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Project plan

Course: PA1201 - 100 points

The Building Of An Electric Balalajka

The point of this project is to build an electric balalajka, with build I mean both the mechanic part and the electric part. In other words start from scratch, I will make the neck, body and everything else necessary for it. After having made the mechanic part I have planned to start with the electric part, my plan is to spin the electric pickup/pickups. If time allows I will probably also experiment with the different sounds that can be created by different spinning methods.

Purpose and Goal
The main point with the project is the build itself, not the essay which will be created afterwards. Therefore, the goal is to create a working instrument.

In order for me to complete the project, there are several important things to look a bit closer at, which otherwise could become a problem.

Here are some examples of what could turn out to be a problem:
- The strength of the neck. If it is to weak the neck could bend or even crack.
- Is it necessary to use a truss rod?

If some part of the project takes longer than expected, then there are some parts in the end that I can cut down on, mostly concerning the experimentation with the instrument afterwards. Likewise if I get more time than expected I both can prolong the essay and expand the experimentations.

This project will guaranteed take longer than the 100 hours that a "normal" project takes. (The PA1201 course). I will try to complete the mechanic part till Christmas, the absolute latest time that I can prolong it to is till Febuary. I will work with the electronic part in the spring. The essay, that will be quite short will be written when the time is given, perhaps in connection to the drying time of the enamel paint...

Document plan
The project will be done by me, David Hedvall and the results will be an electric balalajka and a shorter essay in English, which will mostly be about physical phenomenons rather than building an electric balalajka. Then there is also this homepage, which will be more as a guide for anyone with same kinds of plan in their mind.

The only person conducting this project is me, David Hedvall and my roll in it is to get it done.

The name of my tutor is Carl-Johan Hedberg. He will be helping me if I run into more trouble than what I can handle myself.

I gather that the total cost of this project will be around 2500 Swedish crowns, approximately 270€ or 350$. Since there are many hidden costs, I may also need to buy tools to the project so the budget could expand further.

The things that could make that the timetable doesn't work are many. Since this is the first instrument that I ever build, if unlucky it may be necessary to redo some of the steps. This would of course also make that the budget rises.

If I fail to get the necessary materials in time this could also influence the timetable. Other than that there are of course the fact that I may need to buy new or better tools it the ones that I got isn't good enough...

This is a project that is pretty unusual, therefore I may have a big problem finding sources. Luckily there are many similarities to other instruments that probably will help me in many ways. Since it has a lot to do with sound and sound waves another source is physic books. Information will also be gathered from persons with experience of musical instruments...

David Hedvall - 9 - september - 2010