Digital Color Organ Build Help

In summary: You can use a simple 3 led driver chip that retails for about 6-9$.In summary, the person is planning on using six high power leds, and is looking for a heat sink setup that will work with them. They are also looking for help finding a driver for the lights.
  • #1
swagpenguin
8
0
Hello everyone,

I recently posted about making a color organ, in which I was going to use a circuit to process analog signals. Since then, I have decided to move in a new direction of a digital color organ.

I would really appreciate if someone with more experience than me could give some advice and oversee my build to make sure I don't blow something up haha.

I was inspired by this build.

This is my plan so far.

Using a Jack on my computer to split the audio so that I could send the signal to my speakers, as well as to a program called Max

Max will do all the processing of the audio data, and send the information over serial to an arduino microcontroller.

I am planning on running 6 lights on my color organ (2 low, 2 mid, 2 high), so I figure I will need 6 pins that are capable of sending a PWM signal.

I've never worked with an http://store.arduino.cc/ww/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=11_12&products_id=226but it says it can output up to 7 PWM signals.

1. Anyone forsee any problems with this microcontroller and/or can suggest using a different one?

Now becomes the part where I am lost.

I would like to use 6 high power led's such as these. They are the same led's that were used in the build I was inspired by.

Unfortunately, the build uses heat sinks I was not able to find. I found these led's, but I don't know if that helps my cause at all.

2. I would really appreciate if someone could help me find a heat sink setup to work with these lights.

They will be spaced out approximately 6 to 8 inches apart each. Also, I would like to add one of these optical lenses on top to more evenly distribute the light throughout my room, so a heat sink setup that would allow those to fit would be nice.

3. Lastly, I need help finding out what driver I should use to power these bad boys.

The original build used this driver. Compared the the other drivers on the site, this driver was muuuch more expensive. If someone could explain why this one is necessary, then I guess I will go with this one, but I'd rather not spend money on something that isn't necessary. (I am not opposed to having all of the lights the same color if that has something to do with it.)

I know this post is kind of lengthy so I really appreciate your guys' help on this one! Thanks in advance!
 
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  • #2
Speaking to the driver:

You can easily hook three lamps in series to each driver on the driver board so I think it is a decent deal. It's expensive, but done. There is probably $10 worth of parts and a $5 board. If you try to build such a thing by hand you will have no end of problems.

It is a 95% efficient constant current switching converter that can easily handle 700ma lamps. I'm not sure what other driver designs you want to compare it to.
 
  • #3
As far as the driver goes, is it the fact that it is tri-color that makes it expensive? Or is it just a very good driver that can provide a very steady current. (Sorry if this is a very novice question, still learning.)

So would you suggest getting this driver for the build I am planning?
 
  • #4
If you decide to make your own PCB (it takes some skill and persistence, but it's not hard) you could:

1) get normal micro controller for 3$ instead of Arduino.
(never was an arduino fan, don't know why, i just hate the damn thing)

2) Get 3 simple led driver chips for 6-9$ MAX! That driver is extremely overpriced IMHO.
ON semiconductor's CAT4101 would do a great job, and all you need is 1 resistor to set the max current. That would be much better for you because chance of you burning your led is 0. While with that thing in the process of experimenting and playing around you might send a constant signal that would send 1 amp trough leds and fry them. I burned lots of transistors when i was a student, trying to read signals with my oscilloscope, and shortening something with the probe. Some of them burned because of mistakes in my calculations. But that's how engineers learn.

3) You will need few resistors, caps, wires etc but that's cheap, you can buy that in your local electronic store.

4) If you decide to do everything by yourself it will take you little longer than if you buy everything but you will learn more about electronics, and that alone is worth the effort IMO.

I have to point out that you will need some tools. Can't do much without tools.
Also if you really are into arduino you can use it, and instead of their driver take 3 chips i recommended and put them on a small protoboard, they are in SMD but there are conversion boards to make them trough hole, or just make the small pcb for the driver only.
 
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  • #5


Dear poster,

It's great to see your interest in constructing a digital color organ and I'm happy to provide some advice and guidance for your build. I can appreciate the technical details and considerations that go into creating such a project. Here are my responses to your questions and concerns:

1. The Arduino microcontroller you have chosen seems suitable for your project, as it has the capability of outputting multiple PWM signals. However, if you are concerned about the number of pins or the overall cost, you may want to consider looking into other microcontrollers that offer similar capabilities at a lower price point.

2. When it comes to heat sinks, it's important to consider the power and heat dissipation requirements of your LED lights. The LED lights you have chosen have a maximum power of 3 watts each, so you will need a heat sink that can handle at least 18 watts of heat dissipation. You can search for heat sinks that meet these specifications online or consult with a hardware store for recommendations.

3. The driver you mentioned in the original build is a constant current driver, which ensures that the LED lights are receiving a steady and regulated amount of current. This is important for the longevity and performance of your LED lights. If you are looking for a more affordable option, you may want to consider using a constant voltage driver instead. However, keep in mind that this may affect the overall brightness and color consistency of your LED lights.

I hope this helps and good luck with your build! Don't hesitate to reach out if you have any further questions or concerns. Happy experimenting!
 

Related to Digital Color Organ Build Help

1. What is a digital color organ and how does it work?

A digital color organ is a device that visually displays music by converting sound frequencies into corresponding colors. It works by analyzing the audio input and using a microcontroller to control RGB LEDs, creating a color display that reflects the different frequencies of the music.

2. What components do I need to build a digital color organ?

To build a digital color organ, you will need an Arduino or other microcontroller, RGB LEDs, a microphone, a power supply, and various resistors, capacitors, and wires for the circuit.

3. Do I need to have coding experience to build a digital color organ?

While some coding experience can be helpful, it is not necessary to build a digital color organ. Many tutorials and guides are available online that provide step-by-step instructions for building and programming the device.

4. Can I customize the colors and patterns of my digital color organ?

Yes, the colors and patterns displayed by your digital color organ can be customized by adjusting the code or using different LED types. Some digital color organs also have built-in settings and modes that allow for easy customization without coding.

5. Are there any safety precautions I should take when building a digital color organ?

It is important to be cautious when working with electrical components and always follow safety guidelines. Make sure to use a reliable power source and avoid touching any components while they are connected to power. It is also recommended to use a protective case for the device to prevent any accidents.

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