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LED Color Organ Triple Deluxe

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Picture of LED Color Organ Triple Deluxe
*** Checkout the New & Improved version of this project: Color Organ Triple Deluxe II ***

I love lights, and I love music… Naturally a color organ is something that I always wanted to make. However the circuits are often pretty complicated, using many op amps, etc. I'm sure that many people feel the same way.

Now the wait is over. If you are a bit familiar with electronics, you can build a 3 way color organ with only 29 components. I've streamlined the circuit to the absolute minimum, using easy to obtain, inexpensive parts. In fact, if you are electronic hobbyist, you probably have all the parts sitting around already!

In case you've never heard of a color organ, it's a device that emits different colors of light based on sound. LED Color Organ Triple Deluxe divides sound into three frequency bands, and emits red, green and blue lights accordingly.

Watch the video and you'll see what it does.


 
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Step 1: Overview

The photo is showing the stereo version of Color Organ Triple Deluxe, which is simply the same circuit twice next to each other.

Three groups of LEDs each responds to high, mid, and low frequencies of sound.

In order to simplify the circuit, I design the Organ to connect to a headphone output of audio equipment. The power source can be a 9V battery, or a regulated AC adapter that outputs 9 V. (Most wall wort type adapters output much higher voltage than they are rated, therefore not suited.)

I'd like to thank Collin Cunningham of MAKE: Magazine for publishing his LED Color Organ. His version is a lot more sophisticated and complex (read: expensive), which led me to design a super simple version.

ledartist (author)  propiracy1 year ago
What you are describing might work, but I never used SSR before and don't know the driving voltage and current.
I think hacking a more sophisticated circuit like this one is much safer option.
http://blog.makezine.com/2010/10/18/circuit-skills-led-color-organ-spon/
Thanks,

will find out the voltage and current that passes through regular music headphones, if its not far off from the voltage passing through the LED on your circuit then it will work (cross fingers). Incase its not, hope the current and voltage on yours is higher so i can lower it before it hits the LED. Will let you know if it works. Sorry Collins circuit is beyond my build ability. Will try it with yours first. Thanks alot.
cool23871 year ago
This is awesome. A few questions though-

1. Could I possibly use MOSFETS instead of transistors? if so, what other changes should I make to ensure that they are biased correctly?

2. If I use yellow LEDs instead of blue, what resistor values would you recommend, or what should I change?

3. is there any way a CdS cell or 555 timer can be included in this circuit to increase complexity? I am trying to use a few other components, but am not sure how I can incorporate them to change it up a little. Please let me know what you think!

Thanks!
ledartist (author)  cool23871 year ago
Let me go over your questions:

1. To use MOSFET instead of the BJT would require some mod to the circuit. Can't tell you the specifics, and to be honest I don't think it's worth the effort. If you want to scale up color organ, go with something like this: http://blog.makezine.com/2010/10/18/circuit-skills-led-color-organ-spon/

2. Use 270 ohm for Yellow. Same as Red.

3. Like the question 1, my circuit here is a practice in simplicity and compromise. Not a good candidate for scaling up.

Aki
tineflores1 year ago
may i know what is the graph of frequency vs. capacitor of this project ?
ledartist (author)  tineflores1 year ago
Sorry, not sure what you are asking... Care to explain?

aphracer1 year ago
Instead of a headphone output could I use a stereo receiver output in parallel with speakers for the audio input of this circuit?
ledartist (author)  aphracer1 year ago
Output from a receiver (line out) should work. Speaker output can be used via appropriate resistors to attenuate the level.
Aki
siddhanth1 year ago
since you have combined the led driver circuit AND the filters, is it possible that to use high power leds (12v,1w~5w) ill have to swap the resistors/transistors of higher wattage?
ledartist (author)  siddhanth1 year ago
Not quite that simple... If you want to control high power LED (or other loads) connect larger transistors in place of the LEDs.
Connect NPN power transistor's base to Q2's collector via 150 ohm or so, the emitter to the ground, then the high power LEDs connect between +12V and the collector. Do the same with Q3 and Q4.
The main circuit should still be supplied 9V, not 12V, unless you adjust the biasing of transistors.

thedoger821 year ago
Hello... man this is GREAT... i was looking for this long ago... but as many others i have some problems with the circuit, when i connect the sound, blue leds dont work, green leds work only when i raise the volume to the max, red leds are always on as responding to the sound. Any advised i will be really appreciated. i have read all the posts above, and double check, triple check, idk what to do now. thanks for this circuit, i hope ill make it work!!!
I friend of mine just fixed my errors... its working perfectly!!!
To help others with the same issue please let us know what fixed your error. Thanks.
the error was me, i connected wrong something, my frined is ing of electronics so he fixed the position of the capacitor... meaning theres nothing wrong with the circuit
taylor23261 year ago
Hello,

I've made it on protoboard, but only the blue ones are working :(
I check it several times, I don't know what's wrong.
I'm beginner in the electronics, could you help me?
ledartist (author)  taylor23261 year ago
Hard to know what's wrong - without more details. Check and double check the obvious, make sure that the transistors are good, etc.

