How to Build a Theremin

How to Build a Theremin

The Theremin is a musical instrument you play without touching the instrument. The device plays depending on how you move your hands over it. However, you can build a Theremin that will react depending on changes in sounds and light.

Required Tools and Materials

2 555 timer IC
2 CdS photocells
2 .01mf capacitors
1K resistor
5K potentiometer
2-position PCB terminal
8-ohm, 1-inch speaker
9-volt battery snap
9-volt battery
Hook up wire
Split level shielded box
Pocket Theremin schematic

Step 1

To make the circuit you will have to use a pocket Theremin schematic. Start by making a complete dual 555 Timer IC oscillator and a frequency divider circuit. To make the sound effects, utilize a pair of CdS photocells. Be certain the wiring is sufficient. String all the parts in a shielded container.

Step 2

Use the 2-position PCB terminal to hook up the negative and positive leads of the 9V battery snap. This will wire up the terminal.

Step 3

To build a Theremin, you have to solder and route the positive 9V connection to a terminal pin. Solder and route every GND connection to the terminal’s opposing side pin.

Step 4

Take out any modular shields, plugs and spring loaded doors you don’t need from the split level box.

Step 5

Insulate the shielded box interior. This will keep the electronic components from shorting. You can use plastic tubing, vinyl strips or tape. The circuit is now finished;

Step 6

Put the circuit in the split level container. Stick a couple of CdS photocells on the exterior of the box. These have to be mounted on opposite sides. This will improve the sounds after the Theremin is done.

Step 7

Get the one inch speaker and join it to the front of the container. Get the positive lead of the battery snap. Secure with screws on the 9-volt two-position PCB terminal positive end. Screw the negative lead in the opposing side. Route the battery snap so it is resting outside the box.

Step 8

You are almost done. Hook up the 9v battery and the battery snap. Now you just have to test the device. Change the lighting in your area and try it there. These work best in dark areas, but it can be used in various lighting conditions too.The instrument will react in diferent ways.

After you learn how to build a Theremin, you can alter the pitch and frequency by moving your hands over the CdS photocells’ location. The Theremin will react and respond to the different settings.