terms I'd be grateful.

There's a picture of the boxes I used with part info if anyone else is doing this. I got them from 'rapidonline.com' They seem sturdy enough to take the hi-hat bouncing off them.
I hadn't clipped the bottom box back in properly in the side on photo. It does fit better than that.
I cut a rubber washer to fit under the top box. Sticking a cake cutter upside down on the stove and then pushing it onto an old mouse mat cut the perfect circle by the way. Don't tell the baker in the house you're doing it though :-)

Welcome to the Forum !

I have fabricated many versions (pedal stand,retrofits) of an optical Hi Hat with different emmiters/receivers etc including using the TCRT5000 module and various boards etc.The emmitters/receivers vary and you have to watch quality control as some are misaligned including offset installation on boards so YMMV.
The best reflector is white..IR does not work well with Black and chrome/mirror surfaces seem to cause mistriggering , like you find if the threshold is off or too low.
I presume since you mentioned MIDI that you are planning to use an Arduino setup?.
The photos posted do not show the jack being TRS.These setups typically have + to tip..signal (A) to ring..- to sleeve.
I see you have a project box on the stand..is that the power source/supply?
Is the reflector a honeycomb material or is that just a peel off protective covering?

There is something never mentioned through all of these Optical Hi Hat projects and it's important.
ALL E-drum modules/Hi Hat Controller circuit have voltage present at the input.
I can't list the voltages for all brands/manufacturers as I have not tested everything there is out there.
The Alesis/Medeli modules all vary but are in the 3-3.7 DC voltage range.
Full voltage = open pedal..0 voltage = closed...resistance is applied until voltage is shut off.
The range of the controller voltage (along with the Hi Hat cymbal input) and how it is interpreted by the module and applied to samples/voices varies from brand/manufacturer to brand/manufacturer.
Roland typically has a smaller range 2-20kOhms than Alesis which is 2-5kOhm to 70kOhm

DD650*                3.321
DM10 (original)       3.6
DM10 MKII Pro         3.288
STRIKE                3.150
STRIKE Multipad (HH)  3.220
Trigger IO/DDTi       3.7

*(Crimson/II,Command,DM10 Studio,Forge)

The board in the photo you posted uses a LM393 comparator,a 10K trim pot and has both Analog and Digital output.
The Analog (A0) Voltage (signal output) is the same as the Power supply voltage,so if using 5 volt..the (A0) output signal is 5 volt.Is the bottom/sensor housing secured?Using Optical sensors the housing must be as level/stable as possible or it may be hard to get accurate settings or of it tilts during operation it may not function accurately throughout the range or act like a switch.Open and Closed is easy but you can get that with a mechanical switch.
These Optical setups are like a garage door remote.If the reflector at anytime gets out of alignment at anytime it will always stay open..
 
ALESIS/MEDELI MODULES:
The board you are using has a voltage range of 3.3 - 5 volt...you can use a 3.3 volt power supply and connect the signal (A0) to the Tip..Hi Hat control on the module and the HH circuit will still be in the 3 volt range and function properly without the use of an Arduino setup.The trim pot adjusts the range for the IR.The IR Trans/reciever are angled to each other with a shield to separate.. I have gotten up to 5-6" before they lose the relay.
The Original DM10 and the TriggerIO have a Calibration setup you can use for initial then fine tune the open/close in the settings menu.
The Splash is triggered with a quick short press/release on an open pedal.
Unfortunately while the HH Controller circuit is in the same voltage range as the board you can't power the board with it ..it's a catch 22..the voltage input and output as the signal (voltage)lowers..the emitter/receiver/board would get turned off (3.3v MINIMUM)..also there is only .017-.020A at the HH input..depending on the module.The TCT500 module (emitter/receiver) alone needs 60mA and the LED's,comparator etc also add up , and the comparator signal output (in this configuration) is too low "over" 15mA (in the product description)..probably 20-25mA MAX.

I do not recommend using a 5 volt power supply and connecting the signal output from the optical Hi Hat project
and mismatching voltages.I haven't heard of anyone destroying their module..but 5 volts going into 3 volts may lead to trouble.
I also don't know if using 2 separate sources of power and grounds for the same circuit , even though the same voltage..break any "electricity laws."

