Here’s another fun weekend project for the hacker younglings, a musical synthesizer that plays different musical tones based on the resistance of your conductive graphite drawing!
Like our recent post on a DIY Metal Detector, this project makes use of the ever relevant 555 timer. Except in this case they are using a more modern TLC555 timer which only requires 3V instead of the typical 4.5V. It’s a fairly simple project that you should be able to complete in just a few hours.
The circuit is quite basic. The 555 timer outputs in astable mode, which means there is a continuous stream of pulses from pin 3 which go right into the speaker circuit. The rest of the circuit monitors the resistance of whatever the pencil is touching, including you! Changes in resistance result in the variation of pulses outputted by the 555 timer.
As always, the video guide is after the break.
The cool thing about this hack is you can draw different things, including pianos, and actually play music just by using the pencil. Because you’re part of the resistance loop, you can have quite a bit of fun drawing!