Make Your Own Replacement Kaleidoloop Mic

A number of Kaleidoloop owners have reached out to us about getting replacement mics. Unfortunately we won’t be stocking replacements. Here are instructions for making your own.


STEP 1: Get the Parts

You will need:

  1. One Mic Capsule
  2. A length of cable
  3. One 1/4" plug with TS connections
    1. TS = Tip & Sleeve. It’s a monophonic plug. (A stereo plug is Tip-Ring-Sleeve or TRS.)
  4. Heatshrink tubing or electrical tape to protect solder joints

For items 2 & 3 the end of a working electric guitar cable works great. If you are unsure if the cable is working, use a multimeter or cable tester to check for continuity for both the ground/shielding wire (Sleeve) and signal wire (Tip).

We’ve sourced suitable parts from Digi-key and tested them. You can probably find the same parts from other suppliers if you want to shop around. The parts are:


1/4" TS Plug: 102-4789-ND


Heatshrink: Q2F10-KIT-ND. (This is a pack of 10 6"-long tubes which is way more than you need, but is smallest/cheapest way to get it from Digi-key)


Cable: We had some cable around the shop so we didn’t source that. Hopefully this is not too hard to find. If you want to order a cable to avoid buying the 1/4" plug and save yourself some soldering here’s a list of cables with 1/4" TS plugs.


Mic Capsule: There are two options we like for their similar sensitivity and audio quality as compared to the ‘stock’ microphone. The choice is yours. The real difference is size: One capsule is bigger at 0.375" diameter (like the stock mic) and the other capsule is 0.25" diameter. The photos below are not to scale.

Big Mic (0.375" dia.) - Part # 668-1296-ND:

Small Mic (0.25" dia): Part # 668-1425-ND


STEP 2: Solder Connections

Your mic/cable/plug set up should look something like this:

Here are connections:

Order of Operations:

  1. Familiarize yourself with the pins of the mic you chose. In the diagram above, the mics are shown from the pin/lead side. The links above also have further links to datasheets.
  2. Solder both plug connections
  3. Attach Plug cover (if you don’t do now, you won’t be able to later)
  4. Solder mic connections (might be best to pre-tin the mic pins
  5. Wrap one of the mic leads with electrical tape to prevent short later on.
  6. Test
  7. Cut length of heatshrink tubing and place over mic and wire. Carefully use a heat gun/hair dryer (or lighter (risky!!)) to shrink tubing.
2 Likes

Love it! Bit of DIY is always fun especially something fairly simple like this :slight_smile:
Do you think this would be well-paired with an organelle1 @chrisk? Or might it need some additional amplification?

Great question - The microphone capsules require some voltage that is provided by a Kaleidoloop. The Organelle-1 does not provide this voltage so the mics won’t work with it.

I should have probably said in the original post that this topic is really only for Kaleidoloop users. Sorry!

1 Like

Thank you so very much. This is great.

I’m curious of the power requirements for the mic capsule so I may consider building a little power supply. I like the form factor of the Kalaidaloop microphone a lot for the organelle… perhaps a small lithium battery or a connection to a battery bank…

On a separate but related musing: Has anyone out there modified and organelle 1 to have an internal microphone? I’ve thought about this but wouldn’t want to brick my beauty…

On the Kaleidoloop (and also the Organelle M), the capsule mic is powered by 3.3Volts.

Looking at the bigger capsule (.375" dia.) mic a few posts up, the datasheet indicates a standard voltage of 1.5Volts, so it should even work with a single AA battery.

@oweno Would I strap the dc supply across ground and the positive pin? Or is there a more complex circuit I should study before making a little battery powered kalaidaloop style mic?

Yes DC across ground and power, but you also need a resistor and capacitor.

The capsule mic is an electret mic, there is a simple hookup schematic on this page:

Hey there, I’m looking at building one of these to use with my new Organelle-M. Am I reading this correctly that the smaller capsule should work with the Organelle-M without any additional power?

All of the capsules need a little power. It might work on certain MIC inputs, but not on the Organelle M without a powered circuit of some kind.

Hey @oweno, I have been making some cool modifications to my Organelle v1. Last week added internal USB midi with trs in/out… Works like a charm. Next is to endeavor to add an internal mic and a switch to go between MIC input and LINE input just like the OM. I will be getting one of the recommended capsules. Do you have recommendations for the resistor that ties the voltage to the capsule and the value of the output coupling cap?

The idea is to take the main PCB off and find a little space to drill holes in the chassis and mount the mic inside the unit. I will need to find a stable 1.5-3.3v tap point… or install a regulator off of the 9v power if that is not possible. Does the organelle M inject its mic signal to both L and R? or is it only going mono into L or R?

Next consideration is a switch… I will probably have to break a trace on the audio input jack and reroute it to a bypass switch to achieve this. Then i can have one position of the switch as mic input and the contrary position to go back to the 1/4" input.

Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated.

CHEERS!

A 2.2k resistor to 3.3v should be fine for a capsule mic like this.

On the Organelle M, mic and line are different inputs on the codec, so the mic / line switch is selecting the input in software, not actually routing the signal. (I think the mic input does end up being on the left channel).

There is already a solder point on the Organelle 1 for a mic, and I think the bias resistor might even be installed. So you could try just soldering a mic capsule and then change the input to mic from line in alsamixer. If it works, you could make a System Menu script to select mic or line input. Then you wouldn’t need to modify the PCB aside from soldering a mic on. I can’t really remember if all this works. Here is the connection point (looking at PCB from the bottom):

The positive side trace of the capsule mic is highlighted, and you can see bias resistor R13 and input cap C35. (again, not sure if these are installed, I haven’t got a PCB in front of me)

1 Like

@oweno -
Could you give me some guidance or offer resources of how to use alsamixer to change from jack input to mic input? Will it be easy to switch between to two? Thanks so much for the foresight to put the traces on the PCB!

@oweno BUMP

I installed the mic into my organelle on the pcb as you advised… I kinda messed up the chassis holes but that’s only slightly and is cosmetic. I mounted the electret in a piece of soft wood, adheared and wired it up to the board… I left the shielding on the cable Incase I need to ground the shield for noise… I attempted to copy the internal mic placement from the organelle-m.

I’d love to test it out but I’d love a bit of advice about alsamixer settings and how to approach that. Thanks so much!

alsamixer is a command line tool for adjusting the sound card. You have to connect your Organelle to a monitor and keyboard and then when it boots up, type ‘alsamixer’ and hit enter. It will bring up some settings that you can adjust with the keyboard. You can also use a command like this:

amixer set 'Input Mux' 'Line In'

or

amixer set 'Input Mux' 'Mic'

(these are for Organelle M, so the wording might be a little different)

The amixer command didn’t work on the non-m. Also…Looks like that jp5 point is testing @9v. The resistor and cap are installed at c35 and r13. I was expecting to see 3.3v… I bet my mic capsule is blown at 9v. Oh well…

This is turning out more complicated than I originally thought hehe…

Ideas? @owneo, thanks so much for your help. :slight_smile:

Eric