Maker News
Chuck’s Custom Tremolo Box Uses Upcycled Dummy Discs

Weekend Projects maker Chuck writes in with his version of the Optical Tremolo Box, a homemade effects box. Unlike the version above by Sean Ragan, Chuck opted for a more spacious box, with the intent of extending his build in the future. He also modded up the project with some of his own designs, including a custom light source. He writes:

I used an electrical ‘dry box’ from Home Depot because it’s heavy duty, it’s easy to drill, and it has a lot of room. I used a hub from an old Discman but the attached motor didn’t have enough clearance so I used a beefier one with a longer shaft… I used a DPST switch since the discs can be flipped instead of reversing the direction. I used a rheostat for now but I want to add a PWM speed control and a circuit to fade the LED on and off.

Watch his video below to both see and hear his custom effects box in action. I think his re-use of those clear polycarbonate dummy discs is great on so many levels. He makes use of an otherwise “blank” (and would-be discarded) object, they’re ideal for transferring light through, and of course they snap directly onto the disc drive!

[vimeo= width=598 height=449]

Thanks for writing in Chuck! Do you have a custom mod of one of our Weekend Projects? Send us a story about your build and you too could be featured on the MAKE blog.

See all of the Weekend Projects posts


I'm an artist & maker. A lifelong biblioholic, and advocate for all-things geekathon. Home is Long Island City, Queens, which I consider the greatest place on Earth. 5-year former Resident of Flux Factory, co-organizer for World Maker Faire (NYC), and blogger all over the net. Howdy!

View more articles by Nick Normal