Super Sized Acryllic Spectrum Analyzer

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Introduction: Super Sized Acryllic Spectrum Analyzer

Why would you want to look at those tiny led displays or those small LCD's if you can do it big?

This is a step by step description on how to build your own Giant sized Spectrum analyzer.

Using acrylic tiles and led strips to build a room filling light show using 280+ big sized LED's

Why do it small if you can do it big.....

Supplies

You will need an arduino Mega, a cheap frequency board SI5351 and a handfull of small parts.

Let's get started

Step 1: Introduction

Giant Super sized 14 Channel spectrum analyzer

  • -280 acrylic leds (WS2812)
  • -Arduino controlled
  • 40Hz – 16Khz
  • Line in
  • Microphone in
  • Different modes and colors
  • Brightness control
  • Sensitivity control
  • Peak delay control

Key components:

  • Arduino Mega 2560 Pro
  • Si5351A breakout board
  • WS2812 (74Leds/meter)
  • Acryl 10mm.

You will need access to a laser cutter to cut out all 280 acrylic tiles or you will have to put in the extra mile to do all by hand.

Project download:
All hardware, software etc. is "as is" and you are free to modify it to your needs. None of the hardware has been tested for CE compliance etc. If you decide to use anything from this design, you do so at your own risk. Coding, PCB and drawings are all available for download. If you like this project, please share this video to your friends and don't forget to click the like button and subscribe!

Firmware:

https://github.com/donnersm/14chspectrum

BOM:

www.judoles.nl/Projecten/14channelSA/BOMList.pdf

Schematic:

http://www.judoles.nl/Projecten/14channelSA/Fullsc...

Designfiles

www.judoles.nl/Projecten/14channelSA/DesignFilesCo...


Buy PCB:

https://www.tindie.com/products/21119/

UPDATE: NEW VERSION AVAILABLE:

https://www.tindie.com/products/23034/

How it works

There are two microcontrollers involved but one is optional
because it is used for a flashing logo only.

The main circuit evolves around an Arduino Mega 2560 ( Pro version preferred because of the smaller footprint). The Arduino uses a frequency board SI5351 to generate two stabile different frequencies. Each frequency is used to drive the clock of a spectrum chip MSGEQ7. The MSGEQ7 is a 7 channel spectrum analyzer chip that divides the input signal into 7 different frequency containers. Depending on the input, the output signal of each container varies. All frequency containers are send to the chips output DAC where they are presented serially one after the other. Because it is a 7 channel chip, a trick is used to internally shift the frequency range of the containers by shifting the clock frequency of that chip.

If you want more information on how this is done, more information is available on youtube.

The Arduino reads the DAC of the MSGEQ7 chips constantly and translates the individual containers to a number of leds per acrylic tower. These leds are driven serially but are still fast enough, even with 240 leds!

Step 2: Collect Your Parts

PCB's

UPDATE: NEWER VERSION AVAILABLE HERE:

https://www.tindie.com/products/23034/

now version available with pre-assembled SMD components

The Gerber files are included with this Instructable. Feel free to use them to order your own PCB elsewhere.

Your Main components are

  • Arduino Mega 2560 Pro
  • Si5351A breakout board
  • WS2812 (74Leds/meter) ledstrip
  • Acryl 10mm.
  • MSgEQ7 chip

The first three components I all got from alieexpress and sort alike websites. It might take some time for it to be delivered but it will save you some money.

The acryl that I used to make the tiles, I purchased locally.

For the IC's MSGEQ7 be warned!!! I ordered several units from different (China) and local sellers but none of those worked. The one's I ordered from Mouser (Sparkfun) where the only one that worked. So, buy wise as you can only spent your money once.

Step 3: Using a Breadboard or Get a PCB

Although I designed a PCB for my setup, you can also decide to use a simple breadboard of simular setup.

If you wish, you can order your pcb at your own supplier. The gerber files to order it are included. I ordered mine at

JLCPCB.com

Whatever setup you are using, make sure you solder on the components the right way.

PCB layout and component list for pcb is included

Step 4: Mechanical Work

Basically, It is the distance between the leds on the ledstrip that maximizes the size of the tiles you want to use. If you want bigger tiles of place them further apart, you will have to get a different ledstrip or cut it apart and rewire it.

