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An Interesting And Reversable Modification

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I chose a pair of reeds on my anglo concertina that I do not frequently use, tuned both to a "D".



I then replaced the original button with another button with a deep transverse notch. The notch extends 3/4 through the diameter of the button and is the same width as the thickness of the end of the concertina.


Now I can depress and shift the button so that the edge of the button hole slips into the notch and holds it in place.


Instant drone on the fly. When I want to stop the drone, I merely flick the button and it pops up with the spring tension as all the other buttons.


I can still use the button in a normal manner as well.



It works great and is reversable with a little effort. Has anyone every heard of this before?


I will try to get some images up tonite.


I have seen Ullean pipers switch drones on and off in a similar manner, I believe those are called regulators?


Bob Tedrow

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I have seen Ullean pipers switch drones on and off in a similar manner,  I believe those are called regulators?

No, the "regulators" are the pipes that only play while you press a key.

The ones with on-off switches are regular drones.

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I always suspected this from hearing recordings of Peter Bellamy's playing (sadly, I was never able to hear him in person). The clips are visible on the cover of one of his LPs, possibly "Both Sides Then" (? -- I don't own a copy), where you can see that some of the normal 6 endbolts are also running through the clips. The clips look a bit like the springy metal ones used to hold a glass slide to a microscope stage, and it appears that bolts run first through holes in the clips, then through the metal fretted endplates. Each clip seems able to be rotated until it contacts and can hold down one of the buttons. The instrument is one of the early 38 or 40 keys with metal fretted sides of the casework, like that played by Scan Tester. The fretwork pattern is like that of anglos I have seen stamped "J. CRABB MAKER."




This is a great idea. Since the first month I played the anglo I thought it would be cool to have a button or two that worked like the button on a ball-point pen (push-on, push-off) for drones. Instead of making such a thing, I just learned to get drones in other ways (using thumb buttons, and alternating note buttons when changing bellows direction). I would think your design would really come into its own in a custom instrument with a special row of drone buttons, supplemental to all the normal notes of a 30-key.



Edited by Paul Groff
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I believe Peter Bellamy had a system of swivelling clips that could hold a button down. I never saw him use it myself, perhaps somebody knows more about the engineering of it.

Robin and Paul,


Peter's system was pretty much as Paul describes it - a fairly lightweight bit of metal with a hole that swivelled on one of the end bolts. He was pleased with his invention - I saw him use at Cheddar in one of his last concerts (unfortunate you weren't there Robin!). It works well for the accidental row on the anglo, but the same principle would be more difficult for other rows, or systems, so Bob's sugggestion is neater.


best wishes ..wes

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