Make Your Own Simple Theremin

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About: Awesome Electronics Tutorials, Projects and How To´s

In this project I will show you how the electronic instrument Theremin works and how we can create a simple version of it with the help of 2 ICs and only a few complementary components. Along the way we will talk about oscillator types, body capacitance and much more. So let's get started!

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Step 1: Watch the Video!

The video gives you all the information you need to create your own simple theremin. In the next steps though I will present you some additional information to make recreating this project even easier.

Step 2: Order Your Components!

Here you can find a parts list with example seller:

Amazon.com:

1x CD4093 NAND IC: http://amzn.to/2ADFlcq

1x MCP602 OpAmp: http://amzn.to/2yvJ8aE

2x 100pF, 1x 1nF Capacitor: http://amzn.to/2yxIgSz

1x 4.7µF Capacitor: http://amzn.to/2AEY7jN

6x 10k, 1x 5.1k, 1x6.8k Resistor: http://amzn.to/2ywZ3VO

2x 10k Potentiometer: http://amzn.to/2i7rHXy

1x Antenna: http://amzn.to/2yvJkXq

1x Power Jack: http://amzn.to/2ytRnUn

1x Audio Jack: http://amzn.to/2ACKbqx

1x Housing: http://amzn.to/2ABhev8

Ebay:

1x CD4093 NAND IC: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?...

1x MCP602 OpAmp: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?...

2x 100pF, 1x 1nF Capacitor: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?...

1x 4.7µF Capacitor: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?...

6x 10k, 1x 5.1k, 1x6.8k Resistor: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?...

2x 10k Potentiometer: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?...

1x Antenna: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?...

1x Power Jack: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?...

1x Audio Jack: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?...

1x Housing: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?...

Amazon.de:

1x CD4093 NAND IC: http://amzn.to/2iQiKSc

1x MCP602 OpAmp: http://amzn.to/2i7so36

2x 100pF, 1x 1nF Capacitor: http://amzn.to/2jjwWqD

1x 4.7µF Capacitor: http://amzn.to/2huqUmF

6x 10k, 1x 5.1k, 1x6.8k Resistor: http://amzn.to/2hoysDP

2x 10k Potentiometer: http://amzn.to/2hur0e1

1x Antenna: http://amzn.to/2jl56Ks

1x Power Jack: http://amzn.to/2i6RcIn

1x Audio Jack: http://amzn.to/2jnFQ6F

1x Housing: http://amzn.to/2iPsZGa

Step 3: Build the Circuit!

Here you can find the schematic along with reference pictures of my finished perfboard layout. Feel free to replicate my circuit.

Step 4: Success!

You did it! You just built your own Simple Theremin!


Feel free to check out my YouTube channel for more awesome projects:

http://www.youtube.com/user/greatscottlab

You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for news about upcoming projects and behind the scenes information:

https://twitter.com/GreatScottLab
https://www.facebook.com/greatscottlab

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    17 Discussions

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    Prius1954

    8 weeks ago

    What an incredible Instructable, extremely well explained. Thanks a lot!

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    misha.marsavin

    3 months ago

    Basically you can turn this circuit into a superheterodyne radio by replacing the antenna oscillator with an RC circuit as the AM radio receiver.

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    Mekhi Graham

    1 year ago

    Is there a certain amp rating that the power supply needs to be?

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    Awake1234

    1 year ago

    Awesome Instructable. Great seller examples with links!
    Just wondering - how could I add the volume antenna?
    Thanks!!

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    JerryE4

    1 year ago

    Watch a bit of Star Trek the origional series, the Theramin is used in the intro music.

    1 reply
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    lee_schnitzJerryE4

    Reply 1 year ago

    Sounds like a theremin, but it wasn't.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theremin#Television

    startrek.JPG
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    Chrisf301

    1 year ago

    How hard would it be to add a circuit to allow it to have a volume antenna as well as the note? Thanks

    1 reply
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    Chrisf301Chrisf301

    Reply 1 year ago

    OH, but great project!!!!!!! Sorry I forgot to add that.

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    HeyBeckJohnC430

    Reply 1 year ago

    







    View all

    The theremin is an electronic musical instrument controlled without physical contact by the thereminist. It is named after the Westernized name of its Soviet inventor, Léon Theremin, who patented the device in 1928. Wikipedia

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    JohnC430HeyBeck

    Reply 1 year ago

    oh yeah, after asking that question i went on to watch for the next few hours of demos on YT and there were plenty. thanks for explaining.

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    redrok

    1 year ago

    Hi Great Scott;

    The problem with this and many other simple Theremins is they describe only half of the Real Theremin.

    A Real Theremin has basically 2 control antenna systems.

    1. One is for the pitch.

    2. The second is for the volume.

    Yours only has the pitch antenna.

    redrok

    2 replies
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    BennyOneredrok

    Reply 1 year ago

    If you watch the video he explains the logic behind removing the volume antenna in order to simplify the circuits. Its a pretty slick workaround.

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    TonyF12

    1 year ago

    Very nice project! Thanks.