Author Topic: Hihat controller and real-feel bottom hat alternative.  (Read 935 times)

Offline ironman187

Hihat controller and real-feel bottom hat alternative.
« on: June 25, 2018, 03:31:33 AM »
I've been looking at hihat controllers like the go e-drum, and to me, they seem to lack that feeling of the bottom hihat cymbal against the top one. I was wondering if I could create my own hihat controller that would allow for a bottom cymbal that you could tilt like you would an acoustic one, but I wasn't sure how a bottom cymbal would react with my surge hihat. I came up with the idea of using a large PVC pipe cap to replicate that feeling, and it works. I also transplanted the guts of my realhat controller unto the hihat stand.

Hihat controller:

First things first, I took apart the realhat pedal, the Crimson kit I just acquired has no velcro over the two screws that sit under the velcro strip on older models.


I also removed the actuator from the pedal.
 

This is what the insides look like. (excuse the hair, the previous owner's wife is a dog sledder.)


The rubber piece just pulls off that plastic post.


This is how the rubber piece sits over the variable resister, as the pedal is depressed, it pushes down on the rubber and more of the rubber comes in contact with the resister, essentially reducing it's resistance.


So now I needed to make a base for the resister and rubber to sit on. I used some 1/4" aluminum plate, and some cheap steel straps I found at Home Depot for clamps. These were under 1/8" and fit well under the hihat stand pedal base. I used Dykem, math, a straight edge, calipers, and a scribe to lay out my cuts. Pro tip, marking the location for the rubber piece's through hole is much easier when your plate is still semi square. By the way, you can use permanent marker, a ruler, and a sharp center punch to mark your cut lines in a pinch.


I didn't get any pictures of this part unfortunately. I cut the top plate, and the bottom straps out on a band saw, you can use a cut off wheel or even a hack saw in a pinch. I used a belt sander to remove the saw marks, but you can used a file, sandpaper, or just leave it as it. I drilled and tapped a 1/4-20 hole for the rubber piece attachment point. I then used a 1/4" ID fender washer and 1 1/4" long bolt to attach it to the plate, center it, and mark where the resister would go. I also marked the edges of the rubber part and attached modified corner brackets in place to keep the rubber piece from rotating, and to guide the moving end straight down so it wouldn't move off to one side or another should the pedal move sideways. I drilled and tapped the corner bracket locations for 6-32 bolts to eliminate the need to monkey around with nuts while trying to keep the brackets from rotating. I realized the locations of the bracket bolts was perfect for the clamp straps as well, so using the aluminum plate as a template, I drilled holes in the strap clamps. I them chamfered the bottom side of them to accept the heads of the 6-32 bolts so they wouldn't stick out underneath as I had no room for them to do so. Since this was a slight modification from my original design intent, I improvised and attacked the angle brackets in place with lock washers and nuts. I places two washers under the guide brackets at the front of the assembly for resister lead clearance. I then used strong, double sided scotch tape (not the foam kind) to attach the resister in place below the rubber piece.
   

I got lucky. My highhat pedal has a lug to stop your foot from going too high up the pedal, the hole used to attach the lug happened to be in the perfect location to attach a plastic spacer  that would press down on the rubber actuator.


Here's the entire assembly in place.


I still didn't have a good way to attach the circuit board, and didn't want cut it down because I want to be able to put everything back into the realhat pedal, and the realhat pedal used the circuit board shape to keep it in place. (you can cut it down to right above the resister if this isn't a concern to you.


I then realized I could attach the circuit board to the high hat stand using super strong, double sided foam tape.



Hihat stand:


For the hihat portion, I started with a 5" pvc cap, This one happened to be black, and doesn't have the dome like the white ones do, Home depot didn't have any white ones in that size, as it turns out, this worked fine in the end, but you can use whatever you'd like. I measured the diameter of the cap, divided it in half to find the radius and using my calipers in three points around the perimeter, scribed three short radiuses. The intersection of these radii is the center of the cap. (You could make a quick and dirty scriber for this by hammering two nails the distance of the radius + 1/2 the diameter of one nail apart through a piece of wood. Hook one nail on the OD of the cap, and use it as a pivot point to scribe a line with the other nail.



