Friday, February 27, 2015

Informal tuning procedure for Moog Etherwave Standard Theremin

After building a Moog Etherwave Standard Theremin kit I had some questions about the correct tuning of this theremin.  I was sent this informal instruction on tuning a Moog theremin.  Hope this helps any one else with questions.

Here is my technique for tuning the volume circuit:

Set the volume knob on the control panel to 3 o'clock. Stand as far to the left (pitch side) of the unit as possible, so you are away from the volume antenna. With the unit powered on and hooked up to amplification, reach over with the trimmer tool and start turning L11 through its range. Somewhere in the middle, you should hear a sound start to be audible, reach a maximum loudness, and then die off again. Turn the lug back to the point where the sound is loudest. This should put it in the correct range, to where the sound is silent when your hand approaches the antenna and them becomes louder as you draw away; additionally the Volume knob should be set correctly such that it controls not the actual volume but rather the hardness or softness of the volume curve; meaning how quickly the sound reaches maximum loudness as you draw your hand away. At the clockwise extreme it should have a brighter, sharper attack and at counterclockwise the volume should increase smoothly and slowly as you draw your hand away from the volume antenna.
Tuning the pitch circuit is really an art in itself. Roughly speaking, L5 controls the "top end" or the highest pitch you hear when you are touching the pitch antenna, and L6 controls the range, or how far from the antenna the zero point (zero beat, or silence) is located. I perform the tuning using a special wooden cabinet top with holes drilled above the variable inductors, because the presence or absence of the top influences the adjustments. It is more difficult when you have to perform the tuning with the cabinet top completely removed, and then listen to it again with the top in place to see if the tuning is still correct. Generally I find the top seems to influence the pitch downwards from what you hear with the top removed; if so in tuning it helps to "tune high" by a bit and then set the top in place to see if it falls into range. Here is my procedure.

First, listen to see if the pitch goes higher or lower as you draw your hand away from the pitch antenna. If it goes higher, adjust L5 so that the pitch descends through the zero point and then starts rising again; now it should be in the right direction. The next step is to grasp the pitch antenna and adjust L5 so that the frequency you hear is in the neighborhood of 3.8 kHz. L5 and L6 interact, so there will be a decent amount of back-and-forth between the two adjustments. Once you have the top end around 3.8 kHz, move your hand away and see where the zero point is located. It will likely be too close (too short a scale range); to adjust, stand at arm's length from the pitch antenna and reach over from the left to adjust L6. You want to adjust it so that the zero point is about an arm's length from the pitch antenna. Generally this involves turning the lug in L6 in the same direction as you adjusted L5 to get the top end.
The first time you do this, it will probably drive the top end higher than you wanted it to be, so go back to grasping the pitch antenna and turn L5 in the appropriate direction to get back in the neighborhood of 3.8kHz. Notice which direction it went (higher or lower) as a result of setting L6; and overshoot in the appropriate (opposite) direction to cut down on the number of times you have to go back and forth between the two adjustments.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Easy to make ghost for halloween - Spooky halloween prop



To build this ghost all you need are styrofoam wig heads, cheese cloth, glue, a brush and, an eye hook.





First take cheese cloth and make 4 layers of cheese cloth.  You may need 2 packages of cheese cloth per ghost.  Drape cheese cloth over the styrofoam head.  Brush on some glue to expose the mannequins facial features. Leave the neck and under the chin unglued.



I used some watered down Elmer's glue and it seams to be holding well, but you may want to go with a heaver duty glue if you will be using them outside.  Let it dry over night.  Put an eye hook in the top of the mannequin's head and hang with some fishing line. I made three ghosts total and made them black light sensitive for an even better effect. For more information on make your ghosts black light sensitive check out my easy to follow instructions here.



How to make your halloween ghost glow under a blacklight or make it glow brighter with rit dye



It seams like black lights and halloween decorations should just go hand in hand. The black light is the perfect option to make a seemingly "realistic" ghost effect.  Making cloth ghosts black light reactive is very simple to do and it only takes a short amount of time.  What I have found that works best for cheese cloth ghosts is using RIT Whitener brightener which can be found at most craft stores.



