Continue to Site

Welcome to our site!

Electro Tech is an online community (with over 170,000 members) who enjoy talking about and building electronic circuits, projects and gadgets. To participate you need to register. Registration is free. Click here to register now.

  • Welcome to our site! Electro Tech is an online community (with over 170,000 members) who enjoy talking about and building electronic circuits, projects and gadgets. To participate you need to register. Registration is free. Click here to register now.

Need help with a color organ kit.

edfiero

New Member
My son got a Chaney Electronics Color Organ kit for Christmas.

It has been assembled and he's attempting to use it and it doesn't quite work like we expected.

It has 3 channels. All three channels work. However we can't get all 3 to flash at the same time. If we adjust the stereo volume and the potentiometer so that one channel flashes, the other channels may not be on at all, or be on continually without flashing.

We are using LED christmas lights. Does this require incandescent bulbs? Any suggestions on how I can make this work as it should?

I guess we had the volume up too loud at one point because the transformer started smoking. Any chance that is part of our problem now? If so, anyone have a part number to purchase a new transformer?
 

eTech

Well-Known Member
My son got a Chaney Electronics Color Organ kit for Christmas.

It has been assembled and he's attempting to use it and it doesn't quite work like we expected.

It has 3 channels. All three channels work. However we can't get all 3 to flash at the same time. If we adjust the stereo volume and the potentiometer so that one channel flashes, the other channels may not be on at all, or be on continually without flashing.

We are using LED christmas lights. Does this require incandescent bulbs? Any suggestions on how I can make this work as it should?

I guess we had the volume up too loud at one point because the transformer started smoking. Any chance that is part of our problem now? If so, anyone have a part number to purchase a new transformer?

Please post a schematic of the circuit.

Also post a wiring diagram of the AC input power transformer, and also the lights.
 

rjenkinsgb

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
If it's this one, which seems to fit the description?

That is an incredibly crude circuit with no individual channel gains or phase control for smoothly varying brightness on each channel. Each channel will just flicker between on and off, if the level is appropriate.

Try different music that has different amounts of bass and treble, as each different track with different tonal balance should give a different effect.

You would likely need to feed it from an amp or PC that has individual bass, mid and treble controls (or a graphic equaliser type plugin on a PC) to be able to get all channels to flash, regardless of the music being played.

As long as the lights are switching on and off quickly when the sound level and frequency is appropriate, the ones you are using should probably be OK.
 

edfiero

New Member
Please post a schematic of the circuit.

Also post a wiring diagram of the AC input power transformer, and also the lights.
Sorry, no schematic. Only a parts layout diagram.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_20221227_134844083_HDR.jpg
    IMG_20221227_134844083_HDR.jpg
    3.5 MB · Views: 41

sagor1

Active Member
I suspect it is designed for incandescent bulbs, as it will vary the AC waveform (clipping) with the SCR devices. If using LEDs, they will likely be on or off (slowly or quickly), but never dimmed in an analog fashion.
Each channel should respond best at different frequencies, though it may be a wide range.
 

AnalogKid

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Agree with Sagor. If you have some small nite-lights with 4 W or 7 W incandescent bulbs, you can plug those into the board to confirm that the LEDs are the problem. Incandescent table lamps also will work if you don't mid moving them around the house.

The kit description says up to 200 W, but at that power level the SCRs might fail without heatsinks.

ak
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
Oh my - a suicide kit :D

As with the others, an absolutely useless kit, only works 'properly' (and still poorly) with old incandescent bulbs - channel filtering is almost non-existent, and it relies on a very high signal input to work at all.

And of course, it's lethal - everything is live, including whatever you have plugged in to it.
 

edfiero

New Member
I suspect it is designed for incandescent bulbs, as it will vary the AC waveform (clipping) with the SCR devices. If using LEDs, they will likely be on or off (slowly or quickly), but never dimmed in an analog fashion.
Each channel should respond best at different frequencies, though it may be a wide range.

Thanks. I tried with incandescent bulbs last night. I can only get 2 of the 3 channels to flash at any given volume and potentiometer adjustment. To get the third channel to flash, it requires a lot more volume which then over saturates the other 2 channels and the lights stay on continually. From what everyone is saying, it may be a limitation of this kit design. If anyone is aware of a better kit, let me know.
 

AnalogKid

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
And of course, it's lethal - everything is live, including whatever you have plugged in to it.
Disagree. There is an audio input transformer, so the source is isolated - in theory. To me, that transformer does not look like it would pass UL rules for isolation (and probably has poor bass response), but it is better than nothing (until it shorts).

ak
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
Disagree. There is an audio input transformer, so the source is isolated - in theory. To me, that transformer does not look like it would pass UL rules for isolation (and probably has poor bass response), but it is better than nothing (until it shorts).

ak
My apologies, the transformer was so small I didn't notice it on the picture :D
 

sagor1

Active Member
If 2 channels work, somewhat, then there may be a wiring mistake - possible mixed up components or even an incorrect or defective component. Recheck the values and all the solder joints.
But yes, this is a cheap kit based on a design from the early 1970's (or earlier). I had one like that back then, though I think the frequency filtering was better than just a capacitor and resistor.
There are better designs out there now, like:
Also see:
for lots of information about newer designs and a schematic of your old (poor) design
 
Last edited:

Latest threads

New Articles From Microcontroller Tips

Top