Weekend Projects Light Theremin Mod

Weekend Projects Light Theremin Mod

Proving how extensible our projects are, Weekend Projects reader Steven wrote in with his Light Theremin mod, which is quickly becoming one of our more popular projects for those beginning to learn electronics. As documented on his blog, he built several versions of the theremin, starting with a breadboard version to introduce himself to some of the components. And my favorite addition to the circuit is the 10k ohm potentiometer (#2 in the image above) for increased variance of sound output. Simple yet effective. Thanks for sending us your story, Steven!

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8 thoughts on “Weekend Projects Light Theremin Mod

  1. priit says:

    Hi. Where did you install a potentiometer ?
    Can i use a 10k trimmer or 33k pot instead ?

    1. Nick Normal says:

      hi priit,
      Steven’s pot is actually 10k also; looks like it rests between negative, and one of the electrolytic capacitors. Do you see where? Hope this helps.

    2. Nick Normal says:

      PS – I’ll also send word to Steve to see if he’s able to explain his design a little more in-depth.

  2. StevenD says:


    Wow. Thanks for the acknowledgement. Being very new to electronics and in learning mode I added the 10k pot just to see what would happen. Not knowing any better the location of the of the pot seemed the best place. It was purely a hunch. The pots I had on hand at the time were these small breadboard friendly version I had from Discover Electronics Kit by Sparkle Labs and this one seemed like the perfect one for soldering to the PCB.

    I tried out a few combinations of capacitors that I got from Radio Shack (green ones) and Jameco (yellow ones). I still don’t know why but this combination seemed to give a pretty good range of high to low pitch.

    I still don’t fully know what I’m doing when trying to buy components online. I was trying to get the same kind of 0.22μF capacitor through mail order and save some money since I was needing to order other components (Radio Shack can be a bit pricy at times). Well I ended up buying the capacitors from RS and when I tried both of versions there was a big difference in the highest pitch. The ones I purchased online had a very low pitch compared with the others.

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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!

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