I have done many of these for Alesis modules (using 3 volt power supply.. no issues)..including Realhat pedals and even a retrofit kit for Goedrum as inevitably the slide pot will fail/wearout.
My Optical versions also have manual adjustment of the Hi Hat range..ie..you can simulate a drop clutch/closed or 1/2 open etc without having a foot on the pedal.The simplest/accurate/consistent Optical setup would be down facing/inverted..you set it up..make the adjustments/measurements and set the cymbal on top.

Ryo Kosaka from Japan who over the years has an open source project using Arduino as a drum module and 3D printing E-drum Kits/Pieces and has posted his experiments/projects. and also HH codes for Arduino (single zone  and Dual Zone VH10 in his GitHub repository).He has also come to the realization you can use this board with modules.
I included a link to his most recent Hi Hat project(s) (2021) using the same board and directly into Roland Module...still using 5 volts.....
The newer version for the Hi Hat stand isn't secured to the rod like the original..

2021 TCRT5000 module w/board TEST

2021 TCRT5000 module w/board New Housing/Pedal Design

2021 3D printer Models

2018 TCRT5000 module w/o board (using resistors) with Arduino

2018 Additional

EDIT:
Added Links
« Last Edit: May 01, 2022, 09:10:53 PM by Chaser »

Re: Optical trigger advice please
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2022, 12:36:18 PM »
Wow!! What a fantastic and thorough reply.
I haven't taken it all in yet but I'll print it out and read it at the kit in conjunction with the manual. I've just spent the last few days assembling my collection of electronic drums into this monster: https://photos.app.goo.gl/sUJGanJPq81oUn7h6
I made a new loom yesterday. Labelled everything.  Plugged it all up a couple of hours ago. Did a factory reset on both the DM10 and Trigger IO, switched on and..... Everything plugged through the TriggerIO works. Including the hi hat!! Although it needs a bit more work. But the basic closed /open/pedal Is playing the DM10 samples I selected. I'm not using the kick drum trigger I fitted inside the full sized drum. The big mesh head is too flappy. Instead I've fitted piezos inside the beaters. So far that works. The old Yamaha 'post' kick that I'd converted to take two beaters is now an 'extra'
Nothing plugged into the DM10 appears to be triggering for some reason. You can usually see the LCD 'dots' come on if there's a signal. All the cables are ok. I swapped them one by one to the IO and all worked in there.
One step forward....two steps back. I got fed up of it today. I'll have a look tomorrow.

The power supply is 5v dc to the sensor. Via an aircraft type plug and socket. I decided on that as it's a screw fitting. Stop it popping out. It's the usual dc socket at the project box end. Yes that's the psu.
For the signal its actually a guitar 1/4 inch  mono jack socket.
+ to tip  and - to sleeve. So is the ring necessary? and what would that connect to?

The honeycomb is reflective. It's fairly rigid safety tape.

The top box is help on by the bottom nut of the hi-hat clutch and the lower box base is fixed firmly to the black plastic 'tilter' fixed to the hi hat stand (tilter screw removed of course) The 'top' or lid of that box houses the sensor which is bolted securely to the lid. The lid has two lugs which click into place to hold it down. It seems secure enough but it's not been played 'in anger' yet.

I'm not sure what an Arduino setup is?

Basically I'll be using the DM10 sounds for practice. If reliable enough possibly gigging.

Mainly though I'll be using it to trigger sounds in Cubase.

I've been drumming since my early teens playing with all kinds of bands but in 2013 had a shoulder injury and operation which made it difficult to play. Certainly for gigs. So I turned to guitar and keyboards. Recording my own material :https://lodgerwright.bandcamp.com/  but programming drums instead.
The idea of building an electronic kit was that I could hopefully play with less force but get the same effect.
I may be a little optimistic as far as gigging goes. I've just turned 63 and now have hip problems amongst other things.
It'll still be useful for recording though. I get tired of drawing in notes that it would be much quicker to play.
Once again thanks for the thorough reply and I'll investigate those links.

Offline AlanK

Re: Optical trigger advice please
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2022, 02:22:36 PM »
Hi Lodger, had a quick peek at your Bandcamp website and listened to a couple bits of your tunes (am at work still).. fantastic stuff! I will come back this weekend to check more out. I'm liking the vibe so far! Alan
DM10X with Addictive Drums 2, Pro X hi-hat, 4 crashes, foam cone conversion w Roland mesh heads, Laurin Drums snare and kick, Mapex P710W double kick pedal, Mapex 2 legged hi-hat, Behringer 8 channel USB mixer, Tascam 144MK AI, Samson Expedition Escape powered speakers

Offline Chaser

Re: Optical trigger advice please
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2022, 07:47:50 PM »

Nothing plugged into the DM10 appears to be triggering for some reason. You can usually see the LCD 'dots' come on if there's a signal. All the cables are ok. I swapped them one by one to the IO and all worked in there.
One step forward....two steps back. I got fed up of it today. I'll have a look tomorrow.
 

