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  1. Livio says:

    We opened a section of Blogs especially for biometrics and moved all posts in the new section:

  2. Livio says:

    Discussion on libraries LTSpice was moved to the Tips page&Tricks

  3. Livio says:

    The question of Paul Frediani on Geiger has moved here:

  4. Livio says:

    The question of scintillation detector SPP-2-Claudio on NF has moved here:

  5. Mariano Raje says:


    for our application we must use 8 Parallels of led strip 45 modules each. By our calculations, we understand that each individual strip from 45 draws approximately 1.7 A.

    You might even suggest a solution to power these 8 conventional height 45 with a single module that provides about 15A (1.7×8) Having also an input for an external PWM signal generated by a form so you can Dim the LEDs?

    Thanks for your attention.
    Kind regards

    • Livio says:

      You could use the “Adapter between the Theremino and the led strips” located about halfway down this page:

      Featured IRLB8721 MOSFETs are the best for this kind of applications because they have a very low voltage drop and thus less dissipation can. If you mount them as we have shown us (without heatsink) can withstand approximately 10 Ampere each. But in these conditions scalderebbero enough.

      To feed your 15 Ampere would use the entire form by placing in parallel the four outputs and four inputs. This causes the voltage drop would be less than what he might do a Mosfet alone and MOSFETs, splitting just over 3 Ampere per head, would remain lukewarm.

      To spend less you could use even one of the Mosfet metal but should be screwed onto a heatsink (Beware of short circuits) If the heatsink was huge a single Mosfet IRLB8721 may endure even more than 40 Ampere.

      If you need anything I'm here for.

  6. Livio says:

    Vito asked a question that might be of interest to many and says:

    I made a “Discovery” interesting, What should I do, patent it?
    Search for someone to buy?

    Difficult to answer but I try:

    Sorry to disappoint you but I am sure the 99.999% that every “Discovery” has already been invented several times in the past 50 years. I put in an average of one month for each new discovery and a few minutes to find patents on Google Patents.

    Whole life I tried to make money with electronics but I patented only the best ideas, given that cost thousands of euros per year. As a conclusion I must say that I would have gained more if I didn't have patented anything (I lost money on patents)

    Patents apply only if you are a large firm that has billions to spend on lawyers, otherwise are worth less than the paper they are written.

    Patents are also the best way to explain to competitors “How do you” and what to do to have no problems with you and with your discovery.

    Value of ideas
    The ideas are worth little or nothing if they are not accompanied by a commercial outline that transforms them into money. I would say that there is no relation between the quality of an idea and the money that you can pull out. I had many wonderful ideas that have never made anything and I've seen others make a lot of money with stupid things.

    Now I have completely changed direction, don't try more than hide ideas to then sell them, but do the opposite, Gift all things to all men and soon the system Theremino will be known.

    When we are known by millions of people there will be thousands of ways to make money with ideas. But for now it is already so do a few euros per month with donations, There are no charges for the site.

    I'm sorry but I don't know a way to make money with your idea, If there is you have to find it by myself.

  7. Joe says:

    Hi, We are planning a geiger counter to our laboratory, But having already available arduino uno wanted to know if it was possible to use as your adapter module
    Geiger adapter , of course programming arduino adequately.

    Thank you.

    • Livio says:

      Sure you can do.

      But you should write a proper firmware, losing the simplicity of “I connect and it works”. The end result would be less reliable (because more complex), It would cost more and would be twice the size. Also no one has yet done a firmware for Arduino that writes into the slots of the system Theremino, then you will not be able to use software Geiger and all other modular components (software and hardware) of the Theremino System. And finally you should switch from roads unreliable as the audio signal or the serial (COM1, COM2 etc…)

      The only “advantage” using an Arduino, would be to build a system “laptop”.

      A system “laptop” It will look like a shoebox full of wires (It also takes a battery, something to charge it, a display, of the buttons, a menu to change the parameters…) And at the end (lacking the power of software by ThereminoGeiger) the performance of this “dude” would be the usual all portable geigerini. That is unstable and very sensitive measures, just enough to distinguish radioactive objects, without linearization response curve, without compensation of the BKG tube, etc…

      A portable object, with similar performance, Indeed the best, you would build a lot easier, as explained on this page:

      The “Checker”, Maybe together with the “Ratemeter”, It would also be very accurate, pretty much like the classic Ludlum with switch and play upon flow in CPM.

      The “Checker” would also have the advantage (compared with an Arduino) to consume almost zero current and so can stay on continuously for many years, with a single stack from economic and 1,5 Volts.

  8. Philip says:

    “Project Proposal Software-Audio, Binaural Beat Generator, MULTI-OPTIONS :

    My name is Alain Philip BERRUTI, I 42 years, length 5 years in Cavenago di Brianza, but I'm a native of Cinisello Balsamo.
    Phone 333 – 10 92 047

    I'm unemployed and currently without any ability to pay.

    Please, I would like to find a nice person can accomplish beforehand a audio software, a double audio signal generator for binaural beats, multi function.

    Software that generates audio frequencies from 1 Hertz to 20’000 Hertz, such independent options on two channels…

    ( Obviously with small amplitudes, According to what a simple computer can offer… Type +1 -1 Volts… )

    Must be able to generate sine wave signals, triangular and square, even regardless of a channel on the other… ( that is, while on the left ear listening a frequency of 200 Hertz sine wave, I have to give a chance to hear a dial tone 240 Hz square wave on the right channel)

    Each settable frequency you must be able to define to the hundredth of a Hertz. ( example 240,56 Hertz ).

    SWEEP : You must be able to ensure that both channels, independently from each other, can move around automatically opzionabilmente of frequency, within the ascent and/or descent definable hinge of frequency, in a logarithmic-proportional ( example : from 10 Hertz to 1000 Hertz with scheduled arrival at time suitable to 10 seconds … It means that from 10 to 20 Hertz, will rise much more slowly than when it will pass by 900 Hertz to 1000 Hertz )…

    Type :

    Left channel : frequency start : 29,01 Hertz .. Frequency end 30,07 Hertz … In Square Wave

    Right channel frequency start 70,78 Hertz … Frequency end 50,00 Hertz. .. In sine wave.

    Time 20,05 seconds start and finish channel contemporary, moving according to their logarithm frequency motion… independent…

    Sweep time option suitable from 0,01 seconds until 1000 seconds, in increments of one hundredth of a second.

