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Gakken Theremin Kit Hack

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Here are instructions to do some basic hacks to the theremin kit that you can buy from Make. True, there are already directions to do both of these things in the accompanying magazine, but what sets this how-to apart is that it is in English. If like me you can't read Japanese and unlike me, you couldn't figure out what to do from the pictures alone, this should help.

Basically, what I am doing is adding an audio out jack and also a bigger, sturdier telescoping antenna. This is a great improvement on the original.
 
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Step 1: Go get stuff

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You will need:
Gakken Theremin Kit (from Make)
A power drill
A mini screwdriver set
A mono jack with switch
Something with a telescoping antenna
A solder setup
Some extra wire
Assorted hardware

Step 2: Make the kit

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Before you can hack the kit, make it! See if it works. See how it works. Determine if you really want to make it better.

Alright, let's now assume that you do.

Step 3: Open it back up

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Alright, lets make this thing better!

First thing is first, we need to open that theremin back up.

Remove the screw in the bottom and take the casing apart.

Step 4: Drill and install

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Drill a 1/4" hole in the back of the theremin just to the right of the speaker. This will be for mounting your audio out jack. I found holding the panel in place where it should be helped me to drill it on target. You should not do this. Always clamp things down and be safe when working with power tools.

Once you have your hole drilled, mount and fasten the jack in place.
earnst2w85 years ago
what kind of headphones are they? i really like them :P some retro stuff :D great instructable!
randofo (author)  earnst2w85 years ago
yeah, but i really like the sound cancelling headphones you used, where did you buy the sound canceling headphones ( without the speakers inside) wich store? or the web? thanks
i was gonna ask that exact question. :D
Spokehedz5 years ago
If you find the audio-amplifier circiut (should be a simple op-amp) you might be able to tap into the signal and get line-out voltages from this.
randofo (author)  Spokehedz5 years ago
It's just a 386. I considered doing that, but decided to just go along with illustration in the accompanying magazine and see how that goes.
Always good to follow the instructions first, and then do your own after. Give you a better idea on what's going on.
conrad24685 years ago
Is it possible to make a long range thermin?
crapflinger5 years ago
a pox on digital theremins! it's not a real theremin (though...that's obvious with this one)...the sound is never as good as an analog one

theremaniacs make a nice analog single antenna model that's pretty cheap (relatively)...i got one of these kits for my dad and made my own case/mount/whatever for it out of a cigar box and a little bust of chairman mao...sounds great! http://www.theremaniacs.com/
Sandisk1duo5 years ago
very cool!
Nice one, very detailed. One thing might be important, the output signal from the jack is very strong, its a good idea to use headphones with volume control like i see in the picture above. I can use Ipod speakers on it without turning them on. I didn't dare to hook it up to an amp, i think it might blow it. I'll build a mixer first.
gmjhowe5 years ago
Nice! I think you did a great job modifying it. I have always wanted a theremin. Goes to waste money on one..
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