Introduction: Drinkinator Musical Light Organ (flashes to Music)

About: A beginners guide to raspberry pi and Arduino development by beginners.

Why just make a Drink Machine, called the Drinkinator, that sits quietly in the corner, when you can make a kickass effort to make it the center of the party!

This instructable will walk you through how to make your own bottle lighting project, from start to finish, and provide the code to get it working.

Step 1: Way Better Projects to Look at Than Mine

Hey, I'm damn proud of what I've done, don't get me wrong,but the following projects inspire the hell out of me.

You can see many of my proof of concepts on nextprojectawesome's youtube channel, but the following projects I mention need to be shared, and cherished. None of my work would have been possible without leveraging and learning from these cool projects.

  • None of this would be possible without
  • I'm a HUGE fan of their work, and I was very fortunate to have stumbled upon RobertPN's project on youtube, which inspired this whole project to begin with. The video quality is not the best, but the execution of that project is beautiful. I do a variation of this "chase/flow" in one of my code options.

  • The next next project, I'm in awe of this

Step 2: Tools and Parts


  • Glue Gun (Optional)
  • Soldering Iron
  • Pliers
  • Solder
  • Wire stripper
  • Jigsaw - metal cutting blade. This cut the acrylic like butter
    • Wear safety glasses and gloves!
    • Metal file for finishing
  • Painters Tape
    • Reduces chipping, allows you to draw on your plexiglass what you are cutting
  • Black silicone caulking


  • Sparkfun audio jack x 2
    • Recommend getting the breakout board, as pictured here
  • I ordered a bunch of programmable LEDs WS2812B
  • Arduino
    • I used Mega, but no reason a smaller one with a reasonable amount of memory would work
    • Smaller arduino will likely mean you should wire up a seperate power source for the LEDs
  • 3d print LED covers (Optional).
    • If you look at the attached images, I settled on a pad that allowed the light to transmit through holes directly into the bottle, making for a brighter lighting
  • Plexiglass - not too thick
  • Buttons x2
    • I had leftover RobotGeek buttons so I used those since they have resister built in
  • Adafruit permaboard
  • Wires
  • Heatshrink
  • Earphone splitter
  • Bluetooth receiver
  • Music source with bluettooth, like IPAD or Iphone
  • Speakers
  • "msgeq7" chips x2
  • 220K resistor x2
  • 100nF x4
  • 10nF x2
  • 33pF x2
  • 14 bottles from IKEA.
  • Tons of patience... don't half-ass your soldering, it will come back to bite you if you don't

Step 3: Software

Download the FASTLED library from Github

Download my arduino sketch found here

About the code
My box has 6 bottles on the left and 4 on the right. Some pads have 3 LEDS at the start, but also have 2 LEDs on the later ones.

Fix the variables in "LED VARIABLES" in my arduino sketch to reflect how many "pads" your bottles sit on, and how many LEDs are in each page.

LLED and RLED are arrays that say what numbers of each LED are of the LEDs in the pad. i.e. PAD 0 has LED 1,2,3 on the left strand.

Step 4: Wiring Arduino, Buttons and Lights

Get the circuitry working first, so plan on wiring the left channel in your circuit board and then following the pins on the sketch, set up

  1. Two buttons
  2. Setup a neopixel strip or a few LEDs on the pin for the left channel

Lights Option 1: Neopixels as a light source

If you are using NEOPIXELS, read the adafruit UberGuide. As you can see from youtube channel I did all my prototyping with a neopixel strip. This is a good place to start if you don't know what you're doing. Just setup your left channel on your circuit board, and connect the strip to the Left Audio source pin (see my sketch) and try it out. There is a comment in one of the videos on Adafruit where Lady Ada talks about latching and something about 50ms to latch colors, that's why you see no delays less than 60 in my code. I'm not sure the threshold for my other LED types, but in any event, if I were to recode my code, I would have put the delay after the .SHOW(), and not before. I may fix that this weekend.

Lights Option 2: WS2812B LEDs soldered together

Once I got the lighting and circuitry working, I soldered up a whole bunch of individual LEDs and soldered two per bottle pad. If I had to do it again, I would have used three!

Step 5: Wiring - Sound Board

  1. See attached wiring diagram (From J Skoba)
  2. If you are not as comfortable with these take a look at my circuits, pictured above. This is my interpretation and implementation of that diagram
  3. I copied this circuit diagram twice, one for each channel.
  4. For your Audio Source, I used TIP for RIGHT channel, Ring for the left channel on the sparkfun break out board.

It's worth noting that the actual circuit diagram, the first image, is the proper diagram. The mockup done in "paint" is a conceptual drawing trying to explain conceptually how everything fits together

Step 6: Prototyping

With whatever vessel you are using to hold your liquids, and with whatever that liqued may be, do some tests to see how bright and how many LEDs do you need for it to luminescence. This was actually a lot of fun!

Step 7: Working With Acrylic/Plexiglass

Some tips from someone doing this for the first time, so take with a grain of salt...

Working with acrylic:

-don't remove the protective plastic until the very end!

- use painters tape or draw on protective plastic on your square what you want to cut.

- for long cuts, use the special tool to score it both sides and apply pressure to it evenly to snap it.

- for cuts that are sharp angles, use a jigsaw

- to ensure the jigsaw didn't wander, I placed a long wood piece parallel to my cut and used it as a guide. This was held in place by clamps.

-if you have thick screws to go into the plexiglass, use a very small drill bit to do the pilot hole then repeat, slowly increasing the size until you reach the appropriate size.

My project:

- Since my box was black, I used black silicone caulking to seal it invisibly. I then drilled pilot holes and sunk screws.

-because my surface area was large, I placed black pieces of wood under the plexiglass between the base and the glass to provide extra support

Step 8: Finishing

House your circuitry and a box then rock on!

Color Schemes

Hardware Walkthrough

Drinkinator Complete Build (No bottles)