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Warmed Brass Band

Heat the horn when the weather's frigid and remote the fingering of valves
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Ever have to play a brass instrument outdoors in the freezing weather?

In my youth, I played French horn, and know from personal experience that It can get so cold your fingers don't work well, to say nothing of having your lips stick to the mouthpiece! Gloves thick enough to keep the fingers warm make for clumsy fingering and bad notes.

Using a belt-pack battery, provide a small electric heater to keep the instrument's mouthpiece at a constant 25 degrees C (78F), and mount solenoids (electromagnets) suitable to actuate the keys (valves). The solenoids are activated by a small array of microswitches, which can be kept warm and safe in the user's pocket. Power for the solenoids is shared with the heater.

The other hand can be gloved and used to support the instrument.

Optional MIDI interface allows complex fingering to be learned by "muscle memory."

csea, Dec 16 2003

Acid Brass http://www.theonion....php?review_id=2660
[calum, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

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       As a woodwind player we never had quite the same problems. Why not just heat the whole thing? Since it's all metal it would be pretty easy and I imagine it would make the tuning more consistent (although with French Horns, tuning is pretty much optional)
hazel, Dec 16 2003
  

       If you think gloves make for clumsy fingering, just wait ‘til you try solenoids.
AO, Dec 16 2003
  

       triple-tonguing <show-off>   

       "oooh my tonguesh shtuch to the metal.
po, Dec 16 2003
  

       you could just try using a rubber mouthpiece... slightly inferior sound quality, but much nicer on your lips
luecke, Dec 16 2003
  

       I hate brass bands.
sufc, Dec 16 2003
  

       sufc, would you like to tell the group, in your own time, the associations you have and the anger you feel?   

       you are among friends even if we are staring rather closely at you and you are beginning to sweat...
po, Dec 16 2003
  

       How about rubber-tipped keys and corresponding holes at your gloved fingertips? You can either keep the heated mouthpiece or go with rubber.
Worldgineer, Dec 16 2003
  

       I like the idea, but I don't play any musical instrument so I'm not speaking from experience.
phoenix, Dec 16 2003
  

       I actually (half)baked this in 1973. The solenoids were from an old pipe organ, and the power was a 12V lantern battery (pretty clumsy by today's standards.) The mouthpiece heater was great, and the solenoids / microswitches worked, although they made a bit of a "clunk" sound. They were fast enough to make trills pretty easy.   

       I tried the plastic mouthpiece, but didn't care for the sound / feel.
csea, Dec 16 2003
  

       Link for brass hatas.
calum, Dec 16 2003
  

       I halfbaked the heater portion in 1998 in Alaska. Used an engine oil pan heater, wrapped around the valves of my sousaphone, and a 12vdc-120vac inverter with an old marine battery. It was overkill. I don't recommend it. I can wear gloves and play the um-pah tuba parts, so I've never worked on the remote valve operation.
swamilad, Dec 17 2003
  

       Pretty much *anything* involving a Sousaphone is overkill.
thumbwax, Dec 17 2003
  

       Good idea, but what about your feet? I remember that while the cornet was ice cold, my feet also went numb after hours of Jingle bells in Arctic Luton weather. This was a memory I wish I could expunge permanently.
BritUSA, Dec 17 2003
  

       Got it ! - Back pack with water heater in it - piped down to one's feet and also through the instrument - giving both a nice warm glow without the burn factor. The heating could be powered by foot tapping ( in itself warming for the sorry appendages ) and indeed the foot tapping could also power the water pump. How about that ?
VladTheImpaler, Dec 17 2003
  

       I would imagine [Brit] that there are many memories of Luton that would be better permanently expunged...
hazel, Dec 17 2003
  

       Water heater on the back - Great idea! Need similar air conditioned version for here in the states.   

       Hazel - Isn't that the truth! When I look around here in Texas at the pretty girls wearing tiny swimsuits in the sunshine, I think "what the &*%$# was I doing in Luton?"
BritUSA, Dec 17 2003
  

       i play baritone in the marchin band and this past season it was so cold the valve oil in my instroment forze! i love the heating idea!
Space-Pope, Dec 17 2003
  
      
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