Homemade Tactile Metronome

by Leslie Renico
This traditional metronome relies on a setting rather than your touching the speaker.

This traditional metronome relies on a setting rather than your touching the speaker.

Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images

A traditional metronome uses a dial to control the speed of the beats coming from the speaker. The dial has the number of beats per minute, and you turn the pointer on the dial to the number of beats you want. A tactile metronome actually "listens" to your tapping on the speaker to set the beat. There are several kits that will help you assemble one of these at home. Instructions will vary by manufacturer; these specifics relate to the Wayne & Lane TM2 model.

Required Tools

To make your own homemade tactile metronome, you need a soldering iron with solder. You'll also need pliers. Typically, kits come with a set of LED displays, a power switch, a speaker, the PCB, a holder for batteries, a microcontroller and DIP socket, buttons, transistors, a diode, a resistor and a ceramic capacitor.

LED Displays and Buttons

Put two push buttons on the PCB in the areas marked "SW2" and "SW3." Flip the PCB over and slide the soldering iron into the ring beneath "SW2." Let some solder out onto the ring and let it circulate near the hole. Apply the iron to both the ring and the button on the other side. Repeat this for "SW3." Now add the LED displays by turning the PCB back over and putting them into place. Then flip the board back over and solder one of the legs from each LED into place, just like you soldered the buttons. Turn the board back over and make sure everything is aligned like you want it. Then turn the board over one more time and solder all of the legs into place.

Transistors, Capacitor and Chips

Put the transistors into slots Q1, Q2 and Q3 on the PCB. You may need to adjust the transistor legs for them to go into the PCB. The flat side of the transistor should point toward the LED. Solder the capacitor into the C2 slot on the PCB. Then slide the chip socket into slot J1 on the PCB. Make sure the socket's notch goes where indicated on the PCB.

The Rest of the Way

Solder the resistor into the R1 slot. You may need to twist or bend it a bit for it to fit. Snip off any excess metal with the pliers. Slide the resonator into slot F1 and solder it into place; the power switch goes to the SW1 slot. The buzzer goes into the SP1 position and has two legs that you will want to snip off after soldering.

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images