As an avid tinkerer, I've always wanted to build my own Theremin. Not some cheap de-tuned AM radio, not one that sounds like a speak-&-spell cross-bred with R2D2, but an "instrument grade" unit, wholly analog device.
I learned about Theremins back in '94 when I caught the docu, "An Electronic Odyssey" and I've wanted to build one ever since.
Anyone out there have any experience or interest? Would love to have a "build buddy" who I could compare notes with.
Theremin Build: 2 of ?
Since my previous post to the Fedi didn't see any takers, I'll continue to add to this thread from here on out.
Completed the power supply!
This takes 120VAC and outputs both 10VAC, for the tube heater circuit, and 50VDC to the instrument for general operation.
We keep the power supply separate from the instrument for safety and EM interference.
Alright, important safety tip, thanks Egon, capacitors can hold a charge, even hours after being unplugged from mains power!
Theremin Build: 3 of ?
Completed principle physical construction on the main unit. I'll build this on a simple base of plywood for now to get it operational. Though I do intend to construct a nice case or chassis for this...any recommendations?
Chose stainless steel over aluminum for the chassis plate. Much nicer in the end, but SS work-hardens in a hurry when it heats up, making larger holes a real PitA. I wouldn't even consider without a drill press.
Solder guns ready, next up is wiring!
Theremin Build: 4 of ?
She sings! After a lot of soldering, checking, re-checking, re-soldering...primary wiring was complete and the only thing left was to plug it in and see if we let out any magic smoke...it did not!
Actually, aside from a very few minor tweaks and correcting a few lackluster solder joints, this thing fired right up with a surprising minimum of bother.
This is still just a protoype. Now that I know it will sing, I have to make it look nice.
Theremin Build: 5 of 5
It's done! After setting it up in a prototype configuration to verify proper function, it was on me to create a more pleasing aesthetic package.
I wanted something with a hint of anachronism, that would be as compelling to the eyes as it is the hands and ears.
More importantly, I feel like I've achieved my goal of creating an instrument grade Theremin. It's range is about 5.5 octaves from 60hz up to 1800hz.
All told, I'm quite pleased with the outcome!
My man and his son built one from a kit a fellow tinkerer put together and sold them. We're not sure if it was a failure to solder correctly, but it never worked. I'm very interested in your journey on this endeavor. I shall stay tuned to perhaps learn something.
@Reanne13 Thanks, I did complete my Analog Tube Theremin this summer. I feel like I successfully completed my goal of building a period compatible, analog tube theremin that is "Instrument Grade."
I'm contemplating building a digital model now that I have the analog version done.
I used the T-126 design on Arthur Harrison's page. Art is a real treasure among the electronic music crowd, and a real nice guy who enjoys spreading his knowledge.
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