Make an optical theremin while learning to solder!Designed by Citrus Circuits in United States of America
What is it? The PhotoSynTheremin is an optical photoreflecive theremin. As you move your hand closer to, or further away from the board, a 48kHz modulated infra-red emitter & photodiode detector tu...Read More…
The PhotoSynTheremin is an optical photoreflecive theremin. As you move your hand closer to, or further away from the board, a 48kHz modulated infra-red emitter & photodiode detector turn the intensity of the reflected light into an audible signal. That signal is then amplified and emitted from a speaker.
The kit is predominantly through-hole construction, with the exception of a spiffy rear-mounted LED which shines through the PCB/logo for power indication. The kit utilizes a few classic integrated circuits that have been staples of the electronics community for decades – the LM324 quad operational amplifier, LM386 audio amplifier & the 555 timer IC.
As a kid I grew up reading electronics magazines and was fascinated by the myriad of DIY kits that one could put together. That was where I learned to solder and where I really became obsessed with electronics. Some kits' documentation was severely lacking, others were well documented but didn't contain enough components to really get a good feel for what it was to solder or to "pick up a groove". On the other end of the spectrum, there were kits that had way too many components and the whole process was overwhelming. I wanted to create a kit that was fun to build, the right number of components, not intimidating and something what was fun to play with after you were done making it.
I think what makes it original is that it's good fun for newcomers, those with moderate experience and seasoned electronics professionals. It's a learning experience if you dig into the schematics, there's real world experience as you get some soldering time under your belt and let's face it. It's fun to make music (pleasing or otherwise). Also of note: there are a couple of hacks to make it even more interesting. You'll have to check out the documentation for details!!!
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