I drilled a 1/2" hole in the center of the cap and chamfered the inside heavily until the hole cross section had about the same thickness as a cymbal.


I cut out a section in the cap to clear the hihat trigger box, I sized it so I could use this for both a Surge hihat, or a DM pad hihat.


Because I don't want the cap to spin and hit a trigger box or impede motion, I devised an anti-spin method similar to what is used in the surge cymbals. I bent a 3/16 steel rod so it would clear the high hat stand's bottom hihat cymbal pad.


I then attached the rod to the stand using a pipe grounding clamp.


After measuring the distance from the center of the stand to the center of the rod, I drilled two 3/8" holes in the cap. One location is in front of the trigger box cut out, the other is 90 degrees to the left (if looking down inside the cap) for the DM pad hihat. THis way I don't need to move the clamp/rod should I switch between the two styles of hihat.


Lastly, because I don't want any false triggering when the hihat is closed, I line the edge of the cap with 1/2" rubber foam pipe insulation, it's self adhesive. I'm not sure if this is necessary, but I didn't try it without, and it feels pretty close to real for me. I could potentially miter the pipe insulation, and glue end pieced on to make it look nice, but that may impede on trigger box clearance, and because It's largely hidden from sight, I'm not too concerned with it.


Here's the finished product with a DM pad on top (excuse the laundry, we just replaced a malfunctioning washing machine and are playing catch up).


Open.


Half open.


And closed.


It has been working great on my Crimson kit, once I get my DM10 kit set up again, I'll be trying it out on that.
 
« Last Edit: June 25, 2018, 11:50:32 PM by ironman187 »

Offline Hellfire

Re: Hihat controller and real-feel bottom hat alternative.
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2018, 10:13:40 AM »
Awesome project. I love the ingenuity. Thanks for sharing!
For more edrum info, be sure to visit my web site at:
          www.HellfireDrums.com                    
My current set-up:  Alesis DM10 and Trigger I/O with modified & DIY pads

Offline ironman187

Re: Hihat controller and real-feel bottom hat alternative.
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2018, 11:46:23 PM »
Thanks, I'm really happy with how it turned out. In thinking about it further, there are ways you could do the same thing with other hihat controllers, if you wanted the PVC pipe to be tiltable, you could find a washer with the appropriate ID and OD to clear the controller plunger, the drill and tap an 8-32 hole in the cap within the washer OD diameter. Then use springs, hoses, and/ or felt as spacers for your hihat cymbal.

Also, if you were doing this on the cheap, the PVC cap assembly can be made entirely with hand tools, the cap is about $5.00, the pipe insulation is about $5, the anti-rotation rod was about $3, and the ground clamp was another $5. You may even get away with nixing the anti-rotation device, but it was worth $8 to me.

The pedal assembly can also be made with hand tools. You could potentially use two metal electrical box covers to cut the resister plate and the bottom strap clamps. That would cost about $3, the rest of the hardware cost me less than $20.

Offline orion32

Re: Hihat controller and real-feel bottom hat alternative.
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2019, 10:09:28 AM »
I'm only replying to this thread because I am unable to see the pics ironman posted in the original post.  Is it just me or is there a issue with the forum?

I'd really like to see those details on how this project evolved.
DM10 Customized
Strike Pro (in the process of customizing with Zildjian L80 cymbals)

Offline Chaser

Re: Hihat controller and real-feel bottom hat alternative.
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2019, 10:43:13 AM »
I'm only replying to this thread because I am unable to see the pics ironman posted in the original post.  Is it just me or is there a issue with the forum?

I'd really like to see those details on how this project evolved.

Neither...It's photobucket,this is across 1,000's of forums.
They changed their free hosting to subscription which ruined a large amount of forums etc,then later on (after losing so many users)tried to get people back by partially displaying images.
I know quite a few people that closed their accounts and never went back.
Ironman may be one of them.

