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Rochellesalt

Piezoelectric crystals are fascinating – when physical stress is applied, these materials produce a voltage. The effect can be reversed as well, apply electricity, produce a stress/vibration. Rochelle salt(potassium sodium tartrate) is an easily synthesized piezoelectric substance you can make with readily available items –

  • 500 g (1 lb) of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)[NaHCO3]

  • 200 g (7 oz) of cream of tartar (potassium bitartrate)[KHC4H4O6] [see note below]
  • Oven
  • Pyrex container
  • Jar with lid
  • 500 mL (2 cup) glass beaker or Pyrex measuring cup
  • Sauce pan with water
  • 2 mL (1/2 tsp) measuring spoon
  • Spoon for stirring
  • Coffee Filter
  • Filter paper or paper towelling

This could be a great way to get started making your own custom guitar pickups, contact mics, etc. Either way, tapping on a crystal you’ve grown and watching it produce 26 volts is pretty darn cool!

Making the Rochelle Salt

Rochelle salt synthesis

Makershedsmall
9780596514921 2T HOW TO   make piezo crystals at home
Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments

Collin Cunningham

Born, drew a lot, made video, made music on 4-track, then computer, more songwriting, met future wife, went to art school for video major, made websites, toured in a band, worked as web media tech, discovered electronics, taught myself electronics, blogged about DIY electronics, made web videos about electronics and made music for them … and I still do!


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