When you did the Factory Reset/reinitialized the module which kit did you select for the trigger settings?..If the module has the Final Firmware Version you should have 4 kit choices..2 Mylar..2 Mesh.
The Studio series are for 8" toms..the X are for larger 10" and 12".
You should have the triggers connected to the module when powering on as it calibrates the triggers.
If there is a calibration error , it is usually mixed cymbals for inputs 7 and 11..

I see a lot of Yamaha triggers in your kit so it's not going to be plug-n-play..you are going to have to do a lot of tweaking..The DM10 firmware is for Mylar or Mesh although rubber pads work..just needs tweaking to get the best out of them.
Yamaha has proprietary wiring and doesn't play well with most others.After you figure out which kit to use for the triggers one of the 1st things you'll need to do is (if any Yamaha dual zone toms) change all the trigger types for the rims to switch.


The sensor is working I can see the green leds in the box going on and off as I use the pedal. I just don't know how to connect/set it up properly. My dyscalculia doesn't help.
(numerical equivalent of dyslexia) so I get a bit lost with midi and cc numbers.
If anyone can explain it in simple terms I'd be grateful.

+ to tip  and - to sleeve. So is the ring necessary? and what would that connect to?
I'm not sure what an Arduino setup is?

You mentioned the Led's were blinking and not knowing how to connect/set it up and MIDI/CC for the optical sensor in the post above which is what you have to do for the Arduino to get it to operate correctly to send MIDI.

The ring is part of the Arduino setup.The actual trigger signal is sent from the ring to the Arduino,where you edit the code/create a Hi Hat signal to do specifically what ever you want it to do including CC range etc etc.The DM10 (as with majority of drum modules) can only adjust the existing signal.
The DM10 has an advantage of having a Calibration feature which most modules do not.
If you are not using the Arduino setup and going straight from the DM10 module to the Vst via MIDI (you mentioned Cubase as DAW) then you use the developers MIDI Keymap for the module you are using and adjust the Hi Hat MIDI coming in....not the actual trigger signal which is converted to MIDI at the module.

It'll still be useful for recording though. I get tired of drawing in notes that it would be much quicker to play.

Actually most if not all of the Drum Vst/Software was designed for Keyboard/manual editing and drum replacement..over the years especially the last few  developers have been adding better/more mapping/functions for E-Drums especially the Hi Hat..better..not perfect , even the $1,000 6 zone digital Hi Hat from Roland doesn't perform perfectly and currently only Toontrack SD3 supports all the zones.

Re: Optical trigger advice please
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2022, 10:55:44 AM »
Thanks for all the replies and encouragement!!

This is what I've done so far.

All the Yamaha pads/cymbals are plugged into the Trigger IO Plus the optical Hi hat, the home made snare trigger and one of the drum beaters. This unit is connected to the DM10 via midi out/in, and everything, including the hi hat sounded like it was triggering as it should. using the DM10 sounds.
Everything else was plugged into the DM10.
NONE of the pads plugged into the DM10 triggered at all. They were, as suggested, plugged in before firing up.

So I did a factory reset. Nothing.

The triggers via the Trigger IO at this point were still working so I unplugged one of the Yamaha toms and went through all the other pads and cymbals one by one. They all worked including the Roland 'Ride' The only dual zone apart from the snare and the hi hat cymbal (although so far I haven't assigned anything to the choke on that)

I unplugged  everything from the DM10 did a factory reset. Then plugged in only the Alesis pads. Thinking it may be compatiblity problems. Four toms. Three cymbals. Nothing.

Then the DM10 screen went blank

So now things are worse.

Despite resetting, now when the DM10 powers on theres a buzzing and crackling sound then the screen goes blank and it powers down.

The power supplies are the official 9v AC ones and both meter out correctly. The cables are TR for the single zone (majority) and TRS where required.

I did the sysex update seemingly successfuly a couple of months ago when I bought the unit second hand, and have been using a cut down kit for practice since with no problems.

