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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 1:45 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
I can concede that, but I still maintain that where there's money to be made - even if just once - why miss the opportunity?


Because the hassle is likely to be worth more than the profit. Yeah, you could quadruple your ask in anticipation of the degree of drag, but not everyone feels brazen enough to do that. Sometimes, blowing off the deal entirely might be the simpler option. Particularly when you think that with a realistic price, the customer's gonna run away, anyway. And then badmouth you. Why not get in the rejection first?

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 2:15 pm 
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s1m0n wrote:
Nanohedron wrote:
I can concede that, but I still maintain that where there's money to be made - even if just once - why miss the opportunity?

Because the hassle is likely to be worth more than the profit. Yeah, you could quadruple your ask in anticipation of the degree of drag, but not everyone feels brazen enough to do that. Sometimes, blowing off the deal entirely might be the simpler option. Particularly when you think that with a realistic price, the customer's gonna run away, anyway. And then badmouth you. Why not get in the rejection first?

Well, there's that. But while what you say may indeed reflect the general model, it's an awfully negative one, what with everyone running around preemptively stabbing each other in the back as if corporate laziness itself weren't enough. It leads me back to my question: Why would African (or anyone's, for that matter) investment in Africa, no matter how small, not be worth trying? If everyone wants better things for Africa, how is this accomplished by turning our backs? If it's someone else's problem, then whose? Never mind anyone else, but when I see Africans not supporting Africa merely in the name of profit or national politics when a simple piano maker's just trying to get off the ground, I think there's a real problem.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 2:26 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
david_h wrote:
Africa piano wire suppliers may have a view on the African piano market that is more than conjecture.

I can concede that, but I still maintain that where there's money to be made - even if just once - why miss the opportunity? With the information we have to work with here, it just doesn't make sense to me.

I think there are probably multiple factors at play with why they wouldn't ship them. It is further complicated by the fact that they are substantially different from the west culturally and they may not be upfront if asked why they are unwilling.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 2:39 pm 
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AaronFW wrote:
It is further complicated by the fact that they are substantially different from the west culturally and they may not be upfront if asked why they are unwilling.

Having lived abroad (even if only for a little while) myself, I've learned not to expect up-front answers. I can only pose the question, and leave them to look within and answer it for themselves. That's entirely fair even if they don't like it.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 3:35 pm 
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About the logistics. I am fairly sure that sending a package from one African country to another is much the same as sending one anywhere else. If it's small you put it in the post, if it's bigger you see if a courier firm will give you a better price and if it's something the size of a piano or bigger a specialist agent may be the best bet. The package, and maybe the piano, will probably go air freight. The recipient may have to collect it from depot or post office.

As with flutes and whistles between N America and the EU, the main hassle will probably be customs and regulatory clearance. Check the forums here for tales of woe with flutes going either way. Most of us are used to distance buying and generally assume that getting the stuff to us is the seller’s responsibility. Customs clearance are usually the recipient’s responsibility. If the supplier isn't used to sending his widget to your country you may have to do some research to tell him what to put on the paperwork. When it doesn't turn up he probably can't do much about it but the customer may think it is the supplier’s problem. Things are offered for sale on C&F with a caveat of intra-US or -EU sales only.

When it doesn't turn up you contact the supplier who may or may not be able to help. (me to Doug Tipple "my flute hasn't come". Doug to me "sometimes it takes a while, give it time". Me to postman "that took a month", Postman to me "It went from the UK to Ireland to get EU customs clearance, you were unlucky, sometimes they don't bother").

I was involved with some medical supplies to go to Uganda. The EU supplier said not to even think of surface mail, they could send it air freight and have it held at Entebbe. Someone there familiar with the local formalities could go there collect it. It all went smoothly, the lady at customs helped them fill in the form to get the duty waiver on 'humanitarian supplies'. We bought similar stuff in Uganda but it was not much cheaper, required sending the money out and the supply chain was slow. One problem with surface transport in East Africa is that smuggling is rife so trucks are forever being stopped and checked, which increases the chances of things going astray.

@AaronFW - try Googling for options to send a package from where you are to Kigali.

(edited Sun Dec 10, 2017 10:40 am)


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 5:04 am 
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Nanohedron wrote:
when I see Africans not supporting Africa merely in the name of profit or national politics when a simple piano maker's just trying to get off the ground, I think there's a real problem.
They may not identify themselves, primarily, as 'Africans' in the way you do. Rather than thinking of 'profit' or 'national politics' they may focus mainly on the cash flow to pay themselves, their employes and their suppliers so that everyone has a job and can feed the kids and pay the household bills. The same as in most other places.

Nanohedron wrote:
I can only pose the question, and leave them to look within and answer it for themselves. That's entirely fair even if they don't like it.
One reason some people are not up front about things is a custom of courtesy and/or conflict avoidance; this is particularly the case in places with an 'honour culture'*. If you are in their territority then you are the one with a substantally different culture and I don't think putting them in a position where 'they don't like it' is 'entirely fair'.

