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color organ project help

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roflcakes

New Member
Hi,

I just finished up my first year of electronics classes at college and I was looking into something that I could build now that I'm not loaded down with classwork... and I discovered color organs.

Specifically, this is the circuit that I've found Color Organ and there are a couple things I don't understand about it.

1) The speaker input -- Should this be plugged into a stereo? Ipod?

2) 117 volt isolation transformer -- What is this for and what does it connect to? Where would I get one of these?

3) SCR -- I haven't learned anything about these yet, are there different kinds of them? Any I should not use?


Thanks for any help!
 

k7elp60

Active Member
Hi,

I just finished up my first year of electronics classes at college and I was looking into something that I could build now that I'm not loaded down with classwork... and I discovered color organs.

Specifically, this is the circuit that I've found Color Organ and there are a couple things I don't understand about it.

1) The speaker input -- Should this be plugged into a stereo? Ipod?

It could be plugged into an IPOD, but it may not work to well. Probably needs to be connected to the left or right speaker output of a small stereo.


2) 117 volt isolation transformer -- What is this for and what does it connect to? Where would I get one of these?

The winding not shown needs to be plugged into a AC outlet. The transformer isolates the circuitry from the common ground of the AC outlet. Electronic suppliers like mouser.com and digikey.com would normally have stock. The one you choose depends upon the watt ratings of the lamps you use.


3) SCR -- I haven't learned anything about these yet, are there different kinds of them? Any I should not use?

These are silicon controlled rectifiers. The ones you need depend upon the ampere ratings of lamps you use.


Thanks for any help!
Hope his helps
 

crutschow

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Unless you are intent on building one from scratch, a kit would be a lot easier. If you Google "color organ" you'll get several hits.
 

roflcakes

New Member
I considered buying a kit to make one of these but I thought that if I make it myself it will give me a chance to learn more about this stuff. And because it would be cool to build one on my own, too.

So from what I understand, this will plug into the wall and the transformer will step the voltage down to one that the lamps can manage. I plan to use LEDs for as the lamps. If I were going to use say, 3 LEDs in parallel on each channel, what transformer would I use or how do I go about deciding? For deciding on the SCR... they just have to have a rating that can handle the current going to the LEDs?
 

audioguru

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
The color organ circuit you were looking at is designed for high power incandescent light bulbs. A color organ circuit that drives LEDs is completely different.
 

bigkim100

Banned
If yoou know nothing bout electronics, a color organ is a fairly simple project, but also fairly dangerous, as most are not isolated from the mains supply making it very easy to give yourself a good solid shock.
Its also easy to vapourize the sourse of audio by accidentally touching the wrong connection to 120volts....ooops.

I made a small fortune in the 80s in high school during the height of the disco era selling color organs and strobes.
My favorite LED color organ circuits are here:

The Electronic Peasant's LED Color Organ Page

The LED units are considerably more complex, but 100x safer.
 
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Hero999

Banned
An LED colour organ is probably the best choice for a newb as no nasty mains voltages are involve - the whole thing can be run off a safe transformer.
 
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