Standalone applications

Applications without PC


Planning the firmware (as with Arduino), the modules of the system Theremino may also work without connecting them to a PC. More detailed information on this page.

But we do not recommend the operation without PC, in order not to lose the main characteristics of the system Theremino: the power of the PC, real-time connection between high level software and hardware of InOut and ease of use.

There are systems (Arduino and clones) designed for applications with no operating system and no PC, use those.

Repeatedly asked to implement the Arduino Sketch.
The short answer is: "There's no need for"
The long answer is here:

Applications “stand alone” and “real time”

For autonomous systems, such as a quadcottero or a robot, using FlatPC (see this page).


The FlatPC and Theremino system modules, While working with a real OS, they are so quick to be more “real time” a microcontroller real time (for example Arduino). Then a FlatPC and some small thereminici modules can easily control the flight and stabilization of a drone, correcting the position in real time, up to seven hundred times per second (that is more than what it takes in practice and also what can make an Arduino with its slow CPU single core).


Also a FlatPC has all basic functions already built, and of sufficient quality to satisfy even the finest ear.

Smaller and lighter, both a Raspberry than of an Arduino, the FlatPC has all of series, in a very small. So you must add external sound modules, Wifi adapters, mass storage devices, about connection cables and bulky Shield.

L ’ following picture shows an example of what needs to be done to get quality sound from a Raspberry (example from project volumio)


And this image shows how you get quality sound from a FlatPC.


The two images have the same scale and are indicative of how quickly engage volume with stacked modules (Piggyback) and with the Shield. Here it is just dell audio ’, But if you want even on Wifi, the GPS, the 3 g, the Bluetooth and the ADC to 24 bit, the castle would become a skyscraper and it would be impossible to place it in reasonable shape.

To avoid stacking of modules and facilitate the arrangement of the volumes, Theremino the system does not provide Piggyback or Shield with fixed positions, but always flexible cables.

Theremino on Rapberry Pi with Raspbian

Attention: This information is outdated. Small PC with Windows, they are always cheaper, consume less and are much more powerful, see comparisons. On FlatPC and TabletPC all our applications work with the 100% efficiency and work for (you do not need to perform complicated installations).

For lovers of Linux and Raspberry Pi we prepared a Debian for Raspberry, called Raspbian, is available as a complete image. So no operating system installation, slamming the memory card and via.

This Raspbian, you might call ThereRaspBian, spin Theremino system applications, but it's not easy to do that. You must manually install many Linux libraries and, Depending on the version, Some applications may work and some don't.

USB communication speed of the Raspberry is great, can easily reach 700-800 exchanges per second. The processor is unfortunately a little’ slow and there are errors (not ours but of Linux-Mono) to use the numeric data processor. So applications most suited to Raspberry are loggers lenses. For example weather systems, or for earthquakes, who are content to a hundred trades per second.

Connectors, datasheets and schematics of all models of Stalks in This file.

Consumption of Raspberry Pi

Model B
Only keyboard    0.38 A - 1.89 W Keyboard + WiFi  0.43 A - 2.14 W
Model B +
Only keyboard    0.25 A - 1.25 W Keyboard + WiFi  0.30 A - 1.50 W Only WebCam      0.30 A - 1.50 W about (changes with lighting)
Without USB/LAN    0.15 A - 0.75 W
In shutdown      0.05 A - 0.25 W

All models of Raspberry (A, B and B +) must be powered with voltage from 4.5 to 5.5 Volts. In case of power with solar panels, I recommend using a switching regulator, to reduce the battery voltage with maximum efficiency.

The Theremino Master and Slave modules only 12 mA. Then a Master increases consumption of Stems of less than 5%. If you link to the Stalks only the Wifi card and the Master, it consumes around 1 Watts, so in total less than 100 but with a 12 Volts.

Overclock your Raspberry Pi

The Stalks to 700 MHz is pretty slow, but with 950 MHz is much better. Overclocking is done with “RaspiConfig”.

Up to 950 MHz to overclock the SD Card works in 250 MHz, so just a “SD Card class 4”. If you set the maximum overclock (1 GHz), then travels to the SD Card 500 MHz, and need a “Kingston SD Card class 10”.

With overclocking the average consumption doesn't change much, you climb from ordinary 300-350 but up to a maximum of approximately 350-400 mA. Even with the maximum overclock, enough small coolers keep the chips under the 85 degrees, temperature above which the chips are slowing down automatically. A fan is not required, and it is better not to use it to avoid noise and dust.

