Sun Flies

What is it?

Sun Flies is a very sensitive and versatile analog amplifier
with stereo input and stereo output.

This circuit offers you plenty of opportunities to experiment. You can use various sources of a low power signal at input, such as:

Photodiodes: Two are included in the kit. These miniature sensors react to various artificial and natural light sources, such as lightbulbs, screens, sun rays scattered by leaves, sand particles falling in front of the sensor, light reflected from water, mirrors, prisms... And they look very cool too!

Solar cells: Two are included in the kit. Because of their larger surface area, even the tiniest particles, invisible to the naked eye, trigger Sun Flies' enchanting response.

Coils and inductors: You can listen to electromagnetic fields emitted from various electronic devices. While there are many ready-made devices that do this, here you can experiment with your own designs and make various coils and antennae to carry around, that are easy to swap thanks to the 4-pin header used at input.

Sensor Ensemble: You can attach various other sensors to the amplifier, any that output small voltage signals. We can't wait to see what else you will think up!

 

Hear It In Action

Sun Flies was sitting on a open window and dust from the street triggered this sound.

Sun Flies and dust

Solar cells + dust particles:

with a bit of self-oscillation:

We attached Solar cells and took SunFlies to the beach. It converted moving sand to the buzzing sound.

Sun Flies and sand

Solar cells + sand:

Relaxing in front of a fire, Sun Flies was catching the mesmerizing dance of flames.

Sun Flies and fire

Solar cells + fire:

Sun Flies met my phone and you can hear how it reacted to the encounter of its display and radio waves.

Sun Flies and mobile phone

Photodiodes + phone OLED:

Inductor coil + phone EMC:

A few more demos:

(you can play and mix more of them at once ;)


IR remote + photodiodes, raw and processed through Loopsynth's channels #34 and #342:

       

Self-oscillations and noises, for example when the circuit is being tuned by adjusting the potentiometers:

                   

Why did we create it?

 

t-ape

Entertaining

Discover a new way to create sound and bring the microscopic world closer to your ears.

Engaging

An interesting hobby that combines DIY crafting with technology.

Educational

Learn about electronic circuits, sound and light.

Eco-Friendly

Increase the awareness about air quality in your environment.

Build Your Own

This DIY kit includes everything you need to build your own Sun Flies. It might not be the best kit for a complete beginner, but with some basic soldering experience you will be able to bring Sun Flies to life.

Custom PCB with lovely colourful graphics

Look at the blueprints here

Verified set of electronic components

Find the BOM here

Detailed assembly guide with pictures

See the instructions here


faq

IT WORKS WITH HEADPHONES OR ACTIVE SPEAKERS

There is no built-in speaker. The headphone connector is a standard 3.5mm jack. Please be careful as the signal coming out from the device might be sometimes quite loud mainly when the sensor connection is mechanically disturbed and is not making a good contact. Because this is primarily intended for recording, there is no quick way to adjust the volume. There are two potentiometers to control amplifier gain, but they are the multi-turn type, so it takes a while for them to go through the whole range - their purpose is to fine-tune the gain to match various sensors. It's a good idea to take your heaphones off while powering the circuit on or off. Also, please make sure that it is powered off while you are changing the sensors.


IT WORKS WELL FROM 3V TO 9V POWER

While the circuit is typically powered from a 9V battery via the barrel jack connector, you can use a lower voltage source as well. It works fine from a 3V, 4.5V or 6V source (for example 2-4 AA cells with a suitable battery holder). The powering voltage makes a small difference - when powered from lower voltage, the output volume is slightly lower. The power consumption at 9V is 14.5mA, and at 3V it is 4.5mA.


RECORDING THE SOUND IS POSSIBLE TOO

You can record the sounds from Sun Flies just as if you recorded from any other device with a line-out or headphones output, by connecting it to a mixer or a sound card. You can use a headphone splitter cable to hear what you are recording, or use multiple pairs of headphones, it will not overload the output.


Sun Flies

DIY kit

€45 (€56 incl. EU VAT) SHIPS IN 1-2 WEEKS

Knowledge of soldering is required to bring Sun Flies to life.

We ship in 5-10 working days. In case that we run out of some component, the shipping may be delayed by a week.

Your DIY kit contains:

PCB & components ♦ Solar cells ♦ Power cable ♦ Printed manual

buy now