Recycled Theremin




Introduction: Recycled Theremin

Today I'm writing about a theremin I built out of almost completely recycled materials. The only materials I didn't grab from old electronics were left over from an old electronics class in my school, unfortunately the class got canceled so the parts were getting no use.

I have actually wanted to build a theremin for quite a while but could never find the motivation to go through the entire process. Then my Environmental Science teacher gave us a project on sustainability in which we could do what we wanted as long as it was related to sustainability. Finally I had my motivation, although the creation of a single theremin will not take a lot of material out of the waste stream, by posting it here I hope to further show how easy it is to recycle electronics.

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Step 1: Getting Ready

The above schematic is one that I found on youtube.

To make the theremin you will require:

100 uH choke x2

100 kOhm resistor x3

1 kOhm resistor x1

2n2222 transistor (or equivalent) x3

10 nf ceramic disk capacitor x2

100 pf ceramic disk capacitor x2

100 nf ceramic disk capacitor x1

300 pf ceramic disk capacitor x1

500 pf variable capacitor

antenna x1

9v battery connector xl

1/8 in. mono audio jack x1

These parts can all be found in radios except the variable capacitor which can be found in an old TV that has knobs.

Helpful materials:


old perfboard


soldering iron

Step 2: Breadboard and Solder

Now its time to make a prototype of the theremin to make sure it will work. When doing this I decided to take out transistor acting as an amp next to the out put jack as I knew I would be playing the theremin through a Lepai Lp-2020A+ amp which I already owned.

Once you have successfully bread boarded the theremin you can move on to soldering the board together.

Step 3: Putting It All in a Case

To add a visual component to my theremin I decided to mount it inside of an oscilloscope that i made out of the TV I found the 500pf variable capacitor in. Unfortunately my theremin is not perfect because I had to replace improvise with some of the peices and the oscilloscope doesn't display the frequencies it emits (the oscilloscope works perfectly, I tested that).

oscilloscope write ups

now you have a theremin that you've built with your own two hands and you've done your part by recycling. Hope you enjoy the new theremin and showing it off to all your friends. Happy playing everyone.

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    5 years ago on Introduction

    I'd love to see video of it, theremins have such a haunting and lovely sound...