    Chance to hear a motion channel sweep and the other fixed…
    Ability to sit through two channels simultaneously sweep both moving runners, with the same time limit, even with completely different frequencies…

    Loop possibility (automatic default sweep repeat forever…
    Possibility of automatic loop sweeps with path to display the frequency sweep motion, that is, to swing up and down up and down endlessly perpetual automatic…


    Must optionally toggle sound channels “A” on the left channel and sound “B” on the right channel, and vice-versa reversing them automatically, According to a criterion of time adjustable by an alternation of full cycle every 20 seconds until an alternation of fast 50 times per second…

    The alternation must have a opzionabilità further, to do the alternating dry bore (Type Exchange with sharp click square wave), and a smooth transition with alternating type “bright and new… as… bright and new… as…” (with sine wave with Central double zero each time average over an exchange of channel and the other; In the most absolute there must be channel swap co mixing sounds)

    Nota bene: the latter option must give way to the final outcome of the amplitudes of the waves and the amplitudes of channel basculanze, are coherent with each other.


    There are paid software type “Nch Tone Generator” and “TTG Timo Esser” they do similar things but without the tilting table between channels.

    Among other things the two software called, Besides not having the option of tilting table programmable channels ” Left/Right Left/Right “, demonstration versions are free software usage time defined, that expire and are blocked after just 10 days after installation.

    I don't know how to do it myself.
    I don't have the tools and skills to programmer…

    Thank you

    • Livio says:

      Everything you need to make this software is usually in the application :
      (download it and try it a little’ manually)

      All the options you listed (even those that apparently there are like two decimals on frequency), can be obtained by modifying the software that is available in Open Source.

      From this application you should: change name, delete unnecessary charts, keep two generators instead of three, place them one on left and one on the right channel, change the number of decimal places setting boxes and some other slight adjustment.

      Then you should, one by one, read the lines of your list and prepare the controls to set them up and run them.

      Unfortunately I am sorry to tell you that implement your whole list, It would be a work of months even for an experienced programmer. And, unfortunately, We are busy to finish urgent projects as:
      – the documentation of the ion Chamber for radon
      – the review of Geiger
      – the spectrometer for visible light
      – Xenon sources for absorption measurements
      – the tester for olive oil
      – stepper motor control
      … as you can see we have until on the hair of things for which I do not know when we will have time for “Binaural Beat Generator”.

      It's about time some programmer will come along to help out! We've been waiting for this for years, Hopefully good…

      You should find a few friends who can program in VbNet and prepare for a long road test, changes and fixes…

      A cute alternative would prepare the generator binaural controllable through the slots on the system Theremino and this would guide him easily with two lines of Theremino Script. But then all the features of your list should be written in ThereminoScript. The Theremino Script is easier, for beginners and doesn't know programming, but definitely harder if you want to, with it, create an application “normal” with all menus and choices of a “normal” application. So I don't know…

    • Livio says:

      This should be freeware.

      Better yet these, and not only are they freeware, but also OpenSource!

  9. LoDo says:

    congratulations on the new theremino spectrum !
    I realized the project following the directions in the document and it worked out perfectly. Let me point out some details of my implementation :
    – I used the webcam you have indicated but I had to shield with duct tape the small blue led that lights up when the webcam is in use;
    – I used a diffraction grating 1000r/mm mounted on a frame from slides. Sell them on ebay and are located in the UK. Delivery times are only a few days. I trimmed and I pasted the piece of cardboard on a L-bracket which I then screwed onto the same wall of the spectrometer where the webcam. It is a pretty neat job and the ring of webcam remains accessible for fire.
    – for the cleavage I made a slit from 2-3 mm onto the wooden panel that I then tightened using two-side Sharpener blades to get a net cleavage 0 mm.
    – for the screen diffusure I cut out a disc of translucent plastic (as you have suggested) and I mounted on a pipe that I then fastened front slit.

    Congratulations again and thank you for your work !


    • Livio says:

      Actually we had forgotten to mention the LEDS. Now we have updated the documentation with a note that says “unsolder the led or break it with the Clippers”. Unfortunately we don't have an image with led and do not remember how it was done, It was probably a led SMD and unsoldered. However the sentence written in the new documentation should be fine. Thank you for your evidence and indications. And good ghosts :-)

      • LoDo says:

        always in relation to the evidence I would like to ask some directions DIY spectrometers, fluorescence you have done. I tried using a UV led by 407nm to excite of olive oil and actually seen with the naked eye, a faint luminosity red orange, but it is too weak to be collected from my tool. In your evidence you used purple 405nm UV led or a laser ? You have used the rift at maximum aperture ?
        I also wanted to tell you that I found a convenient way for the calibration of the infrared zone. With a laser diode to 532nm green you also have issues 808 and 1064 (are the pumping) You can use manual calibration. Using the tool I noticed that it is preferable to use Alternatively two “zone” and adjustment : one for the visible (with the CFL lamp) and one for the near infrared (with green laser IR emissions).

        Thank you,

        • Livio says:

          Really good idea to use 532, 808 and 1064 a green laser, We will also soon.

          For chlorophyll we used one of the torches from Chinese 12 led UV.
          They didn't put that limitation led resistors are used with a current overwhelming, that multiplied even for 12 led, makes a much greater total led brightness you've tried you. Maybe even 50 times greater. The LEDs will not last long but will sell you five or ten torches for a few euros…

          And certainly, We used a large opening. When measuring weak intensity always pops up the aperture to the maximum
          (3 or 4 mm) and maybe removing the diffuser filter (If this helps)
          In the case of chlorophyll loss of resolution does not count, so the line of fluorescence is wide.

          We also tried it with a purple laser, are cheap and have an exaggerated intensity, Red Speck becomes very large and bright.

  10. Joseph says:

    Hi, I also picked up a theremino.
    Practically you can interact with sensors and actuators through the GUI of HAL. I'm wrong ?
    If I want to interact (ex. an led on or off) by code. How I interact ? Through HAL or MemoryMappedFiles ?
    The documentation I've seen describes the interaction with the Theremino through HAL, Is there any API, describing how to interact with the Theremino via VB code.

    Thank you. and sorry for any incorrect or nonsense written.


