of human heads are wandering into the distance.
I dwindle among them. Nobody sees me. But in books
much loved and in children's toys I shall rise
from the dead to say the sun is shining."
of Russia 1891-1938
of physics raises a remarkable question:
"Why does the Lev Antenna pitch field match the man made key
spacing of a
piano keyboard, note for note perfectly?" Is a musical scale
It is the length
of the wire (20"
is idea) that
compresses the outer intervals of the low end of the pitch field and it is minimal
capacitive area or
small diameter of the center electrode wire that prevents compression of the note
intervals next to the antenna.
is the Mechanism of the Lev Antenna Linear Pitch Field!
From the base
to the overall 18" height of the pitch
electrode/antenna and then out to your finger tip forms a theoretical two dimensional
scalene triangle. You might use an 18" minimal hand/finger distance
from the electrode for Null. It is important for the center
electrode thin wire to have the smallest physical diameter that is practical. Overall there is nothing
the design. The amount of energy radiated from electrode resonance determines how many
linear octaves develop outward.
The octaves spread to any width still remain perfectly linear.
Beauty is Hidden in Simplicity"
There are "No" non-linear
octaves in a Lev Antenna pitch field, just more or less total octaves.
never accepted the mechanism
for pitch response as only a hand capacitive loop, like many promote, rather the mechanism is
also the transfer and absorption of energy by the Thereminist body mass
through the hand and fingers. There is a capacitive loop between a earth grounded theremin
and its electrode/antenna with the surrounding environment, but this is
unwanted and will add to environmental behavior issues, one is theremin pitch drift.
Changing anything about the antenna changes this loading effect and that
is why the RF Oscillators must be retuned.
From my original theremin Vision of
November 2003 I used the term “Radiation
Resistance” which I still
consider valid. The statement also said the true heterodyne theremin of
the future would "not" have antennas which always baffled me as what that meant. (electrodes?)
for me is the instantaneous total energy, of a given moment, leaving the
pitch antenna divided by the square of the net current flow into the pitch
antenna that generates this RF event. Energy transfer is tiny but the
theremin pitch oscillator is balanced and exceptionally sensitive
to any inductive, capacitance or resistive changes. Hand proximity near
the pitch electrode stimulates this with minute control in shifting the loading
on the pitch
oscillator which shifts the capacitive reactance Xc up or down ever so
The thin wire alone
responds very poorly if not
completely unusable, with only two linear octaves. Adding a special
water mix enhances the electrode/antenna's ability to transfer energy
creating five to seven linear octaves. The polymer beads contribute toward
If your theremin was in the AM Radio
and you compared your original 18" fat antenna to the Agua Bella
18" thin wire electrode, the RF field distance detected by the radio
would have more than doubled!
The Orbeez beads can be seen below
in the Agua Bella Lev Antenna on the
right, the clear plastic tube above on the gray tripod. I still need to
cut the vertical height down to the proper size. I used all the packets in
the small box of
Orbeez and they swelled over a foot taller than needed. Then I cork the
top as adding water in the future will rarely be needed, the upper 1"
is used without beads as a
water level indicator.
If you look closely at
Lev Antenna's, gold or speckle blue, aren't they beautiful? (bella)
wonderful portrait in the background of Clara Rockmore was
Artist Corey Abbott. This was presented to me for my unrelenting research;
which has always been shared freely. The portrait was a gift from master theremin
builder Dana (SewerPipe)
of you know a plastic bottle of water near the theremin antenna will shift
the pitch oscillator frequency
Key Point: The use
of an non-toxic electrolytic
allows for using a
thinner wire diameter which
reduces to a minimum the capacitive width
electrode. This ends up better than a standard pitch antenna
of the same length because this has a linear response. When this method is used for Volume
Control you get more
gradual shading closer
loop. This method also
eliminates the issue of touching the
loop as there is no
direct metal contact.
Linearity for a small
person vs. someone really big is still linear, they just slightly shift
the position of the Null point. There is nothing critical
about the Agua
Bella approach, one
size should fit all.
Transistors are the main
variable that encourage poorly controlled thermal
drift. A theremin designer should match up similar
characteristics ahead of final mounting by using a setup with special dual oscillators
with transistor sockets. Then test transistors for character variances. Always
use the same transistor on one oscillator side as the reference.
Some of my
unbalanced theremin designs drifted one note per degree F (that's
like 1") and
others were very steady over 10 degrees F change at 300 hz. This is an
area that still has my interest, something special might add balance and
make thermal drift go away. For now it is only a whisper I do not quite hear. )-:
I have always considered the analog theremin organic
it becomes more fluid because of water from a crystal fountain that
whispers to the roses.
Start with a 5/8" o.d. clear
plastic tube about 24"
or longer for mounting. You can purchase 7/16" #0 rubber stopper at
Lowes. Stoppers or corks work but the imaginative will come up with a better approach.
Replace the wing nut
with a nut.
a wire 18” to 20" #22 gauge stretched out
loosely inside a plastic 20" tube or a bit longer for a length
practical to mount, keep it dry for
now. I connected the
wire to a
nail I shoved through a small hole I drilled in the rubber stopper. Drilling
rubber is not encouraged, it can be a pain.
wire seems ideal but this needs testing as I used enamel coated wire.
The ends are in contact with the water.
3. Attach this
plastic tube construction as your antenna replacement to your model of theremin.
You could mount the antenna temporarily on a
narrow board that stands up from the
floor. Adjust the proper
IF transformer frequency, properly tune your theremin back to Null. The octave
count will be
minimal with this first test.
My method of
measuring the audio frequency is done by using my sound card and this free Pitch Tuner.
Make a written note of your first audio frequency range using a dry wire response,
compare this later after the non-toxic electrolytic is added to the 5/8"
od. clear plastic tube in the step #4. I only had two linear octaves in a
very small pitch field using a dry wire.
Electrolytic: 1-1/2 cup of clean water with
one plastic teaspoon of white vinegar. Pour this into the electrode/antenna plastic tube about
an 1" above the center electrode wire. There is nothing critical about this electrode/antenna design except water
leakage, so be careful.
With this water mix added
to the electrode/antenna attached to your theremin, adjust the
proper IF transformer (L6)
frequency back to Null. The octave range now
develops out like normal but linear, reach into it and be surprised. Make a written note of the audio
frequency range and response, then compare to the original dry measurement.
At this point without
adding the gel beads you will experience a Perfectly
Linear Pitch Field.
Use protection to keep water from splashing on your theremin. I might be
reluctant to try this water electrode/antenna on my tube/valve hybrid
theremin, but I would. LOL
5. Next is to add the