I've been wanting to have a usable mic for my PC. The mic that came with it originally was super-low-level, thus tended to pick up more electrical noise than audio signal. It was also too small and light to set down on a table; it constantly snaked around and picked up its own scraping sounds. You had to dangle it like a spider on a web.
For some reason it's hard to find proper mics. I didn't feel like ordering a bunch more from Ebay to try them all out. So I sez Ho Kay, let's build one.
Got a supercheap condenser mic 'capsule' from Jameco.
Wanted a package that would hold the mic itself and a battery, switch, R and C. (Basic circuit like this,
plus a switch on the plus side of the batt.) The package needed to be hand-holdable and set-down-able, and should have some degree of acoustic 'containment' or resonance.
Presto! Condensed condenser.
After I switched
from tomato soup to tomato paste in my daily chili-like concoction, I had several cans of tomato soup that weren't going to get eaten. Emptied and rinsed, drilled a couple holes in the side, fitted the parts, added the cable from the useless OEM mic.
Inside view. You can see the mic itself just above the red wire. The mic sort of 'floats' on wires, isolating it from mechanical vibrations.
Cost: about $4.00 and 3 hours of work. The work probably would have gone faster if I had set up a proper workspace, but I don't want to slip back into perfectionist mode where everything has to be just right
before starting work. That's always a temptation, and always a bad idea. More fun to grab tools, grab parts, and build.
Test sound file.
Sounds about right. If nothing else, it's considerably stronger than the OEM mic. And! I had fun building it, and a little triumph when it worked immediately. (It's been 20 years since I made any serious electronic stuff, and I'm trying to ease back into the old skills.)
Bit later: Used the mic to pick up a part of the neighborhood soundscape.
I'd tried the OEM mic before but it wouldn't work.
Labels: coot-proofing, Heimatkunde, new toy