For proper operation the temperature must not exceed 70 degrees and the supply voltage must not drop below the 4.8 Volts. There are simple instructions in Python to read temperature and voltage, It would therefore be useful to write a small utility. This utility should store the peak values, but show them on screen only once per second, to consume little CPU.

  1. Paul says:

    Congratulations on your excellent article "a robotic arm with essential mechanics". I might write only to ask a couple of questions:

    – Reading the article I did not understand whether the theremino works as arduino, namely receives data, processes them and after you apply them to the servos. Honestly from your article I gather that you can control in real time, thing that definitely would put the system theremino to exceptionally higher than arduino.

    – I didn't find the conversion files from drawing to servo movements. To draw any object, 3D models, How do you process an image ? From the site Theremino you see a control panel. The system read in the article it seems that 3D printers , But unlike the last , I understand there is a conversion software, but I would rather go by trial and error.

    Do you think a similar system (direct control of the servants from the control panel without having to compile every single review) you could get even with Arduino ? I tried a lot of material but honestly I could not find anything.

    Congratulations again and so cool !!

    • Livio says:

      Theremino not working as an Arduino, It is easier to use, You can do everything without programming. (of course for complex applications you can also program)

      With ThereminoArm software you can control in real time, even with the mouse for example. Or by following what he says a GCode (or NC or TAP or any similar file)

      Files that are normally used are the GCode (you find many along with the ThereminoArm as examples) and they are very easy, just a long list of coordinates X/Y/Z.

      GC files are exactly the same as the ones used for CNC milling machines and robots and are produced with special programs (printed circuit board or 3D drawing programs)

      Soon we will publish the Theremino_ImgToGcode software which helps you convert images to stretch into GCode files

      • Paul says:

        I've already’ built an arm, connected to an Arduino, but for the reasons I exposed it and’ revealed a major disappointment for most industrial applications. Everything must be pre-planned and saved locally on memory still very limited.

        Despite a bushy community, only certain versions of Arduino commercial higher-end may use direct libraries, so is little material about, mostly videos on youtube but without code.

        I tool right away to replace hardware arduino with theremino so as to give a direct feedback.

        • Livio says:

          Your industrial control application is interesting and could offer good ideas to others then, for pleasure, write the results of your tests and how to continue the advancement of your searches.

  2. Valter procarione says:

    I know now this idea, thereminio, and I think it's the most brilliant thing I've seen for the enormous potential and applications of which he is capable, but that disappointment at the lack of available materials.
    modules and other assembled baseboards for starters, a little’ arduino style, cannot be found in the links on the site, the most solid seems to be, but only for the 3 axes, where to find the most basic things to start a minimum of preparation, even for educational initiatives?

    • Livio says:

      Arduino has existed for a decade, in the early years, no one knew him and was little material for him too. Theremino the system has existed for just, and makes it hard to make themselves known. The biggest problem is that there is already Arduino, that fills every space possible and has marketing mediums incomparably greater.

      Other reasons that make the system Theremino “different” are:
      – We're not in the least interested in earning and all forms of marketing.
      – We do not want to write books on system Theremino (everything on the site already exists and is free for all)
      – There it's nice to have relationships with famous magazines surcharge (that payment is kinda obvious or occult no matter)

      In essence, the Theremino system does not deal with production, only explains “How do you”, and he wants to keep the knowledge free for all, always free and directly accessible, without intermediaries.

      All this is well explained here:

      As regards the components we are aware that new producers are coming. Which promise to hold everything catalog, absolutely everything, for the system Theremino (up to details, handouts, the screws, the cables and kits).

      We have no business relationship with them, but from what we read on their site, looks promising:

  3. faxim says:

    Sorry, but instead of exalting the flaws of Arduino and Raspberry (then that defects are not), You can't limit yourself to list the qualities of Theremino unparalleled by other platforms?
    I'm sorry, but reading this page I felt that the editor has diminished arduino and raspberry, also somewhat questionable assertions falling. I know rather well both theremino that arduino that raspberry, and I am sure that each of these platforms has its own strong point different from other. No need to sing the flaws of others to show that it is strong.

    • Livio says:

      You have not written but probably you mean these tables:

      The tables comparing the three systems do not serve to establish a “winner” but to target the makers toward the platform best suited to their project. You don't need it, given that you know well all three platforms, but many may be useful.

      There are cases where Arduino is preferable and quite often, dozens and dozens of times, We advised not to use Theremino because Arduino is best suited.

