Etherwave antenna range.

Posted: 4/9/2008 6:36:18 PM

From: Sweden

Joined: 3/28/2008

I just wondered if any of you have noticed a considerable decreased range on the pitch antenna depending on where you play the theremin...

I took min to work and plugged it in. Even tuned to the largest range the antennas lowest note was only about 30 cm from the antenna. I tried it in three differents rooms, with and without shoes on. It didn't change when it was warmed up.

When I start it up at home the range is much better, usually up to about a meter.. But it shifts depending on where in the room it is setup.

Is this normal? What can I do to expand the range when I play somewhere else?
Posted: 4/10/2008 5:08:04 PM

From: Escondido, CA

Joined: 2/6/2008

I would hazard a guess that work is a steel framed building and that is what is limiting your depth of field.

Posted: 4/11/2008 10:35:19 AM

From: Saint Charles, MO

Joined: 4/3/2008

Or perhaps the outlets aren't grounded properly?
Posted: 4/13/2008 6:24:20 PM

From: Sweden

Joined: 3/28/2008

Ground might be a part of the problem.

I tried plugging a second guitar-cord into the amplifier, in an unused jack. Then I put the other end inside my sock, and the range increased with about 20 cm.

Is this a common problem?
How do you guys handle this when you're out giging?
Posted: 4/13/2008 7:02:26 PM

From: Colmar, France

Joined: 12/31/2007

Just to give you an example: I am living in a 500 years old half timbered house in France. All wall plugs are not grounded. So the range of my Etherwave varies even when moving it around in the room or if the people who are living in the level above move around in their kitchen while I am playing...

When I got my Etherwave the first thing I had to do was opening and readjusting it. And the day I want to play elsewhere I will certainly have to take a set of screwdrivers and my frequency counter with me.

But there is a secret which Robert Moog has taken with him in his tomb: In order to calibrate the Etherwave Standard you have to open the cover. That's ok. But why putting back the cover will still affect all settings and force you to go forth and back until all tuning is ok when the cover is closed? Why are there 8 strong metal screws instead of wooden dowels in the cover?
Posted: 4/20/2008 4:36:14 PM
Thomas Grillo

From: Jackson Mississippi

Joined: 8/13/2006

The secret to tuning the Etherwave Standard is still in use today, and it is this:

Drill holes in the lid where the oscilator tuning slugs are with a 3/8 inch drill bit. Use tube end caps to seal the holes. Like the ones in the end of the pitch rod.

This will make it so you never have to open it up again to tune.

Those screws don't affect the instrument as much as one might think they would. Keep in mind, there's a 2 or 3 inch square bit of metal foil right under the lead to the pitch antenna, and the control panel is metal. I used to worry about that too.

If you don't like the idea of having holes in your instrument, just get a cabinet from Moogmusic, paint it up like the original, and put holes in it to use as a service cover. You'll have to remove the cover, but you won't have that back and forth nonsense to deal with.

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