There was a curved ball in the middle of this, The snare which has been working really well suddenly stopped working. Luckily I can see through the mesh. Otherwise I'd have been troubleshooting THAT one for a while. The trigger and its rigid foam pad had dropped off. The glue on the double sided tape was like liquid. Once it was cleaned up and epoxy glued it's working again... Well it was until the DM10 packed in.

I'm inclined to think this is not a settings issue but a faulty unit.

Maybe someones had the same issue and solved it?

Re: Optical trigger advice please
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2022, 12:23:45 PM »
Well that was frustrating. When I went back to the kit I did the same again. Just connected the Alesis pads and cymbals. and they all worked!
I was part way through setting up the tom  sensitivity when..... it went off again.
I tried several times to reboot it but nothing doing. This is a (shaky sorry) video of the last attempt: https://photos.app.goo.gl/h4aJ3Kx2u9qtdkQv5
As you can see (well blink and you'll miss it) All the leds flash then after a while the screen comes on.... sometimes... but when I hit a pad it isn't registering.
The unit had been off for 45 minutes or so when It worked again. So maybe temperature related??
Or is that a fault code the leds are sending out?

So as I was saying... It's much easier to program the drum parts...  :P

Re: Optical trigger advice please
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2022, 12:26:06 PM »
I think I might know what the problem is. I'd kind of given up on the DM10 but last night...
I thought I'd plug it in see if the problem Had magically gone away (optimism v reality) and guess what . It had!
Well It came on. Stayed on and I left it on all night to be sure. It was still working.
This, however, was with nothing plugged in but headphones.
But I can run the demos and change kits etc so in theory it should work with the triggers.
I had other things to do today so I couldn't try it with the kit.
It was in my mind all day though. If it wasn't the DM10 what was the problem?
I'd checked every pads wiring and sockets. I'd checked all the new cables.
What I haven't checked, and will be checking tomorrow is the second hand Alesis loom I bought on ebay.
It has to be that. It's the only thing I didn't check. If there's a short on one of the cables I'm guessing the DM10 shuts down to protect itself.
Of course my drum roadie should really have tested it.... but as I haven't got one of those it's down to me ! :-)
If that solves it I'll let you know..

Offline AlanK

Re: Optical trigger advice please
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2022, 09:52:28 AM »
Hey Lodger, if it may be the new loom, try unplugging all the trigger cables and boot up and see if you can get sounds to come out in Instrument mode piece setup or try out some samples in the Accompaniment screens (I forget the exact method but however you get to where you can choose a kitpiece/trigger and test the volume and velocity just on the module itself without hitting pads and cymbals).. if it all works fine and doesn't shut off, it was the new loom.. I'm tempted to go with it's a faulty power supply, however.. or the cable from it is frayed (even if nothing visible could be a snapped wire within and it just breaks continuity by movement as you bang the drums).
DM10X with Addictive Drums 2, Pro X hi-hat, 4 crashes, foam cone conversion w Roland mesh heads, Laurin Drums snare and kick, Mapex P710W double kick pedal, Mapex 2 legged hi-hat, Behringer 8 channel USB mixer, Tascam 144MK AI, Samson Expedition Escape powered speakers

Re: Optical trigger advice please
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2022, 08:51:15 AM »
Well I didn't figure out what the problem was but it's now all working!! Hurrah!! ....but the optical Hi hat doesn't work properly.... Boo!
I had to revert to the separate cymbal/pedal configuration. The hi hat still is the worst part of the setup as far as response is concerned. I'm guessing I'd have to spend more than I have to get a more realistic response.
So now I have my old Yamaha pads and cymbals feeding into a Yamaha DTX2 module. All the Alesis pads and cymbals, a Roland dual zone ride , a Roland cymbal for hi hat plus Alesis Hi Hat pedal, plus the two  diy bass drum beater triggers and the diy snare triggers all going into the Alesis DM10.  The rest. My two diy toms and diy cymbal and  Yamaha Bass drum 'post' converted for double bass pedal, going into the Alesis Trigger IO and using the DM10 for sounds. The Yamaha Bass drum post is a bit hard and 'clacky' so I reveted to the cut down Bassdrum with a mesh head. Although it has a piezo inside it's quite flappy and hard to stop double triggering. The piezos in the beaters work really well though. Very tight. The only problem I can foresee is metal fatigue in the cable where it leaves the beater. If it doesn't last I'll try putting a coil in the cable. That should help.
It's been so good to play again. I haven't played since 2013 after a shoulder operation. I've got the pad sensitivity quite high so I don't have to hit hard for a full sound. Having the two separate kits almost, has made for some interesting combinations. Ultimately though I need to connect all this to the computer to use the wide variety of drums and other sounds in there.
To that end I'm considering selling the Yamaha and Alesis units and replacing them with one of the units from Megadrum.
It'll make everything tidier having all the drums/triggers routing to one place. You never know the optical hi hat might work too!!