Offline orion32

Re: Hihat controller and real-feel bottom hat alternative.
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2019, 10:07:30 AM »
I was afraid it was something like that.  I did find a youtube vid that looked promising which I might try.  I'm trying to decide if I stick with the strike pro hi hat and mod/tweak it.  My other direction is turning Zildjian L80 HH from A to E, but I want to keep the lower hat which I haven't seen anyone come up with a mod for yet.
DM10 Customized
Strike Pro (in the process of customizing with Zildjian L80 cymbals)

Offline Iggford

Re: Hihat controller and real-feel bottom hat alternative.
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2019, 04:49:25 PM »
I was afraid it was something like that.  I did find a youtube vid that looked promising which I might try.  I'm trying to decide if I stick with the strike pro hi hat and mod/tweak it.  My other direction is turning Zildjian L80 HH from A to E, but I want to keep the lower hat which I haven't seen anyone come up with a mod for yet.


I'm (finally) setting up my Strike kit at home to do some maintenance in my band's time off.  I use a Gen 16 hat, but I use it as the A/E that it was designed for.  I also have a GoEdrum controller.  I'm curious if the post on that controller is small enough to go through the hole on the bottom cymbal.  I'm trying to get this all done tonight, so I'll pull out the GoEdrum controller to check it out.  I imagine the holes should pretty much be the same size on both hats.  That would potentially allow you to use the bottom cymbal still.

It may be one option anyway.  I'll report back what I find!


--
Shawn

Offline orion32

Re: Hihat controller and real-feel bottom hat alternative.
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2019, 10:09:41 AM »
You are the man......seems like you are always helping me out.  It is much appreciated!

So I went and did it......I now am the proud owner of a Strike Pro (thanks to all of your great information).  That being said, I have a ways to go before I start playing it.

First I want to mod the rack to help with cross talk, I'm not sure how the Strike Pro Controller handles C.T. but the DM10 is really really flakey and since that will be my backup I need to account for that.

Next is to get triggers for A to E conversion for a set of Zildjian L80 I purchased.  I think I'm going to try a few of the StealthDrum triggers and and few Drumdial.

And then there's the HH.  I think I'm going to start with the Strike HH but I think I will end up trying to figure out how to get the L80 HH with a bottom hat setup.

The guy who builds the Stealthdrum triggers has a cool DIY hihat stand conversion I might give a try...... but I have to slow down a bit.  I'm getting a little ahead of myself.

Did the GoEdrum controller fit in the hole of the bottom hat?  If this works then the GoEdrum controller might be the way I will go.
DM10 Customized
Strike Pro (in the process of customizing with Zildjian L80 cymbals)

Offline Iggford

Re: Hihat controller and real-feel bottom hat alternative.
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2019, 02:13:08 PM »
I'm very happy to help!  I've received so much help on here from all the great members, so I just try to jump in where I can!

Let me know how you like the triggers for the cymbals.  I did try out my Gen16 ride again, but I just couldn't fall in love with it like I did the hat.  I love the look, though, so if I could trigger it, I may be able to put it to use yet!

I did get my kit set up over the weekend, finally, after being down with some kind of head cold the second half of the week.  However, my GoEdrum controller came up missing somehow.  I was moving a box around last thing last night and happened to look in and there it was, though, so I have it now.  I'm going to check it out with the Gen16 hats after work this evening!

Didn't want you to think I had forgotten about ya!


--
Shawn

At first

Offline orion32

Re: Hihat controller and real-feel bottom hat alternative.
« Reply #9 on: Yesterday at 09:03:45 AM »
No worries my friend......I'm patient.....and like I said.....I have plenty of time before I get to this point.

Rack silencing is first then I might do the "twisting" mod.  Then I need to see about cable management.  I'm going to try to put inside the rack but something so that I don't have wires all over the place.

If I have too many projects going on I get none finished.  I think I'm going with drumdial triggers and hook those up to a few L80's I'm going with single zone to see how those work.  If I get good results I'll only need 3 of the stealth drummer triggers.

I'm just going to have to be patient on the hi hat and try different combinations to see what I like.

Interesting enough we were at band practice last night and the "chicks" on my "Pro" HH were alot better than they have been in the past.  I don't remember making any changes to the settings either.  The partial open still sucks but I've pretty much given up on that.
DM10 Customized
Strike Pro (in the process of customizing with Zildjian L80 cymbals)

Offline Iggford

Re: Hihat controller and real-feel bottom hat alternative.
« Reply #10 on: Yesterday at 11:41:59 AM »
Well, I took a look at the GoEdrum controller, and the bottom Gen16 just sits on top of the controller post.  So I guess that's a no-go.  You could probably mod the bottom hat, making the hole a bit bigger, but it may make it less than optimal if you ever used it as a standard hat again.

