Have you ever used EL wire, or felt that it'd be nice to have a wire that lights up, instead of expensive LED strings?  How about some that pulse with music?  That's what this is for, the EL wire color organ.  EL wire is composed of three wires.  One big center wire surrounded by a phosporous coating.  Two smaller wires are wrapped around it, and connected at the end of the wire.  One end is left open, the other connected to the power supply.  When about 120VAC at a few kHz is run through it, the phosphorous glows.  This is a problem for traditional color organs, as they use either low voltage DC for LEDs, or low frequency AC for incandescent lights.  This project accomplishes the music reaction, high frequency, and high voltage issues with a small device.  I used it for a tron-style holloween costume that reacts to music. 

Step 1: Materials

Most of the parts for this are avaliable from Radioshack.
you will need:
2 x 2n3904 transistors
2 x 2n3906 transistors
2 x 555 timer ICs
1 x 2n339 quad comparator ICs
2 x 10K resistors
3 x 470 ohm resistors
1 x 1K ohm resistors
2 x 150K-500K potentiometers
1 x 1uf capacitor
2 x 0.22uf capacitors
1 x 0.1uf capacitor
1 x 100uf capacitor
2 x transformer 120V primary, 5V-12V secondary (any value between 5V and 12V will work, 5V will be brightest, 12V will be dimmest.)
1 x 9V battery (rechargable or not), and battery clip
1 x male 3.5mm audio jack
1 x female 3.5mm audio jack 
1 x box
some wire
PC board
Everything here is avaliable from radioshack.  It should be about $20 total. 

About This Instructable


6 favorites


Bio: Yes, more projects are coming, always. I work on anything in my spare time, usually electronics, but sometimes mechanical hardware, and increasingly software.
More by jduffy54: One Night Battery Monitor For Wireless Headphones Attiny Chronograph $4.5 better stepper driver
Add instructable to: