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 Forum index » DIY Hardware and Software » Developers' Corner
What's Uncle Krunkus up to now?
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Uncle Krunkus
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 9:12 am    Post subject: What's Uncle Krunkus up to now? Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I wanna see if anyone else can see where this is going.
At the front we have a fairly standard output transformer. Primary 1K centre tapped, secondary 8R, 350mW.
In the middle you can see that if we remove the tape and work carefully with a scapel and needle nosed pliers, we can dismantle the laminations which make up the core. They are made of flat pieces of soft iron in the shape of an E and an I layered alternately into the plastic former.
At the back you can see what I wanted to make. I threw out the Is and turned all the E pieces to face the same way. Then gently tapped them back into the former so the transformer can be soldered onto a piece of stripboard with the "top" of the iron core missing.

Stay tuned for the next action packed episode of "what's Uncle Krunkus up to now?" when we will ask the questions: -
What?.......Will replace the gap in the core?
Where?......Will that be fixed to the board?
Why?.........Is Andrew doing this?
How?.........Will the ______________ sound?


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hmmm... This will make an interesting pickup. You can probably use this as some sort of modulating pickup if you put in a signal on one winding and also place this next to a vibrating string or some other live metal object.

I have made neat pickups just winding transformer wire on little toy bar magnets. Hook up the pickup to a power amp of some sort and put the speaker very close to the strings in an old piano with the pedal held down. Then move the pickup in and approaching different strings. Makes beautiful music...

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Uncle Krunkus
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hmmmm,....
Very close Howard, you're on the ball. Wink There's just one thing you overlooked. This little device contains no magnet, so it wouldn't make a very good pickup. Confused

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

OK, then put in a magnet. Very Happy

Anyway, what do I get? a C-?

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Uncle Krunkus
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

This is the magnet! Smile
If we pump the right signal into it. Cool
There will be pickups, but they'll be somewhere else.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

What happens if you put DC through one of the coils and use the the other as a pick up? Wouldn't that work?
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Uncle Krunkus
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Yeah, it probably would.
But what I've got in mind is a little more diabolical. Twisted Evil
Have you ever heard of an Ebow?
Well, the idea behind an Ebow is to pump positive feedback into a guitar string thereby creating an infinite sustain.
I had some of these old output transformers sitting around, and I thought it would be good to research a new type of electro-mechanical effect. One which could possibly be small enough to fit into a modular synth unit.
The input is pumped into vibrating tines (similar to a music box) using a number of Ebow style transducers (I'm thinking 3 or 4). The output gets amplified back up to line (or modular) levels and used directly, or mixed back into another tine, or both. Attenuverters built in would be handy.
It might take a bit of R&D, but could result in a great (unique) effect.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Ahh... That will be cool. Good thinking... Cool
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Uncle Krunkus wrote:

Have you ever heard of an Ebow?


arrow http://www.ebow.com/

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 2:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Does anyone know what they mean in that schematic about a "telephone pickup"? I have an idea of what it looks like, but I haven't seen one for years. I may end up winding my own.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 3:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Telephone pickups are air wound coils with a fair number of windings. Can't remember the specifics; this was something I messed with for novelty as a kid.

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Uncle Krunkus
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 3:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Yeah,
I think that's the last time I saw one too. Along with carbon microphones, they were all a part of the, "now how does this old telephone work?" phase. Oh, they were the days! Very Happy

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 4:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I've just taken apart one of those magnetix bars (the toy with ball bearings and magnetic bars for building geometric shapes) and found that they have a beautiful little rare earth magnet in each end. It's about 4mm round and 1.5mm thick. Now with the wire from an old guitar pickup, I should be able to wind my own little pickups which could be soldered directly onto a piece of stripboard.
I want the whole thing to fit onto a piece of stripboard so it is small, has no interconnecting wires, and the magnetised tines will be vibrating directly above the rest of the circuit! Ultimately, an electro-mechanical effect which just can't be emulated in the digital realm is what I'm aiming for.
The tines BTW will be tunable so you can setup different kinds of resonance depending on what you like. I've also worked out a way to mechanically interconnect tines, using small tension springs, so that they contaminate each others resonance. This would result in a less harmonic sound. And even though it will be small, I think I can still get the resonance frequencies down by weighting the tines.
Does anyone have any suggestions as to how small I could make the impedance of the pickups and still get something worth amplifying? A guitar pickup is in the range of about 4K to 12K.
An electro-magnet's strength is directly based off Ampere-Turns isn't it? So for any particular strength of magnet, the signal level should be proportional to the number of turns yeah?

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 6:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The strength would be directly proportionaly to ampere-turns except that as the wire gets farther from the core it becomes less efficient. With stuff like this, experimentation is the best way to go.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 7:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I just built a pickup in the space of about an hour. But it only has an impedance of about 50R. I don't think that is enough. Still it goes to show that they are fairly easy to knock together.

Edit;
I thought I might as well test it anyway, and hand held in front of a bass guitar string it consistently put out 50uA or more. Is that something that can be worked with?

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Uncle Krunkus wrote:

I thought I might as well test it anyway, and hand held in front of a bass guitar string it consistently put out 50uA or more. Is that something that can be worked with?

Depends on your preamp... Wink

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2006 4:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Does anyone know how to make a basic distribution amp?
I want to make 4 copies of the above 386 based E-bow circuit and have them fed by the one audio signal. I'd like to control the level going to each.
I thought of just buffering the signal through an op-amp and put the output across 4 pots (value?). Take the wiper of each pot through another buffer op-amp of it's own and that's it.
How does that sound?

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2006 7:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Sounds good to me.

That's 5 op amps. You could use dual quads and with the extra op amps add a tone control - might be useful in such a set up.

Actually, I don't see why you need buffer amps at all. the 386 already will give you a good line lever signal.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2006 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

So could I feed 4 * 386s from the wipers of the level pots directly?
I was thinking about attenuverters as well. Maybe I could put them where the individual buffers would go. I need to get out the breadboard.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 2:43 am    Post subject: Maybe use a piezo pickup? Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kind of a reinvention of spring reverb? Sorry - I ahd to say it! Anyway, you might consider using a piezo pickup to retrive the signal from the tines. That avoids any chance of the input & output transducers getting directly coupled by their magnetic fields.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

So how did this project turn out? Did you get you DIY ebow working?

Len
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Been out all day, so I'm a bit late joining in here.

Uncle Krunkus wrote:
Does anyone know what they mean in that schematic about a "telephone pickup"? I have an idea of what it looks like, but I haven't seen one for years. I may end up winding my own.

These are still available in the UK, e.g. on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Telephone-Pickup-Coil-Suction-Cup/dp/B0034YMDL8

I'm sure that there must also be Australian sources.

I guessed it was an Ebow (honest) as I've thought about trying it myself. I was put off by comments online along the lines of "you can't build one yourself that's as good as the professional version". I give up too easily Smile Also, my coil winding experience is pretty much confined to ferrite rods for crystal sets and to one (very simple) BFO metal detector. I've wondered if I could convert the latter into something "musical".

Anyway, I'll be really interested in the results,

Gary
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