do have another question and this is about the next steps we have to take. What I know is hearsay and I would like to firm it up. These steps are modified for our particular project.
This is what I think needs to be done.
1) Finish the documentation describing the organ.
2) Send it to you for a quotation.
3) You make the definition file
3.5) We finish the wiring.
4) We buy a computer
5) We get software from Dick Wilcox. With this software we can check to make sure the organ is wired as expected. This software will not play the organ yet because we do not have a license and dongle.
6) We buy the license from Dick Wilcox
7) We play the organ.
Does this seem right to you?
Regarding the license. The license is priced at $.75 per pin (input and output). Does the pin count come from the definition file? Can we have a definition file for the whole organ at the beginning but only pay for part of the pins now and the rest later?
First, your pricing is a bit off. The license is $1.75 per pin for the first 3,300 pins, then $1.25 per pin beyond that – unless this is an upgrade from an already-licensed Uniflex 2000 system. For that, you’d need to talk to Dick Wilcox.
I’ve attached an Excel worksheet which will tell you how much of what you need and it has current pricing on it. If you fill that out you can just subtract out what the system calculates for pin requirements and costs (if you already have enough) and that should leave you with a pretty solid figure for budgeting.
The worksheet is based on current 128-pin boards, but it’s the pin count that’s important, not the number of boards. Keep in mind the number of spare pins the system calculates will be different depending on whether you have 96-pin or 128-pin boards.
You can separate out the purchase of hardware and licensing. That’s pretty common – people will buy the hardware, sometimes even in stages (I have one client right now who has only bought the hardware for one chamber; his console is being rebuilt and the other chamber is still in the construction phase), then buy the license when they’re ready to take it live.
The software has a Demo mode which is usable for testing the console and the logic in the definition file. No license is needed for that. For testing the chambers, we can use a standalone power supply (you’ll have the wiring disconnected from the boards for testing). You will have already tested the magnets and wiring for dead shorts.
The console is always tested without the boards or power supplies connected to start with, because we’re looking for wiring mistakes which have the potential to blow out chips. Once that’s clean, we can plug in the boards.
There is no dongle any more. That was a relic of Uniflex 2000. It was actually a proprietary interface board, and also held the license file. That’s been replaced in Uniflex 3000 and the new 4000 by the console and chamber interface boards, which are connected to the computer with a simple Cat5 network cable. The license file is tied to the serial numbers of the interface boards.
The pin count is based on the connected boards, and that’s how you would license it. If you have more boards than you need, you don’t have to license the extras – you just won’t connect them in. But you wouldn’t license a fraction of a board.
The one thing some folks miss is MIDI, if you’re going to use it – Each MIDI channel is the equivalent of 128 pins. Dick allows some number of MIDI channels with the system, but I don’t know what that number is (it’s never been an issue where I’ve needed to find out). Beyond that, if you add MIDI channels in the definition file, the license-checking portion of the software will hiccup and say “Too many pins” and your system won’t go into Run mode. So there is some interaction between the physical boards and the virtual pins in the definition file.