Front view of my case made from Legos.
Back view. Note the clear Lego Blocks. I plan to put a color organ inside the case with the LEDs shining through the clear blocks.
Back and side view. Note the hard to find purple Lego blocks.
My shop area with the Theremin under construction. The bottom plate with the antenna mounts are under construction on the bench.
More construction mayhem. If you don't have the right tools or are not good mechanically, you may want to start out with the wood case kit from PAiA.
View of the 3/16" thick aluminum bottom plate, antenna insulator blocks, and mount reinforcement plate. The 3/16" thick reinforcement plate is tapped to accept a 1/4-20 screw from a camera tripod or music stand.
The reinforcement plate was bolted to the bottom plate and then drilled and tapped as a unit. This assembly gets hidden when the circuit board is mounted.
Close-up of one of the two HDPE, (plastic), antenna mounting blocks cut on a band saw. The antenna mounting hardware was supplied with the antenna kit from PAiA. A large bit was used to drill a hole deep enough to allow the antenna mount screw to stick out far enough for the solder lug, lug nut, washers, antenna and wing nut to be attached. The case and insulator block design allow the antennas to be easily installed or removed for transport.
View of the circuit board mounted on the bottom plate using 3/4" aluminum spacers. The paint on the bottom plate was removed around the hole for mounting the spacer that will receive the ground solder lug. This insures that the bottom plate and circuit board have the best ground connection possible.
The three small sections of circuit board, (upper right of the picture), will be added to the main circuit board to shield the oscillator sections. The shields are an experiment to see if they lower the low end pitch cut-off frequency.
Do an full assembly test fit before wiring the panel and circuit board together.
Note the IC sockets added to the circuit board. They are not supplied with the kit parts but sure make IC replacement easy if one goes bad. The blue terminal block shown on the board for the +12 and Ground was removed.
A overhead view before wiring.
A front view before wiring. This is also shows a good view of the clear Lego blocks in the back side of the case.
A side view of the case before wiring.
The front control panel. Note the power jack added to the bottom left of the panel. LED holders were also added for the Power and Gate LEDs. The Power LED color was changed from red to a much better looking blue.
A better view of the power jack that was added to the front panel. This allows the power supply to be disconnected for transport or replacement if it goes bad. It was a tight fit between the Theremax screen printing and the Lego block.
Inside view that shows the added power jack and LED holder.
Rear view of the control panel. Note the slight change in the wiring from the PAiA instructions. R76 is now between R80 and J6-S. J5-S now jumpers to J6-S so the wire between R84-1 and J6-S as shown in the PAiA instructions is no longer needed. R77 for the power LED was not installed until later after the corrected value could be calculated and tested for use with the blue LED. As it turned out, the supplied 2.2K value of R77 worked just fine.
Rear view of the control panel. Don't forget the wire between R83-2 and J5-T like I did. Also don't forget to install the resistor on R84 that was supplied with the supplemental instructions from PAiA.
Full back view of the control panel. Now would be the time to recheck both the panel and circuit board for correct part placement and for missing parts, jumpers, and wires.
The coax connection to the Pitch antenna lug.
Coax connected to the Volume antenna lug. I forgot the inductor so I had to go back later and add it.
View of the oscillator section shields and interconnect wires installed on the circuit board. The experimental shields are mounted through additional holes drilled in the circuit board. The shield mounting tabs were then soldered to the ground circuit traces on the bottom side of the board.
Inside view with the wiring completed.
Heat shrink tubing and Velcro clean up the wiring that would look like a rats nest without it. I found out later that the single Velcro strap bunching the wires together was not a good idea and caused some strange and random timbre changes. Spread out the wires in this area and follow the routing as shown in Scott Lee's pictures on the PAiA Talk forum. A little wiring chaos here really makes a better Theremin.
Wired, powered up, and ready for it's initial tuning. Note the cool blue Power LED with holder.
Mounted on a music stand for the first time. Still need to paint the antennas.
The complete setup with stand and Fender amplifier. The spring type reverberation unit in the amplifier really makes it sound just like you hear on the old horror and Sci-Fi movies...great.
Setup front view.
Another front view.
Close-up of the music stand/Theremin mounting point. Any music or camera stand equipped with a 1/4-20 mounting screw works fine.
Close-up of the Lego Theremax
Full view of the Lego Theremax