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.

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.