Started: Sept. 28, 2013
Contruction of a Moog Etherwave Theremin Kit.
Forgot to take any pictures of the rest of the process. It was not that hard, although I mad a stupid mistake, like attaching the front plate on the top of the base, when it should have been on the bottom. But other then that, the rest was quite easy.
Now I have a great looking theremin, now all that is left is to learn how to play it.... DOH!
It has been tested and it works. I am still no master of tuning it, that will defenetly take some practice. There is a few steps to go through to do this. Will take some time to learn.
Now it is finnaly time to attach the circuit board. It was a bit tricking to put the case on, to make sure that the power connector was aligned on the back, and then take it off without moving the board, and then screw it into place. But think it was placed in the right place...
Then it was time to attach the antennas to the board, this is what made me the most nervous. The connection wire is stiff and sharp, and you are moving it millimetres from the spools on the circuit board, even had to cut it a bit more then the manual said, but the soldering was fairly easy.
The description of the potentiometers in the manual does not fit the description of the potentiometers that was in my kit. First of it says there is a tab on the potentiometer. But there was non. Then it states that there are two washers on the potentiometer, this is also not the case, there where only one washer and a lockwasher. I am still unsure if I mounted them correctly, they where mounted in this order: potentiometer -> lockingwasher -> front plate -> washer -> nut. Could not even find any thing on the net describing in what order they should actually be.
The various length of wire, that is now listed. Just ignore this, and cut the wires so that they fit the from and to list. Not sure why they want the black wire that has to go the same length as the green wire, to be almost an inch longer. I followed the instructions of cutting the wire, and some of them where a bit short to say the least, and some way to long.
The audio jack connector in my kit, does not look anything like the connector that is described in the manual, but with a bit of logic thinking, it is possible to guess what should go where. The soldering of the 10pin connector to the front panel can be a bit tricky, be very aware that you a holding a soldering iron that will melt any cable it gets in contact with. But succeeded with great success.
The aluminum foil was a bit tricky to get off the paper backing, but after that easy enough to get at the right position, because I had marked the corner described in the manual with a pencil.
Again the manual is so nice to tell that you have to clean your work area when you are done.
To mount the mic stand flange, you first have to insert three tee-nuts. Unless you have super strength, I would suggest that you use a hammer to get them into the base. Added some cardboard underneath the base, and some card board on top of the tee-nut, and whacked it a few times, until it was possible for the threading of the screw to pull it the last piece of the way. This was also just a walk in the park.
The part that I feared the most, because I have never worked with epoxy glue before, and probably also one of the reasons that the project has been standing still for so long. Although not the main reason.
The manual in this section could use some proof reading, sections has been copy pasted in the wrong order, and they miss a few details. Mixing the glue and applying it is really not that hard. But, when I was done with the two straight connectors, I wish I had listen to the manual and made a new batch of epoxy, it was thickening. But managed to get the elbow connector on as well. The manual states that you should put on the solder log before gluing them. Think this is a bad idea, you will just end up getting glue all over the solder log and get a bad connection when it should be soldered. Had a few issues with left over paint getting in the way while screwing in the elbow connector, but used a tooth pick to clear it away, so was never really an issue.
Made a new batch of epoxy for the stand-off screws, and this was just a walk in the park, no problems there.
To protect the nice looking connectors, I added a little cut out piece of cardboard to my adjustable wrench. Also use it for my bike, and would be a shame to get oil on the nice looking connectors.
During the winter the theremin has been painted. But have not had the time to make the finisheing touches. While painting some of the newspater that it was standing on got stuck to the paint, and is now a part of the cabinet, this does really not look good.
But the cabinet does look rather nice on the top surface, so eventhough i took a chance on the colour, i think that it ended up look quite good.
Just because i can't decide what colour to make the theremin, does not mean that i can not skip ahead just a bit in the manual. So next is the construction of the antennas. The antennas is going to to be attached to the box using nuts, so to make them stay there tight, some compression rings has to be fixed onto the antennas. The antennas comes as a straight and a bended chrome tube.
It is a very simple process to attach the compression rings, but a vise is definitely a good idea to use. Fist the elbow connector is put into the vise, and it is always a good idea to wrap things up to protect from scratches. The device should look nice in the end. Luckily there where a lot of foam plastic in the packaging of the theremin. Just used this to put around the connector.
Then as said in the manual applied a small amount of oil to the thread. Then slide on the nut and compression ring on the straight antenna, and insert it into the connector. Finger tighten the nut.
Again this has to look nice in the end so used some more of the foam plastic to protect the chrome nut from the spanner, wrapped it around, and tightened the nut firmly. So that the compression ring gets crimped onto the antenna.
After that it was just a matter of doing the same thing for both end of the other antenna. Thinks the end result look very nice.
Have sanded the cabinet, so now it is nice and smooth. It comes already very nice. But a good sanding just makes it a little bit nicer. The instructions said to use 80 and 120 grain sand paper. Did not have that so used 100 and 240 grain sand paper. Should not make that much of a difference.
The manual had a very great tip about using some cloth to cover the work area, for easy cleaning. Great tip! Another great tip is to use some garden gloves (or similar) while sanding, because the cabinet have some very sharp edges, and it is impossible to avoid getting some tears of the skin.
Found this video of somebody who also build the Moog Theremin kit, although his is the plus version of the theremin. This gives a nice overview of the things that needs to be done.
Have bought a Moog Theremin kit. Not exatly sure why, but i have always wanted to try and play the Theremin, so i jumped into it.
This is defenetly a bigger project then i expected. Did know that the kit required some soldering and assembly, but did not know that i should also finish up the case. Meaning it has to be sanded down, painted and so on. This of course gives the freedome to make it look as greate as you might want it to be. But this also requires that i actually have to descide on what to do with it. Fortunatly the kit comes with a very very thorough construction manual. It even explains that you have too clean up after your self, and how to do it. Very american. But it is nice that they go in to alot of details and even come up with surgestions to how to paint the case.
This is the case as it is without being sanded down or done anything with yet: