I am a newbie in the world of circuits and electronics. But we all started somewhere.

I have this idea about a street sign that should be used as an instrument. All most like a Theremin. Touching it high gives a high note, and touching it low, low note.

So is there a way that I could measure where on the steel rod/sign I am touching it? I have been surfing around for awhile, and I came up with something like a comparison of a capacitor in each end of the rod/sign.

So, am I totally off, or is there a smarter way to do this?

  • \$\begingroup\$ If the sign is steel you won't be able to easily differentiate where on the sign it is touched because of its high conductivity. \$\endgroup\$ – Andy aka Sep 17 '14 at 12:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ If the sign is divided into segments that are isolated (electrically) from each other, then it could work. \$\endgroup\$ – George Herold Sep 17 '14 at 12:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ surely a few vibration sensors which using some DSP to filter out ambient 'noise' and then when a user pushes/exerts force on the sign the sensors can triangulate the position of the force applied, within a local region, and you can base the sound output based on that? \$\endgroup\$ – KyranF Sep 17 '14 at 13:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ Does it have to by polyphonic? \$\endgroup\$ – John D Sep 17 '14 at 15:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the input. The sign is steel, so that's a no go. What about some ultrasonic distance sensors? And no, don't need to be polyphonic. \$\endgroup\$ – Bjørn ChrisB Christiansen Sep 23 '14 at 13:24

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