By the "twisting" mod, do you mean bolting the pipes so they won't come apart?  If so, I did that with my DM10 rack, and it made a HUGE difference.  I haven't had to do it with my Strike so far, as it seems to hold together a bit tighter, or for some reason, I'm not as rough with it when transporting.  My DM10 rack actually separated on stage one night, luckily it was just during sound check.  It was even after I thought I had checked everything thoroughly!

I used a bunch of cable ties and just preset the lengths of all my cables (just bought new 10' cables for the drums, cymbals are next) so that there is just enough cable to connect the pads.  I wrapped the ties around at the point each cable would need to separate from the main group, and it keeps everything tight.  When I tear down, all I have to do is remove the entire group of cables and fold them over to go in my bag. 

This does leave quite a bit of length at the module end, on some of the cables.  I'm working on a solution to clean that up a bit.  But it keeps me from having to leave the cables attached to the rack during transport.  That was taking its toll on some of my cables I think.

I just try to think of the things that will make setup and tear down a lot faster for a gig. 

That's weird about your Pro HH, but I do agree that the partial open leaves a lot to be desired.  That's what made me stick with the Gen16 setup.  I got used to how it just "works" being basically an internally mic'ed acoustic hat.


--
Shawn


Offline orion32

Re: Hihat controller and real-feel bottom hat alternative.
« Reply #11 on: Yesterday at 02:22:49 PM »
Hey Shawn thanks for the info.  This is truly helpful as I'm trying to think of ways to make this work.

Yes, that exactly what I meant about the "twisting mod".  I just don't want any issues when I start moving the rack around or happen what happened to you.....rack coming apart.  It happened to me once in practice and cant have that happen during a show.

Our next show isn't until Halloween but I'm probably not going to have the Strike Pro ready to play out by then.  I want to spend some time getting to know it and feel comfortable enough if I have to make adjustments during a show I can and not create a bigger problem.

I've used cable ties and Velcro and I might try some spiral cable wrap. 

I keep going back and forth on leaving the cables attached to the rack or have it so the cable snake can be removed.  If I can ensure their protected for transport I'll probably just leave it attached to the rack.  I don't expect we'll have more than 1 show per month and to date it's more like 1 every two months.  So based on that I feel okay about leaving it attached.

I hear you about thinking about setup and tear down time.  Even with an e-kit there is still a lot that has to be done so any time saved is worth it.  Especially since I secondary sound man and I'm still learning the fine turning of our sound system.  I envy the bands that have sound techs!

DM10 Customized
Strike Pro (in the process of customizing with Zildjian L80 cymbals)

Offline Iggford

Re: Hihat controller and real-feel bottom hat alternative.
« Reply #12 on: Today at 12:06:17 AM »
It's certainly no problem at all!!

I remember getting my Strike the day before an early February show we had booked.  I wanted to use it for that show so badly, but I did the same thing you're taking about doing.  I wanted to make sure I knew the kit somewhat before playing out with it.  Our next show was at the end of March, and it was a great debut for the kit.  I think it worked out better, because I knew the module a whole lot more, and I was able to practice taking it down and setting it up a few times before the show.

I've just now changed my cabling ways, I had always kept them attached.  I just had a couple instances where one would come loose and snag on something while I was carrying the rack.  I figured I'd protect my new cables for a bit.  I'd be willing to bet by the end of the year, they'll be attached again, LOL.  I haven't transported it as it is now yet. :)

I know it's been nice to play a venue with a sound tech.  We've done it twice, and it allows us to concentrate on just our physical setup.  This one poor guy back in 2017, though, LOL.  We shared a gig with two other bands.  The sound guy was probably about ready to kill us.  We shared the stage, but we had three complete setups on stage for the whole night because we wanted to finish off with a 3-song set with all three bands at once.  Two e-kits and an acoustic, plus all the other equipment.  The finale was amazing, but we tipped the sound guy really well!  :)


--
Shawn