The light theremin

Posted on Feb 6, 2014

A `theremin` is an instrument you can play just by changing the proximity of your hands with respect to the instrument`s sensors. Traditional theremins generate the classic spacey, spooky sounds from sci-fi and horror films. Ours is a simple optical version. We`ll use a separate IC chip for this, called a `555 timer chip` (the small black chip on

The light theremin
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your breadboard). It`s a bit more specialized than the op-amp chip we used for the last build, but they can do similar stuff. This time, try to build the circuit based on the schematic alone. It`s not hard as long as you know the orientation of the 555 timer chip. Looking down from above, there should be a notch or a circle at one end of the chip which corresponds to the notch on the chip in the schematic. All you need to do is look at each pin on the chip one at a time. Is there a component (resistor, jumper, capacitor, CdS photoresistor, etc. ) connected to it If yes, find that component in your kit. Plug one leg into the 555 pin. Then figure out if the other leg of the component plugs into a different 555 chip pin, or plugs into 9V, or plugs into 0V, etc.

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