Later PS: Here's some electrification information I received in an e-mail from Clark Rowden -- Copied here with his permission: Hi, just saw your artical on your $8 "Doodle-Bass" and noticed you were wanting to add an acoustic pickup for it from Radio Shack parts. I am currently working on an instrument I call a Bungee Bass that uses rubber strings (actually "O" ring material). Anyway, I have used a very cheap transducer system on several of my home-made instruments that you may find useful. Basically, all you need is a Radio Shack 273-073 Piezo Transducer and an output jack. If the instrument puts out any acoustic sound at all, it will pick it up, you just need to find the "sweet spot" to mount it. You (in most cases) don't even need a preamp or power (battery) The trouble with this $1.49 transducer as opposed to a $90. 00 and up "pro" modle is that is quite "trebley" making you turn the treble down on the amp. But once you do that, it makes an acoustic guitar sound just as good as to "pro" transducers. A solution for this is a passive filter known as an RLC Notch Filter. "Passive" means it needs no external power and "RLC" means a Resistor, Load (inductor) and Capacitor. "Notch" means it will notch out a frequency and shunt it to ground. The circuit does not even need to be mounted on a PC board ( but shielding it in some cardboard covered in aluminium foil tape is a good idea as well as using shielded wire). The drawback for passive filters is some overall volume loss. If all the components are "tuned" very tightly (very low Q) the notch would be very slim. This is kind of hard to do because of the availability of the components, fortunatly, we are better of with a wide notch. So wide, in fact, that it virtually becomes a low-pass (or high-pass) filter becuase of the audable range of human hearing. I could bore you with a lot of math formula but the following diagram and parts list will be all you will ever need. Black Lead --------------------------------->Output Jack Ground (T1) Red Lead ----->R1>----->----------------->Output Jack Tip | | >C1>--->L1>--->Output Jack Ground Parts List for a Bass Transducer System: T1 = Radio Shack Piezo Transducer - Cat# 273-073 R1 = 33 ohm resistor C1 = .0047 uF capacitor L1 = 156 uH inductor The L1 - 156 uH inductor it's part of the Radio Shack Inductor Assortment - Cat# 273-1601 ($2. 49). You can easly identify it as it is Light Blue, looks sort of like a capacitor and has a Brown dot on one side, a Blue dot and a Green dot on top, and a Gold dot on the other side Parts List for a Guitar/Banjo Transducer System: T1 = Radio Shack Piezo Transducer - Cat# 273-073 R1 = 33 ohm resistor C1 = .0022 uF (microfarad) capacitor L1 = 602 uH (microhenry) inductor The L1 - 602 uH inductor it's part of the Radio Shack Inductor Assortment - Cat# 273-1601 ($2. 49). You can easly identify it as it is Light Green, looks sort of like a little dumbbell and has "602" on it's top. Construction Notes: 1. I usually remove (carefully) the black plastic mounting shell from the transducer. Then, I'll tape the transducer to different mounting locations until I find the "sweet spot". Once I have that, I glue the transucer in place. 2. It makes no difference if the black wire from the transducer stops to hook to the ground of the filter before continuing to the output jack. The diagram shows it otherwise for clearity. 3. If you need to use a preamp (as I do on the rubber string bass) then make R1 = 3.3k omhs. The preamp should "sit" between the RS 273-073 and the filter. 4. You can make a "depth control" using the following diagram: Black Lead ------------------------------->Output Jack Ground (RS 273-073) Red Lead ----->R1>--->----------------->Output Jack Tip | | >C1>-->H1>-->R2>-->Output Jack Ground R2 = 50k ohm audio taper potentiometer (linear will do) The pot has 3 terminals, terminal 1 connects to H1 and terminals 2 and 3 go to ground. This control will travel from full filter to complete elimination of the filter fom the circuit. 5. If you have an assortment of caps, you can change the notch to "flavor" the instrument by experimenting with various values. You can also try other inductor/cap combinations and even change the resistors value BUT... the source (driving) impedance should be LOWER than the impedance of the filter. Also, the output of the filter should feed an impedance (amplifier) much HIGHER than the filter impedance. All and all, I have found this a very good sounding transducer especially at the price. If you put this on a nice acoustic guitar, the end-pin jack would cost you more than the transducer system. Well, I hope this info will prove useful to you and I'll keep an eye on your page, which has provided me with alot of ideas on my own projects. Thanks Clark RowdenClick here to return to my home page.