More Theremax questions

Posted: 9/25/2005 9:28:37 AM

Joined: 4/28/2005

I'm considering building a Theremax.

I had a couple questions:

1. Are the antennae removeable? I can't tell from the pictures, but they seem to be permanently attached. Obviously, removeable antennae would be preferable, if one wanted to transport the unit.

2. How much modification is actually needed? I have read various articles on how to alter this, or alter that on the Theremax, and frankly, it seems confusing to me. Is modification needed to get a nice theremin from this kit?



Posted: 9/25/2005 8:43:53 PM

From: Kansas City, Mo.

Joined: 8/23/2005

The antennae are removable. They are attached internally with wing nuts. The lectern cover is attached to the case via velcro strips... thus, the circuit board and antenna connections are easy to access.

If you enjoy kit building, then you won't mind the time that goes into building it. Out of the box, with no mods it is a nice-sounding instrument. You will discover people heavily modify PAIA equipment because the circuits are easy to understand and the most common mods are well-documented.

I have lost track of the time I have put into building and modding my Theremax. Since I like kit-building, it doesn't bother me. As a pure economic proposition, if I divide the time I've spent with the difference in cost to purchase an Etherwave it comes out to around $3 per hour. Let's see... for an EPro... around $20 per hour.

I think I am talking myself into an EPro now... :)
Posted: 9/25/2005 8:44:07 PM

From: Hillsborough, NC (USA)

Joined: 2/13/2005

You should check out this thread for some fresh tips on Theremax mods:

In the standard kit, the antennas are permanently attached. I found the volume antenna easier to remove than the pitch antenna due to the bend in the latter. You could easily replace the flimsy copper antennas with more sturdy nickel-plated brass antennas like the Etherwave has. They're actually just made from standard sink piping & fittings you can buy at your local Home Depot. I haven't tried the Lev antenna mentioned in the thread above, but I've heard great things about it.

The Theremax is a fun kit to build and a great introduction to theremins. If you have an old wooden box (perhaps an old radio), you can also just buy the electronics part of the kit and save a few bucks.
Posted: 9/26/2005 1:20:09 AM

Joined: 2/21/2005

I found the kit antennae quite useful and valuable in the early days of ownership of my Theremax. They were functional, and as they represented part of the original specifications of the kit, I could treat them as a benchmark once I started to modify my kit.

Currently I use solid brass rod antenna on a custom-built wood cabinet. They attach to the cabinet with plumbers' compression fittings. The pitch wand is 15 1/2 inches tall, similar to the RCA pitch wand. The volume loop was bent to a pattern based on my own palm and is designed to exceed the performance of the kit loop.

The original kit antennae are currently mounted to a large cardboard box which I use as a test-bed for theremin circuits. So they are quite useful, still.

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