      Probably you're not taking into account an important fact: Arduino and Raspberry are commercial systems, Instead we are completely “Nonprofit”. The site thereminostore is run by Chinese who don't pay us, We don't care if they sell as little or as much.

      If you consider this and reread what we wrote, You'll find that I'm just technical considerations. More or less like the advice on which pond and what welder use.

      If you find any wrong statement actually write it here and will correct it immediately. If there is only “questionable”, that's why we're here. Write your version, Here there is freedom of thought and every contribution is useful and welcome.

  4. PDR says:

    The system seems cute, pity that foresees the use of a pc with windows, that increases costs and reduces the reliability. Personally I prefer less systems “unnecessarily powerful” (Arduino Uno, ESP8266), but sometimes a faster processor may use.

    Among other things the site apparently disappeared, unfortunately… It would be very useful even if it were shown where to find flat pc… One source does not definitely helps!

    • Claudio says:

      From my point of view theremino is different from arduino, has a significant greater elasticity of direct use. I tried also with arduino, but I had too much difficulty and slowness, will surely also due to my ignorance, but theremino I made everything more simple and straightforward with greatly reduced costs and technical support staff theremino first and foremost Livius that is nothing short of mind blowing, for faster communication outrageously altruistic to 360′. I have used and I also use another windows vista and despite everything I still never had any considerable hitch. I strongly recommend that you test this interesting system.

    • Livio says:

      The site thereminostore often performs poorly. If gives you problems you can use

      Cheap tablets, but fast quad core and with Windows10, found on eBay or Amazon. And with a tablet you also have a great touch screen Panel, and the screen and even the batteries, and charger, and the Wifi, and the audio, and stereo speakers, and the bluetooth, and two USB ports, and ram and hard drives at will. If you add even a fraction of these options to the Arduino then taking a year to operate together all shield, but most likely you can't just forget it. Also the crock finish would be much bigger and cost you more than a Tablet.

      Or you could use a Meegopad as explained on this page:

  5. Graic says:

    “The FlatPC and Theremino system modules, While working with a real OS, they are so quick to be more "real time" from a microcontroller real time (for example Arduino). ”
    This statement shows your lack of knowledge of the technical concept of “Real Time” that , in itself, It has nothing to do with the “speed” but with the system's ability to respond “always and everywhere” within the deadline set. capacity that an operating system like Windows will never.
    From a practical point of view, then an a Flat PC with quad-core processor “painfully slow” and with only 2 or 3 GB RAM won't make ever to run an OS like Windows i intervene in time needed to control a drone in flight.
    “And with a tablet you also have a great touch screen Panel, and the screen and even the batteries, and charger, and the Wifi, and the audio, and stereo speakers, and the bluetooth, and two USB ports, and ram and hard drives at will. If you add even a fraction of these options to the Arduino then taking a year to operate together all shield, but most likely you can't just forget it. Also the crock finish would be much bigger and cost you more than a Tablet.”
    But maybe I do all these things I don't need, This is exactly the concept of “unnecessarily powerful”

    • Livio says:

      Everything changes, What now seems unnecessarily powerful will be a smidge in just ten years.

    • Livio says:

      And anyway you are wrong even on the theoretical concept of RealTime. Also microcontrollers like Atmel and PIC have a latency, definitely smaller than Windows but there is.

      So, technically, they wouldn't be in real time even they. It is just to see if the delay between stimulus and response is small enough for what you must do.

      The quad-core forever then you're wrong completely, I am writing with a tower PC which you consider yourself something powerful and I next to a tablet with quad core processor Atom. I know them both fine and I use them everyday to try our applications. And I can assure you that the Tablet is faster (Thanks to the solid state hard drives).

      And your “only two or three gigs of ram” indicates that you have not clear what serves on a drone. Currently on the tower I 2 gig of ram and I doing turn smoothly everything. Programmoni from 15 Giga as Visual Studio 2017 for example, community. Graphics programs etc.. For a drone just much much less and two gigs are more than enough. For example the Tablet that we always use for testing has two gigs of Ram and spins perfectly dozens of our applications at once.

      However nobody thinks to stabilize a drone with USB exchanges. However with more than 500 exchanges per second you might also think about it. Down we go numerically controlled machines and work fine (and work well even with the quad core Tablet you can define “extremely slow”).

      But it is evident that all “automatic reflexes” they would perform with a PIC. And it would leave the PC only tasks like follow the route, shoot images, keep pilot communication etc..