RIT Whitener & Brightener  has phosphates that react with the black light also making your laundy whites appear brighter in normal light.  To use it all you have to do is mix about a tablespoon of RIT with about 4 cups of water into a spray bottle. The amount doesn't have to be very accurate I'm just expressing you don't have to use very much of the RIT dye.  I would recommend spray this outside as it will most likely get every where.  Just spray and leave it on, no washing required. I touched up an old crank ghost I've had  for a few years. You can see on the right I just sprayed the RIT dye and on the left I hadn't spayed.  What a difference.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

How to fix passbook on iphone iOS 6 if it's not connecting to itunesapp store



Below is a fix for those who upgraded to iOS 6 and haven't been able to get the passbook app to connect to the itunes app store.  Luckly there is a easy but strange fix.



First go to Settings > Date & Time

Turn off "Set Automatically"

Go to "Set Date & Time"

Change the month to January

Open the passbook app and click the app store button. The apps should load now.

Then go back to Date & Time and turn back on the "Set Automatically" button.

Go back to passbook and everything should still be working. Now if only it was a more useful app right now but I'm sure it will get there. Baby steps to the future.





Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Hide or Show Hidden Files on a mac How to Guide




To hide or show hidden files you will need to use apple's terminal application. Terminal is located in the Applications/Utilites folder. Please use at your own risk. Terminal is a very powerful application and can get messy fast and remember not to start deleting hidden files that you think you don' t need.

To show hidden files type or copy and paste the below into terminal:

defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE
killall Finder

Hit the Return button to activate command.

You should start to see files with a . in the start of the name.  These files are the normally hidden files.  Remember to re hide the hidden file when you are finished.

To no longer show hidden files type or copy and paste the below in terminal:

defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles FALSE
killall Finder

Hit the Return button to activate command.



Friday, September 7, 2012

Remove / Uninstall Kies on a mac completely (getting downloadingfirmware message)



Kies firmware update screen shot

Do you keep getting the "Finished downloading firware for SGH-l717. Check which model you use, and click here to quickly upgrade using previously downloaded firmware" Use the guide below to help fix this issue.

A friend recently used my mac to update his android phone.  After the phone was updated I used the Kies Samsung uninstaller to remove the program.  After using the uninstaller every time I would start up my computer I would get a message pop up that read "Finished downloading firware for SGH-l717. Check which model you use, and click here to quickly upgrade using previously downloaded firmware." I went manually through my folders to make sure every bit of the application was removed and it still would show every time I started my copmuter.  I finally found the file that was causing all the problems.  It was visually hidden in the Application Support Folder. You will need to show hidden files using terminal. Terminal is located in the Applications/Utilites folder, please use at your own risk. Terminal can get messy fast. Type or copy and paste the below into Terminal:

defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE
killall Finder

Hit the Return button to activate command.

Now you should see a few hidden files. Go to your Username/Library/Application Support folder.  You will hopefully see a file called ".FUS" just delete that file and you are done.




To no longer show hidden files type or copy and paste the below in terminal:

defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles FALSE
killall Finder

Hit the Return button to activate command.

Alternatively you can use an automator action I did awhile back. It's simplistic but works for me. Please use at your own risk.  This has only been tested on Snow Leopard but should work on anything released after that OS.

Download Here:Hide:Show Automator App

I really question Samsung hiding this file in the first place, but I'm glad I was able to figure it out and I hope I can save many others from wasting their time on this. Let me know if this worked for you or if you like my Automator hide show apps.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Fiskars Momentum Push Reel Lawn Mower - Review - It's not the 50's it'sthe future!



I have been using a reel mower for 6 years now and I have just upgraded to the Fiskars Momentum push reel law mower and I have never been happier mowing the lawn and I've been even happier since my wife likes to use it. The main reason for the upgrade was the benefits of the height adjustments. My old reel mower had a set hight of an 1 1/2". I have fought weeds in the past 6 years but in the few months that I've had the mower I can already tell that leaving the grass longer (I use 3 1/2" but it goes to 4") has cut down the weeds emensly and the lawn is greener & healthier. I had always thought that my lawn looked like crap because I don't use synthetic law fertilizer like my neighbors. It turns out I just needed a better mower. This mower is easier to push even though it's much heavier than most reel mowers. It cuts the grass in front of the wheels which is a big plus when you are up against an edge. The blades have a 7-9 year life before they are suggested to be sharpened. Which means for my small lawn I probally won't have to sharpen the blades for a good twenty years. The cut on the grass is very clean. Although it will miss a few tall straggling pieces of grass it does a great job compared to the old mower. This mover is very quiet. You could easily have a phone conversation while using it. Noise polution check! Also no gas, check air pollution. Low cost of maintenance check. Although initially this mower is more expensive than its competitors not having to sharpen the blades every year will save time and money. Even if you have a larger lot this smooth operator will easily tackle the job.