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Plant Theramin

Page history last edited by nikki 10 years, 8 months ago

"I'd also like to make a plant into a theramin, any suggestions greatly appreciated. I saw the 'twittering plant' on the 40 arduino projects link above, that lets you know when it needs watering, but that's not really what I'm after. I want to make the plant into a musical instrument." - Helen


Have you seen the Drawdio? http://web.media.mit.edu/~silver/drawdio/ - nikki





Comments (11)

'GB' Bulmer said

at 11:57 am on Nov 6, 2009

I'm not sure how you want to 'play' your musical plant.

Simple techniques for 'measuring' a plant usually try to measure the plants electrical 'resistance' (which is relatively straightforward).

I haven't made it yet, but there is a 'proper' Theremin add-on for an Arduino described at: http://interface.khm.de/index.php/lab/experiments/theremin-as-a-capacitive-sensing-device/
It really does use the electrical capacitance of the body, and not resistance, so that may be a place to experiment. I could imagine the plant, and the pot, changes as moisture changes, but it should also change as people approach it.

Helen said

at 11:18 am on Nov 12, 2009

I'd like to 'play' it by brushing past the leaves, pitch being determined by how close you are to the plant, whether you are standing nearby or your hand is right in amongst the leaves etc.
The link you posted looks like it would be just the thing, but I wouldn't know where to begin with getting the correct parts etc. Sorry, I am a total beginner - schematics are a foreign language to me.

'GB' Bulmer said

at 11:45 am on Nov 12, 2009

I would definitely expect approaching the plant, and touching it to change the tone. I can't guess whether watering the plant might be the biggest factor. (Health Warning: I haven't made a Theramin, and plants wither in my hands.)

Yes, schematics are a foreign language. Does the smaller "Oscillator Breadboard Layout" and photographs help? There is only one component that cares which way round it fits (and it has a cut-out at one end to orientate it).

If I got you the parts (about £1) have you someone who could get to help you assemble it? Maybe some kindly solderer might come to the event?-) (I'd like to volunteer to help, but I think I'm busy between October and Christmas :-(

nikki said

at 12:01 pm on Nov 12, 2009

I'd really like to make one of these too, but, like Helen, am a bit baffled by what parts to get.

GB: It would be great if you could post any links for the components that you come across

'GB' Bulmer said

at 12:46 pm on Nov 12, 2009

The resistors are ordinary generic resistors, e.g.: a couple of 62-0418 at http://www.rapidonline.com/Electronic-Components/Resistors-Potentiometer/Carbon-Film-Resistors/CR25-0.25W-Carbon-film-resistors/65193
The integrated circuit is: 83-0036 at http://www.rapidonline.com/Electronic-Components/Integrated-Circuits/Logic/74HC-Series-logic/79408
(but they are out of stock :-(
The three capacitors could be: http://www.rapidonline.com/Electronic-Components/Capacitors/Ceramic/Radial-multilayer-ceramic-capacitors/62498
He only cares about the type of 150pF (the type recommended is called NPO)
The inductor is a bit more of a problem. I have written to him because I can't find the part number he quotes. I believe 88-1600 at http://www.rapidonline.com/Electronic-Components/Inductors-And-Chokes/Leaded-Inductors/Low-current-radial-lead-inductors/64730
would be good, (but they are out of stock of that too, maybe everyone has gone Theremin mad?-(

I'll have a dig around at RS and Farnell, and order a few sets if I find them.

Antonio said

at 1:28 pm on Nov 12, 2009

I'm not sure of the specifics but this computer/plant interface project seems related http://www.pawfal.org/dave/blog/2009/08/groworld-sommercamp-workshop/

Helen said

at 11:25 am on Nov 17, 2009

I've ordered the parts listed though they won't be in stock in time for the workshop, they'll become my continuation project once this workshop has turned me into a fully fledged circuit bending geek ;)

'GB' Bulmer said

at 11:33 am on Nov 17, 2009

Martin Nawrath of Lab3 (Arduino Theremin) has responded, he says the other inductor at Rapid is okay.
So I have ordered all the parts I can from there. I'll get the integrated circuit from RS because Rapid are out of stock (so a bit more than I'd hoped). So I will have a few sets of parts for fizzPOP's Howduino event on Saturday. The sets will be a bit over £1. First come first served.

Helen said

at 11:50 am on Nov 17, 2009

Great, that's fab, I'll hold off on ordering separately then and just get a kit on the day. Thanks for all your help.

nikki said

at 4:46 pm on Nov 17, 2009

Helen, have you seen this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Hl8YCpPCfA ? Thought it might appeal :)

'GB' Bulmer said

at 7:40 pm on Nov 23, 2009

Helen - I've found the Arduino Theremin parts!
If you send me an email, we can sort out getting them to you.

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