    • Livio says:

      HAL helps a lot in trials. But with HAL alone can only do simple tests, sensors and actuators.

      Of course then you can read and write the PIN with any programming language. Here are examples for VbNet, CSharp, Python, Pascal and VB6:

      Or you can write to Theremino Script that contains himself, WriteSlot and ReadSlot APIs, already implemented in the language:

      However please note that the Theremino system uses an abstraction layer-on, the slots:

      So don't you communicate directly with the hardware PIN. But you write or read “communication boxes” (SLOTS). And you write or read simple numbers between 0 and 1000. Then we think HAL to make “dirty work”.

      If you use the USB then HAL must be active, Maybe downplayed but active.

      Instead for simple applications communicate with HAL is not necessary, There are also slots without HAL.

      To view the slot (and change its value) You can also use the SlotViewer:

      The first few times you will find all of this very strange and you'd like HAL there was. But once you learn the method communicating will become easy and you'll discover you can do fantastic compositions with multiple applications working together. Without HAL and slots communicate across applications would not be possible.

  11. Mario says:

    Audio oscilloscope is very useful when one experiences. I found it by accident and I must say I was astonished by the demonstrated skills. Perfect in everyway!!!! There are other things that I haven't tried yet, but the oscilloscope is fantastic!!!! Praise to those who have made!!!!

  12. Franco says:

    Only recently have begun to explore the excellent team work, I have a curiosity, I've seen used on cards, Schmitt trigger from different families, 74HC14 and 40106, I wonder if it's a clear choice for their own characteristics or randomness caused by different manufacturers.
    Franco M

    • Livio says:

      Thanks for the compliments, and thanks for having reported to us as a Team. This allows me to remind everyone, the system Theremino not me (Livio). Some make this confusion because often read my name, Since I also deal with the management of the site. But the quality of the projects thereminici is based on a passion, the work and the abilities of the whole Team:

      74HC14 and 40106
      The 74HC14 are used in PmtAdapter, they must have extremely fast switching, to generate a flyback voltages (bounce) very high. Also in the PmtAdapter there are consumer issues, because it's always connected to USB. The PmtAdapter consume by 5 but to 70 but depending on the output voltage, You can get up to almost 2000 Volts.

      Instead the GeigerAdapter must consume as little as possible, because in some cases they want to operate for years (with a single battery stylus, those small):

      If we had used the 74HC14 on Geiger Adapter, their consumption would go up several hundred uA. The consumption of adapters “DIY” and “Flintstones” you would be doubled and that of the SMD version would pass by 10 UA about 500 UA, reducing autonomy from 3 years to less than 20 days.

      In the case of a separate, with the 74HC14 of some producers you cannot reach the maximum voltage (from 1500 to 2000 Volts). I can not remember which manufacturers go well and which are not, to be on the safe side always use NXP (former Philips), as indicated in the project files.

  13. Andrea says:

    I don't know if it's the right section, I apologize in advance if I'm wrong

    I stumbled on your site by accident, looking for a way to make homemade multi-channel acquisition system. Should I read 16 independent digital channels. The frequency is in the kHz. In practice the sixteen independent counters in the same time window.

    A first study theremino it seems very suitable (Theremino Dolfrang as I understand it, but the electronics are not my branch). However I have doubts: It says that you can sample the channels 500 times per second. If you can increase the sample rate or the processor can't cope?
    It makes sense to what I wrote :PPP ?

    Thank you

    • Livio says:

      The sampling frequency is not limited by processors (microcontroller thereminici modules and PC processor) but the USB communication. The maximum frequency of exchange of USB is 1000 FPS. This is true on all kinds of USB (1, 2 or 3) and on every operating system (Windows, Linux or MacOSX). Then it takes minimal delays (operating system) to degrade this frequency to 500 FPS and even less.

      Theoretically you could store data groups, and ship them in bulk, in one Exchange USB but you would lose the immediacy of current response and the simplicity of the system. Theremino system modules are simple Input Output for PC and are not suitable to store data and send them to the blocks.

      There are devices (such as a WebCam or the seismic refraction MASW) that need to store a lot of data in a short time and who are content to ship them to your PC “every now and then”, We say 30 times per second. These applications can communicate with the system Theremino, use Theremino system software and slots to communicate, but you don't have to go, through Master and Slave modules. Instead you must use specialized hardware and USB drivers, with the firmware written especially for this device.

      Classic example is a WebCam. The link with its USB and its driver and we read and decode with special programs:

      Finally the data processed (not individual pixels) are sent to slots and other applications of the system Theremino.

      Read 16 independent channels
      If you configure the HAL with “Fast data exchange”, all sixteen channels are read simultaneously and shipped in a single Exchange USB. Then the exchange rate should be sufficient. You can read the 16 three Master channels (3 x 6 = 18 channels) or with a Master and a Slave (6 + 10 = 16 channels), but in the latter case the exchange rate will be slightly’ bottom. The pins are configured as “Counter” so the maximum counting frequency is few hundred Hz. You cannot use the FastCounter (that could count to 500 KHz), because if you could configure one for each form of IN-OUT.

      Theremino Dolfrang?
      The Dolfrang reads data “analog”, from ADC. While, If I understand correctly, You should count the pulses. So I guess the Theremino Dolfrang are not suitable. Depending on the complexity of the application, You should instead use Theremino Automation or Theremino Script, or even write special software with Visual Studio:

  14. Joseph says:

    Dear Theremino team…Thanks to exist…but my wife is not of the same opinion.
    Since I discovered (a few weeks ago) I spend hours and hours reading everything and inform me about your developments and projects. Arduino was the beginning…but you are the future..
    A few questions though:
    1) With a group of other young people are moving a fab lab where you can stimulate youth entrepreneurship: would you be available to some Conference (also videos) to tell your projects? Of course we are willing to acknowledge the advice.
    2) I understand that the master and slave piloting servant but not yet steppers (sorry I'm a fanatic of cnc and various printers and steppers I enjoyed)
    3) the brushless of turnigy who occasionally linked doesn't seem suitable for controlling a cnc…or am I wrong?
    4) I'm a Carpenter training (with iron I do everything) …How can I help you?
    5) I understand that the tabs are open and that you do not sell, But if I've made a few dozen shouldn't maybe recognize something? I realized that the thing is open…. but just so blatantly doesn't seem quite so correct…

    Thanks again…by the time I stop here ... See you soon

    • Livio says:

      1) Difficult to find the time to do conferences. We have important projects that have been waiting far too long to be finished, such as the control of stepper, for example a RepRap to demonstrate how easy it is to make them than with the system Theremino. For example the Oil Meter, the dust sensor, the new version of the language of Theremino Automation, the Sync Mode to play music with piezo sensors… Some of these projects are basically ended up missing only the images and videos for publication.

