Etherwave Plus stopped functioning

Posted: 4/19/2019 5:19:06 PM

Joined: 4/19/2019


I recently received my Theremin from built by Wilco. I got a left-handed version with the ESPE01 module installed. I unfortunately broke my arm while waiting for it to arrive, so I was only able to start playing it this week. Everything has been great, except just today, while adjusting the pitch knob, it went silent. I discovered I can actually still make it squeak if I touch the volume antenna very lightly. After turning it off and having lunch, I went back to it and turned it on. It worked for a few seconds, and then went silent again.

I'm using a grounded amp with a 3-pronged connector to an internal power supply.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! By chance that someone is nearby, I'm in Boston MA USA.

Posted: 4/20/2019 2:19:23 PM

From: Northern NJ, USA

Joined: 2/17/2012

Hi booleanjulien,

Have you contacted Wilco?  It sounds like it might be a tuning issue to me, but that's just a guess.  Is your playing environment dry and static-y?  If so it could be ESD damage.

Posted: 4/20/2019 5:59:45 PM

Joined: 4/19/2019

After reading this thread, I fear that ESD is in fact the culprit. Especially after reading this by FredM:

IMO, the major problem is not so much the instant failure situation as happened here (in this case, a discharge was noted, and the instrument died.. So the cause of failure was obvious) but when discharge damages a component which fails later.

And statistically, the vast majority of ESD caused failures are not immediate - they are ticking time bombs waiting to fail at the worst possible moment!

I think there was a moment of very slight static discharge one of my first times using it. I wish I had known about this before, since this would have been easily avoidable.

What are my next steps? I have no experience with repairing electronics. I'd rather not have to send it all the way back to the Netherlands. Maybe I can look to see if there's a Theremin community here in Boston...

Posted: 4/20/2019 7:22:40 PM

From: Northern NJ, USA

Joined: 2/17/2012

IMO all Theremin antennas should at least be insulated.  But that's kind of hard to do on the EW due to the plumbing fixtures used to support them.  But it could be just a tuning slug slipped or something.  Why don't you contact Wilco?

Posted: 5/1/2019 1:36:47 PM

From: Russia, Saint-Petersburg

Joined: 6/6/2016

   Antenna is easy to isolate by placing it in a heat shrink tube. In this case, of course, the brilliance of the original design will disappear.
If the sound stops or suddenly disappears, sometimes it is enough (paradox ...) to touch the antenna with your finger. If the sound does not return, then the problem is deeper.

You must be logged in to post a reply. Please log in or register for a new account.