Theoretically, you could make your setup as high as the building you live in although wiring can become an issue in that case. My setup is about 50cm in height and it's 82cm wide. That is way bigger than the little LCD screen on my mp3 player! I kind of super sized it!

Anyway, I used the student version of autocad which is available for free after registration. The files are included. You might have to adjust them to your setup but it will get you started for sure.

I used my company's laser cutter to make all the tiles but if you have enough time on your hands, you could do it by hand...but I guess that making 280 tiles by hand will make nobody happy.

Step 5: Putting It All Together

Putting it all together is mainly divided into:

1. assembly of the acrylic towers incl. the ledstrips

2. assembly of the base

3. assembly of the logo ledstrip ( optional)

4. assembly of towers onto based

5. wiring of the whole system

All of this is is best shown in the youtube video

Update:

New version of firmware available. It includes a debug mode to test the hardware:

Documentation:

https://github.com/donnersm/14ChannelAnalyzerV2.0/...

Firmware:

https://github.com/donnersm/14ChannelAnalyzerV2.0/...

Step 6: Coding

The maincode it the attached sketch.

If you are using the flashing logo, you can use logoblink to program a tiny arduino

UPDATE!! As of version 2.0 of the PCB, the extra arduino Tiny for the logo is no longer needed.

An extra output is available and can by connected directly to the logo ledstrip

Step 7: Enjoy Showing It to Your Friends

After putting in all this hard word you will have to show it to the world! Tell your friends all about it and don't forget to show it off on internet.

Take a look at my video to see how I build and design it.

Super-Size Speed Challenge

Participated in the
Super-Size Speed Challenge

1 Person Made This Project!

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82 Comments

0
Koperhead
Koperhead

21 days ago

I built your entire system and I can't wait for it to work. But my problem is the red leds don't light up when I plug in by USB or a 5V 3A adapter. I used a divider bridge to step the voltage down to 4.98V. Subsequently I used a 5V 5A adapter and using a divider bridge to give a voltage of 4.91V. But nothing works. Is it possible that you tell me what I'm doing wrong ?
0
emdee401
emdee401

Reply 20 days ago

If only the red dont work but other color do, then 2 things to check: what leds are you using? And did you configure the driver correctly.

0
Koperhead
Koperhead

Reply 20 days ago

I use that strip leds (BTF-LIGHTING WS2812B ECO RGB Alloy Wires 5050SMD Individual Addressable 16.4FT 60Pixels/m 300Pixels Flexible Black PCB Full Color LED Pixel Strip Dream Color IP30 Non-Waterproof DIY Projects Only DC5V). I have buy a diode for my 5V 5A adapter and it works fine. I see in Setting.h = #define COLOR_ORDER GRB. I switch G and R and now, it's the green color is missing. I can't see the problem if it's hardware or software. I downgrade the version, i take 2.02 and i have the same problem.

0
Koperhead
Koperhead

Reply 14 days ago

I mounted a second controller and it does the same thing, the red don't work except fire programming. In the program, I played a lot with the color codes to find the problem. (I found new color combinations that I will program when my problem is solved). Even on the first program, you configured TOP in red, MIDDLE in yellow and BOTTOM in green and my result is TOP no color, MIDDLE in green and BOTTOM in yellow. When I changed the configuration of the strip (GRB to RGB), I always had 2 colors out of 3. I ordered a led strip from another company and if it does the same thing again, the problem would be the software. If you have some ideas about the problem, you can send me an email to koperhead@hotmail.com. Thank you

0
emdee401
emdee401

Reply 14 days ago

Send me a copy of your sketch folder with all files and i will run it on my hardware

0
gr8fulexpat
gr8fulexpat

Question 2 months ago on Introduction

If I plan to purchase the acrylic locally and have it laser cut, can you give me a ballpark on the materials cost to do a project like this?

Also, would you be available for some paid consultation on a similar but much bigger project?

0
emdee401
emdee401

Answer 2 months ago

Hi, I payed around €150 for purchasing the acrylic locally.
Payed consulting? maybe depends on the workload. Send me an email mark.donners@judoles.nl

0
jtrtle709
jtrtle709

Question 8 months ago

I have a question. I have been looking at the videos from the guy who builds these on youtube and found a few places where i could buy the circuit board. But the one thing i havent figured out yet, is if there is a max or minimum of leds you can put on each "band. his 7 bad acrylic towers have 19 on each frequency, and 20 on the 14 band. So is there a limit, or could a person say use 18 with the circuit board? Also is there a microphone built into to it, or do you have to wire one in. There is no real no real description on how this thing responds to sound.

