Step 10: Use it!

How to use!

The Drawdio is simple to use. Simply grip the pencil in one hand so that you're making good contact with the copper tape. Then draw a circle on the paper and touch it using a finger from the other hand

This allows your body to act as the sensor. The voltage is very low (about 1 volt) which is very safe. As long as you stick to the single battery, there are no health risks.

Choosing a pencil

The 'softness' of the pencil lead will affect how thick the drawn lines are and thus the sound of the pencil. Experiment with hard and soft leads as well as sharpening or blunting the point to see how that affects the drawdio sound

Mechanical pencils also work well. However, you may have to put an insulative layer (like packing tape) on the lower section of the pencil if the body is completely metallic.

Inspirational videos

And some from happy & noisy customers!

Ideas for experimentation

  • Try different kinds of paper, and pencils
  • Place a copper coin (like a penny!) on the drawing and use that to make contact with the graphite - it will make the surface area larger and reduce the resistance of the drawing
  • Hold hands with someone and 'draw' on their skin with the pencil
  • Wash and lightly dry your hands to make them a little more wet than usual, this will also affect the pitch
<p>I'm looking for someone to demo Drawdio on BBC Radio - just down a phone line or on Skype would be fine. Its for a music feature this weekend on Saturday morning. Please could you call me on 0782 6762481. Many thanks, Michelle Dawes, Producer </p>
<p>This is my first version of this proyect, from Argentina!</p>
The materials shouldn't cost more than $20 (US).. Looks like the priciest item is the copper foil tape, and you might be able to shop around a bit to find a decent deal.
<p>Either order it from AliExpress (under 2$/roll) or use aluminium tape or even alumium foil instead. A wire would also work.</p>
Wow. This looks like fun. Can the pitch be changed to have deeper sounds?
Hi, I made the Drawdio, and it makes an extremely high pitched noise, and It doesnt matter what resistance it makes the same sound, but it has to have a resistance to make the noise. What can be wrong? could some flux residue cause this problem ot some short? thanks
I measured the frequency on pin 3, it was 6.5 KHz, under 10Mohm resistor if that helps, by the way it worked perfectly on a breadboard.
I measured the frequency on pin 3, it was 5.3 KHz, while shorted. please help me make it work.
I fixed it, when i finished soldering i put the 555 timer into the socket, but when i needed a longer sense wire i soldered it without removing the ic, therefore these problems were solved by changing the 555 timer ic.
anyone know how i can print this using the toner transfer method?
I received a 6.3 volt capacitor (the blue one on your parts list) from adafruit industries in the mail but the one that you show is a 10 volt. Will mine still work for this project? Also, do I need one or two of them?, because you stated 1 for quantity here on your parts list but show two of them on the next step. And is an on/off switch absolutely neccessary?, because I didn't receive one of those in my kit either. Lastly, I received only one transistor, you show two. What should I do?
6.3 V cap will be ok since you're gonna work with a 1.5V battery ... <br>(the voltage on those electrolytic caps is the maximum you can use them with)
So simple... and so great! Congratulations! Question: how would the contacts be connected to a mechanical pencil? Do you have any photos of that? I was thinking and thinking and couldn't find a good way. By the way, what kind of mechanical pencil? 0.5mm, 0.7mm, or another one thicker? Suggestion: Please add extra warning to NOT solder the battery holder with the battery in place. The soldering heat might damage the battery and maybe the battery could explode.
Try soldering to the metal tip that comes out the end of the tip of the mechanical pencil.
Hey,<br/>I have some notes on this on the Drawdio website here<br/><a rel="nofollow" href="http://web.media.mit.edu/~silver/drawdio/make.htm">http://web.media.mit.edu/~silver/drawdio/make.htm</a><br/><br/>The basic trick is to attach one side of the circuit to a *metal tipped* mechanical pencil. I like 0.7mm but try a couple out and see what you think. You can test them before even mounting: just draw a line and touch (or clip) one side of the drawdio to the line... then hold the other side with your hand and touch the other end of the line with your hand.<br/>
Ah, I forgot to add: 1 Volt could be potentially dangerous if you had an open wound on both fingers while using this (allowing blood to contact the graphite and the copper foil) unlikely, but a warning, as the current could pass through your heart.
So ground is the positive of the battery?
No, ground is always the negative.
Right,...I must've misread the battery in the schematics
Wait, is this at the Faire every year? Sadly, I won't be there this weekend. I was there today, but no drawdio :(<br />
haha this reminds me of my theremin
the best thing is, i have all the parts in my &quot;parts that i probably shouldnt have bought&quot; draw! definatly going to make this.<br /> <br /> Is the main IC a bog-standard 555 timer?<br />
WOW!! I just looked at the videos for the first time. This is fantastic!! Can't wait to try it out at the maker faire! maybe even build it.&nbsp;:D<br />
Hi! What is the price of all the parts and do you where can i get them if i am not in the USA (cause i`m in Bulgaria)?
adafruit ships internationally :)<br />
The C3 value in the calculations doesn't match the schematic :/<br /> Noticed the same thing on ladyada's site.<br /> <br /> I'm using TS555C with a coin cell battery and I'm only getting low hz almost none changing static :(<br /> <br /> Not sure what that could be...<br />
question from utter newb. like i dont know jack.<br /> but if i bought the kit how would i add a line out type deal so i could put it through guitar pedals and computer effects and the like.<br /> thanks<br /> jook<br />
oooh a line in too.<br /> teehee<br />
i use 5 volt but why 555 do not work?<br />
It sounds like a dentist drill......
these're kinda annoying? doesn't anyone else think so, hah.
do u know if i could buy it pre made<br/><em></em><br/>
Do you know of a way to change the pitch of the sound?
my C2 has 681k on it... P.S., This is awesome
finaly tictactoe is funner then ever (im tired of always tieing)
Thanks a lot I have always wanted to make one of these but didnt want to buy the kits, is it possible you have a schematic to make one of these on a veroboard as i cannot purchase a PCB nor make one. Thanks again
Instructions on using stripboard (Veroboard) with link to the schematics if you can't get hold of the kit.<br/><a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.2ne1.com/drawdio/">http://www.2ne1.com/drawdio/</a><br/>
I bought all of the parts from the links you provided, but when they arrived I realized you linked to an 18pf capacitor instead of 680pf. Is this correct?
It should be a 680, but don't sweat it, just throw that sucker in there and see how it sounds.
I just bought the kit, came in the mail today. but i am missing a 300kohm resistor. it didnt come with the kit. would it still work if i attach three 100kohm resistors instead?
Yes it will still work that way. In fact it will work with any resistor from literally a wire all the way to a 1Mohm resistor, though i like it with 100k to 500k best. The beauty of this circuit it that it's old and tough. hook it up some different ways and see what happens.
It's just like the pen from Picture Pages with Bill Cosby!!
i was so just going to post a reference to picture pages! i just ordered the best of 'the electric company' on dvd. can't wait for it to get here. cheers!
Man that brings back some memories - The Mortimer Ichabod marker.
It's fantastic!!!

About This Instructable




Bio: All-original DIY electronics kits - Adafruit Industries is a New York City based company that sells kits and parts for original, open source hardware electronics projects ... More »
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