      However we are available by phone, Skype and mails to help for any problem and will soon be anyone of you making conferences. Theremino is a collective project and is based on cooperation.

      2 and 3) As stated above we are completing the stepper motor control. And the features that we are getting are brilliant! That far exceed what we set out to achieve. While I'm writing I just at the side of a Master keyboard controlling steppers and in recent weeks did not eat more than steppers. All the work “dirty” is finished and shortly (I hope a week but still before Christmas) We will post the new firmware. Here are some of the characteristics:

      Reload this page often because in the next few days we will update with new information, including two interesting videos demonstrating the accuracy of impulses generated by Master, than Mach3.

      4) You may, for example,, make a cutter with linear bearings, hardened steel bars, trapezoidal screws etc.. Before you put it all together we will give you a very good control for steppers.

      5) You can build hundreds, us makes only pleasure, Why would bring popularity to the system Theremino. We have no intention to earn by selling modules, so anyone who wants to do is welcome. We retain only the freedom to publicly discredit those who tried to hide or sell who, or incompatible modules or use them to build things that we don't like (hunting and fishing). These rules are written here:

      And finally:
      Welcome to thereminomani!!!

  15. Christian Frederick says:

    Hello, I discovered quite by accident and I find your very nice initiative, I am planning on using your system for my project, a BMS to manage a lithium battery pack, for now it is a feasibility study, We'll see.
    I made a small donation because I believe in the spirit of open, good keep it up!!
    See you soon.
    Frederick Christian

    • Livio says:

      Thanks for your donation, use, As always, to make new projects.

      About BMS, before leaving would be good to do a little analysis. If what you're planning is a portable system, then it might be better, divert on Arduino.

      Arduino is harder to use, and slower, but is autonomous. Instead the system Theremino, is always in need of a PC. Here you can read a brief comparison of key features:

      If you decide to use the system Theremino, how PC you could use a Raspberry, it consumes only 3 Watts:
      The problem with the Raspberry is turning with Linux. For which (because of the thousand different versions of drivers and bugs) It is very difficult to install everything you need, and make it work.

      Or you could use a tablet with Windows that, with power-saving features, consumes virtually zero:
      Tablets “Signature Edition” have Windows 8 freeware (the operating system is free, provided that manufacturers don't install unnecessary crap, and we install Bing – Then the user can uninstall Bing and replace it with Google)
      So many tablets are coming, that cost less and less. In the us have already fallen below the 99 dollars.
      The tablet with Windows, they are perfect as “head thinker”, for the system Theremino, attach USB and go.
      And the touch screens are perfect, as “user interface”. The telephone-tablettini are so small, and inexpensive, that no longer makes sense, use keyboards and lcd display. The LCD display, with touch screen, cost more, are difficult to manage, and have too many wires to connect. A tablet from 7 inch, It has no wires, usb stick and it works.
      Use a proxy also has the advantage, that your PSU is CE approved. And since the system Theremino is an appendix of your USB, and low-voltage, certification is not an issue.
      In addition the tablet have already integrated, power management, just don't use them go off (It can also dis-power the USB), bringing consumption to zero. They can stay in hibernation for months.

      You may have noticed, that on this site, the sentences are filled with commas. This is a bit in Italian’ weirdo, but it serves to help, the automatic translator. If we separate the sentences, with many commas, ago of disasters.

      Hello everyone

      • Christian says:

        Hello, the system is portable, in the sense that it will be mounted on board an electric car, I had been considering this: www(link removed no longer valid) , with a tablet as an interface, the idea of the tablet only win is very tempting, also because of the costs, in the coming days posteró a list of what the system should do, then tell me if feasible and with which tools.

        • Livio says:

          In an electric car, consume any watt, during charging or when using, is acceptable. So I guess the problem PC is fixed. Our modules have a power to 3.3 Volt perfectly stabilized, that makes very precise ADC. Then it will be easy to measure voltages and currents being within the tolerances required for batteries.

          We are preparing new versions of HAL that reconnects automatically to USB, against any defect. If you unplug the USB and reconnect, or there's a loud noise, It does do Bing-Bong at Windows USB system, the HAL notices, reconnect the modules (or reconfigure them at worst) and in a split second everything starts again.

          Thanks for the link to the VAT Act.
          As expected are finally coming anti Raspberry, reasonably priced, and with Windows 8.1 free.

          In this video he is seen as a function, is a breeze!
          Consume 2.5 Watts during normal use (less of the Stalks), but it performs over the top more. In addition, Unlike the Stalks, already has WiFi and you shouldn't add it externally.

  16. Gianni says:

    Hello everyone,
    Are Gianni, I approached this world seeing applications of robotic arm and the ability to expand to stepper and the two projects in development of cnc and 3D printing.
    I read a lot of documentation but I lack many basics….
    I downloaded hall 5.0 on an ibm laptop xp but I was unable to move a single servant, I downloaded theremino arm if I read that right should be stand alone but I can't get it to work.
    You can help a neophyte like me if there is a problem
    Thank you all in advance

    • Livio says:

      In your message don't talk about Pin, Master modules and USB… you know that to connect the servo it takes at least a Master's degree? We wrote that all our applications work without hardware, And it's true. But if you connect the hardware, then you have to go through the USB, and then the Master takes.

      Then, to start:
      – Connect the servo to the Pin 1 of the Master
      – HAL launches and a Pin has been set 1 as Servo16
      – Go with the mouse over the Pin Value column 1, Press the left button and (holding it down move the mouse upwards)
      – Or also launches the Viewer, It has sliders easier to move, compared to the box “Value” the Hal.

      If you use the Viewer must be set to act on Slot 1. Also in HAL servo Pin must have Slot = 1.

      Remember also that HAL should be functional, Maybe minimized, but according to. And even when using the application RobotArm, the HAL must be in operation. In practice, If you need to communicate via USB, Master modules, then the HAL must be in operation.

