Picture of Chicken Theremin
2013-09-23 22.04.09.jpg
We made this chicken as part of the Instructables August Build night with Jameco. Our makerspace is called Make Shop, we're in Dublin and we're part of the Science Gallery. Since Jameco were nice enough to give us some 555 timers, we thought it would be cool to use them to make some crazy noises. We had some LDRs in the shop so we used the breadboards to prototype a small light sensitive synthesizer circuit. I later transferred it onto a tinier breadboard, and then onto stripboard. Then I put it in a chicken because I thought it would be funny. When you're making this yourself, you can use anything you want! I replaced the chicken's eyes with the LDRs, but you could use a bear, a cat, a weasel, a handbag, a hollowed-out book, a sombrero, an Altoids tin. It's up to you and your imagination. 
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Step 1: Things You Will Need

Picture of Things You Will Need
555 timer chip
IC holder
2x LDRs
1M resistor
10k resistor
4.7uF capacitor
0.22mF capacitor
8 ohm 0.5W speaker
Coin cell battery holder
2x CR2016 3V batteries
Tiny stripboard
Assorted lengths of wire
A chicken or something

Again, we were given some of these components by the nice people at Jameco!

Step 2: Solder On The IC holder, Resistors, and Jumper Wires

Picture of Solder On The IC holder, Resistors, and Jumper Wires
Place the IC holder in the centre of the little stripboard, and tape it on to keep it from falling off when you flip the board over. Flip it, and solder all 8 of the pins. Your little helping hands man will help you here. Then, add the resistors. The 1M resistor needs to go from pin 1 to pin 2 on the IC, and the 10k one goes from pin 7 to pin 8. Now we need to connect pin 2 to pin 6 with a jumper wire, and pin 4 to pin 8. Solder these on.
hammer98766 months ago
Please, no offense, but am I the only one here who does not know what a Chicken Theremin is/does? It might be nice to have something at the top explaining what this is. You know, for the rest of us.
A theremin is a musical instrument that was commonly used in classic sci-fi/horror movies. It produces a tone based on how close your hand is to the device. This is definetly an interesting project!
Oh, and congratulations on being Featured.
tinyweasel (author)  hammer98766 months ago
Thanks! I am pretty super happy about it.
tinyweasel (author)  hammer98766 months ago
I could have explained it, but I figured people would be intrigued by the name and want to click on it and see what it is. Seems like it worked!
User16 months ago
I was hoping and praying to Buddha that there was a video to this. :-(
tinyweasel (author)  User16 months ago
There is a video at the end, don't know why it doesn't appear more obviously.
synthdust User16 months ago
There is a video at the end of step 5!
synthdust6 months ago
Do you have the schematic? Great idea!
tinyweasel (author)  synthdust6 months ago
I used a schematic that was originally Make Magazine's light sensitive synth, but we messed with it a bit. I made schematics for it on Fritzing, I'll upload it when I get on an actual computer.
Also, could you set one of the photoresistors to effect the volume?
I can report this works with unmodified real chickens.
crummett6 months ago
I think "Chicken Theremin" would make a great band name!
stumitch6 months ago
That is SO cool!!!

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