0
emdee401
emdee401

Answer 8 months ago

Yes you can adjust the number of leds to your liking minimum of say 5 per band. The number of bands is fixed. If you want more control over the number of bands please take a look at my other post of the fft analyzer. Regarding the mic , its not build in but it has pre amp. All you need to do is connect a microphone to make it work. Its all described in the documentation on github

0
wcg110
wcg110

1 year ago

Hello, boss.
I am a novice player from China, and I am using Google Translate to try to communicate with you.
Now I try to copy your 14-segment atmosphere light project.After I installed all the parts, he had a problem.
I use the maga2560 data cable to connect to the computer, when not connected to the 5v power supply. All its functions are normal.
When I only connect my 5v8a switching power supply, its function fails and the light strip will light up. But it can't receive the microphone signal, nor can it receive the aux signal. I would like to ask about where the problem is. Please guide me in a direction.
My switching power supply has been fine-tuned to 4.99v.
thank!

0
emdee401
emdee401

Reply 1 year ago

So usb is working fine but power supply is not. Then the problem is the power supply. It is critical. Has to be stable and no more then 5.1v. Try another type / brand and see if that helps.

0
wcg110
wcg110

1 year ago

Why do I use a 5v 8a switching power supply input, the phone and audio input are not responding and use the mega2560 data cable to connect, all functions are normal? How can I contact you? I am a Chinese player. Just finished your work. , But it has some problems that I can’t solve. What other ways can I contact you?

0
emdee401
emdee401

Reply 1 year ago

You only need 8A power supply if you are planning to increase the brightness of the leds by changing the firmware. As of software version 2.0, it is limited to 4A in the firmware. So a 4A supply will do fine. The USB datacable is used to program the arduino

0
emdee401
emdee401

Reply 1 year ago

MEga2560 datacable is a USB cable. You need that to upload the arduino sketch. The power supply needs to be able to handle the led currents 4A will do but if you wnat more brightness of the leds, than you have to use 8A.
You can send me an email. Mark.donners@judoles.nl

0
klazing
klazing

1 year ago

Unless you bought the PCB board from Mark, the circuit will only work in mode 5. It only works properly in mode-5 music and microphone input. This software is provided knowingly or unintentionally. He also shared the connection diagram of the led strips incorrectly.

0
emdee401
emdee401

Reply 1 year ago

Its so sad to see how some people blame others for their own failure and lack of knowledge. Many have replicated this build succesfully.

0
klazing
klazing

Reply 1 year ago

Those who did this successfully must have bought the pcb from you. You have no concrete solution or suggestion. You are not solution oriented. The problem is obvious. Only mod5 works. Why don't others work? You are not sincere and honest. You can't accuse me of failure...! You have misled me many times. You avoided giving a concrete answer to my question. I wouldn't recommend writing any more. Everything is clear and obvious.

0
emdee401
emdee401

Reply 1 year ago

The diagram you are refering to is there to give an impression. Take a look at the latest documentation and you will find a more detailed diagram

0
klazing
klazing

1 year ago

I am an amateur and hobbyist. There is no need to be an electronics engineer to make projects with shared code. I made this project. Determination For this project, I bought 3 si5351 frequency cards with Mark's guidance. Are these all wrong? But it works fine, sensitive to audio input.
Here are the errors I got:
1- microphone input not working. It peaks in 2-3 seconds
2- Mods 9-10-11 do not work. It peaks in 2-3 seconds
3- Frequency card values are not visible in diagnostic mode. But it works fine, sensitive to audio input.
4- ADC values are not visible in diagnostic mode.
5- The circuit does not work when the brightness level is at minimum.

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0
klazing
klazing

Reply 1 year ago

There are some more bugs that need to be fixed.
1- The input sensitivity of each mode is different.
2- In some modes, At low levels in music, the peaks become minimal. And after 5-6 seconds it becomes active again.
Please explain to correct these errors. Or review the code again.