      The available current is only 500 mA, then you can use only small servant (that consume little). If tallow consumes too, just move the HAL disconnects. In these cases, or use a HUB with external power supply, or add a few thousand micro electrolytic, to overcome the starting point. But at the beginning it is better to use small servant, in order to make friends with the system, no complications, and the risks, When working on power supply.

      If you can't write us at
      Or call us at 0125 57290


      • Gianni says:

        Apologises I assumed,
        I purchased the master, the slave and the cap sensor
        4 Tgy930 servos and 2 hxt900 servants
        For now I only connected hxt900 to see if I could do it
        Today I try following your instructions and let you know
        Thank you 1000

        • Livio says:

          The components that you purchased are OK.
          But the slave will gradually. Indeed, at the beginning it is better to limit the complications and do not use it.

          The following list is the easiest way to get started:
          – Connect a servant HXT900 to Pin 1 of the Master
          – HAL and Slot launches Viewer and you keep them both in function.
          – Pin programs 1 as a servant 16 (and should have Slot = 1)
          – Finally move the Slot 1 on Slot Viewer.

          Maybe you know, but it is better to write it: When you connect the servo, the black wire must be from the GND (close to the edge plate).

          Besides the inevitable Slot Viewer, a very useful application for testing is Theremino Automation:

          But remember that HAL should always be alive (He communicates with the USB and provides the “baby food is ready”, through the slots, all other applications)

          In early HAL is the main control panel. For testing you hold it always open. You can do this using, invisibly and automatically, by applications that need it. But for now keep it open (or minimized and without oscilloscope, to consume less CPU).

  17. Livio says:

    Mirko wrote us an email with interesting questions, and with such compliments, We can't help but post it:

    MIRKO: Hello, I am an engineering student, in the first year, but we say that what I learn there, doesn't seem to serve for now. I've always been a person, with much imagination and since I knew Theremino, I fell in love. You are really geniuses. I created some project, using Theremino and I wanted to ask some information, on a couple of things:

    What I experience at the University, It is normal for all true Maker. A true genius can not stand the professors and their enforce learning by force. Unfortunately the School Act with mafia methods, stick, carrot, blackmail and compensations. And so destroys forever the healthy desire to learn, and replaces it with disgust. Come to think of it, It is precisely for this reason that in the world there are so many scoundrels, bartolomea, tronisti, ignorant and lazy.

    QUESTION: If I create a new project, using the system Theremino, can I do a campaign kikstarter, and later, If it successfully, sell the project?

    REPLY: All data published on the site, are “free” at 100%. You can copy, change and make your every sentence, each line of code, and each image, without even name us. The only limit is, If you want to call Theremino xxxx, your realization. In this case, your project, must be compatible, with the system, and with our rules, as explained here:

    QUESTION: Why not push your product? I found it by mistake, Open Source electronics. Advertise, get noticed! The projects are infinitely faster and easier to implement than the “competition”.

    REPLY: We strive to attract attention, but we do not accept to do patti, with the devil (sharks of marketing, that appestano the Web and television, and distorting our society and our needs). And anyway, We prefer spending money of donations, the purchase of electronic material, to make new projects, rather than fatten marketers, and help them buy their SUV.

    QUESTION: This advertising would not do just fine to you developers, with revenues, but would succeed in creating a community, more heated and numerous.

    REPLY: We have no income. We are deprived, amateur electronics, who collaborate, and exchange information, for the good of all. Theremino the system doesn't sell anything, and not for profit. However, we are convinced, that the best advertising is making good projects. The popularity of the system Theremino, is growing very fast, look at these graphs:


  18. Gianni says:

    Hello Livio to the team,
    I'm having a great time with Theremino, and I'm following the evolution of the CNC,
    By the time instead of using the stepper, You can use the servos tgy930 changed to be multiturn, and put on the track a micro cnc 5 axes?
    If you could give me some guidance?
    Thank you

    • Livio says:

      Is not possible because the servo multiturn do not have a feedback mechanism of the position. Whereby it would take complex systems to detect the position (optical discs). And also special modules and firmware ad-hoc to read them and bring back the location data to Theremino CNC.
      The whole thing would become so complex that compared steppers are nothing.

      Use the stepper is easier than it sounds and are so more precise servo. There are also small and inexpensive stepper. You can also recover from printers. And drivers for rediculously steppers.

  19. Pato65 says:

    One word…….GREAT keep it up that spopolerete.
    A question though I think I know the answer unfortunately. ….I would need to handle a stepper but closed loop. Encoder inputs cannot be used?

    • Livio says:

      ThereminoCNC is a simple program and we want to keep it simple, to make happy the 99% of “flakers”. And the 99% of us, He never touched an encoder with his hands.

      But Theremino the system is modular so you can do everything. If you care very, You should write the software to read the encoder.

      If it is to control a single motor stepper with just a few lines of software would you be fine, Maybe with a rudimentary PID or simple… But if it is present then you should write a new CNC axes, Since Theremino CNC is written so too simple, in order to transform into a Mach3.

      It's not just about add inputs for encoders (If this were the case we would do so immediately) but to adjust a quantity of PID parameters (one per axle). In other words, If you close the feedback loop, you risk self oscillate or poor acceleration. And, even worse, you risk the overshoot (cross over out of the corners and go a little’ in the meadows). Adjust the PID is not easy (each axis has a different mass and the mass can also change from one process to another). And though the PID are not adjusted right, It is better not to have them.

      A good alternative, and many are working on, would write plugins for Mach3 and LinuxCNC.

      In this ZIP we have collected the best information to make the PlugIn for Mach3:

      Other popular plugins, in this message:

      • PATO65 says:

        What you say is very true, but I have a rather trivial requirement; I'm doing a semi-automatic control for an axis of a machine (basically a sort of assisted navigation). The machine is equipped with position display (DRO) I interfaced and provides me with quadrature impulses. Since it has some play (backlash) When I change direction, It won't let me have great precision relying simply on number of steps.
        So no advanced control, nothing but a simple PID………..go until the DRO doesn't tell you which arrived in TOT. In other words, the system should not count how many scenes do but do it and just because you stop it there will be a different procedure.

