Saturday, May 16, 2015

Project Theramin - Success... Finally!!!

 I've researched Theremin's quite a but over the past few years, in an effort to build my own.  Theremin's have a distinctive sound and I've always liked it even when I didn't know what instrument made the sound.

I recently completed a Theremin build,  I tried building this particular Theremin 3 times in the past (once on bread board and 2 times on perf board using the wire wrap method), I hayd temporary success on bread board and no success with wire wrap.  I set everything aside for about a year and focused on other projects.  As I got better at building and troubleshooting I came back to finally conquer this build.

This Theremin is based directly on Art Harrisons Minimum Theremin.

 I made a few, very minor, changes to the circuit:
  • Substituted an LM7805 voltage regulator for the one used in the circuit (the pin out is a bit different)
  • Added a power indicator LED
Instead of making this a straight sterile build I wanted to add a bit of style to it. My goal was to make it a bit like a Steampunk version.  As a result, I wanted it to look old and used while still looking fully functional.

Finished Theremin

Theremin Antenna
 It did take me awhile before deciding on the cord attachment to the antenna, after aremad bit of trial and error (and some research) I decided to use boot laces as a jacket for the connecting wire (looks similar to antique braided cloth wire jacketing).
Housing for Theremin
 The box I used to house this Theremin was a simple box from Micheal's craft store.  I removed all the hardware,  remade the front panel, added new "antiqued" brass plated hardware.  Also, sanded, primed, painted and polyurethaned all the outside surfaces. 
Theremin Circuit board

Antenna Connection

Rear of Box

Hooked up to Guitar Amp