WiredLegs1 year ago
Dude it was just awesome and colorful thx
thedoger821 year ago
ijust realized, the circuit holds up to 9 leds per side (stereo: L - R), how can i improve this? lets say how can i make it to hold 50 to 100 leds?

thanks a lot...

ps: i added this circuit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQB1VlLBgJE
wilson2081 year ago
Hi, i really like the project and would like to build one myself. Except i plan on using 12v dc from a car battery and signal from the head unit. what would i need to change to make this work? Many thanks, Wilson.
ledartist (author)  wilson2081 year ago
The circuit is quite voltage specific, so the supply has to be 9V. I suggest using a 9V voltage regulator such as 7809 to reduce 12V to 9V.

Aki
Firegasm2 years ago
Hi, have you done the 'improving' on the circuit you mentioned in the comments yet?
I built this today and am having the same issue mentioned before with the red LEDs just staying on. I built the circuit both ways, the way shown in the picture and the way shown in the schematic and both keep the red light on. I've switched out the resistors going to Q1 and D1 as suggested. I have it built for left and right channels (the circuit doubled as shown in your picture) the left side red light will turn off and start flashing to the music as it should when I get the Q1 & D1 resistors up to like 330k or 470k. The right side red lights stay on regardless, though if I put in 1meg resistors in place of that sides Q1 & D1 resistors then even though the red leds will be on without music, they will at least flash, though they seem very delayed. I just can't figure out how to keep those red LEDs off when there is no input. Also, with the lower resistors (i.e 10-22k) the red leds won't even flash, they just stay solid.

I don't know what else to try. This circuit looks awesome, I can already see the potential if I could just get it working properly. :(

Also, in reference to the picture being different from the schematics, the difference is in the schematic both leds are set in series then the resistor before ground. In the picture you have an led, resistor, second led then ground.
I have the issue that all of my LED's are just solid on and none are flashing. I have tried multiple different diodes and checked polarity of them. It might be a transistor but could anyone else suggest ideas?
ledartist (author)  tymarshall6241 year ago
Make sure that you are using PNP transistors for Q2 - Q4. The emitters connect to the positive power supply.
Also i might be thinking my resistor values are off because i am using red green and yellow led's so i might need to be altering them.
I had a problem like this, where the low band LEDs would light when ever power was applied. It turned out to be a bad diode (D1). Check and make sure it is propertly poled and/or replace it.
What was the program you used on it? Was it on a computer or Ipad?
ledartist (author)  youngdavid9332 years ago
It's an iPad app called Tone Generator Pro.
It's very handy, but the quality of the wave form is limited by the audio fidelity of iPad's hardware, which is not so good...

Aki
Thank YOU I am working on a light constuction and i will need all the help.
Hi, I am having trouble understanding how to connect my circuit components at where there's 2 10K resistors. The part that is throwing me off is the 10K resistor going from the other 10K resistor to Q1. It seems like its all the same node, so I'm not sure how to construct the circuit. (I understand the 10K connected to the 9v power source, the 10uF cap, the diode connected to ground, and Q1, but I dont quite understand where to place that 2nd 10K). Hope my question isnt confusing!
salix5352 years ago
Hi, i want to build this circuit, but i want it to work without the headphones. So can you tell me will this amplifier be enough>>http://www.google.rs/imgres?hl=sr&client=firefox-a&hs=Rql&sa=X&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&channel=np&biw=1920&bih=934&tbm=isch&prmd=imvns&tbnid=dKDJGLIPk3udzM:&imgrefurl=http://www.techlib.com/electronics/audioamps.html&docid=irBkeSLTFU7YVM&imgurl=http://www.techlib.com/electronics/graphics/LM386amp.gif&w=622&h=287&ei=_ylwT4yGA4bJswb0wJTwAw&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=143&vpy=169&dur=1530&hovh=152&hovw=331&tx=260&ty=139&sig=102588810153863243652&page=1&tbnh=81&tbnw=176&start=0&ndsp=45&ved=1t:429,r:0,s:0
It says its 1/2W amp...
ledartist (author)  salix5352 years ago
You don't need headphones for this circuit to work... Just feed audio signal from a stereo, computer, etc.
Ty very much for fast reply.
Mr.dilly232 years ago
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TY4i5gEceVs Here is a video of the Color organ I made a few weeks ago. We are working on the instructables DIY for you guys.
it is used with RGB led. Mini jack plugin. works like a charm!
ledartist (author)  Mr.dilly232 years ago
Looks cool! Looking forward to seeing the instructables.
Hi,
What would I have to do to to power 12 LEDs instead of 6 like you have it. I found a powered mic circuit I'm going to use for the input. Thanks.
ledartist (author)  matt.e.jenkins2 years ago
You can parallel connect two strings of two LEDs in serial. So for high channel, add another set of LED1, LED2, and 100 ohm. Now, this would draw too much current from the transistor, double the 100 ohm to 200 ohm. Do the same for mid and low.
You get a bit less brightness on each LEDs, but this is the limit of this "simple" circuit.

Please try out the original circuit first, though. Analog circuits are more delicate than digital in that changing one part of the circuit tend to affect other parts. So making modification is sometimes tricky...

Aki
Hi, I am new with electronics and trying to make this circuit. I am doing the original first, but I am a sucker for lights so will probably add LEDs like Matt. When you said to double/add the 100ohm, what were meaning? I've added an image of the three options your instructions bring to mind. Could you take a look and tell me if I am supposed to do option 1, 2 or 3 for adding the extra LEDs?
Thanks!
ResisQuestion.jpg
ledartist (author)  Firegasm2 years ago
#1 would be my choice. Good luck!
Thanks for answering so quickly! Just woke up and am super stoked to get started on this!
Thanks for your time.
~Matt
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