Offline AlanK

Re: Optical trigger advice please
« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2022, 09:51:01 AM »
you've got the Terry Bozio look goin' there, nice! lol
DM10X with Addictive Drums 2, Pro X hi-hat, 4 crashes, foam cone conversion w Roland mesh heads, Laurin Drums snare and kick, Mapex P710W double kick pedal, Mapex 2 legged hi-hat, Behringer 8 channel USB mixer, Tascam 144MK AI, Samson Expedition Escape powered speakers

Re: Optical trigger advice please
« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2022, 09:32:25 AM »
https://www.alesisdrummer.com/Smileys/default/grin.gif

I'd need to raid my local tip for old bike wheels dustbin lids and saucepans, maybe a brass bedstead and a couple of lawnmowers too, before I get to the Bozzio level!! Oh yes and I'd have to practice MUCH MUCH more.
Incidentally apart from the Chrome Rack that my acoustic kit used to live on,Yamaha pads and the DM10 module Everything else came from recycling shops. The Alesis pads and cymbals set me back a whopping ?10 The 'acoustic drums are a cut down budget kit a bit more expensive at ?15. The mesh heads cost more than the drums!

I've just gone back to trying to get this blasted optical trigger to work.
I thought I was almost there last night when it worked in reverse. Pedal up closed sound, pedal down open sound.
No problem i thought. Just reverse the polarity and it'll work. It doesn't.... Just permanently closed sound no matter what you do with the pedal.

Part of the thing that was puzzling me was that the circuit I found just used a TS socket when the DM10 uses a TRS socket/cable for the standard hi hat pedal.
I've just found another circuit that uses a TRS socket and no extra power supply. Presumably the power coming from the DM10 is enough. This version just uses the TCRT5000 sensor and two resistors 10k Ohm and 330 Ohm. I've ordered the sensor so I'll try again when that comes.

I was on the verge of giving up and trying to buy a Pro x controller. I can't even find one of those though.

The standard foot pedal does work but it's not fantastic though. Maybe I'm just not setting it up correctly.


Offline Chaser

Re: Optical trigger advice please
« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2022, 01:18:06 PM »
https://www.alesisdrummer.com/Smileys/default/grin.gif

I've just gone back to trying to get this blasted optical trigger to work.
I thought I was almost there last night when it worked in reverse. Pedal up closed sound, pedal down open sound.
No problem i thought. Just reverse the polarity and it'll work. It doesn't.... Just permanently closed sound no matter what you do with the pedal.
I was on the verge of giving up and trying to buy a Pro x controller. I can't even find one of those though.

The standard foot pedal does work but it's not fantastic though. Maybe I'm just not setting it up correctly.

If you are using the Original DM10 (or Trigger IO)..did you use the Hi Hat Calibration Feature?..

The Pro-X (FSR)was discontinued many years ago..it was also single zone.The STRIKE Hi Hat uses the exact same Controller.. 12" or 14"...and is dual zone
The 12" Hi Hat also uses the same bottom cymbal.The 14" uses a Boot.
The Original DM10 module also has a Dual Zone Hi Hat that can  be accessed by MIDI only..not the physical input as it is hardwired single zone.


Re: Optical trigger advice please
« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2022, 03:59:01 PM »
Yes I've used the hi hat calibration several times. The one time it said it was successful with the optical trigger was when it was reversed. i.e. open when closed closed when open etc
I saw the Strike but it's out of my price range. I was hoping to find the Pro X second hand.
I can see why people end up using acoustic hi-hat. It seems to be the achilles heel unless you have lots of money to throw at it.
Ultimately I wont be using the DM10 for anything other than practice as It's the sounds in my PC I need to access. Percussive and Melodic.
It's good to be hitting something instead of clicking with a mouse though!