Introduction: Raving Out Your Computer

Picture of Raving Out Your Computer
The video of this Mod

READ ME FIRST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
READ ME FIRST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
READ ME FIRST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
READ ME FIRST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I just reorder some new parts to fix some of the problems that i have. Please don't try to work on this till I am finish solving some of the issues (Unless you are a Level 10 Electrical Engineer.)

Well i figure out why this doesn't work as well. LED need a certain amount of milliamps to turn on. The current that comes out of the headphone jack is WAY TO LOW. It bearly turn on the leds (so you can only see it while it is dark and the volume is MAX OUT).

So i guess i would need to make a amp before the connecting it into the transistor.

Also if you want to use the microphone you will need a PRE-amp.

READ ME FIRST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
READ ME FIRST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
READ ME FIRST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
READ ME FIRST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you have a case window just like I do you sometimes wish you could turn off all those lights. I was like one those guys, but I added this other feature call the "RAVING MOD".

This mod will show explain how to make your LEDs to turn off and on with the sound of your music (or games or anything that comes out of your audio out). You will also learn how to COMPLETELY TURN OFF ALL YOUR LIGHTS.

Disclaimer 1: My Grammar is AWFUL. So if you can help clarify something please go ahead and tell me.

Disclaimer 2: I am not responsible for anything that happens to you or your computer. I am a ME not a EE.

Disclaimer 3: Never open your Power Supply. I needed Fans to mod so I did and I learn my lesson.

Disclaimer 4:Before I continue I just want to say that the circuit for this instrubable did not just came to me one day. A fellow student in my school gave me the idea that a NPN Transistor will make the lights turn On and Off.

Computer Fan (Any size or type and no Leds are needed)
26 gauge wire (Black and some other color)
18 gauge wire (Black and some other color)
Zip Tie
Male and Female 4-pin molex
Male and Female pin molex
NPN transistor
Female Audio connector
2x Two way or 1x Three way switch
Audio Splitter
Male to Male 3.5mm audio cable
Or Microphone with 3.5mm male cable (needsMic Preamp)

Wire Cutters
Wire Strippers
Small Standard Screwdriver or something similar
Glue Gun and Glue Sticks
Electric Tape
Soldering Iron and Solder

Step 1: Analyzing the Fan

Picture of Analyzing the Fan

First we need to identify what way to rewired the fans. There are three possible ways.

The first ways is by having the wire wrap around the fan. This will probably happen if you don't have a fan that already had LEDs.

The second way is by a combination of wrapping around and going under the union bridge. The main reason why you will choice this option will be because of the canals in the bridge that could be to small for the wire that you may use. If the bridge doesn't have the canal you might need to use the "first way". Also there must be a hole and some space under that hole to fit a wire.

The third way is probably the rarest way to do it. The canal on the bridge must be big enough to fit two wires. If the 26 gauge wire is to big you might need to use a much smaller gauge for it to work.

Step 2: Removing the Old LEDs

Picture of Removing the Old LEDs

If you fan has LEDs you will need to remove them all. This could be a easy or AWFUL step. Some fans use a MASSIVE amount of glue to stick the LED to the fan. Use a screwdriver to remove the LED and glue from the fan. Some fans are a light amount of glue so it wouldn't be that difficult in that case.

I accidentally slaughter a couple of LEDs while removing the LEDs. The manufactor wasn't so nice at telling me what brand and model the LEDs where. So I just replaced with the ones in this site Super Bright Leds

If anyone else sees a different case please comment about it.

Step 3: Cutting the Wires

Picture of Cutting the Wires

Cut the wires that are attach to each LED. Don't remove the wires from the fan it self.

Plug the fan into your computer and check if the fan still works with out having the leds connected.

If you are lucky the fan should work (and it might spin a BIT faster). Now you can remove the wires from the fan using APPROPIATE WAY.

If you SUPER UNLUCKY and your fans didn't spin you will need to soder a resister at the end of each wire. You can hide the resistor later with hot glue.

Step 4: Cleaning the LEDs

Picture of Cleaning the LEDs

Get the four LEDs that you cut off. You need to remove any extra glue.

Straighten the legs.

Step 5: LED Circuit

Picture of LED Circuit

Before we start let me explain something that most of you guys should know.

We are going to place this LEDs in a Series circuit.

If you can't understand this digram look at the picture that I uploaded.

12v PN _ PN _ PN _ PN _ Ground

P = Positive Side
N = Negative side

Step 6: Wrapping Way

Picture of Wrapping Way

This step will explain exactly what wrapping the wire is. It will also explain how to start all three ways of wiring.

First Place the LED on the hole
Then solder a wire to the NEGATIVE terminal of the LED.
Place the second LED on the next spot (it doesn't matter if you go clock wise or counter wise)
Move the wire around edge of the fan.

Do these over and over till you are done if you are doing "Way ONE"
Follow the next step if you are doing "Way TWO"
Ignore this step if you are doing "Way THREE"

Step 7: Under the Union Bridge

Picture of Under the Union Bridge

This step will explain exactly what UNDER THE UNION BRIDGE is. It will also explain how to start all three ways of wiring.