        The truth is that I am using a Arduino2 (that pilot also a color graphic LCD), but poking around your system, I came up with this who (also because doing so with Arduino takes longer).

        Anyway thanks for your reply and …… good.

        • Livio says:

          If you can read the encoder (in any way, Maybe in serial) and have your data in software (in any language) then everything else you do in five minutes. You'll probably need a USB encoder reader, I've searched for but probably exist and could even cost you very little (type the USB serial converttori which cost 3 Euro).

          We do not implement complex readings (requiring two wires) in modules, either to avoid increasing too the types of pins, both to make way in the firmware in future types of pins that you really need. Possibly you could do a special modulate for encoders. But I am convinced that there are already ready and that therefore we should not waste time to design them. Try searching from Pololu, Phidgets, Hobbyking, Robot Italy and similar.

          Then you could write the four lines that serve even in DotNet, Theremino Script, VB6 or MaxMSP. If you can't, or not you feel comfortable with these languages, I'll help you write an application in your preferred language.

  20. PATO65 says:

    Hello Livio,
    write software of any kind and with any language (or almost) not a problem (I do work), programming microcontrollers is not even a problem, but I did not understand a thing…….
    You're telling me that it would be enough to read the encoder through hardware and up so good. But why then USB? You mean then the PC law using another USB port encoder value?
    I honestly didn't understand the tour should do regardless of sw used.
    From what I understand from your system (It is only by 3 days I know him) You should write the value of the encoder (bed with dedicated hw) in one slot, then it would all be very simple. Am I missing something?

    • Livio says:

      Exactly as you wrote, just write the value of the encoder (bed with dedicated hw) in one Slot of the system Theremino and then any Thereminica application may use it.

      But it would be even easier to read the value of the encoder in the same application that will handle the movement and (without even writing it in a slot) make the difference between destination and value of the encoder. And finally move the stepper by writing a value to the stepper motor slot.

      To read and the encoder I was talking about a USB adapter because it seemed the easiest way, But if you have another method (Maybe that comes through a serial) that's fine too.

  21. Maurizio says:

    Hello Livio.

    Regarding the request of Pato, do you think it would be possible to read the quadrature encoder directly using two pins of a master?
    If it were possible, It would be a new type of pin to be added to the list of Hal (then would require an upgrade of HAL and PIC firmware), or you can via software on your PC?
    Of course there are problems of pulse frequency, It must be less than the maximum reading of the PIC, and also USB communication.
    The limit can you think of a flip-flop hardware, so you have a pin with the impulses and the other with the direction.
    The alternative, and even the best way, is a PIC set for quadrature impulses and to be seen as master or slave Theremino.
    Maybe Pato, He says he has no problems with microcontrollers, could open source master and make the changes, in my opinion is not a difficult thing, indeed.. If I had time I could do it myself. And’ an up/down counter controlled by a flip-flop and a signal of the encoder, feasible very easily via software.
    The logic is the same as described for example here:
    To me the thing looks intriguing, What do you think?


    • Livio says:

      Sounds great a PIC programmed to read the encoder but not doing it in the Master (as already explained in the message of 08/05/2015 at 10:55 Am)

      I copy here the message part that explains it:
      “Don't implement complex readings (requiring two wires) in modules, either to avoid increasing too the types of pins, both to make way in the firmware in future types of pins that you really need. Possibly you could do a special modulate for encoders. But I am convinced that there are already ready and that therefore we should not waste time to design them. Try searching from Pololu, Phidgets, Hobbyking, Robot Italy and the like.”

    • Livio says:

      Do new types of pins is a huge job. First we have to update the communication protocol with the new codes for the type. Next you need to align the explanations on the site and update the DataSheet for the Master. Then you have to write the firmware and try it. And finally update the HAL in VbNet, the one in CSharp and the Help of HAL in three languages. If someone wants to do it is to welcome you., but be prepared to put in a month (If we do it.) much more if you do not know the system.

      And I'm not even sure it's a good idea. I think it would be better to leave that 20% of resources that we are still in the Master, for future types of Pin for system Theremino. Pins that require a thread alone and who have no alternative for ready. Read an encoder does not seem to be part of this category.

  22. Maurizio says:


    I'm sorry, I had read that message but today are more distracted than usual…
    I'm looking at right now the master firmware, and I think I could too, If I had the time.
    Among other things, your idea of making everything without going through the slots is great.
    In practice, you could make a special master who reads the encoder and pilot the stepper, directly from firmware.
    Through the slot you could set your destination and read how long before arrival, in practice what you already do with the CNC but using the encoder.
    -Proximity to the target algorithm we can talk, is there an easy way that I already used, and requires no PID.
    The fact remains that I don't have time, so it should be Pato who if he wants to follow this road.


    • Livio says:

      Not a special Master (work a plethora inconceivable – read the previous mail) but just a simple player encoder (Maybe serial) and then use the modules of the system Theremino as is now, without changing a comma.

  23. Maurizio says:

    Livio, you're right as usual!

    As always fourth birth without thinking about the consequences of what I say :)
    In fact, I had left out all the side effects of this is simple’ review.

  24. PATO65 says:

    Hello Maurizio and Livio,
    the idea of reading the quadrature encoder with a micro and directly manage the stepper I'm already doing. Not with a PIC but with an AMX (Arduino2).
    And’ that's when I happened upon this site and I discovered this wonderful product I realized it would be much faster to manage my project by the PC software (or better Tablet so leave it fixed on the machine).
    Livio, Thanks for the link to the small module for reading the encoder, but I was appalled to see how they can cost so much; basically read 2 quadrature signals handled by interrupt, increment a counter and send it via serial port you can do it in half an hour with a small PIC from 1 Euro.
    Anyway thank you for your interest but this time I will continue with my little project.

    • Livio says:

      It would be really to do this modulate. You don't find and cost a great deal. You have time to do it?

      I read that you don't want to use a second USB, So how would you think to send data to PC? Through our Master and the HAL you can't do, because the signal is weird, with two wires, little online with our simple InOut. Even the I2C does not implement them for the same reason, and the same goes for webcams, the GPS (Global Positioning) and the audio. Are all signals that may very well get into the PC for other roads without overloading the Master. Then, Once they are on your PC, are like all other Inputs, even if they are not passed from Master.