    • Claudio says:

      It is one thing to set, for using midi, Arduino strictly pre then use it later in realtime and another account is acting realtime in setting for later use realtime.
      In practice , at least in my case, are always in real time, even while being pre setting.
      Theremino allows to refine the settings of all parameters in realtime , in surplus while everything is in drive, for the subsequent final using realtime.
      Create a sequence on a servo motor, for example,, While similar action in real time the parameter setting.
      And currently use a windows Vista, petechiae or comparison to the rest, with no apparent problem and we play for more than one year.
      I don't think with an arduino can be done currently. I tested some years ago and the process seemed a little too cumbersome, slow, at least the initial part of Setup, without a shadow of a doubt.
      Also I was initially hesitant,because they are a stand alone directed, but actually I think using a pc directly to stand alone in this case to the modular theremino is a highly advanced solution and with new computers more and more compact and powerful, the question becomes more and more advanced.
      From my point of view is clearly inferior to an Arduino as theremino and definitely though may look similar are significantly different.
      Don Giovanni and lose all economic aspect, that even in this situation reflected considerable advantages.
      The logic of the system theremino seems much more fluid and directed and would recommend it to any beginner like me.

    • Anonymous says:

      To get a real time operation you must know how to program with the proper techniques, use the threads, set the granularity of the scheduler to 1 mS, set thread priorities, etc..

      With these techniques we can spin the threads that need it with precise timing in milliseconds. And since the response times of almost all mechanical systems are from tens to hundreds of milliseconds, It follows that a Windows application-Desktop can actually work in real time.

      This article proves unequivocally: (see chapter “reliability”)

  6. Toni says:

    Kills how many trolls are out there.
    How can you not know the difference between Theremino and Arduino, Raspberry etc.?
    So much for competence.

    How not to understand the difference between lego and meccano or mounting scagtole (without specific references). BHA!

    However Theremino is an exceptional project and the work done to date, as well. I hope it will continue.

    For its practical uses, that open to a huge number of people the opportunity to study and experiment where it would otherwise be impossible for them, I think Theremino can be defined as a milestone in the evolution of electronics and information technology and also something revolutionary, compared to the current situation of the sector.

    Shame about the name (definitely inconsistent and misleading) but, steps.

    What I just can not watch is the logo…(but this is a personal consideration, on a marginal aspect).

    Kind regards.

    • Livio says:

      You're right, There would be the best option for the logo and name but now I have to keep. Anyway you get used. Theremino is a simple system, naïve, minimalist and naive. And the logo reflects a little’ all this.

  7. Angel says:

    Hello, but the tablet Theremino Control Unit – TCU 12 "Yuntab H8216, no longer available?? the website says it is out of stock….There is an alternative?
    Thank you

    • Livio says:

      Unfortunately Yuntab has stopped building them.
      We are looking for alternatives but currently cost all very.

      On Amazon there are some cheap StickPC, Search “Spc-Smartee-Windows”, but maybe you own a tablet and I don't know what point you.

      • Angel says:

        But if it is to, not just any tablet? or at least such minimum requirements must have in order to match a form theremino ?

        • Livio says:

          Just any Tablet or StickPC or PC or Notebook, preferably with Windows10 and quad-core, but just for your working comfort.

          One important requirement is that there is a Windows (XP, Windows7, Windows8, Windows10).

          To operate the modules and applications thereminiche there is no other special requirements. Here in the lab we have a Notebook of fifteen years ago, with WindowsXP, Single-Core processor 1.8 Gigahertz, and only two gigs of RAM, We use it for making printed circuit boards with the cutter (with the Theremino_CNC application), and spins all our other applications without any problems.

          As HardDisk 32 Giga are more than enough to load several tens of our applications, more Visual Studio, 7zip and many other useful programs. But of course in this case wouldn't place for movies…

  8. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Livio, Crystal clear! You Yuntab you advised only for good value then?

    • Livio says:

      Yes, That's right. In addition there is to mention that in the years 2015 .. 2016 It was difficult to find Tablet with Windows that were feeding in a separate connector. You had to feed them from the only USB and you couldn't simultaneously connect our modules. And also the StickPC tablets (with Windows), they cost so much.

      Now, however, he found many models and are all okay. Are virtually all quad-core, a breeze, and cheap. Probably (When we have time) We will delete any page on Tablet.

