Electromagnet questions

Hi there!
I'm working on a project that uses electromagnets to generate and sustain motion in the tines of a tongue drum (HAPI brand). I'm going to start by replicating the EBow circuit (a commercial guitar sustainer/bow)...a schematic can be viewed here:

While shopping for the LM386 controller, I found these prefab boards: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00LNACGTY/ref=ox_sc_act_title_6?smid=A30QSGOJR8LMXA&psc=1

It appears that I could still use the board instead of building a circuit from scratch, plugging in the sensing and driving EMs to the in/out and complimentary grounds...could it be this easy?!?

Also, while I have heard that this circuit does generate a driving force from silence (maybe picking up on ambient noises to initially tune the driver), I am wondering about sending an initial signal to the driver EM in the range of the frequency of its targeted tine. I am wondering what the best way to do this is when I discovered that the tone function basically sends an oscillating voltage to a type of electromagent (buzzer) already...can I use the tone() function with electromagnets?

Thanks so much for any help. I'm about 1 month into the Arduino world but loving every moment of it!


However I am not sure that your drum will respond to an Ebow because of the metal it is made from. It needs to be a metal that responds to magnetic fields so that is iron or steel, nickel or colbolt. I thought these were aluminium, but I don’t know.

But it seems unlikely it would actually work.

Thanks so much for the reply!

The drum is steel so responds quite nicely. Currently, when I place an EM near the tongue and activate it briefly with a button, the impulse creates movement in the tine. I have researched this topic extensively and found several examples of such instruments, besides the Ebow, including an Icelandic harp, several EM pianos, a vibraphone (used magnets affixed to the non-ferrous tines to actuate), and many experimental stringed instruments, so I know that it can be done.