Project Log #20: Big redesign as the laser cut DigiNerdyGurdy

A project log for The Digi-Gurdy and Digi[Nerdy]Gurdy

MIDI electronic portable practice hurdy-gurdy: It's always in tune.

XenonJohnXenonJohn 04/11/2021 at 12:132 Comments

Total redesign, main objective being to offer more features for same build cost. 

Main changes listed below.

1) New PCB which places key stems in more correct positions when viewed from rear of keybox. This means key stems are no longer in centre of each key, therefore....

2) All new 3D designs for each key. As in a real hurdy gurdy the keys for higher notes are more complex as they overlap each other to some extent but must still not interfere with each other.

3) I tried a snap-into-place key design but stems do not look nice when viewed from rear. Therefore they have holes in ends of stems to take a 3mm diameter 6mm long bolt. Bolts screw straight in as holes just slightly undersize......see, I make life easy for you.

4) Keybox now is fully laser cut ply and glued together. However top panel is removable with 4 screws so a) you then have access to rear of PCB to make any repairs and b) you can make a more elaborate top panel should you wish later on.

5) Keybox is removable from soundbox, but will still fully function as a MIDI device emulating a hurdy gurdy (but without crank). This keybox will then fit into a bag should you wish to practice at work in lunchbreak or take it on holiday.

6) Keybox "docks" with a soundbox designed by Jaap Brand of Nerdy Gurdy fame, to create a proper gurdy shaped instrument with keys and crank in correct positions relative to your body. Crank is on end of soundbox. Special connector plug allows it to dock and undock easily.

7) Soundbox is much easier to construct than Nerdy Gurdy version as less curvaceous. This is a deliberate compromise to ensure easy buildability and almost no clamps are required when gluing it together.

8) MIDI sockets provided in keybox should you wish to use an aftermarket plug in MIDI Bluetooth dongle to transmit wirelessly to your paired iPad or phone. These are recessed now, to protect the dongle better.

9) Internal battery holder (a mobile phone emergency battery bank) is embedded in left hand end of the keybox. Should you wish to go fully wireless (i.e. when using a plug-in MIDI Bluetooth transmitter), the keybox can no longer draw power from the attached (via USB cable) phone or iPad and instead will now need its own power supply. Loop the short USB lead danging from left hand end of keybox around and plug it into this rechargeable battery module, and the keybox will now run on this internal power.

10) Four detailed build videos for the Digi[Nerdy]Gurdy are below. Also there are two setup and use videos showing how to navigate and use the tunings menu, how to connect to an iPad or Android phone, and also how to use the internal battery module should you wish to go wireless when using a plug-in MIDI Bluetooth transmitter dongle.


XenonJohn wrote 04/12/2021 at 12:36 point

Hi there, however the keybox still works when it is removed so you get a compact version for travelling that still works - 2 instruments in one if you like. The software for the blue screen is very slightly different, I will email it to you.

  Are you sure? yes | no

gpsqueeek wrote 04/12/2021 at 10:32 point

Oh wow ! Great job ! Less compact, but more "hurdy-gurdy-esque" :-D

Are the latest software versions still compatible with my older digigurdy (with blue screen) ?

  Are you sure? yes | no