Output ChannelOutput Channel

Kitronik Xylophone


November 07, 2015

The Kitronik Xylophone kit is a great project for people wanting to learn the basics of soldering. It's quite a small kit, and contains 9 resistors, 2 computer chips, a transistor, a speaker, a battery holder and all the wires needed to connect these together. Currently being sold for £6.74, it's a real bargain too (the kit comes in very minimal packaging, which I guess helps keep costs down). It was the first kit I ever soldered, and I was able to finish it within about an hour.

The end result is a keyboard type instrument which you play by placing your finger across metal strips to complete a circuit. The notes form a scale in the key C natural minor, (C, D, Eb, F, G, Ab, Bb, C) which allows you to play plenty of tunes, like, say, the classic synth anthem Final Countdown by Europe.

If you follow Kitronik on Twitter, you'll see that their kits are frequently used by D&T teachers in schools, and it seems like the general idea is the kit provides what's needed to get an electronics project off to a good start, and then the student is encouraged to use some initiative to take the project further on their own. This can be something like designing and building an enclosure for it, or adding modifications like an on/off switch.

I saw a tweet from the Kitronik showing some laser cut bases for the Xylophone, so I asked if they could send the vector files over, which they kindly did. If you'd like to download the file too, you can do so by clicking here. I added a little customisation of my own, and got it cut by a local laser cutting service. To finish the project off, I'd like to add a volume switch or headphone jack too, so I can practice playing without annoying the neighbours.

Laser cut xylophone mount