Antenna Alternatives?

Posted: 1/6/2009 10:38:01 PM

Joined: 1/6/2009

I can save myself $45 or so if I don't get the antenna+frontpanel. I am going to build my own case, but I was wondering what I can use for an antennae? Do coat-hangers work? Can I pickup some sort of wire from a hardware store? Whats the deal with that?
Posted: 1/7/2009 9:47:49 AM

From: Colmar, France

Joined: 12/31/2007

[i]... In my case, one of the reasons for its ease of use is in large part due to the fact that rather than using the flimsy, thin stock copper antennae which came with the kit, I'm using a 17" 3/8 solid brass rod for the pitch antenna. It has been the experience of many Theremax builders that using a larger rod (solid or tubing) vastly improves the overall playability of this instrument...[/i]

citation taken from here (
Posted: 1/9/2009 12:08:17 AM

From: Richmond Hill, Georgia

Joined: 9/18/2005


They have very little surface area. Theremins work by capacitively coupling you to the tuned circuits inside.

I did use coathangars during the prototyping stage of my tube theremin. They had very small range.

Use decent aerials at least as big as an Etherwaves. My antennas are exact repros of those on an old RCA.
Posted: 1/9/2009 12:38:44 AM

From: Toledo, Ohio United States of America

Joined: 2/22/2006

Being a T-Max owner and electronics experimenter--- I have found that a larger diameter rod or pipe stock increases sensitivity with just a bit more linearity--- to a point. Hard 3/8" copper tube works well, but 7/16" works better for the pitch rod. I have been experimenting with a variation of the Lev antenna, hard wound on 1/2" PVC pipe of various lengths with a modified tuning circuit.
The volume loop has better response with a larger diameter tube, within reason, and in consideration of one's playing style and hand size

Good Luck!

Posted: 1/9/2009 9:33:34 AM

From: Cincinnati, OH

Joined: 1/1/2009

I'm probably about as adept electronically as I am musically -- not very -- but I love to manipulate the variables in things and see how they turn out. Which brings me to the question: If antennas made of tubing are superior to small rods, and the improvement is a matter of surface area, what is the electronic characteristic that makes this so? If it is merely increasing the surface area of the conductor on one side of the capacitor formed by the instrument and the player, what then determines the optimal tube size (...and could it be simply calculated?) Is the hollowness of the tubing a factor at all, and would a rod of the same diameter serve as well, though heavier and costlier? What if the antenna was a broad strip, as opposed to a tube? What if a square tube? A dish? Would the latter three antennas become directional because of the directionality of their surfaces?

Many thanks in advance for any teaching imparted.



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