Create your own Beer Bottle LED Volume Unit Meter!

This instructable will show you how to create a LED beer bottle VU Meter. A volume unit meter is a device that is used to display a relative volume of audio signals. Basically, sound gets converted into electricity, then amplified and run into a dedicated IC (Integrated Circuit). The IC then determines the level of sound and outputs it accordingly onto its outputs. This particular VU Meter uses a LM3915 Dot/Bar Display Driver to determine the sound level. This circuit is more flexible than a regular VU Meter though, due to the fact that I incorporated a microcontroller into the project. This makes it a little more complex, but also way more flexible.

The main reason that I built this project is because I have always been fascinated with LEDs. There is just so many cool projects that a person can make with them. Also, a couple years ago I made a Chevrolet logo VU Meter which didn't use a microcontroller. Although it was really cool, there wasn't a lot that I could do with it once it was made. I had the options of bar mode or dot mode and that was it. With the help of a microcontroller, you can design a project so that you are able to turn on any individual LED or groups of LEDs at any of the 10 different sound levels. That makes things a little more challenging, but also more interesting.

By following each and every step, you will be able to complete your own beer bottle LED VU Meter just like this one. Or if you are feeling really ambitious, create your own customized LED VU Meter and just use this instructable as a guideline.

bkovac3 years ago
Can i get eagle files please?
bkovac bkovac3 years ago
I like this project so much!
bkovac bkovac3 years ago
This is FANTASTIC! Do you plan on making this into a solder kit? If you did i would easily pay 50 USD for it.
Regax (author)  omgitschrislol3 years ago
Perhaps in the future, but I won't create this version as a solder kit. The PCB is much too large and it uses components that it doesn't need. If I get time I will re-create the circuit and just use the ADC on the microcontroller to keep track of the sound level. Not sure if I will get any time soon to do that, but if I do I'll let you know.

Glad you liked it!
That would be great! Im not sure about other people, but I actually like the PCB size. Its easy to see the traces and where they go and what not.
husamwadi4 years ago
The guy under me is a random spam comment.

Cool PROJECT! It seems you have put a lot of work into this one!

One question, Why use the LM3915 instead of the LM3916
Regax (author)  husamwadi4 years ago
The only reason why I used the LM3915 is because I had some on hand. Either of them would work. I believe the only major difference between the two is that the LM3915 has 3dB per step (-27dB to 0dB), whereas the LM3916 has -20dB, -10dB, -7dB, -5dB, -3dB, -1dB, 0dB, 1dB, 2dB, 3dB for its 10 steps. Thanks for the props!
Why use the LM391X instead of the ADC of the pic? sorry for my english.