Unplayable Holophonor replica is unplayable


You won’t find all that many props or homemade replica builds here at Hackaday, but [Harrison Krix's] work is second to none, and his Futurama Holophonor replica is worth drooling over. [Harrison] sourced an old (and apparently grimy) clarinet from a local thrift store, which he strips clean of its keys and attachments. The body itself receives some subtle modifications from the lathe and epoxy to plug some holes. Custom-spun plastic pieces complete the rest of the body, including the meticulously crafted bell which houses 54 LEDs.

[Harrison] also whips up a breakout board for a mini Arduino Pro with 4 fading and 4 blinking channels, and some custom power supply options for the Holophonor’s base: a scratch-built fiberglass AAA battery holder and optional AC adapter jack. As an added bonus, he’s fitted the Holophonor’s stand with a set of Robot Devil hands that hold it in place. The only video is an illumination test, but it sure is pretty. You can see it below! It looks perfect, but alas is unplayable which actually makes it even more authentic.

The Holophonor is the latest in a slew of work from Volpin Props. You probably remember [Harrison's] first Daft Punk helmet from a few years back, or the second one that followed shortly after.


  1. MrTectu says:

    Beautiful work, well done!

  2. cyberzerocool says:

    Awesome. I love Futurama. Too bad its the final season.
    First BTW

  3. F says:

    On the contrary, the holophonor should sound splendid when played with those robot hands.

  4. F says:

    I have seen a device that looks vaguely like a holophonor, and it produces similar visual effects, but the effects are only visible to the user of the device.

  5. Holding an endmill in a drill chuck! EEK!

  6. Hirudinea says:

    This is some beautiful work, shame it’s unplayable, I’ll mail you a warm egg salad sandwich. (See worms comment above.)

  7. Haku says:

    Outstanding craftsmanship!

    Real shame Futurama is on its last season :( Love that show.

  8. pez says:

    Incredible — I love how the stand is a model of the Devil’s hands.

  9. chross says:

    The only thing missing now is a small mobile phone projector that sources YouTube videos and projects them.

  10. wardy says:

    Terrific craftsmanship, and a great choice of Futurama prop to make, as there are so many memorable items in that show. Even more impressive is that there’s hardly a straight line on that object. Very nicely done..

  11. kerimil says:

    lol WTF is with you hackaday ? A lot of your article with ‘we don’t always feautre X but when we do it’s because X is awesome

    • kerimil says:

      *….articles start with

    • Josh Marsh says:

      Though I can’t recall any similar posts in recent memory–nor could I assume to know why someone else started their article that way–I can provide a concrete reason for mine. I do so not to be defensive but to provide clarification.

      I felt it necessary to draw attention to how exceptional this project is, first to confirm that the greater content (props/replicas) is typically outside the intended reach of “hacks” at Hackaday. Second, I want to insinuate (without directly and condescendingly forbidding) that posting this very cool replica prop should not indicate a shift in the standard for that content (props in general), and cause an influx of suggestions to feature polished brass whatsahoosit steampunk goggles that do nothing.

      I actually didn’t consider it might evoke the voice of the most interesting responsible drinker in the world. Whoops. He’s a pretty great guy, though:

  12. Tom says:

    Beautiful work. I think this also deserves a mention…


  13. joseph says:

    Did anyone else see the Easter egg in one of the photos? He is also building their delivery space ship. I can’t wait to see that too. Awesome work, and well documented.


  14. MRE says:

    Would be totally insanely awesome to cram a pico projector in there with some sort of small media playback module, and buttons under the keys, such that you could play back media loops, simulating playing the instrument. And with a wall to project onto, it would be almost like the ‘real’ instrument.

  15. deralchemist says:

    Man, this is beautiful! I love Futurama and the Episodes with the Holophonor. I wish I can craft this awesome replica, too!i

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