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Thread: Cigar box piezo help

  1. #1
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    Cigar box piezo help

    Since I haven't found the 'Electrical' sub-forum thought I'd ask here. I'm slapping together a homemade {cigar box type} geetar and I'm planning on using a Piezo or two for some added excitement However, this is totally new ground to me and I would appreciate any of you electrimagicians offering some help.

    The local radio shack didn't have the piezo I was looking for, so I ended up taking a 12vdc one they did have{$3.00, no great loss if it's useless for my plan}..eeenyway's, I'm at a loss on bypassing the circuit board and soldering direct to the element/transducer. Here's a photo of what I bought, followed by my question...can I tie-in/solder #1 & 2 to #3 eliminating the board{& of course #4 ground to the black lead? I've never encountered the ceramic part with the divided area{for lack of proper terminology } it's the same sort of confusion I'm having with this element{3rd photo} I raided from an old smoke alarm...can I use these types in this situation?

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    The perception of perfection is perfectly clear to everyone else

  2. #2
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    Ken my understanding of piezo is the output voltage comes from the two faces when the crystal is disrtorted. The middle connection as in no 2 i have not seen before ever but i would guess it has something to do with some sort of bias voltage to have the piezo operate in different modes. So if that was a buzzer i can see a dc bias being place on #2 and making it change its pitch or allow pitch to be set. Difference is in that case the device is used to output sound as a result of signal applied in your case you want it to act as a pick up. I would just leave #2 unconnected for your application.
    cheers

  3. #3
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    Thanks Rob, I'll give that a test-see as I'm waiting for the local guitar shop to open...I think I'm going to grab a single coil pick-up or a humbucker if he has any used or cheapish ones laying around. From what I've gathered a piezo doesn't benefit from a tone potentiometer, and with my playing, I can use all the help I can get and now is the time in the build to 'git-r-dun' design/location wise

    I was also thinking that if indeed I can make these piezo's work, I may just add in a 3 way switch, mount them along with the magnetic 'pup' and see what kind of monstrosity I can create. ...this is all hopefully leading to a future build of a more substantial/conventional{} instrument...Thanks again for the thoughts!
    The perception of perfection is perfectly clear to everyone else

  4. #4
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    Hey Ken I have 10 of those kind of builds going on right now I can send you a piezo wired and ready to go if ya want. But really all you need to do is just use 1 and 4. Sandwich the piezo dic between some thin wood ( I just cut a thin strip off of what ever is laying around or use 1/16" ply) using some silicone (I like loctite goop) then just glue or silicone it on under the bridge area. They work GREAT.

    More info can be found on C.B.Gittys web site or the CBG forum
    A Turn N Time
    Components for John Smith Organs and the Hobby Organ Builder

    Frog Pond Guitars


    Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

  5. #5
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    Hey I got one of these projects going on also. Well...I got the box anyway. Thats about as far as I got. I'm looking forward to seeing the end results.
    It's not what you achieve in life...It's what you overcome!

  6. #6
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    Hey Jay, thank you so much! I did pick-up a pick-up , single pole..what are the chances of the piezo's co-habitation with the magnetic pup? I'm sure the frequency's are probably at different ends of the field ...the plan is a piezo under the bridge & another near the last fret{under the box top} along with the single pole mounted maybe 3" or so in front of the bridge. My thoughts are to keep everything separate...piezo's to the jack, single pole to a vol. & tone pot then onto the jack... which if would work would allow all 3 to work in unison, hence the compatibility question....or maybe I need to incorporate a switch to utilize 'either' the piezo's 'or' the single pole...am I on the right track or headed for a derailment? T.I.A. for any thoughts/tips/public lashings etc...


    Edit: oops forgot to thank you Jay for the offer , appreciated but not necessary{I hope }

    & Tom, pix will follow sooner or later, I have no shame
    Last edited by Ken Cook; 08-12-2012 at 08:26 PM.
    The perception of perfection is perfectly clear to everyone else

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