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Electronic Light sculptures

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Zerotology

New Member
Ok, here's the theory. I'm working on a series of sculptures made from materials which are translucent or transudant. LEDs will be mounted inside and be driven by sounds in the environment (mic) or connected to an audio device and illuminate the work from within, showing it's inner colors, which are quite different from their exterior colors. They look totally different from natural light, and subsequently become different sculptures........

Also, I want the sound input to filter the signal into frequency bands, so that the LEDs light up at different intervals and at different locations in the work. So basically, I'm sculpting the sound, light and matter.....LOL.

So, can someone help me with designing a filter circuit? I can find a lot of eq circuits but something always seems to come up to confuse me or throw a wrench into things. Things like of course the circuit ends all mixed, instead of having separate leads to connect LEDs to, and no clear way of keeping them separate, etc..,

I have found one circuit that did it all, but I couldn't get it to work. It was a three band which drove 3 10 led bar graphs. I wonder if it might have been the transistors orientation. But then I looked into ICs.......

So, if I can get help with a simple three band, I can go to five and seven on my own. So from an input source plug, into three bands and out to separate LEDs, would be great.

I've also looked at filter calculators, but not sure if I know how to connect things from there. Like if I use an op amp for a band pass filter, can the output drive an LED, or do I need a PNP and resistor first?

Also, is there an easy to use designer, simulator and analyzer? I'd like to be able to change the component values and see the change in frequency response, in addition to being able to see if it's gonna work......LOL.

TIA
 

microtexan

New Member
Have you tried a Google search for "LED Color Organ"? I think you will find exactly what you are looking for.
 

Zerotology

New Member
I really don't know how to reply there micro. I didn't think to do a search for a board or circuit diagram first before trying to do something I know nothing about? LOL It's common sense.

Speaking of which, common sense also dictates one not give answers to questions one doesn't know the answer to. I don't know what gives you the idea google or yahoo has what I'm looking for. They don't. They have one channel and three channels, but the only ones I find are for ac lamps, not LEDs. I have other reasons for wanting ic circuitry and low voltages.

Suffice it to say, I'm looking for, what I said I was looking for. I'm also trying to learn something about electronics, not how to buy someone else's junk......LOL
 

Zerotology

New Member
At any rate, can anyone give me an answer to whether an op amp active filter can drive an led? I'd have rigged one up and tried it already but I'm having trouble with resistor and capacitor values and finding parts.......I just thought someone would give me a little help before I run into another dead end..

I mean I tried TINA, a circuit design and simulator program. I put in an LM324 ic and the stupid program plugs it in as op amp 5. Which means the connections are wrong and the 324 only has four amps, unless it can be connected somehow to have a fifth amp, but of a different type or something.

Needless to say, it's all becoming mindbogglingly complicated for what I know is going to turn out to be very simple..........LOL
 

audioguru

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Like most Instructables, those ones were designed by people who know nothing about electronics. There is no current-limiting resistor for the base of each transistor.
 

shimniok

Member
So I am probably full of crap, but... seems like you would want to use a (1) low pass filter (2) high pass filter (3) band pass filter. Or, 3 band pass filters (e.g., 20hz - 200hz, 200hz-2kHz, 2kHz - 20kHz)

Seems to me that if you added a 4th filter, it'd have to be a band pass and would go "in the middle". You'd just adjust the frequency range of the other 3 to squeeze the 4th in there?

No reason they can't overlap, either. You could cover many ranges, many of them overlapping, for different effects. EDIT: e.g., you have a whole set of filters dedicated to human speech with more granularity... while other filters deal with ambient noise; so the characteristic is different based on what is going on around the thing. For that matter, you could maybe behave differently based on basic voice pitch (male, female, adult, child, Mike Rowe vs Richard Simmons)

Should be possible to google these filters and see if you can eventually work towards adjustable filters (ie, use a potentiometer or variable cap / inductor to fine tune?)

As far as how to drive the led from the audio signal... erm... not real sure about that one...

This is a REALLY cool idea btw, and I hope you will post pics/video of it when done!!

Michael
 
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Zerotology

New Member
Tex, I don't know what's wrong with your logic circuits, but they wankin out...... I mean you say you know the answer, but suggest I look elsewhere.....LMAO

Anyhow. I know I need to use frequency filters guys. The question is can they alone drive an LED? Like I say, I'd just hook one up but the fact that it wouldn't work doesn't mean much. It could be just connecting it wrong or something.

Like on Dale's Homemade Robots - Bandpass Filter Calculator, I can do this but reading up on filters other sites and circuit programs, it shows the gain might not be enough to drive an LED. So I guess that means another op amp after the filter. I mean one program was showing me values in minus db and I have no idea of what that means in voltage.

But, today's payday and hopefully I can find a multi meter I can afford and check out how to measure circuits. I was just hoping to get something fired up and working, then learn more of the basics later.........LOL
 

Zerotology

New Member
Woo, hoo! Guru posted this about a month ago, http://www.electro-tech-online.com/attachments/sound-to-light-again-png.29728/, and it works!