* the article on 'honor culture' I have in front of me cites reasearch in 'the west'


[the almost recursive nature of this post has not escaped me but I decided to post anyway]


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 7:43 am 
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david_h wrote:
@AaronFW - try Googling for options to send a package from where you are to Kigali.


OK. I tried to do some research.

I could buy a set of piano wire for 300 USD. Piano wire also doesn't appear to fit under any restrictions for shipping to Rwanda, so I am good there.
It looks like I could send it via the USPS for $30-$90 depending on the size of box and expect it to be there in 6-10 days.
Other options like FedEx, are substantially more expensive.

david_h wrote:
I was involved with some medical supplies to go to Uganda. The EU supplier said not to even think of surface mail, they could send it air freight and have it held at Entebbe. Someone there familiar with the local formalities could go there collect it. It all went smoothly, the lady at customs helped them fill in the form to get the duty waiver on 'humanitarian supplies'. We bought similar stuff in Uganda but it was not much cheaper, required sending the money out and the supply chain was slow. One problem with surface transport in East Africa is that smuggling is rife so trucks are forever being stopped and checked, which increases the chances of things going astray.


In 2012, I carried some stuff in a suitcase to the Democratic Republic of Congo for some friends (I was coming to be there for 3 weeks and offered to bring some stuff along). I flew from Entebbe, Uganda to Bunia, DRC using a small MAF plane. (Sometimes if we needed to transfer small items, we could simply send to MAF in Uganda and have them carry it to the DRC for us.) So I am a little familiar with what you are describing.

I agree with part of your last post to Nanohedron; there is not really a strong "African" identity. The first priority is to provide for your family. After that, there is a priority to an ethnic community. After that, the ideas of "States" and "Nations" are very Western ideas that were imposed on Africa and don't really make sense within Africa.

In regards to straightforwardness, if people don't answer questions, it is often because they have higher values elsewhere, such as they value the relationship more than being straightforward. Being straightforward brings a risk of damaging relationships.

I think this is worth saying... whether it is not selling piano wire, not being straightforward, posting endlessly on Chiff & Fipple, or anything else; I have observed that people only do that which makes sense for them to do. Perhaps we differ culturally and our ways of thinking, but people only do things that make sense to them. The difficulty is usually the stepping out of our own worldviews to understand someone else's.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 10:51 am 
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Thank you, david_h and AaronFW. :)

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:47 am 
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Thank you all for your replies. The "Can't be bothered" comment from me arises from me having spoken to a supplier in Johannesburg who didn't afterwards reply to my emails.
I'm not under any illusions about the transport to Rwanda. Rwanda is landlocked, and as someone pointed out, has had its own problems recently. My contact, Marion, doesn't have much confidence in the postal service - in August she said "don't send me a Christmas card - it won't arrive in time.".

The problem is less sourcing the strings - we have sourced a limited set of sizes from China. The problem is deciding how to use the limited sizes to get the notes required, and what lengths of wire we need for that.
In fact I've devised a spreadsheet to work on that. Most of the information comes from this site: http://pianomaker.co.uk/technical/string_formulae/.
I think now I have the spreadsheet, I can leave the rest to Marion. But thank you all, thank you all for your help.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:49 am 
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Innocent Bystander wrote:
Most of the information comes from this site: http://pianomaker.co.uk/technical/string_formulae/.
The equations on the Delacour site can tell you the tension in the wire once you've chosen the diameter, but they don't help you choose the diameter. For that, you need to look at inharmonicity and impedance. To reduce inharmonicity, you want thin strings, but to increase impedance (and the transfer of energy to the soundboard), you want thick strings. Choosing the diameter for a specific string involves a compromise between these two factors.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:20 am 
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From my old notebooks ...

Relative impedance (Z) = pi * radius^2 * sqrt( rho * sigma )
= sqrt( pi * radius^2 * rho * tension )

Relative inharmonicity (J) = ( pi^2 * radius^2 * (Young's modulus) ) / ( 8 * length^2 * sigma )

where rho is the density,
sigma is the stress in the wire, sigma = tension/(pi * radius^2). For a given length, frequency and string material, sigma is constant, regardless of the string diameter.

These apply only for a single string per note, while a piano has 2 or 3 strings per note. I haven't considered how to compute Z and J for multiple strings per note.

Graph sigma, Z and J over the 88-string compass of the piano. Juggle the string diameters until all three curves are as smooth as you can make them.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:43 pm 
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Our problem is that we have limited choice of the wire diameter. For that reason, the calculation I have seems the most useful one.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 8:41 pm 
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just scanned the topic headings - thought i read stinging piranhas


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 9:06 pm 
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"Stinging piranhas." We may have just witnessed the birth of a new Chiffmeme, here. Long has it been since snobes, throbbing tongues, Special Food, and bubble wrap.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 7:20 am 
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Check out these people. They might be able to help

https://www.mapesstrings.com/

They make all kinds of strings-- piano, banjo, guitar, mandolin etc. I think they make strings for other string companies who put their own names on them. FWIW- people on Mandolincafe like their strings, and they're inexpensive.

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