Mat Janson Blanchet's academic works

Successfully spooled pickup

Posted on February 21, 2018

Independent Study

Abra store

This is reading week and I have been quite busy! After being frustrated with many unsuccessful spooling attempts, I took a trip all the way to Abra to purchase some copper wire with a thicker gauge than the one I had. That was indeed what I needed to move forward!

Spooling with 32 gauge wireSpooling with 32 gauge wire

During my unsuccessful attempts, I also realized that the bobbin of copper wire may be sitting to low compared to the spooling wheels. Combined with the weight of the bobbin, the thinness of the copper wire, and the random tugs that happen when the bobbin is undone, the height of the bobbin probably didn’t help.

However, the 32 gauge wire did not break once, so that is good news!

Finished unpotted pickup

I was able to make a pickup successfully. I also had another pickup plexiglass flatworks already cut, so I was able to make a second pickup quickly.


Next step was to ensure that those pickups were not microphonic. To resolve that issue, the coils have to be dipped into hot wax.

Potting pickups in waxPotting pickups in wax

The wax seeps into the air pockets between the wires wrapped in a coil. Once there are no more bubbles coming out of the coil, they are ready.

Successful pickup test

All that work paid off, the pickups work as intended!

Now that I have the pickups, I will go back to work on the signal generator. Garnet Willis suggested that I actually use pickups as coils for the signal generator. I will be heading back to EchoFab to cut more pickup flatworks, and once I have enough pickups I can test that.

Octariphone – first draft

Octariphone sketch

© Sketch by Tatev Yesayan

I started thinking again about the sound sculpture itself. Since I want to use the notes of an octave, I’ll use eight strings. Thinking more about Brutalism’s form as an inspiration for the form, I want to use an octagon. To vary a bit, I thought of alternating the position of the strings so some go inwards from the bottom, and some others do from the top.

Tatev Yesayan was nice enough to help me create a 3D rendering of this, as it was a bit more complicated than expected to draw it in two dimensions.

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