  9. Marco Nicolato says:

    I chew Arduino and Raspberry, e Theremino (found a week) It inspires me a lot, I need to understand how to use a wonderful solution to a problem that I want to find at all costs ;)
    A question: I read the “flat pc” that intrigued me a lot but I can not find: There are a few links to these products ?
    Thank you

    • Anonymous says:

      I'm sorry but the Chinese have stopped producing them. Soon we will replace the page with the Z85 that have equivalent features (and even better) of FlatPC. If you search on the Internet you can also find them at less than 90 Euro.

  10. Ton Bertels says:

    I want to install thermino spectrometer on a raspberry pi4. What’s the best way to install it?

    • Livio says:

      All the theremino apps are “portable”, they not require installation. You unzip them in some folder and start the exe file.

      To use our applications you need a PC with a true Windows 10. I think that our applications will not work on the special, IOT reduced, Windows 10 of the Raspberry. So I suggest tu use a Z85 mini PC instead.

  11. Open says:

    Salve, the comments on the Raspberry seem to me to be from a long time ago, and therefore surpassed. So I would like to ask you if you are going to adapt your old Raspbian to the new versions of the Raspberry Pi 4. I think this may be of interest to more than one person
    Kind regards

    • Livio says:

      Interesting, Yes, I would recommend giving it a try…
      But we don't know the new Raspberries, You have one and you know it? Do you know which cheap and fast models you could use?

      What does Raspbian mean?, Maybe “operating system for Raspberry”?
      I don't think we've published a Raspbian.

      If new Raspberries are good then we don't need “Our Raspbian”, as long as the Raspberry works well and fast with Windows 10 or 11 and all our applications will run on it without any problems.

      In the tests we did, the Raspberry was too slow and too awkward to use. And then more layers had to be added to the basic version until it became an even more uncomfortable jumble of wires. And in the end even more expensive than a MiniPC which would certainly be faster and more comfortable to use.

      If there are any Raspberry that are okay now, try them out and let us know the results.

      • Alberto says:

        The Raspberry of a few years ago had an operating system descended from Debian, Who had called Raspbian, see
        Then you’ switched to various versions of the NOOBS, also derived from Raspberry-optimized Debian updates. Finally and’ Raspbios has been used for a few years now, also in various versions and at 64 bit. Personally, I use it and I'm fine with it (I've got the Pi 3 B+), I would like to use it more, but since I design using Proteus, basically I use Win7. And’ to say that already with the Pi model 3 B You can install Win10 IOT. And’ The release of the Pi5 is imminent with which it will change a lot of things, including OS, That will be the Bookworm, also derived from Debian. Ah, I see they keep using the term “Raspbian” for the OS.
        If I have to say one thing I don't like about Raspberry, is the fact that it requires an external power supply; But that's’ more of a problem of mine since I use it “desktop”, having to use it as an embedded system and’ Of course it doesn't have a power supply.
        I would like to be able to attach pdfs to you, but it's not’ possible, However, I can show you links where you can find updated information:
        As you can see it would already be possible to use all your work using Win10 IOT, It's just that, if you are used to using Linux, you obviously look for software that runs on it. I understand that it may sound snobbish, but usually those who use Open Source don't see windows too favorably.
        I Also Know, More than anything else I guess, the backbreaking of moving software from one platform to another: I just need to see how many years Collabora has been trying to port Open Office to Android without succeeding.
        Kind regards

        • Livio says:

          I'm sorry but in the past we've tried to port two or three of our apps to Linux and wasted months without getting anything good, They were bad and full of bugs. And after a while they changed something in the “Raspbian” And they didn't even start anymore.

          In addition, our system consists of more than 100 All intercommunicating applications. Having just one or two wouldn't do any good, and porting them all to Linux would be a crazy job.

          Maybe a Linux expert could give it a try, but we've been waiting for it for decades and no one has ever shown up.

  12. Alberto says:

    Oops! I hadn't noticed, A few comments before mine, The Windows Answer 10 IOT…
    I make amends…
    On the other hand, I wonder what is the point of buying what is to all intents and purposes another PC when it seems obvious that your software runs very well on any PC, notebook, laptop, Standard tablet with at least Windows 7 installed… And that, Assumed, is already in the possession of those who wish to try their hand at Theremino…

    • Livio says:

      And on top of that, mini PCs are getting cheaper and cheaper, some even under the 100 Euro, they are as small as a Raspberry and have everything ready, WiFi, Bluetooth, HDMI, Connectors for the network, Usb3, sound card, HardDisk SSD, SIM connectors and the like, Windows 11 already installed, etc..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.