Portable Dalek Voice Modification Ring Modulator Circuit 


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Back in 2011 I started selling electronics parts online and put together a simple ring modulator kit like this:

The Useful Components Ring Modulator Kit

So far so good.  Every so often though, customers want a whole portable unit to do a Dalek voice, and they want do make it themselves rather than buy one of the plastic Chinese things.  So, back in 2011 I knocked together a breadboard for a bit of amusement, and just to make sure that my claim of being able to make a Dalekky sounding voice with that basic ring modulator core would be possible.  We're on Interesting Electronics here rather than Useful Components, so this design is provided as a circuit that has been made and tested.  It is not available as a kit or board, and I don't claim that this is the best way to do it.  It is definitely one way to do it though, and I think that it sounds quite good.

Schematic Circuit Diagram Of The Portable Dalek Voice Modification Unit:

Schematic circuit diagram of the portable Dalek
                voice ring modulator.

As ever this is displayed here at the width of a postage stamp to stop Google Search Console complaining that it is "not mobile friendly," but users of proper computers can click on the image to enlarge it, or download the pdf at the following link:

PDF Schematic Circuit Diagram Of Portable Dalek Voice Changer Unit

Schematic Walkthrough of the Portable Dalek Voice Modification Ring Modulator Circuit

Starting at the microphone input bottom left.  R9 provides the standard bias for a commonplace condenser microphone element.  Q4 is a very standard common emitter amplifier configuration working near maximum available gain.  C7 blocks the D.C. and the voice signal feeds ring modulator transformer L1.  Top left, a classic phase-shift oscillator, but with an output buffer to ensure sufficient feedback and some slightly nifty limiting shenanigans involving R4 and R5.  We don't need a perfect sine-wave so that's all well and good.  L1, L2, and D1 though D4 are the classic ring modulator core using diodes and centre tapped transformers configuration.  Bottom right, VR1 onwards is the volume control and simple class B amplifier for driving the loudspeaker.

Pictures Of The Portable Dalek Voice Ring Modulator Prototype

Dalek Voice Ring Modulator
                All PartsPortable Dalek Voice
                Modification Circuit Closer Image

Dalek Voice Converter Ring
                Modulator Core
Portable Dalek Voice Impersonator Circuit
                Rong Mod Core Angle View

What we're all waiting to know.  What does it actually sound like?  Hopefully you can view and hear my top quality video at the link below:

Portable Dalek Voice Unit Video Test

If that doesn't work, Also available on YouTube:  Portable Dalek Voice Unit Video Test

More Things To Do

Someone has suggested that another thing that you might want is a relay output that closes a switch when voice is present.  This could activate the two Austin Mini indicator lights on the head via a battery.  As a 1960's BBC Dalek operator, that would have saved you from having to pull the light switch cord in time to the actor's voice off-stage, while simultaneously waggling both the eye stalk, squirty gun, and of course, the classic sink plunger.  Easily done.  In true Blue Peter style, I am told that Davros is working on such an improvement.  But he also says that he's a bit busy at the moment making a simpler version of this design to supply as a kit which will hopefully include some lights that will flash along with the voice output.

Apocryphal Tales

In times long past, the BBC had a habit of losing the ring modulators.  They only had two for a while, and no-doubt the Radiophonic Workshop were keen to keep their claws on theirs, and not to have that one nicked as well.  At one audition, the prospective Dalek voice actor said, "Oh, so what; You want me to do it without the effects unit, Luv?  No Problem!"  And he did.  Perfectly:)


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