# Idiot box

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#### errol7

##### New Member
In the '60's I made what I called "idiot boxes" -- These were just NE2's with an RC curcuit to make them blink, and two 45-volt batteries in series.

I want to make a modern version of them, with self-timing LED's, and a lower-voltage battery.

#### bananasiong

##### New Member
How many volts do you require? How many LEDs? How about the blinking pattern?

#### synthius

##### New Member
Microcontrollers are a good way to go.

#### Torben

##### Well-Known Member
errol7 said:
In the '60's I made what I called "idiot boxes" -- These were just NE2's with an RC curcuit to make them blink, and two 45-volt batteries in series.

I want to make a modern version of them, with self-timing LED's, and a lower-voltage battery.

If you are going to use self-timing (flashing) LEDs, then all you need is a battery, some current limiting resistors, and some wire.

Can you clarify what you consider an idiot box to actually be? Just a box with some blinking lights on it? Do they need to blink in any particular pattern, or randomly? What kind of brightness do you want? How long would you like it to last between battery changes/recharges? How large would you like it to be? How many LEDs per unit?

Torben

#### bananasiong

##### New Member
blueroomelectronics said:
Yeah this is the most suitable as he wants random blinking LEDs.

#### Torben

##### Well-Known Member
blueroomelectronics said:
Do they all contain current-limiting resistors? I've never played with them. I have some blinking neon lamps though. They're very pretty. Also no resistors needed.

Right, on second thought I guess I'd hope if you were going to go to the trouble of putting an oscillator into a LED you'd include current limiting.

Torben

#### clsgis

##### New Member
Just for the hell of it, I rigged up two nine-volt batteries on a CMOS commutator, driving an six stage Villard cascade. The voltage multiplier is 50% efficient until the cascade charges, and then the main loss is the diode drops. Generates 100 volts and runs the neon oscillators just fine. The commutator takes three 4000B-family jelly beans and an H-bridge made from four discrete mosfets. I can draw a schematic if you're interested.

#### duffy

##### Well-Known Member
^ Beats trying to find a "B" battery.

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