Now, this _was_ going to be a triumphant finale to Part I, where I unveil my finished creation…  but I’ve been having second, and third, thoughts. Mostly due to the extra hassle of lugging the keyboard around to bass gigs, and my continued difficulty in finding another cheap MIDI capable keyboard without velocity sensitivity.

VGA vs Parallel cables

VGA vs Parallel cables

I mentioned in Part I that my bright idea of using a VGA cable fell over due to the cable only having 8 conductors plus shielding ground. The solution was to go back to a world of pre-USB comms cables; the humble parallel cable has plenty of conductors for the job at hand.

I scored a couple for free at a local computer store, and it was a simple matter of cutting the ends off & connecting one end up to my VGA plug, and the other to the foot pedal assemblage. Easy peasy. For the record, parallel cable has 19 conductors – this means you could use an octave-and-a-half bass pedal unit to extend your range.

However, I must fess up to having done something pretty effing stupid: during the final construction of the bass pedal assembly, I put a nail through the comms cable. That severed 4 of the conductors, requiring its removal & re-wiring. Notice I said nail, not screw – this is the other part of my stuff-up: it’s impossible to easily unassemble the case I made for the bass pedals.

Given the amount of work required to salvage this project, I’m thinking of going back to my original plan… that’s right: the DX21 is going under the knife. I already have all my jumper leads wired up ready to connect to the bass pedal contacts – the question is whether or not the DX21 parts will fit in the case as built. I don’t think they will, so a rebuild is probably in order.

Nearly a set of MIDI bass pedals

Nearly done

So, to re-iterate: the method I used in Part I is absolutely sound. During the pre-assembly testing, my re-wired parallel cable + VGA plug work exactly as planned, enabling the playing of the bottom octave on both the keyboard & the bass pedals. The picture here shows the almost completed bass pedals, just before I attached the lid & decided to nail in a piece of wood to protect the contacts from the cable…

I have a bit of work on the go (my latest endeavour involves making true bypass loop pedals), but I’m determined to knock this on the head ASAP!