Theremin Goggles

thereminsX

Blinking, fading, and color changing lights are a standard for eye catching goggles. This being said, I decided to change it up a bit and make a set that would engage the wearer in the production of sound.

As always I wanted my goggles to be interactive. When it comes to audio, I figured there was no better way to achieve this than with some sort of theremin which would invoke hand waving and finger wiggling from the wearer and anyone near by. Now, I realize that traditional theremins are quite complex in their inner workings and tend to run quite large, so I poked around the internet until I found this simplified optical theremin that requires a hand full of basic components and two 555 timers.This particular design also creates a very unique, annoying sound which in this application is perfect! Here is the link to the circuit I used : Easy Pocket Photo Theremin.

In regards to appearance, I wanted this pair to have a beat up electronic feel bordering on steam punk, so I gathered parts of mismatched metal types (copper, chrome, gold, brass).

This is the first time I used a different model of goggle to start with. They have roughly the same dimensions as my usual set but have larger vents on the sides with some nifty plastic removable inserts which allowed me to wrap metallic rubber chord around the edge of the goggles to create this unique ‘grip’ effect. :

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Lenses? Not this time! I installed a speaker and volume knob in the eye pieces. The volume knob is attached to a potentiometer which is held in place by some laser-cut acrylic fitted to the inside of the goggle. :

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I created a similar piece to hold the speaker in place. :

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The snazzy bits over the speaker were made from some random metal pieces I found at a craft store. I have no idea what their intended purpose is but they work as speaker grills quite well when stitched together. :

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The pitch and octave fluctuate based on the amount of light the photo sensors are receiving, so to ‘play’ the goggles some interaction is required. I felt that the most entertaining place to install the photo cells would be on the sides over the vents so that the wearer would have to wave their hands around their head to effect the sound. :

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Each photo resistor has its own slider, which effects the total amount of resistance and thus changes the pitch of the sound. :

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All of these elements are attached to this snazzy board which I designed in Eagle with some help from Krux… :

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I connected all the wires by attaching female terminals to their ends, then plugged them onto the male pins seen above. This is the same method I used with the Othello Goggles. It seems to hold up pretty well so far on both pairs. :

Completed, I think they are a very snazzy looking accessory :

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Thank you to everyone who helped me along the way, and a huge shout out to SYN Shop for having the equipment necessary to make these. <3

 

Readers Comments (2)

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