This blog focuses on the developement of an optical sensor bar that can be added to a piano keyboard measuring the movements of the keys, calculating a physical model of a hammer mechanic and thus “midifying” it. I named the project EPiCK for Electronic Piano Construction Kit. It started with a single sensor prototype which you can watch demonstrated here:

If you’re interested in reading why and how  I started building this here is the original story behind my sensor bar.

This project is likely to become a product with at least some parts of the software (especially GUI to make it customizable) open sourced. If you want to support the developement of  EPiCK as an affordable “midifying” kit for all kinds of keyboards you can donate here(no warranties for product availabilities):

Later I developed an 8 sensor module that would fit into my digital piano:

This prototype board then was mounted under the keys of my Thomann(german brand) DP50 digital piano for further testing. It had a direct MIDI output to hear it playing and I used hardcoded parameters + an ISP programmer to change them. From there a lot of work was due in order to produce 11 of these boards to cover the 88 keys of a modern grand piano and to design a motherboard, that is able to collect the keystroke messages from 11 sensor boards  sending it to a midi interface and maintaining a user interface that allows a convenient way of changing the parameters of the physical hammer model. So this is the status from which this blog shall begin…



  1. I chose “Other” in the Poll since I was not perfectly certain whether my queried description equaled your top price or not.

    If it does, then I choose your top price.

    • Yes you were right. My description was not 100% clear, because there is a maximum length for the poll question. Now I’ve added the 88 keys to the answers to make it more clear. Thanks for your generous vote!

  2. Not generous. You’ve solved a problem, Columbus-style, with perfect adequacy. Don’t simulate action (and fail). Employ it!

    As it happens, only some years back I threw out an action you call Overdamper. If you want the full gruesome story, look up “custral” ‘s first post on PianoTeq forum.

  3. My research into building an affordable scanner bar lead me here. I’m working on a full digital conversion of a player piano that I have. I’d love to talk about your work and some of the reasons you went certain ways with your circuit design. I’m about to embark on roughly the same journey and I’d love to trade notes.

    • just write me a mail and I’ll see in wich way i can help you,

      • I couldn’t find your email on the site. Mine is hackman @ cybernetics.net

    • I could not send you a mail to hackman@cybernetics.net. typo? mine is s,stepp@gmx.de

  4. Oh weird. That must have been an autocorrect. It’s cyberantics.net.

  5. Sebion, any recent activity? I am in the process of disassembling a Lyon & Healy Baby Grand Piano that my father willed me. It had a poor action and was very out-of-tune. We were told that a rebuild would be a very poor investment.
    In taking it apart I was so taken by the keyboard mechanism that I didn’t want to go any farther on the action, itself. I started looking around for manual to digital conversions and found (only) your site. I have subscribed to your YouTube channel and am also subscribing to this site.The primary difference I see is that the action in a grand is more horizontal, so I would like to incorporate the whole thing into a table. Thank you for your time and effort. Bob

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