Behind The Scenes Of The Theremin Design

How I design my electronic circuits and prepare the videos to show them to you.

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Did you ever ask yourself where I get the schematics of the Theremin circuits and other gadgets that I present on my YouTube videos? The answer is simple: I do some research on books, on specialized magazines and on the Internet. I see solutions created by other people, if any, and then I think about what would better work for my case. Sometimes it ends up to be a modification of something that somebody else did, maybe for a totally different purpose. Sometimes, I just use the general idea to create something different, new, my own design that is more appropriate for my needs.

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Either way, I usually build a number of prototypes of what I need, then I take some measurements in lab, then I start making further modifications to my original design, until I obtain exactly what I am looking for.

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Also, more often than not, I figure that the circuit I am testing is too sensitive to certain parameters of the circuit itself. Maybe is a capacitor which value needs to be adjusted a little bit, or a connection between two or more components that causes issues because of capacitive or inductive coupling with other components. That is when I try to change my design to reduce such sensitivities, so that the circuit can be assembled by anyone with the exact same results as mine. And this is what is called engineerization, or adjusting the design for mass production.

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And sometimes, to do so, it is not enough to test the single circuit. Instead, I need to connect the circuit with other pieces that have to work together with it, and see if further unwanted interactions happen, so that I can eliminate them or, at least, reduce them so that they become negligible.

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Sometimes this process goes fast, sometimes takes a long time. And that’s why my videos are not published at fixed intervals. Unfortunately, since this is done only as a hobby, I don’t always have enough time to dedicate to my project, so days go by until, finally, I am done. Then I finalize my schematics, I build the last prototype and the final product and, in the process, I also record all these activities so I can end up making a video out of them.

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Then the video editing process starts and, once the video is finally ready, I release it on YouTube for you to watch it.

One day I will be able to do this full time. Who knows, maybe when I retire. Or, maybe, if you all give me a hand, this could become my new full time job (donations, donations, donations). We’ll see.

Thank you for reading this article. And, as usual, happy experiments!

Another Theremin Post

Announcing the new video on the design, implementation and testing of the power supply module of the Theremin.

You can find the video at this link.

Also, refer to the link on the right column about the Theremin project to find all the files so far published on the construction of this unusual electronic musical instrument (schematics, 3D designs, work art).

And, finally, don’t forget to look also at the other videos on my YouTube channel.

 

Theremin Part 2: Pitch Reference Oscillator and Box Lower Section

Presenting the files needed to reproduced what done so far for the Theremin project.

As promised in the YouTube series on the Theremin, here are the files of the parts already designed that you’ll need to build a Theremin like mine:

  • The Pitch Reference Oscillator Schematics: pitch_reference_oscillator
  • A zip file for the bottom section of the Theremin box, containing the OpenSCAD file, the .stl file and the .gcode file: box_base.
  • A zip file containing the inkscape versions of the front and back panel artworks, along with a png version: theremin_panels

Once you build the Pitch Reference Oscillator, remember to tune it to 172 kHz, by acting on the variable capacitors C6 and C7. You do so by measuring the frequency while changing the capacitance of C6 and C7. The frequency can be measured with an oscilloscope or a multimeter that is capable of measuring frequencies. The tuning should be done while the potentiometer RV1 is in the middle position.

Expect to see more of this in the next posts, once the other pieces of the Theremin will be built one at a time and the corresponding videos will also be posted on YouTube.

If you like to be automatically informed when new videos are posted, please go the YouTube channel, select a video,  and click on both the SUBSCRIBE button and the bell symbol on its right side.

You can also follow this blog as well, to be informed of new posts via e-mail.

See you soon with more of this and, in the mean time, happy experiments!

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