      Would be very helpful and interesting forms with a PIC, to read the digital calipers, to use as a linear motion sensors:

  25. PATO65 says:

    reading the signals of a quadrature encoder requires very little code riche, What I have never done with the PIC is managing the USB and it doesn't seem to me that the thing is so trivial.
    The only time I had to interface to a PC with a PIC was for a charger that voltage and current values sent through serial with MAX232.
    Do you have any link or rather few examples of code ready that I facilitate writing on USB?

    • Livio says:

      The code simpler and better, I know, in our HAL. But communicate over USB is quite complex, both the PIC, from the PC.

      I would advise to use adapter USB-RS485, I've just taken two to communicate with the solar inverter and I paid less than 5 Euro (both and shipping included). One I always take Commons and work well both:

      The advantage of using a thing like that would you can link multiple modules, even far away. Each module with a PIC, Maybe one for a linear gauge, the other three optical encoders… Second advantage, the easy to read data (you see them as COM3, COM4 etc…). Of course the serial is good only for lens and with limited data. But for encoders and gauges would be an excellent solution, flexible and expandable at will. Almost a second system Theremino, specialized for serial communications, to work together with the main one.

      If I could design this subsystem, you'd be a great pleasure to all thereministi. We have many projects to be finished and we don't have the time. But we'll help you to all parties to the system theremino. Practically it would involve making your application reads and writes in slots. A very simple example serial read is here:

      Finally, communicate with the slots is very, just use our Class_ThereminoSlots and remember the names of two functions, Slots Write() and Slots Read():

  26. Maurizio says:

    Hi Pato and Livio.

    Just a small observation.
    If you want to use the encoder for feedback control, the refresh method of reading should be as fast as possible, and that you can't do with the serial.

    Livio, do you think if Pato opens the master firmware, keeps the USB part and removes the rest, putting the counter, It could not be avoided any study of the USB?
    Which is something like what I thought.
    Would become an atypical master, with documentation.

    • Livio says:

      If the bytes are few, then the serial is just as fast as USB. Let us take an example with 4 bytes for a calibre + 4 for an encoder.

      The USB is an Exchange every millisecond in the best possible condition, but usually for an Exchange takes two or three mS. A serial 115 Kbaud forwards 100 bit (8 bytes * 8 bit + something CRC and start-stop) in less than a millisecond.. Then two or three times better than USB.

      And also, working with Theremino CNC and steppers, We found that talking about milliseconds means being much faster than necessary. The mechanics goes to tenths of seconds, not thousandths. You begin to feel small differences in the sound of the engines only when times of sharing outweigh the 50 mS. Then, to see real differences in processing, or dondolamenti, You must pass the 100 mS.

  27. Fabrizio says:

    I'm running out to build a robotic arm, some as a hobby but also hoping to be able to then use (more than one) for handling of workpieces, then make them work really. I found a project that has already been done by the company that made the 3d printer in my possession and seems sufficiently solid and valid for the project I have in mind. This robot is to use stepper motors nema 17, ramps and appropriate driver. I have already purchased the motors, I got them from 400 step to improve accuracy. Then by chance I found your site and I have to tell you that you're really fantastic. I look forward to that I get the master to begin playing. When I have some free time these days, the step to read as much as possible on your. site to instruct me. What I want to know is if the software theremino arm can use only and exclusively the servant or whether it can also be used with stepper motors. Thanks in advance for your reply as you like give me, best regards Fa

    • Livio says:

      With Theremino ARM you can use any engine because it emits just a value in one Slot. Zero means 90 degrees to the left and a thousand means 90 degrees to the right.

      Then whoever controls the motors (in your case Theremino HAL), will have to do the necessary conversions of scale, to coincider the movement of the engines with the corners of the software.

      I hope you know program, because Theremino CNC is just a collection of functions for the kinematics. A good example, functional and great for teaching, but probably incomplete and insufficient, to make a real job, in the field of automation.

      To start the tests simply Theremino Master, from here:

      If you purchase it from the warehouse in Europe will arrive in three days:

      And then you need the drivers, as explained here:

  28. Marco R. says:

    Hello everyone,
    Congratulations again to Livio and all the Theremino Team for the excellent Hardware and Software products!
    A question: for those wishing to try their hand at small applications VbNet or Theremino Script, There is an area of the website dedicated to posting/exchange of software so I can share it with other fans, in style “open source”? I refer to some “Software repository” specifically dedicated to the world Thereminico.

  29. Sergio Pagano says:

    first of all congratulations for everything you are doing and for the philosophy that motivates. I am a “old” electronic enthusiast and I am currently developing environmental sensors. In particular I am interested in the GP2Y1010AU0F type dust sensors for distributed networks in the territory. In the part devoted to this sensor mentioned to improved reading circuit, announced for January 2015. As is the situation at present? I can lend a hand?
    Thank you.

    • Livio says:

      Hello, you're absolutely right, we delayed this project too long in favor of other more urgent.

      Now we must finish SDR and ADC24:

      But these days, a week or two at the most, then it's up to the sensor for dust. Was scheduled though there you wrote, is first on the list. And he won't take long because the adapter is finished and running, just missing some testing and software for “spettrometrarlo”.

      Glad to read that you want to help out, We always need help. What kind of things you could do? Little know tools and goggles for SMDS? And measuring instruments? You already know how to change the thereminici software with Visual Studio? Maybe today I'll publish schematics and PCB dust adapter, as it is now, with two notes on what's left to do…

      • Sergio Pagano says:

        Dear Livius, Thank you.
        I understand that circuit: being the teremino form essentially based on a single i/o line, It has been implemented the oscillator with the 555 to run independently on Sharp form and it has been made a simple, but effective, peak detector with the transistor. While the latter trick simplifies the signal reading, not being more restrained at the time dictated by the datasheet for the sensor dust, the measure also increases the sensitivity capico not because. Unfortunately I did not find anywhere the circuit diagram of the sensor and therefore I have no idea how to output pulse shape, talking about why the repetition rate of 100 Hz.
        Do you have any information about it?

        As for my can help, I have a small electronics lab at home and a lot better at the University where I teach. I have expertise in electronic design, microcontroller programming and interfacing sensors. At the moment I am working to achieve environmental sensors wifi using the famous ESP8266, but in the recent past I've developed some sort wearable with accellerometri and gyroscopes for medical applications (monitoring posture for rehabilitation, monitoring activities for seniors, monitoring respiration for apnea).
        From the point of view more professional I work on development of single photon detectors, using superconductors, and study of low-frequency fluctuations (1/f noise) in innovative materials and devices.