First Place the LED on the hole
Then solder a wire to the NEGATIVE terminal of the LED.
Place the second LED on the next spot (it doesn't matter if you go clock wise or counter wise)
Move down into the middle of the fan. (you might need to remove the sticker)
Slide the wire under the center plastic thing.
Move to the LED you place

Step 8: Finishing Up

Picture of Finishing Up

Before you start soldering the Final two wires on the first and fourth (This last LED's terminal should be NEGATIVE {and the first LED should have the Positive terminal empty}) you have to under that these wire are GOING TO BE LONG.

First determine how long you want to cables to be. (I made most of my LED connecting cables about 3' Feet.)
NOTE: The rest of the instruction will use 3 feet as reference. This measurement can be anything you want.

Measure out 3' feet of RED 26 gage wire (this MUST BE 26 gauge or THICKER).
Solder this wire on the Positive terminal of the First LED that you place.
Measure out 3' feet of BLACK 26 gage wire (this MUST BE 26 gauge or THICKER).how much you need to move a wire from the fourth LED to the First and add 3' Feet.
Solder this BLACK wire on the GROUND terminal of the fourth LED.

Step 9: Gun It With GLUE

Picture of Gun It With GLUE

Glue each LED and solder point with LOTS of Glue.

Step 10: Adding the 4-Pin Molex

Picture of Adding the 4-Pin Molex

Before we start let make it clear that this Lights should NEVER be connect in Parallel with other hardware like Hard Drivers.

It is okay to have this LED on a Parallel with other lights.

We are going to add Male and Female 4-Pin Molex

First Cut 1Black and 1 Red (or any color) 18 GAUGE WIRE (IT MUST BE 18 or THICKER)

Get a MALE pin and place the small 26 Gauge wire under the big 18 Gauge wire inside the pin.
Close the pin.

Get a FEMALE pin and close it on the other end of the 18 Gauge wire.
Close the pin

Insert the NON-BLACK MALE pin on the 12V hole of the MALE Molex
This 12V hole is the one on the RIGHT when the Diagonal cuts on the top (look at the images)

The Black Male Pin goes to the left of the 12V hole

Same thing happens on the Female Pins and Molex but opposite sides.

Step 11: Connect and Test

Picture of Connect and Test

Connect the cable of the LED to a OPEN molex connector.

If it doesn't work you might have not made the circuit correctly or the leds didn't like 3v. If you need help comment and I will.

Step 12: Rave Circuit

Picture of Rave Circuit

This is the circuit.

I can't explain how to make it so look at those pictures.

The Transistor MUST BE NPN and it must be one that can support 12v or more and have the Heatsink in the back. Just like the one in the picture. The one I have is a TIP31C

Also NEVER NEVER Connect the 12v and Ground cable together (the ones for the switches). DOUBLE check your switches cables.

Step 13: Connecting It All Together

Picture of Connecting It All Together

So you should have a Fan with two cables (one to spin the fan and the other to turn on the LEDs). Connect the fan cable (the one that makes it spin) just like you had it normally. The other cable (the one for the LEDs) should be connected to the Female Molex of the Rave Circuit. If you have more LED or Fans (don't connect Cold Cathols or Neon Lights... risky) just connected to the other end of the LED cable.

Now you have to options on how the Rave Circuit will obtain its audio. One can be straight from the Audio out of your computer (you will need a audio splitter) or you can plug a microphone on the female connector.

(I have personally not tested the microphone idea YET. Will work on it as soon as I have my PSU working again)


ContraptionMaker (author)2014-01-12

Just ran across this Structable. Great job and great Stuctable. For me, I use my audio out, so I need to use a sound controller. For and easy way to do this check out my Structable at This can easily be connected to a sound controller.

kyismaster (author)2010-07-09

The song is Streamline by Newton

didgitalpunk (author)kyismaster2011-07-08

the page has been removed because of author rights... sucks!

kingofdon (author)2010-08-08

that so awesome..can i use other transistor than TIP31C

beehard44 (author)kingofdon2010-12-19

you can use a mosfet

fuzychiapet (author)2010-04-04

"Please don't try to work on this till I am finish solving some of the issues (Unless you are a Level 10 Electrical Engineer.)"

My Warcraft character is a level 30 engineer- does this count?

Xellers (author)fuzychiapet2010-08-29

No, unfortunately, time wasted playing video games on a computer cannot be transferred for credit towards an electrical engineering degree. Sorry.

HughGRection (author)Xellers2010-09-07

But it's Warcraft Man.

beehard44 (author)HughGRection2010-12-19

yeah, nice excuse
Well, if you're an electrical engineer or an experienced hobbyist, give it a shot

zack247 (author)2010-08-01

yuo might want to clean out the blue fan... its really dusty. cool 'ible though! 5*s

DustySeven7 (author)2010-07-17

I have worked on computers for a while now. The red wire on a molex cable is 5v power the yellow cable is the 12v line.

junits15 (author)2010-06-14

it seems the tip31 is a favorite for music controlled lights

Aztof (author)2010-02-27


nuff said 

monkeyshoe10 (author)Aztof2010-04-02


nuff said =)

Aztof (author)Aztof2010-02-28

oh, what's the name of the song in the video?  I would love to put it on my iPod

dkfa (author)2009-07-19

maybe you could make the leds glow and its breathing! Now you can call your PC a MONSTER rig.

