As I reviewed all the information I had gathered, I realised that it would be very helpful to anyone else thinking of using a PDA instead of a SDMP, so decided to gather it together, and publish on my personal web site. This was fine, until the company that had produced the PDA MIDI software – called ittyMIDI – decided that as the Palm devices were becoming obsolete, they would no longer publish or support ittyMIDI. Although there were still places where one could download the software (or ‘app’ as these are now called), it was not possible to pay a registration fee to enable it to run properly. I had registered my copy, and since it would not deprive anyone of any revenue since it was effectively ‘dead’, I offered to pass on my registration code to anyone who wanted to use ittyMIDI . The only minor drawback was that the Palm software on the PDA and the associated PC - from which music was initially loaded – has to have my user name, Don Johnson.
I understand that a SDMP costs from around £80-90, but PDAs like the Palm Vx that I used for Topsy are still to be found on Ebay, varying in price but from as little as £10. The main requirement to bring one back to life is a new battery, and these can also be found for around £12. The Vx version used a serial connection for linking to a PC, but the later Palm versions like the m505 and m515 use the faster USB system, so are much more convenient to use. Although these can be a little more expensive on Ebay, the exercise of some patience still enables a considerable saving to be achieved over the SD system.
Both the Vx and m500 series Palms need a small interface circuit between a cradle fitted in the organ and the MIDI Controller board, but this contains only seven components plus the input and output sockets. A Vx cradle for the organ comes with a cable with a 9-pin serial D-Type female connector already, but for the m500 series, a similar cable has to be connected in place of the existing USB cable. Details of the interface circuit and the connections for the m500 series are included on my website page.