        Switching to another topic: SDR, I found a cheap form that perhaps on aliexpress is comapatibile with the vs project.
        the link is
        Could you confirm if that's OK, so I order, given the time of posts from China it will take at least 3 weeks.
        Hello and thank you again.

        • Livio says:

          The repetition rate 100 Hz need to give strong and short pulses of light and increase the sensitivity.
          The Sharp form is used so, otherwise it doesn't work right. Sharp specification in the data sheet that you have to use an electrolytic capacitor (the C from 220 uF) to give short pulses. The led could not withstand a direct current of that intensity and therefore have found this system. Their idea works well, but on the form they put only part of what it takes, one half must be made out, and that's what we did.

          The peak detector is used to accurately measure the amplitude of the pulses tip. Without it the width of the rows of mass spectrometry (FWHM) would be wider than, because the impulses are all different and some have maximum a little’ before and others a little’ After. Therefore without a peak detector the measured value would depend on the moment of reading.

          We have this kind of experience derived from Theremino MCA, We managed to squeeze the rows so that many feel amazing. In the case of dusts there will be clearly defined lines of isotopes, so maybe shake would not be essential, but in any case it never hurts to accurately measure.

          In the tests we have also verified that the fine powder (around the micron) However, there is no single granules accountant. Then the peak-detector also provides a continuous carpet of bottom, that is bound to end in the single “bin” of particulate matter.


          Schemas and data sheet of the form Sharp are the page indicated:

          They're just below our project, There is the data sheet, There are pictures, the AppNotes… all the best we could find.

        • Livio says:

          The receiver RTL showing okay, skids a little’ in the first minutes but then stabilizes, as long as you don't close the application never SDR. If the lock then you have to wait again for a few minutes to get it right the SSB.

          Otherwise it's very good and costs very little. And’ a 820T2 and this does not hurt. Perhaps you could find one already in Germany, for a dollar or two more.

          Then you should buy soon also a BFR90, an NE602, a quartz from 125 MHZ (3.3 Volts) and two Toroid cores as shown, because without active Antenna and Upconverters receives very little interesting.

        • Livio says:

          About your sentence “…the measure also increases the sensitivity capico not because…”

          In fact we didn't write that has increased sensitivity, but we wrote about the “…never seen work so well”. And it meant that with a very simple circuit you can get a real mass spectrometry, count the individual impulses and divide them into bins.

          The form Sharp was designed to see roughly the dust in a vacuum but, Since it is optically well designed, You can as well get much more than what they had expected. Hence the phrase “even designers have never seen work so well”

        • Livio says:

          We have published new recommendations for building the UpConverter, read them here:

  30. Carlo Dacanay says:

    I spent the whole blog to avoid wasting time Livius with a problem already discussed…(It only increased my respect for the person and the spirit that characterizes the TEAM which is part). I wanted to use the ray-tracing technique to produce the 3D representation of PCBs generated with Eagle. For the first experience, I chose to use the project Adapter_Stab (minimal, tested, in the past already’ rendered by the team of Theremino). Having limited skills I asked myself, as a first goal, to get acquainted with tools for me new (Eagle 7.5.0 Free Edition and Pov-Ray 3.7 v). According to the letter a procedure established and well described by Livy, I came to generate a. “.POV” but’ contains an error Blocker for later rendering stage, I enclose the listing of file.pov where he highlighted the lock point. And’ request the inclusion of a file “” do not know where to take. Probably the version of Eagle3D.ulp (extracted from does not work with the Free Edition of Eagle 7.5.0 I'm using. Livio can you confirm if my analysis is correct or if I'm wrong grossly something else? It's been three days that Remus and I came to the conclusion that, alone, I don't go out. Thank you

    //Povray-File created by 3d41.ulp v 1.05
    //C:/Users/admin/Documents/aaaprova/aaaprova.brd/projects/_ Eagle
    //21/02/2016 18:44

    #version 3.5;

    //Set to on if the file should be used as. inc
    #local use_file_as_inc = off;
    #If(use_file_as_inc = off)
    #declare pcb_layer16_used = 1;
    #declare inc_testmode = off;
    #declare global_seed = seed(105);
    #declare global_pcb_layer_dis = array[16]
    #declare global_pcb_real_hole = 2.000000;

    #includes “”
    #includes “”

    global_settings{utf8 charset}

    #If(environment = on)
    sky_sphere {pigment {Navy}
    pigment {Bozo turbulence 0.65 octaves 7 Omega 0.7 Lambda 2
    color_map {
    [0.0 0.

    • Livio says:

      Is not due to the version of Eagle.
      Surely you haven't copied any files in the right folders.
      The errors that you make are classics of when you forget to copy a few files or copy in the wrong folder. Happens all the time that you install Eagle3D, Since it is easy to confuse the folders LIB eagle 3D and those of PovRay…

      So at a guess, Perhaps you're missing files that you should copy the includes folder of PovRay, by me are now 81 and also include the file that you lack.

      So I think you skipped the step that says:
      "Include" files for PovRay (for 3D components)
      – Download this ZIP file: PovRay_Include_Files
      – Open the PovRay
      – Find the subfolder "include" and open it
      – Copy the folder "includes" files, extracting it from the ZIP file and overwriting.

      Ensure that the folder “includes” must be that where actually you say “installed” the PovRay. Might as well just be copied somewhere, and not installed, but still must be what you're throwing.

      Attention, We prefer not to install anything, not to modify the registry of the operating system. But in doing so you must stay in their areas, not in the system (Program files / Programs / Windows / System32 and Users) otherwise the software fail to write and you must cast them as supervisor.

      Good folder where to place ALL your belongings are: a folder that is from down Documents, or, and better yet, a folder in C type “C:\Livio”, where will all, but its all, your own thing, well divided into subfolders Theremino / Povray etc.. The advantage of this approach is that in the future, simply copy this folder on another PC to lug around all over the world. Same thing for safety backups…

      Now I can't remember the details because I don't install PovRay for a while. Carefully review all the steps that we wrote, If you can't make the same call 0125 57290 and the fix in a jiffy with TeamViewer.

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