So Guru, if you're reading, can you tell me how to hook up an led to the output of a 324? I've tried doing it directly (Pin 14, no luck) and then through the same transistor
( LED and resistor to + v & emitter, base to pin 14, and collector to ground.) I get a click when I turn it on and it sounds like my laptop reduces volume.........LOL
 

audioguru

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Woo, hoo! Guru posted this about a month ago, http://www.electro-tech-online.com/attachments/sound-to-light-again-png.29728/, and it works!

So Guru, if you're reading, can you tell me how to hook up an led to the output of a 324? I've tried doing it directly (Pin 14, no luck) and then through the same transistor
( LED and resistor to + v & emitter, base to pin 14, and collector to ground.) I get a click when I turn it on and it sounds like my laptop reduces volume.........LOL
You forgot to post your LM324 circuit so I don't know if its output has DC or if it has has an output coupling capacitor.
 

Zerotology

New Member
Thanks Guru. I have it connected to a 9v battery at pin 4, 11 goes to ground. Input+ went to pin 12, pin 13 went to ground. I connected the base to pin 14, the led with a 1k resistor from the power strip on the bread board, to the emitter and the collector went straight to ground.

So, I didn't use a capacitor, or any resistors.

So, should I have a resistor between pin 12 and the input, and between the emitter and LED?

Thanks again. I know I'm getting close........LOL
 

audioguru

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Your opamp did not have an input bias voltage.
The AC input signal went below ground and might have destroyed the input of the opamp.
The opamp had no negative feedback.
There was no current-limiting resistor for the base of the transistor.
The transistor was connected upside-down.

There is no way that your opamp circuit will work.
 

Zerotology

New Member
Scrooge? You do realize you're talking to someone who knows nothing about designing electronic circuits? I have some idea of what you're talking about up there, but not much. Worse, I think you know it and are pulling my chain.........LOL I'll just try and rig up the filter, put that signal through the transistor circuit you posted and hopefully that will give me an idea of where I'm at......

Well, I can see I'm not going to get any help here, for some reason. I mean one guy's an INSTRUCTOR, yet won't give any helpful information other than to go to other websites for answers....LOL In fact, he did it the last time the question was asked by someone else and it's one of the most simple circuits you can come up with.

I don't know what the deal is, but ok........ I'll try and figure it out on my own..

I think though that in addition to moderating the inquiry posts for validity and content, they should moderate the replies. I mean replying with references to other websites for other people's products and going over material that had been stated in the original post and talking to people like they're already supposed to know, isn't helpful at all......

SHEESH! Common sense anyone?

LOL
 

audioguru

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
An opamp is a very simple circuit. The internet is full of tutorials about them.

A circuit to blink an LED to the beat of music is also very simple.
 

Zerotology

New Member
Well, ok then Guru.........What's simple to you,might not be so simple to someone else. Which is also obvious to anyone using common sense. Secondly, this group and site is specifically directed to PEOPLE WHO HAVE QUESTIONS AND WOULD LIKE HELP!!!!!

Secondly, just because someone sees complexity where others see simplicity, doesn't mean they're stupid or lazy. It means they see complexity........LOL

What I can't figure out is why no one is willing to give me the answer to what I'm sure is going to turn out and be very simple.

Obviously one answer is that people aren't all that willing to help people who don't know anything. Although I've seen other questions get answered that are just as simple, so I'm not sure what the criterion is for getting a STRAIGHT answer.

Sheesh. I swear. If you want to log into internet discussion groups of any sort, you need to be an expert on the topic, AND psychiatry on top..........

LMAO
 

audioguru

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Sorry. You were told to use a color organ circuit. There are plenty of them on the internet.

I didn't know that you know nothing about electronics.
We talk about electronic circuits here.
We are not a school and we are not a free design service.
 

Zerotology

New Member
Sorry. You were told to use a color organ circuit. There are plenty of them on the internet.

I didn't know that you know nothing about electronics.
We talk about electronic circuits here.
We are not a school and we are not a free design service.
Woah there buddy. I'd suggest you look at the title of this group and it's description, written by the site's operators. It says submit your questions here and let our experienced members find a solution. Now, do you not understand plain english or what is your freaking problem?

See? You wanna play school yard games and pull people's chains, this is what you get.....LOL

I mean if that's all people are doing here, then I'd suggest you tell the owner's of the site to change the description to, "Private club, open only to those knowledgeable and experienced in electronics allowed".

Now then. If anyone can post INFORMATION with regards to how one would connect an LED to a filter circuit, please help me out here.....

IF YOU DO NOT INTEND TO BE HELPFUL IN ANSWERING THAT QUESTION WITH SPECIFIC AND USEFUL INFORMATION, PLEASE UNPLUG YOUR KEYBOARD AND TYPE ALL YOU'D LIKE, JUST DON'T PLUG UP MY THREAD WITH NON-SENSE PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!

LMAO

LMAO
 

Zerotology

New Member
Hm, I was actually trying to be helpful and empathetic, but you obviously missed my post. :D
I saw your post Shim and I appreciate your interest in my project. However, I stated in the first post that I need answers about filters and your advice was that I should use filters, which I already stated, so I figured you didn't read the post very well and missed about half of what I wrote..

Next?
 

tytower

Banned
Sheesh

Well now filters are what I do know about. I have two of them on my boat engine and it still stops from time to time . Filters down to 3 microns don't get out all the gunk and you have to put in additives to get a good result . You need to Google up "Additives" and maybe "Attitudes" while you are at it.
 
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