Sandisk1duo (author)dkfa2009-07-31

you can do that, just get a capacitor in parallel with the LED

junits15 (author)Sandisk1duo2010-02-27

that wont pulse them, it will fade them off, (not sure if it will fade them on).

Sandisk1duo (author)junits152010-03-01

if you put a resistor in series

jobergy (author)Sandisk1duo2010-02-12

i want to do that! im in welding so i am makeing a steel metal case with the monster energy symbol on it, green LED's was the plan but with the breathing thing wuld make it sweet! 

Holden_vy_s (author)2010-02-19

As a person who uses his computer rather than looking at it, i feel the need to say RICER.

But thats just me.

jobergy (author)2010-02-12

wow that is pretty simple when it comes down to it, cool thanks! will use indeed!  and for my lights in my truck for my audio system! cant use the audio in but i can make the mic thing work im sure 

Siabnec (author)2010-02-07

Just Awesome

your dog (author)2010-02-04
this instructable makes me extremely jealous
akjian (author)2009-08-10

do you have msn ? . i got question to ask you ..

olie854 (author)2009-02-26

every one I am very sorry i have seen an easier way to every ones solution, the schematic is wrong do not use it it can be fixed which i will show you how to make it correctly for know just follow his second drawing of the layout of the wires and parts its messy but it is correctly drawn. below is the correct schematic i have updated two wires cross they ARE NOT CONNECTED, the rest are connected.

masonat (author)olie8542009-03-18

Where is the sound input?

itstemo1 (author)masonat2009-03-19

Do you see the purple lines. The G is for the ground and the squigilly line if for the L and R of the sound

venootez (author)itstemo12009-05-25

thats cool. by the way, whats the name of the song?

Sandisk1duo (author)venootez2009-07-31

streemline by newton

masonat (author)itstemo12009-03-19

thanks, have you made this circuit? did it work?

Mighty Mackinac (author)olie8542009-02-28

ok...from what i gather from this image...i connect the NPN/audio part and the ground to the same prongof the second switch, correct? i then connect the "on only" cable to the other prong? makes sense, i guess...just confirm this for me...

also what gauge of wire to i use for the circuit? i use the right and left of the audio or do i use one and the power?

olie854 (author)Mighty Mackinac2009-03-01

what I recommend is use left and right audio together and connect the gnd from audio to the emitter of the npn transistor, gauge wire does not really matter i would use smaller than 20 gauge, also you first comment i do not under stand fully the first switch is the main on of , and the second switch overrides the audio amplifier to full on 12volts, reply back with a more in depth question as i don't understand what your getting at, but i do think you are correct no I've a second look at it.

Mighty Mackinac (author)olie8542009-03-03

i think i figured it out...but im still confused about the audio...for my setup im using a headphone has three wires inside...a red, a white, and a blue...guys from radioshack said that red and white were right and left, and the blue must be ground...where do i connect these?

itstemo1 (author)Mighty Mackinac2009-03-03

Okay... Red and White are going to be connected to the Base on the NPN transistor. The ground is going to the ground of the power.

Mighty Mackinac (author)itstemo12009-03-03 that...

now...i have a question about one of my switches... it has three prongs, all labeled: Power, ACC, and Ground...this is going to be the first switch...which prongs do i connect the power to? btw...i got all of my supplies from radioshack if that helps...this is the switch...

ACC is just a led in the switch, power and ground is the only thing u need. It doesnt matter which end up you plug it in as long as you dont mix the red and black wires together

so which one would i connect to turn the led on and have the circuit work? i assume that BadzBoyz, you mean that i can connect to either one and the circuit would work?

olie854 (author)Mighty Mackinac2009-03-03

I see now the link did not work for me the acc is for the led only 2v should be necessary depending on color i assume red but badzboy89 is correct i did not under stand the switch sorry.

Mighty Mackinac (author)olie8542009-03-03 i tested the circuit and i followed it to the letter...and nothing works...

are you one hundred percent sure that the circuit is correct? it might have been my crapping soldering job...but im kinda new to it...

The circuit works but did u test out all the led's on the fan?

all of the leds work...i know for a just not sure that the circuit i made was properly constructed... of my friends was saying that he attempted something close to this...but he said that the 12v and the ground needs to be switched...i think that makes sense...ideas?

just follow the 2nd diagram its working fine just about killed my computer by plugging this thing in... i have done everything by the specs and it still won't work... I nearly killed my computer; i wanted to see if reversing the polarity would change things...all i have to say is, it smells rly bad in my room right headphone jack cables burnt through the covering...

olie854 (author)Mighty Mackinac2009-03-03

your switch is like all others middle one is the constant as it always connect to one or the other and when switch is up the constant and bottom are connected and visa versa.

About This Instructable




Bio: Born to reverse engineer Mechanical Stuff... Fail College... well I am close to it.
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