Tech Support: Sound and Waves



Helpful Tips

  • Don't use a 9-volt battery in the timer when you are using it to run the wave generator. You must use the AC adaptor with the timer when running the wave generator.
  • To set a beginning tension on the string, attach the string to the wiggler, hold it up beside the washers on the fiddle head, and then stretch the string about 10 cm above the fiddle head. Hold the string taut between loose washers and tighten the knob to fasten the string in between the washers.
  • No need to tie the string to the wiggler hook! Simply put an overhand knot in one end of the string, and slip the knot behind the hook. When you pull the string up to fasten it at the fiddle head, the knot will hold the string onto the hook!
  • When changing the frequency of the vibrating string, remember that when you turn the frequency knob quickly, it acts as a coarse adjustment. When you turn the frequency knob slowly, it acts as a fine adjustment.
  • The sound and waves console does not have an independent power supply; it receives its power from the timer.
  • The fiddlehead is placed at the top of the physics stand and they wiggler is placed at the bottom.
  • In order to obtain more accurate frequencies, turn the frequency knob slowly.
  • The sound and waves console connects to the wiggler via a ¼" audio cable. These cables can be purchased from us or any local audio store.
  • When attaching the fiddlehead and wiggler, be sure the black knobs for each piece are on the same side of the pole.


Q: I connected everything correctly according to the instructions, but the string is not vibrating. What happened?

A: Check the following:

  • Make sure you have the Timer unit plugged into a wall socket with the AC adaptor. The wave generator is not meant to be driven by a 9-volt battery.
  • Be sure that the timer unit is powered up, and is in "Frequency" mode. Be sure that the wave generator unit is powered up, and is in "wave" mode.
  • Be sure that the wiggler cord is firmly seated in the socket. You should hear a satisfying "click" when it is inserted correctly.
  • Re-adjust the tension on your string. If the tension is too great, the amplitude of the waves will be so small that you might not see them at high frequencies. See tip #2 for tension adjusting.

Q: Is it possible to listen to the frequency as well as observe it?

A: No. Since there is only one outlet for sound you either have the audio cable plugged into this or the speakers.

Q: Everything is hooked up properly yet when I turn the frequency knob nothing happens, any suggestions?

A: Make sure you have your unit set to waves and not sound. This can be done by pressing the yellow button on the sound and waves console.